Explore the highlands of Iceland on the epic Laugavegur Trail, known all over the world for its breathtaking scenery and ever-changing landscapes. Experience the contrasts of nature as you hike through geothermal areas of hot springs and multi-colored mountains, followed by fields of obsidian and lava, and ending in the valley that lies at the foothills of glaciers. This is a must-do for all nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts.
Duration: 4 days/3 nights
Group maximum: 16 participants
Age limit: 15 years
Difficulty: Moderate (3/5)
- Laugavegur Trail
- Landmannalaugar Nature Reserve
- Thorsmork Valley
- Lake Alftavatn
- Knowledgeable guide
- Luggage transport
- Small group experience
- Guided group tour
Included: Transportation to/from our meeting points, luggage transportation between huts, guided trekking tour, accommodation in huts and meals.
Accommodation: On this tour, we stay in dormitory-style mountain huts with shared facilities. The huts are rustic but charming and located in beautiful areas, including Hrafntinnusker, Lake Alftavatn and Botnar (Emstrur).
Pick-up and drop-off: We offer pick up and drop off at various locations in Reykjavik and along the south coast. See more details below.
What to bring: See a detailed equipment list below.
Northern Lights: Between the end of August and end of September, there is a chance that we will see the Northern Lights during the trek!
Extras and rental equipment:
You can rent hiking boots, hiking poles, waterproof jacket, waterproof pants and a sleeping bag in the booking process.
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.
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.
We will begin our magical adventure in Landmannalaugar, a geothermal wonderland, replete with bubbling hot springs and majestic rhyolite mountains: in all manner of greens, blues and reds. Then as we trek deeper into these untouched highlands we will encounter: snow topped glaciers, crystal clear glacial rivers, jet-black sands, steaming hot springs, cascading waterfalls, violent geysers and mighty volcanoes. This alien Icelandic wilderness will leave you breathless at every turn, shocking and inspiring you in equal measure. Numerous times across the four days, you will stop and gaze from the panoramic views atop the peak of imposing mountains: over natural wonders such as glaciers, volcanoes and waterfalls as far as the eye can see. It truly is a landscape like no other: forged by fire and ice across the millennia and something that everyone should add to their bucket list.
Our expert guides will be with you every step of the way: ensuring that you remain safe in this, sometimes harsh new world, while at the same time offering you incredible insights into the entire area. They will tell you the legendary tales about giants, trolls and heroes that Icelandic children are brought up on; teach you about the rich flora and fauna that are unique to the area; guide you to the secret places, that few others know about; teach you about the majestic wildlife that calls the area home; and take you to all the places that you won’t want to miss.
We will stay in isolated huts, which are situated high up mountains like: Álftavatn , Emstrur and Hrafntinnusker, giving a rustic, rural feel to the hike, which also ensures that on this trek you will really have the chance to get in touch with nature. In these remote places, our guides will help you to prepare delicious meals, a well-deserved reward at the end of a long hiking day. Together, we will share a trekking experience, adding to the camaraderie of the group, often resulting long-lasting friendships.
The final stop on the Laugavegur Trek is known as Thorsmork (Þórsmörk), a luscious green, emerald valley, which is named after Thor (the Norse god of thunder). Local legend states that it was created, when he struck the location with his mighty hammer. It is also hidden at the foot of the now infamous glacier Eyjafjallajokull, which erupted in 2010, an event that radically altered much of the surrounding area.
The Laugavegur trek is an unforgettable experience, where you will have the opportunity to explore some of the most untouched places on the planet: totally surrounded by the stunning beauty of the Icelandic Highlands.
Day 1: REYKJAVIK - LANDMANNALAUGAR - HRAFNTINNUSKER
Your highland trekking adventure will begin bright and early, at 7.00 a.m.: when we meet next to the Reykjavík tourist info by Reykjavik's City Hall (Ráðhúsið) close to Tjörnin pond. The meeting place is in downtown Reykjavik and is easily accessible from the majority of hotels, hostels and guesthouses in the city. (You can also meet us at one of our other meeting points, please see the tour description for more details).
Then once the group is complete and you have all been introduced to one another, we will get on the bus to Landmannalaugar. Our drive there will take between 3 and 4 hours depending on the weather conditions, but don’t worry there will be plenty of amazing things for you to see along the way, including: the capricious, volcano Hekla, Iceland’s most active volcano. Once we arrive at Landmannalaugar, we will be greeted by a spectacular landscape: dotted with oozing hot springs and multi-coloured mountains and it is there that we will begin our hike. We will begin by crossing the Laugahraun lava field: a craggy, but beautiful area, formed by the awesome rage of the Brennisteinsalda Volcano in 1477. Then we will move on to the slopes of Brennisteinsalda itself, a rainbow volcano, whose sides have been spectacularly coloured by the combination of sulphur, plant life and red iron: making it one of the most beautiful volcanoes in the world and the perfect spot for a photograph. Once we have traversed Brennisteinsalda, we will pass by the idyllic and luscious spring of Storihver, before crossing the remarkable obsidian desert by Hrafntinnusker. In this spectacular, barren place, there are giant lumps of glassy obsidian as far as the eye can see a truly unique and beautiful sight. We will then arrive to our accommodation for the evening will be the isolated hut in Hrafntinnusker, where everyone will have the chance for a well-deserved rest.
Day 2: HRAFNTINNUSKER - LAKE ALFTAVATN
Day two of your trekking adventure will begin with a hearty communal breakfast in the hut, after which we will walk along the Reykjafjoll Mountains, which offer spectacular views of the surrounding area, before descending into the Jökultungur area. This stunning valley has been dyed ruby red and amber yellow, by the centuries of geothermal activity and has an alien beauty that will leave you breathless. By now we will have left the multi-colored rhyolite mountains behind and will be entering a place of dark palagonite mountains, sporadically dotted by brilliant white snow-capped glaciers. Then our expert guides will make a decision based upon the prevailing weather conditions: if visibility is good we will climb Mt. Haskerdingur, which offers panoramic views of beautiful glaciers, imposing mountains and imperious cliffs as far as the eye can see. If not then we will move towards much greener plains, as we climb to the summit of Jökultungur, which offers an incredible view of the Fjallabak area and Lake Alftavatn, which is where we will spend the night. The descent form Jokultungur is pretty steep but well worth the effort as it will take us to the fertile oasis that surrounds the River Grashagakvisl. After pausing to enjoy it we will ford a stream on foot and then spend the night at the serene Lake Álftavatn, meaning Whooper Swan Lake.
Day 3: LAKE ALFTAVATN - EMSTRUR
The next day’s hike will begin as the last one finished: with a refreshing stream crossing, as we pick our way through the beautiful landscape, stopping to gaze at the emerald green volcano Stórasúla, before we reach the jet-black desert of Mælifellssandur. Mælifellssandur, is like being on another planet coal black sand as far as the eye can see, with the exception of the stunning Mt. Mælifell, a turret of green in an otherwise dark landscape. The whole area will leave you breathless and is like nothing that you will ever see again. Once we have crossed this black desert we will reach Emstrur, containing two stunning glaciers known as Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull and luscious flora and fauna. You will be struck by the contrast between this luscious green area and the barren black landscape that we crossed earlier in the day. Then we will turn down into the deep canyon known as Markarfljótsgljúfur, carved over millions of years by the glacial river that runs through it. Then we will arrive at the accommodation for the night: a picturesque hut at Botnar, where we will eat a hearty dinner and talk about all the incredible sights that we have seen.
Day 4: EMSTRUR-THORSMORK VALLEY
On the final day of the amazing trek, we will quickly put Emstrur in our rear-view mirrors as we make our way towards Thorsmork. Our route will take us close to the mighty Myrdalsjokull glacier and we will skirt around it, a few kilometres from its base, on our way to the coastal area of Almenningar. This will lead us beneath the unique mountain known as Einhyrningur (The Unicorn), famed for its majestic unicorn-like shape. After that we will enter the dense birch forest in Thorsmork, whose tightly packed trees will make you feel like you are in a scene from Game of Thrones. On the other side of the forest lies the finishing point, Thorsmork, an emerald green valley that lies at the foot of the Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull Glaciers. It is the perfect place to finish and offers luscious greenery and imposing mountains: the essence of the Icelandic Highlands. The tired, happy and overpowered by the amazing things that we have seen, we will board the bus back to Reykjavik at 21:30, which can drop you off at various points throughout the city.
|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 - neophrene, 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|
- Miklabraut 101 (Orkan by Kringlan shopping mall)
- Reykjavik Campsite (Laugardalur)
- Tourist Info Center at Reykjavik City Hall
- Selfoss N1 gas station
- Hella bus terminal