The Laugavegur and Fimmvorduhals Trek was selected as one of the top 20 hikes in the world, by National Geographic, a title it more than earns. It will take us through the stunningly beautiful Icelandic Highlands, an alluring wilderness, which will excite and delight in equal measure. Together, we hike from the geothermal paradise of Landmannalaugar with steaming hot springs and multicolored rhyolite moutains, passing through Hrafntinnusker, nested in a field of obsidian rocks. Then, we continue to the beautiful Lake Alftavatn and end in Thorsmork Valley, where we hike up to Fimmvorduhals volcano eruption area from 2010. Along the way, we will pass through everchanging landscapes of extreme contrast. It's a small group experience and a great way to see diverse scenery with a knowledgable guide.
Duration: 6 days / 5 nights
Group maximum: 16 participants
Available: Jun- Aug
Age limit: 8 years
Difficulty: Moderate (3/5)
- Laugavegur Trail
- Thorsmork Valley
- Small Group Experience
- Lake Alftavatn
- Knowledgeable guide
- Fimmvörduhals Volcano
- Transportation from our meeting points
- English guided service
- Tent accommodation
- Camping fees
- Thin inflatable mattress
- Luggage transport
Luggage storage: Is for any extra belongings that you will not be bringing on the trek and would like to leave at our luggage storage in Reykjavik.
Rental equipment: You can rent hiking boots, hiking poles, waterproof jacket, waterproof pants and a sleeping bag in the booking process.
Special diet: You can add a special diet to your booking for a small fee. Special diets include vegetarian, vegan or gluten free meals. We can also accommodate most allergies. Please make sure that you state which special diet you require.
What to bring:
See a detailed equipment list below.
Want to do this trip for free? Tag us @extremeiceland on your social media stories and photos during your trip and enter a chance to win a full refund. The winner will be picked once a month!
The trek begins in Landmannalaugar, a majestic geothermal wonderland, renowned for its rainbow-colored rhyolite mountains and bubbling hot springs, which travelers have used throughout the centuries. It is a breath-taking place that one could spend a lifetime exploring, yet it is just a flavour of the many wonders that we will see, including massive fields of glassy obsidian, mountains dyed emerald, ruby, and amber in colour, foreboding jet-black deserts, bubbling hot springs, seething geysers, gleaming glaciers, crystalline glacial rivers, and much, much more.
We will traverse this majestic landscape with expert guides, who will teach you about the flora and fauna that is native to the area, its incredible geological history, and the many incredible folklore tales, which make it come alive. Come and explore this magical landscape and discover the many treasures that it hides.
Each night, we will camp in spectacular places that offer gorgeous panoramic views over this otherworldly terrain. These places are secluded and charming, including the idyllic lake Alftavatn, Hrafntinnusker and the emerald valley of Thorsmork. We will also learn how to prepare traditional Icelandic meals, which we will eat as a group, bringing a communal atmosphere, where you will make friends that last you a lifetime. If the conditions are good, we may take an evening walk, to find even more enchanting and secret places.
The trip finishes in the legendary Thorsmork Valley, an emerald oasis, which is believed to have been created by a mighty strike of Thor’s mighty hammer. It is nestled beneath the notorious Eyjafjallajokull glacier, whose 2010 eruption caused almost all European air traffic to be stopped. That eruption created to new volcanic craters, named Magni and Modi, after the sons of Thor, which are among the many spectacular sights that you will see on this incredible tour.
Adrenaline pumping fun, spectacular natural wonders, peaceful spots for profound reflection and so much, more: you name it and this incredible tour has it!
Day 1: LANDMANNALAUGAR - HRAFNTINNUSKER
The tour starts bright and early, at 7:00 am, when we all meet up next to the Reykjavik tourist information office, at Reykjavik City Hall, close to the Tjornin Pond. The tourist information office is located in the heart of downtown Reykjavik, close to the majority of hotels and hostels in the area. Then, once everyone has been introduced to one another, we will make the scenic journey to Landmannalaugar, which lasts between three and four hours. We will drive along the southern coast of Iceland, renowned for its incredible natural beauty, before turning inland and passing the capricious Hekla volcano, Iceland’s most active.
Upon arrival in Landmannalaugar, we will be greeted by a majestic geothermal wonderland of rainbow-colored rhyolite mountains and bubbling hot springs. From there we will travel through the Laugahraun lava field, scarred by the violent volcanic activity that defines the area. It was created by a massive eruption of the Brennisteinsalda Volcano in 1477, providing a fascinating insight into how fire has helped to craft Iceland’s many wonderful landscapes.
From there we will move onto multicolored slopes of Brennisteinsalda itself, which have been dyed in various shades of red, yellow and green, by the many volcanic events that have occurred there. It is famous for its stunning beauty, making it the ideal spot for a photo. Once we have traversed the volcano, we will be greeted by the picturesque spring of Storihver, an oasis of luscious green in an otherwise dark and rocky landscape. The day will finish once we have crossed the shimmering obsidian desert by Hrafntinnusker, famous for the glass-like orbs or gleaming rock that are scattered across the land. It is here, in this majestic, slightly alien landscape that the day’s hiking will finish, and we will pause for some well-deserved rest, in a spectacular natural setting, which offers stunning views of the surrounding area.
(L, r, D). Distance: 12 km (7.5 mi). Walking time: 4-5 hrs. Ascent: 470 m (1540 ').
Day 2: HRAFNTINNUSKER - ALFTAVATN (WHOOPER SWAN LAKE)
The second day of our hiking adventure will begin with a delicious Icelandic breakfast, set to a gorgeous natural backdrop before we head out onto the Reykjafjoll area, a mountainous path, replete with spectacular views of the surrounding area. Then we will begin to descend into the famous Jokultungur area, colored blood red and a vibrant orangey, yellow color by the almost constant volcanic activity which has occurred over the centuries.
From here the rocks and mountains will start to become darker, becoming glassy, black and palagonite in color. This coupled with the majestic glacial view, ensures that it is a profound spot which perfectly demonstrates the magic of the Icelandic Highlands. If the visibility is good then we will climb to the summit of Mt. Haskerdingur, providing stunning views of the surrounding area including gleaming glaciers, snow peaked mountains and imposing volcanoes, the ideal place to survey a powerful and magnificent landscape.
Then the landscape will dramatically change, becoming greener and more luscious as we head towards the picturesque lake of Alftavatn, making a brief stop at the fertile valley which surrounds the river Grashagakvisl. An area, which perfectly encapsulates how good for flora and fauna volcanic soil can be. Then we will ford a small stream before we arrive at the majestic icy blue waters of the Alftavatn Lake, where we will spend the evening.
(B, L, r, D). Distance: 12 km (7.5 mi). Walking time: 4-5 hrs. Descent: 490 m (1610 ').
Day 3: ALFTAVATN LAKE - EMSTRUR
Day three begins with another invigorating stream crossing as we skirt around the edges of the emerald green volcano Storasula, the perfect contrast to the otherwise black and foreboding landscape that surrounds it. From there we will enter the coal-black desert of Maelifellssandur, which is host to Hattafell, a unique volcano famous for its flat top.
Next, we will cross the black glacial desert of Emstrur, which features spectacular views of both the Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull glaciers. Emstrur is a surprisingly lush region, given its black color, where farmers used to graze their flocks during the summertime. The penultimate stop on the tour is a winding mountain path, which provides gorgeous views of a 200 meters deep abyss, carved into the landscape by the glacial river Markarfljot. This dark canyon is the perfect contrast to the greenery of Botnar, an oasis of color and lush vegetation hidden within the black volcanic sands. It is here that we will pitch out tents and spend the evening.
(B, L, r, D). Distance: 15 km (9.5 mi). Walking time: 6-7 hrs. Descent: 40 m (130 ').
Day 4: EMSTRUR-THORSMORK VALLEY
From Emstrur we will proceed on to the Thorsmork valley, along a winding path that skirts around the iconic and mighty Myrdalsjokull glacier. Then we will begin to descend towards, Almenningar, where clumps of trees begin to appear sporadically across the landscape, a signal that we are nearing the coast. As we push further into the incredible Icelandic wilderness, we will pass Einhyrningur (“The Unicorn”) a large mountain with a truly unique shape.
Thorsmork is a truly stunning emerald jewel of a valley, nestled between two mighty glaciers, Icelandic folklore believes that it was created by a mighty blow of Thor’s hammer. We will spend the night in this oasis of green, the ideal place to have some well-deserved rest amidst truly breath-taking natural scenery.
(B, L, r, D) Distance: 15 km (9.5 mi) Walking time: 6-7 hrs Descent: 300 m (985 ')
Day 5: HIKING TO MAGNI AND MODI VOLCANO, FIMMVORDUHALS PASS
Day five begins bright and early, as we wave goodbye to Thorsmork and head towards the mountain pass, which weaves its way between the mighty Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull Glaciers. This ever-changing landscape has two new features known as Magni and Modi (the sons of Thor), giant volcanic craters, formed by the notorious eruption of 2010 that downed much of Europe’s air fleet.
On the way we will see a cascading waterfall of petrified rock, formed by lava, which will now stand frozen in time, a testament to the power and strangeness of nature. We will be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding area from the summit of this steep mountain pass. We will then retrace our steps and return to the emerald Thorsmork Valley, where we will celebrate our final night in the Icelandic wilderness, with a delicious grilled lamb dinner.
(B, L, r, D). Distance: 16 km (10 mi). Walking time: 7-8 hrs. Ascent: 800 m (2600 ').
Day 6: THORSMORK VALLEY-REYKJAVIK
The final day will be more relaxed and less intense than the others, with more freedom to explore the many magical sights that are hidden within the wonderland that is the Icelandic Highlands. Depending on the mood of the group, we can visit the imposing Katla volcano, the mighty Eyjafjallajokull glacier, and the many other spectacular sights which have crafted Thorsmork and the surrounding area. Finally, we will hike to the top of the impressive Valahnukur mountain, which offers awe-inspiring views over the fertile valley below it.
Other members of the group, may choose to spend the day relaxing close to the camp and exploring the many other beautiful sights on offer in this Icelandic paradise. We will aim to be back in Reykjavik at around 18:30 and can drop you in a variety of different places, including: the Miklabraut 101 Orkan gas station (by Kringlan shopping mall), Reykjavik Campsite and the City Hall on Vonarstræti.
(B, L). Distance: 6 km (3,5 mi). Walking time: 3 hrs.
|Note: Some of the mountain huts have hot showers, a hot shower costs 500 ISK and this is not included in the tour price.|
|Hiking boots, good sturdy boots with sufficient ankle support for walking on rough trails. They should have a robust sole and preferably be waterproof|
|Long sleeve top, thermal underwear made of wool or synthetics, not cotton|
|Rain jacket with a hood,preferably of breathable fabric such as Gore tex or similar|
|Rain trousers, preferably of breathable fabric such as Gore tex or similar|
|Gloves and mittens, one pair each. Wool or synthetic|
|Hiking socks, wool or synthetic, 2-3 pairs|
|Warm hat and/or balaclava|
|EXTRAS OF IMPORTANT HEALTH SUPPLIES OR SPECIAL PRESCRIPTION MEDICINE IF NEEDED|
|Backpack, 25-40 L|
|Sleeping bag and travel pillow|
|Travel sack for your baggage that is transported between huts. Suitcases are not recommended|
|Towels & bathing suit|
|Tooth brush and personal toiletries|
|Hiking poles (recommended, especially for crossing rivers)|
|Camera, batteries, memory card|
|Headlamp for trips in late season, after August 10th.|
|River shoes, old sneakers or similar for fording rivers.|
Pick-up in Reykjavik:
|07:00am||from Tourist information center at Reykjavik's city hall on Vonarstraeti.|
|07:15am||from Hallgrímskirkja Church – bus pick up/drop off nr. 8|
|7:30am||from Reykjavík Campsite in Front of Reykjavik City Hostel|
Pick-up outside Reykjavik:
|08:35am||from Selfoss N1 gas station|
|9:15am||from Hella Bus Terminal|
- Hallgrímskirkja Church
- Reykjavik Campsite (Laugardalur)
- Tourist Info Center at Reykjavik City Hall
- Selfoss N1 gas station
- Hella bus terminal
The entries at the end of each day indicate the meals included (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, r=refreshment, D= Dinner)