The Laugavegur Trail should be on every hiker's bucket list. It takes you through amazing landscapes that change with every step of the way. From the geothermally active Landmannalaugar, passing through Hrafntinnusker which lies in a field of obsidian, to the beautiful Lake Alftavatn. Finally, we end our adventure in Thorsmork Valley, which lies at the foothills of Eyjafjallajokull glacier. An experience of a lifetime and a fun way to spend your holiday, hiking and camping in the wilderness.
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Duration: 4 days
Group maximum: 16 participants
Age limit: 8 years
Difficulty: Moderate (3/5)
- Laugavegur Trail
- Camping in the Highlands
- Thorsmork Valley
- Lake Alftavatn
- Knowledgeable guide
- Luggage transport
- Small group experience
Transportation to/from our meeting points, luggage transportation between campsites, guided trekking tour, tent, inflatable mattress, camping fees and meals.
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.
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.
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!
On this awe-inspiring trek, we will visit the majestic Landmannalaugar, a geothermal wonderland dotted with bubbling hot springs and rainbow-colored Rhyolite Mountains. Then as we journey deeper into this alien terrain we will see all manner of spectacular treasures, hidden within the untouched Icelandic Highlands. We will see: mighty glaciers, standing proudly above coal-black volcanic deserts, traverse glassy obsidian deserts and roaring waterfalls; we will see ominous volcanoes, which hide emerald green valleys and gargantuan volcanic craters. An untouched wilderness, just waiting for intrepid explorers to discover its many majestic secrets: a place that will shock and inspire in equal measure and give you a profound new perspective on the awesome power and beauty of our world. It is a landscape that offers everything and has been carved by fire and ice over many centuries, making it a must visit for everyone at one point during their lifetime.
Our expert, local guides will take you on this incredible journey, keeping you safe, while also giving you the benefit of their incredible knowledge about this secret world. They will tell you the folktales, which are responsible for naming many of the amazing sights, explain the vast array of unique vegetation and help you to seek out the treasures, which hide beneath the surface and ensure that you have the best trek of your life.
Then as night falls and the shimmering stars sparkle, undimmed by pollution, in a jet black sky: we will set up tents and camp for the night, an incredible adventure that lies well off the beaten track. You will be closer to nature than you have ever been before, make friends that will last you for the rest of your life and eat rustic traditional Icelandic cuisine. All to a natural backdrop like no other: the Icelandic Highlands are nature’s very own Sistine Chapel, replete with stunning beauty as far as the eye can see.
As we near the end of this magical journey, we will come to the emerald green valley known as Thorsmork: so named because local legend believes that Thor, the Norse god of Thunder, created the spot with a mighty blow of his hammer. It lies nestled between two huge glaciers, a band of emerald between two giant tufts of white gold. The area is also notorious for volcanic activity, the most famous of which at Eyjafjallajokull downed a large proportion of Europe’s air fleets in 2010. That eruption has radically changed much of the surrounding area: which makes it the perfect place to gain new insight into how volcanic activity, created much of our planet.
The Laugavegur trek is a mesmerizing experience, which will allow you to experience some of the most isolated and beautiful places in the world. A place that oozes with beauty and uniqueness and something that everyone should see during their lifetime. So whether you are a walking enthusiast, nature lover, thrill seeker, adventure lover or something else: this tour is the right one for you.
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. Then after everyone has been introduced to one another, then we will get on the bus and take the scenic journey to Landmannalaugar. The drive itself will take around 3-4 hours and will offer the opportunity to see the mighty Volcano Hekla, which is Iceland’s most active.
- Mount Brennisteinsalda
- Scenic drive from Reykjavik
One we get to Landmannalaugar, you will instantly see what all the fuss is about: a geothermal paradise, replete with bubbling hot springs and rainbow-colored mountains and it is from here that we will begin our adventure. The first stage will be the Laugahraun lava field: a fascinating place, which was formed by a volcanic eruption in 1477, the many interesting rock formations and colorful mineral deposits, will keep you entertained as we traverse it. Then we will start to climb the slopes of Brennisteinsalda, a colorful volcano, which has been painted green, yellow and red by a combination of volcanic activity, plant life, and rusty red iron. This spot is renowned for its beauty and is a perfect place for any budding photographers to stop and take a few snaps. The next stop on our magical adventure will be the picturesque spring known as Stroihver, a smattering of green in an otherwise dark landscape. As we push on, we will come to the precipice of the glassy obsidian desert known as Hrafntinnusker: home to gleaming black orbs of glassy obsidian the size of a fully grown man. We will finish the days walking on the other side of this natural wonder, find ourselves a comfortable campsite and then rest underneath the magnificent stars, with the chance that the Northern Lights may even flicker into view.
Day 2: HRAFNTINNUSKER - ALFTAVATN
Day two begins with a hearty breakfast before we start moving along the Reykjafjoll Mountains, which offer stunning vistas of the entire area, before beginning our descent into the Jökultungur area.
- Mount Reykjafjöll
- Jökultungur area
- Álftavatn Lake
This majestic valley has been painted ruby red and amber yellow by the continual volcanic activity around it, making it a place of jaw-dropping beauty. Then as we push on into the Icelandic wilderness you will notice a change: gone are the rainbow-colored rhyolite mountains, replaced with dark palagonite ones, that are occasionally interrupted by snow carpeted glaciers. Then we will make a choice about whether to climb Mt. Haskerdingur: if the visibility is good, then we will do it, while if it is bad then we will move on. By now the surrounding area will be becoming greener and Lake Alftavatn, or Whooper Swan Lake, will come into view, as we begin the steep winding descent towards the River Grashagakvisl, we will start to see life again, its banks a fertile oasis crammed full of rich vegetation. Then finally, tired but totally sated, we will reach our base camp near the lake: an amazing place to bed down and experience more stunning natural beauty, illuminated by the pearly stars.
Day 3: ALFTAVATN LAKE - EMSTRUR
The first stop of the next day will be the luscious green emerald volcano known as Stórasúla, which provides a stunning contrast to the ash black desert known as Mælifellssandur, which we will then traverse.
- Black Sand Desert
- Volcano views
- Eyjafjallajökull glacier view
- Mýrdalsjökull glacier view
- Markarfljótsgljúfur Canyon
Its stark beauty is enhanced by the green turreted Mt. Mælifell, which rises out of this ashen landscape like a gorgeous green tree teeming with vibrancy and life. Mælifellssandur is also so unique that everyone must snap a picture because it is the kind of place that your friends won’t believe is real. Once we have tamed the black desert, we will move on to Emstrur, home to two majestic glaciers known as Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull. As we journey towards them we will stop at a dark ravine, called Markarfljótsgljúfur, carved over thousands of years by the glacial stream that runs through it. We will then pitch our tents at Botnar, a picturesque spot, which offers beautiful views of the stars and the surrounding area.
Day 4: EMSTRUR - THORSMORK VALLEY
Our final day’s hike will take us close to the foot of the imposing Myrdalsjokull glacier, as we pick our way towards the gorgeous valley of Thorsmork.
- Þórsmörk Valley
- Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
- Scenic drive to Reykjavík
Then as we round the turn we will see the uniquely shaped mountain known as Einhyrningur (The Unicorn), famous for its unicorn-like shape and the subject of many a tale in the sagas. This will lead us into the dark birch forest that guards the entrance to Thorsmork: a location that wouldn’t look out of place in fantasy dramas like Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings. We will then enter the emerald valley of Thorsmork an emerald jewel at the base of two mighty glaciers. The guide will then tell you its amazing origin story, where the angry god of Thunder, Thor, crashed his mighty hammer into the helpless landscape below. It is an awe-inspiring place, filled with natural beauty and a serene calm that defines the Icelandic Highlands. Then tired, happy and joyful at all the incredible things we have seen: we will ride back to Reykjavik, arriving at the city at about 21:30: an amazing end to an amazing adventure.
|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 a breathable fabric such as Gore-tex or similar|
|Rain trousers, preferably of a 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 (the sleeping bag should have at least a 0°C rating)|
|Travel sack for your baggage that is transported between huts. Suitcases are not recommended|
|Towels & bathing suit|
|Toothbrush 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 - neoprene, 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