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Grand Laugavegur Trek – 8 day hike

Best of the Highlands

On this trip, you will see Iceland's most impressive natural wonders. The incredibly varied and spectacular landscapes shaped by glaciers, rivers, volcanoes and geothermal activity are unearthly and totally mind-blowing.

Hiking
Iceland-map-destinations

This is your chance to see remarkable landscapes and geological phenomena, to really get to know this land of extreme contrasts. Start at Landmannalaugar with our Pearl of the Highlands, continue with the Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls trails. See some of the most incredible and otherworldly places on the planet!

  • Availability

    June - September

  • Duration

    8 days

  • Level

    Moderate

  • Pickup

    Yes

  • Meet on location

    No

  • Min. Age

    15 years

  • Ratio

    16:1

  • Price from

    235.990 ISK

Tour highlights
Landmannalaugar
Laugavegur trail
Þórsmörk (Thorsmork valley)
Magni and Móði (Magni and Modi craters)
Hiking
Included
Transport
Guiding service
Accommodation
All meals
Luggage transport from hut to hut

Pick up time: 07:00 a.m. in front of the Tourist Information Center at Reykjavík’s City Hall on Vonarstræti or by arrangement at one of our other *meeting points.

Trekking tours are a great way to make friends from all over the world. Accommodation is in mountain huts. Your professional guide organizes and prepares the meals but assistance from participants is warmly appreciated. Enjoy being part of the team!

We travel to Landmannalaugar by bus passing the famous volcano, Hekla. You begin the Landmannalaugar trail after lunch, hiking through highly active geothermal areas with magnificent rainbow-colored rhyolite mountains. See Frostastaðavatn (lake of the frost place) and the amazingly beautiful crater lake, Ljóti Pollur. Enjoy bathing in the hot spring pool in the evening. 10 to 12 km. Day 2:  Complete your Landmannalaugar trek with a hike to Suðurnámur, with outstanding views over the rhyolite mountains. See Brennisalda, the most colorful mountain in Iceland and the volcano peak, Bláhnúkur (the Blue Peak). 11 km.

Day 3: Bathe at Landmannalaugar hot pool and prepare yourself for the Laugavegur trail – trekking in Iceland does not get better than this! See the Laugahraun lava field and geothermal wonderlands with sand colored mountain peaks as you trek to the obsidian desert, Hraftinnusker. 12 km. Day 4: Trek along the Reykjafjöll mountains then descend to Jökultungur, and wade a river on the way to the hut at Álftavatn (Swan Lake). 12 km. 12 km. Day 5: Wade a stream on the hike to Stórasúla (the Large Column) volcano, cross black sand deserts, see the 200 m deep Markarfljótsgljúfur canyon and the Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull glaciers, both have volcanoes under their ice caps. 15 km. Day 6: We hike the final part of the ancient Laugavegur Trek following the canyons to Þórsmörk (Thorsmork Trek). See great glacier views and the iconic mountain, Einhyrningur (Unicorn Mountain) and the birch forests of Þórsmörk. 15 km.

Day 7: Leaving early we hike up to the high mountain pass at Fimmvörðuháls, an amazing ridge of land between the infamous Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull glaciers. The 2010 eruption produced two new volcano craters, named Magni and Móði after sons of Þór. This is truly a surreal and other-worldly place. National Geographic has listed the Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls trails in their world top 20. Celebrate with a traditional Icelandic lambalæri dinner (leg of lamb). 16km.

Day 8: Relax and enjoy the birch forests, vibrant vegetation and incredible geological formations around Þorsmörk. Hike Mount Útigönguhöfði for a grandstand view of the whole valley. Return to Reykjavík will be at around 18:30.

This trekking Iceland tour has it all!

Remember to bring: Please check our detailed equipment list.

*Meeting points and times in Reykjavik:
7:00 a.m. – Tourist Information Center at Reykjavik’s City Hall (Ráðhúsið) on Vonarstræti
7:00 a.m. – Sólfarið (Sun Voyager) on Sæbraut
7:15 a.m. – Hallgrímskirkja Church
7:30 a.m. – Reykjavik Campsite

Meeting points outside of Reykjavik:
8:35 a.m. – Selfoss N1 gas station
9:15 a.m. – Hella- Bus Terminal
*Note that it can take up to 30 minutes before the bus departs the given locations.

Drop off: Please check the tour itinerary for drop off points and times.

 

Day 1: FROSTASTADAVATN - LJOTIPOLLUR (E. UGLY PUDDLE)

The tour starts outside the Tourist Information Center at Reykjavík’s City Hall on Vonarstræti. This is within walking distance of most hotels and guesthouses in central Reykjavík. Pick up may also take place from other locations around Reykjavik (see more details for a list of meeting points).

We introduce ourselves and board the scheduled bus to Landmannalaugar. The whole of the journey from Reykjavik is highly scenic. We drive inland through the beautiful Þjórsárdalur (Thorsardalur Valley), named after the river, Þjórsá (Thorsa), the longest river in Iceland, towards the famous volcano, Hekla. We will see the extensive lava fields generated by various eruptions as we approach Landmannalaugar with its amazing mountain peaks, some formed from colored rhyolite, contrasting brightly against the soft caramel-hued peaks. We eat lunch then set off on a 10 to 12 km hike, seeing the fabulously named Ljótipollur (the Ugly Puddle). It does though have to be said that in the olden days Ljóti could mean bright. Certainly, Ljótipollur is lovely enough to be listed among the 42 most beautiful crater lakes of the world. This incredible red crater is filled with brilliant blue water, it is real eye-candy! You will also see the astonishing blue-ish green waters of Frostastaðavatn (the frost place lake). In the evening we will get to know one another better and enjoy a meal at the hut. Relax and make the most of the evening with some blissful hot spring moments, the natural steaming hot spring pool is nearby.
Driving: 4 hours. Hiking Distance 10-12 km (6-7.50 mi).

Day Highlights
Scenic drive from Reykjavík
Landmannalaugar
Ljótipollur (Lake)
Hot spring bathing
Included
Lunch
Refreshments
Dinner
Accommodation

Day 2: BRENNISTEINSALDA - VONDUGIL AND SUÐURNAMUR RHYOLITE MOUNTAIN

After a nourishing breakfast we hike to Suðurnámur, a 200 000 years old rhyolite mineral rich mountain. On the way up to the Suðurnámur you will see numerous ravines and the colorful rhyolite mountains for which this area is famous will be all around you. From here you will truly have a grandstand view over the dramatic landscapes within the kingdom of Landmannalaugar! You will get great views of Kirkjufellið (The Church Mountain), the Laugahraun lava field, the Bláhnúkur (the Blue Peak) volcano and Brennisteinsalda, the most colorful mountain in Iceland.
Driving: 0 hours. Hiking Distance 11 km (6.84 mi).

Day Highlights
Suðurnámur mountain
Laugahraun lava field
Mount Brennisteinalda
Bláhnúkur (the Blue Peak)
Included
Breakfast
Lunch
Refreshments
Dinner
Accommodation

Day 3: LAUGAVEGUR, FROM LANDMANNALAUGAR TO HRAFTINNUSKER

Today your Laugavegur Trek will start at noon. So you have a little free time, and of course, time to prepare for the trail. Now is a good time to take a final dip in the hot spring pool, before we set off, so you are nice and relaxed and feel really ready for the next few days. After an early lunch, a guide will join our group and we will set off, hiking first of all through the dramatic and rambling Laugahraun lava field. The trail will then take us by Brennisteinalda, an amazingly colorful mountain, and on through this geothermal wonderland. We will pause in silent wonder to admire caramel-colored mountain peaks and steaming geothermal hot springs. We will walk by a very beautiful hot spring, Stórihver (Large Spring), before crossing into the incredible obsidian desert by Hrafntinnusker. The night will be spent at one of the most remote mountain huts in Iceland, Hrafntinnusker.  Stunning views will surround us.
Distance: 12km (7.5 mi). Walking time: 4-5 hrs. Ascent: 470 m (1540 ‘).

Day Highlights
Colorful mountain views
Start of the Laugavegur Trek
Stórihver hot spring
Hrafntinnusker
Included
Breakfast
Lunch
Refreshments
Dinner
Accommodation

Day 4: HRAFNTINNUSKER - ALFTAVATN

After an energizing breakfast we will be ready to greet another day, hiking along the Reykjafjöll mountains before descending into the Jökultungur area. Here geothermal activity has created wonderful yellow and red gullies! From the top of Jökultungur, there is a great view over the Fjallabak area and of Álftavatn (Swan Lake). We will spend the night at the Álftavatn mountain hut. First, we have to wade an unbridged stream! Views of the lake in the evening light are simply stunning.
Distance: 12km (7.5 mi). Walking time: 4-5 hrs. Descent: 490 m (1610 ‘).

Day Highlights
Mount Reykjafjöll
Jökultungur area
Fjallabak area
Álftavatn Lake
Included
Breakfast
Lunch
Refreshments
Dinner
Accommodation

Day 5: ALFTAVATN LAKE - EMSTRUR

Today will start with another refreshing stream crossing before we make our way up by the beautiful green volcano, Stórasúla (Large Column), and on into Mælifellssandur, a black volcanic desert. Along the way we will see Hattafell, a volcano with a strange flat top. We will hike through this black desert on our way to Emstrur, where we get a great opportunity, on a clear day, to enjoy views of Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull, two magnificent mountain glaciers, each one shrouding a famous active volcano beneath its great ice cap. Just before reaching the hut at Botnar we deviate a little from the trail to view Markarfljótsgljúfur, an almost 200m deep canyon carved out by the powerful glacial river, Markarfljót. The mountain hut at Botnar is in a little green oasis, always a very welcome sight after a long trek across the black sands.
Distance: 15km (9.5 mi). Walking time: 6-7 hrs. Descent: 40 m (130 ‘).

Day Highlights
Black sand deserts
Volcano views
Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull glacier views
Markarfljótsgljúfur Canyon
Included
Breakfast
Lunch
Refreshments
Dinner
Accommodation

Day 6: EMSTRUR - THORSMORK VALLEY

Putting Emstrur behind us we continue our trek along the canyons on our journey to Þórmörk. Today the trail will take us to within a few kilometers of the splendid Mýrdalsjökull glacier, with the greatly feared volcano, Katla, lurking beneath it. As we drop down towards Almenningar we will start to see a few trees, this is a sure sign that we are getting closer to fertile and vegetated areas. We will walk beneath Einhyrningur (Unicorn), an iconic mountain, and into the dense birch forest of Þórsmörk. We will spend the night in a mountain hut in the green valley of Þórsmörk, nestling beneath Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull, a magnificent place to spend the night.
Distance: 15km (9.5 mi). Walking time: 6-7 hrs. Descent: 300 m (985 ‘).

Day Highlights
Emstrur
Mount Einhyrningur
Þórsmörk Valley
Glacier views
Included
Breakfast
Lunch
Refreshments
Dinner
Accommodation

Day 7: HIKING TO MAGNI AND MODI VOLCANO, FIMMVORDUHALS PASS

Leaving Þórsmörk early in the morning we will hike the Fimmvörðuháls trail, heading up to the high mountain pass between two imposing mountain glaciers, Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. You will see the two new volcano craters, formed in the first 2010 eruption, Magni and Móði, named after sons of the Norse God, Þór (Thor). You will also see an astonishing geological phenomenon, a waterfall of lava which was formed in that eruption. In comparative terms Iceland is a very young land, indeed, it is still being constructed! Where else can you visit a place where lava has appeared so recently? The night will be spent at Þórsmörk. We will celebrate together in the traditional Icelandic way with a grilled lambalæri dinner (Icelandic leg of lamb).
Distance: 16km (10 mi). Walking time: 7-8 hrs. Ascent: 800 m (2600 ‘).

Day Highlights
Fimmvörðuháls
Famous volcano eruption site of 2010
Traditional Icelandic lamb meal
Included
Breakfast
Lunch
Refreshments
Dinner
Accommodation

Day 8: THORSMORK VALLEY - REYKJAVIK

We enjoy a final leisurely breakfast together before making the most of this last opportunity to explore these surroundings. The volcano mountain glaciers, Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull, form an imposing ‘frame’ to the gentle Þórsmörk valley. The infamous Eyjafjallajökull volcano needs no further introduction and the ‘fire giant’, Katla sits ominously beneath Mýrdalsjökull. For thousands of years these volcanoes, and the glaciers which cover them, have shaped the sandstone of Þórsmörk into surreal sculptures dotted with moss and Arctic birch trees. There is the option to take a hike up the mountain, Útigönguhöfði, to get a fantastic overview of this valley. Those who prefer to can simply spend their time relaxing and enjoying nature in this birch scented and very beautiful place. A gentler hike through the Húsadalur valley is also an option. We return to Reykjavik at around 18:30. Drop off is available at Miklabraut 101 Orkan gas station (by Kringlan shopping mall)Reykjavik Campsite and the City Hall on Vonarstræti. Taxis and local buses are available from these points.
Driving: 4 hours. Walking time: 4-5 hrs.

Day Highlights
Mount Útgönguhöfði for a more challenging hike
Húsadalur Valley for a gentler hike
Langidalur Valley
Seljalandsfoss (waterfall view)
Included
Breakfast
Lunch
Scenic drive to Reykjavík
What is the group size on the Laugvegur Trek tours?

We have a maximum of 16 participants on the hut tour and 14 participants on the camping tour. The group size just depends on how many book for each departure.

Is there any drinking water along the Laugavegur trail?

Yes, we recommend to bring a water bottle that you can then fill with the tap water at the huts/campsites. It’s perfectly safe to drink and delicious. There are also several streams along where people tend to get more water from. It’s safe just ask the guide.

Are gaiters necessary on the Laugavegur trek?

We always recommend our participants to use gaiters. The weather in Iceland can be quite wet so the trails subsequently get wet as well. They are not necessary but do help a lot and keep you from getting drenched when the rain starts to pour.

Note that some rain pants have straps at the bottom which serve the same purpose as gaiters so if you are bringing a pair of those you don’t need both.

Are hiking poles necessary on the Laugavegur trek?

This solely depends on your personal preference. If you are used to hiking with poles we do recommend using them for this trek.

Are there showers at the huts/campsites on the Laugavegur trek?

Showers are found in every hut except the one at Hrafntinnusker. Using the showers costs 500 ISK and you will need to bring coins or cash for the payment (no cards are accepted).

How are the toilet facilities at the huts/campsites during the Laugavegur trek?

The WC have toilet paper and soap for washing your hands. Anything else you might need for example shampoo, bandages, towels, washcloths, nail clippers etc. you will need to bring with you.

Can you charge electronic devices at the huts on the Laugavegur trek?

Since we are in the middle of nowhere there is very limited electricity at the huts and the access is restricted to a few power outlets if any. Charging costs 1,000 ISK and is often only possible for a very short amount of time (if possible at all). We always recommend bringing a portable charger.  If you don’t have one and charging is necessary for you while on the trek, you will need to invest in one.

Do I have to share a room with other people / What are the huts like?

The huts are shared. They have dormitories with single and twin bunk beds so do be prepared to share a room with your fellow travelers.

What do I have to carry on my Laugavegur Trek and what is transported for me?

The main luggage is transported between huts by a support vehicle provided by us. You will only need to carry a smaller day backpack with your lunch, water bottle, medication, sunglasses, river crossing shoes, rain gear, and other items or clothing you might need for the day.

Are there any limitations on the size of luggage you can bring on the Laugavegur trek?

There is a limit of 1 piece of luggage for each participant that can weigh up to 20 kg (+ your day backpack). Since there is limited space on the luggage trailer we kindly ask that you try to pack light out of consideration to other passengers on the tour.

Is there somewhere I can leave my extra luggage while on the Laugavegur trek?

We have the option of getting a luggage storage extra which is for all the extra baggage that you have with you in Iceland but will not be needing on the tour. It will be kept at our headquarters for storage. You bring your luggage to the pick up locations and we will have a member of staff pick up up and take it to the headquarters. When you return we will go to pick it up.

Why don’t you recommend suitcases on the Laugavegur trek?

The supported car will need to cross rivers to get between huts so we recommend a waterproof duffel bag since your luggage can get wet along the way. We also recommend that you put dry clothing and items in a plastic bag.

What is the Special Food Extra option for the Laugavegur trek?

Our standard menu includes milk products, fish, nuts, meat and bread so if you are vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, have allergies or have other specific food preferences then we strongly suggest that you purchase the special food extra. This will help us in supplying the best meals possible for everyone.

Can I rent a sleeping bag from you to use on the Laugavegur trek?

Yes, you can rent a sleeping bag from us. You can purchase the rental when booking the tour OR you can add it to you booking at least 2 days before the tour starts. Note that a sleeping bag cannot be rented once you are on the tour.

I am a solo traveler, can I stay in a tent by myself?

Yes, you can purchase the single tent rental either when you book the tour or by adding it to you booking at least 2 days before the tour starts.

Is there any information you need from me when booking the Laugavegur trek?

The only information we would appreciate from you is whether you have any medical issues we should be aware of. IF you have any food restrictions, then please have a look at our Special Food Extra.

Is there WiFi or internet connection at the huts on the Laugavegur trek?

There is no WiFi in the huts but there are spots along the trail and by the huts where you can get 3G/4G connections. However, the connection is very flaky so we don’t really count on it.

Does the guide prepare the meals on the Laugavegur trek?

The meals are prepared by all participants, guide and team. Although the guide is usually the leader on the project this can go all ways. We have found that this brings the group together and makes a nice, fun and cozy atmosphere. Make food and friends at the same time.

Disclaimer
All our tours are undertaken on the responsibility of its participants. Arctic Adventures does not assume any responsibility for accidents that are caused by its customers or can be traced to their own actions. Participants have to sign a waiver before undertaking all trips stating that they realize that all outdoor activities carry an inherent risk.

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