A Guide to Hiking in Iceland in June
Hiking in Iceland as the weather heats up in June is glorious and one of the best ways to experience Icelandic nature. Here’s a quick guide to hitting the trails!
One of the best ways to visit Iceland is via one of the country’s many hiking trails. Glimpse stunning waterfalls, steaming hot springs, awe-inspiring geological rock formations and remote locations that are only accessible by your own two feet.
The Laugavegur trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in Iceland and is listed by National Geographic as one of the most beautiful trails in the world. Infamous for its beautiful yet varied landscape, the trail takes hikers through rhyolite mountains, lava fields, lakes, and much more.
If you’re planning a trip to Iceland, we’d highly recommend venturing across the lands on the Laugavegur trail. Discover everything you need to know about the hike in our guide, from how long it takes to what to expect when you arrive.
Located in the Southern Highlands of Iceland, the trail begins in the active Landmannalaugar Nature Reserve. During the summer, visitors are able to drive 4x4 jeeps to the area, by following the roads Fjallabaksleið nyrðri (F208) or Dómadalsleið (F225). If starting from Þórsmörk, you will also need a 4x4 vehicle to do so.
Suspect of closure, the road accessibility will be determined by the unpredictable Icelandic weather. It is therefore essential to check the Icelandic Road Authority website ahead of your journey to ensure the road conditions are good.
There are also several bus companies that operate in Landmannalaugar and Þórsmörk during the summer months. These stop right outside the huts and campsites where people often reside during their visit.
Take a look at the map below to start planning your Laugavegur route.
There are so many sights to behold at Laugavegur, but here are just some that you can expect to see on the trail.
Sitting next to Landmannalaugar is the Laugahraun lava field, which was formed in an eruption in approximately 1477. The lava field is composed of basalt lava, with shining black obsidian rocks - a combination exclusive to only a handful of other lava fields in this area.
The area is infamous for its bubbling hot springs, with ‘Laugavegur’ quite literally translating to ‘Hot Spring Route’ in English. There is a hot spring at Landmannalaugar, offering visitors the chance to bathe in the naturally warm waters.
The Háskerðingur mountain has an estimated terrain elevation of around 279 meters and is truly a sight to behold. The mountain is colored with brown rocks, contrasting beautifully with the white snow that sits on top.
Alftavatn is a beautiful lake in the southern highlands, renowned for its thriving birding scene. The lake is incredibly peaceful, and with a backdrop of mountains, is the perfect pit stop for those hiking the Laugavegur trail.
Markarfljótsgljúfur Canyon is one of the country’s hidden gems. Nestled away in the highlands of Iceland, the canyon features colorful rocks and breathtaking views. The canyon is around 200 meters deep, and thanks to its hidden location, has minimal crowds.
The Laugavegur Trail stretches 34 miles in total. How long the trail takes entirely depends on what suits you best. Some experienced hikers may complete the trail in a single leg, while others take a more laid-back approach, spending four or more days taking in the many sites and attractions on offer. This averages around 10 miles a day, which is recommended.
If you plan on hiking the Laugavegur trail over the course of a few days, you will likely be in search of suitable accommodation for your trip. There are mountain huts and campsites available on the route, perfect for those looking to spend more time in the great outdoors.
There are two different organizations that operate huts along the Laugavegur trail. Most of the huts are owned by the Ferðafélag Íslands (FI). These provide basic beds, communal kitchens and bathrooms, fitted with clean running water. At the southern endpoint of the trail are Volcano Huts, offering more luxury-style accommodation with cottages, private rooms and dormitories.
Camping is also possible at all of the huts on the Laugavegur trail. You will need to pay a fee to pitch your tent, and you must ensure that you camp in an appropriate area. Campers have access to the bathrooms and drinking water, as well as the seating areas. Showers are also available for 500 ISK for 5 min.
As you can imagine, the Laugavegur trail is not suited for wheeled suitcases, but that does not mean you should travel lightly. Here is what we’d suggest bringing on your trip:
For more information on How To Pack for the Laugavegur Trail, check out our blog.