Hike the famous world-famous Laugavegur trail from the geothermal wonderland of Landmannalaugar to the gentle birch forests of Þórsmörk. This stunning four-day trekking in Iceland tour is a truly great Iceland hike following an ancient pathway through some of the most amazing scenery on the planet!
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Laugavegur trek was chosen as one of the “20 Best Hikes in the World” by National Geographic.
This four-day trek will really show you the Icelandic highlands. Be blown away by the otherworldly Landmannalaugar landscapes – the extraordinary red and green hues of the rhyolite mountains and soft caramel-colored peaks as surreal clouds of steam rise from the hot spring pool. This is just the appetizer!
Laugavegur trail altitude profile:
Hike the dream trail - today you trek Laugavegur!
The drive to Laugavegur will take about 3-4 hours, first of all along the South Coast and then up into the highlands where we will spend the next few days. The journey itself is fascinating and scenic, taking us by the magnificent volcano mountain, Hekla, the most active volcano in Iceland. This volcano, said by many Europeans in the Middle Ages to be ‘The Gateway to Hell’ has erupted every 10 – 15 years throughout the last century. Landmannalaugar is where we will start the Laugavegur trail which will take us through incredibly varied landscapes all the way to Þórsmörk (Thorsmork), a tender green valley with Arctic birch forests.
Landmannalaugar is the starting point for the Laugavegur trail. We will make our way through the Laugahraun lava field and Vondugil canyon. We will also admire the incredibly vibrant colors of the rhyolite mountains, most notably Mt. Brennisteinsalda. On the way back to our camping site for our first night at Landmannlaugar, we will see the Graenagil gorge and climb up to Blahnukur Volcano if time allows. In the evening, we'll enjoy a delicious dinner, get to know each other better, and relax in the beauty and serenity of Icelandic nature.
Distance: 8 km (4.9 mi) Walking time: 4 hrs Ascent: 470 m (1540′).
The second day of your trek in Iceland begins with a nourishing breakfast before we set off hiking once again.
After a good sleep and a nutritious breakfast, we will be energized and ready to go again! The pitch-black obsidian desert called Hrafntinnusker, vibrantly colored Reykjafjöll rhyolite mountains and the Jökultungur area are at the top of the agenda today. Geothermal activity has turned these craggy gullies into burnt, and sometimes vivid yellows and reds over time, these colors contrast dramatically with the soft pale sandy hues around them. The top of Jökultungur is a great place to enjoy views over the whole Fjallabak (behind the mountain) area and Álftavatn lake where we will be spending the night. To get to our campsite we have to cross a river on foot. Wading a river is usually a very exciting experience for overseas hikers.
We will relax with a great dinner and enjoy the beautiful vistas around us during the evening.
Distance: 24km (14.9 mi) Walking time: 7-8 hrs Ascent: 900 m (2952′).
After a good night´s sleep and an energizing breakfast, we are ready to set off again.
We begin by wading across another stream as we proceed onto Mælifellssandur and into the volcano country. We will pass the Stórasúla and Hattafell volcanoes on our way to Emstrur.
If you are lucky, and there is good visibility, there will be absolutely outstanding views of two very famous volcano mountain glaciers, Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull. These ominous twins have delivered some awesome reminders of the power of nature, Eyjafjallajökull is the volcano whose eruptive power sent ash soaring to 30,000 ft severely disrupting air traffic in 2010, and Mýrdalsjökull shrouds the much-feared and capricious Katla under its ice cap.
On our way to Botnar, a green oasis in the midst of a black sand desert area, we will see Markarfljótsgljúfur, a stunning 200 m deep canyon fashioned by a glacial river. Our camping ground is in this area.
We enjoy our final evening together with dinner and enjoy the spectacular scenery in the gentle light of the evening.
Distance: 15km (9.5 mi), walking time: 6-7 hrs, descent: 40 m (130 ft).
After our final breakfast together at the camping site, we leave the Emstrur area and continue along the trail to Þórsmörk. As we go through the Almenningar, a picturesque gorge by Mount Einhyrningur (the Unicorn Mountain), we will still have a great view of the glaciers as we advance towards Þórsmörk. As we get closer the landscape and nature will change, and a few trees begin to appear here and there, setting the tone for the characteristic dense birch forest for which Þórsmörk is famous. You can now celebrate your completion of the world-famous Laugavegur Trail!
Distance: 15km (9.5 mi), walking time: 6-7 hrs, descent: 300 m (985 ft).
One final highlight, on the way back to Reykjavík you will get a glimpse of the elegant waterfall, Seljalandsfoss!
We will arrive back in Reykjavik at around 21:30 pm. Drop-off is at the BSI bus stop in Reykjavik.
Accommodation in tents and all meals are included, you can rest assured our knowledgeable guide will show you the very best spots and lead you safely and sound all the way. Your guide organizes the meals, although assistance from participants is appreciated. You will meet people from all over the world – enjoy being part of a friendly team!
Meeting points and times in Reykjavik:
Between 7:00 - 7:30 a.m.:
- Reykjavik's City Hall (Ráðhúsið) on Vonarstræti
- Hallgrímskirkja Church
- Reykjavik Campsite
*Note that it can take up to 30 minutes before the bus departs the given locations.
Get ready for the adventure through the highlands of Iceland with our trekking guide:
Couldn't recommend this trek enough!
Reviewed on September 06, 2021 by Aditi Review from Tripadvisor
I had the best time hiking the 4-day Laugavegur Trek with Biggi as my guide. He made our experience fun and very memorable. I have no doubt that if you have Biggi as your guide, you too will have the time of your life! He was super reliable, caring, and fun to be around.
This was my first trek ever and I am so glad I chose Arctic Adventures. Everything about the trek was well-organized and well-executed. They were also super accommodating of my vegan diet and made sure I had always had delicious warm meals to eat.
Couldn't recommend Arctic Adventures and Biggi enough!
4 day/ 55km hiking experience w Iceland's top tour guide
Reviewed on September 06, 2021 by kim Review from Tripadvisor
If you're not touring w Biggi, you're doing it wrong. He's by far the best, most-attentive, fun, great-natured and energetic guide. He makes everyone feel welcome and included yet simultaneously does not baby sit nor rush anyone. He's dynamic and is a great cook. I highly recommend finding a tour with him as the guide.
Laugavegur Trek 5 stars; organization rather less
Reviewed on August 16, 2020 by Frank Review from Tripadvisor
The Laugavegur Trek is highly recommended. Fascinating landscapes and fantastic outdoor experiences. We did the 4 day hike, opting for sleeping in tents.
Whether we would recommend this operator (we had booked through Arctic Adventures is a different story. In Reykjavik, at the very first pick-up stop, the car was already 40 minutes late .. no explanation or excuse (a call to HQ after 30 minuteswaiting time had resulted in a "we don't know ...").
Upon arrival at Landmannalaugar it came as a great surprise to EVERYBODY in the (very diverse) group that we would not start our walk as planned but stay in camp .. and wait until about noon the next day because another couple would join us from Reykjavik - and then we would do the first two legs of the walk (22 or 24 km) basically "in the afternoon". NOT a good start!
The upside: we got an unscheduled additional hike in the vicinity of Landmannalaugar that afternoon.
Our walking guide had a somewhat "rustic charm" and off-hand attitude .. only much later, at the last hut, her vast knowledge, experience and story telling came to the surface.
Before booking the tour we had called Arctic Adventures because we weren't sure whether to opt for sleeping in the lodge or in a tent. So we called HQ and were told that the tents were there for us and, therefore, no need to pitch them ourselves. Of course, that turned out not to be the case. Everybody pitches a tent from the collection that is provided. That is really no rocket science and we even enjoyed the experience (especially since we were lucky enough to never have to pitch or take down the tent in rain or during a storm). But it does show the "cracks" in the organization.
Finally, upon arrival at Thorsmörk, things got a bit hectic because we were not driven back to Reykjavik by the tour operator but put on a bus which supposedly would take us to Reykjavik. But, of course, we had to change buses at Sellfoss and then were dropped at the central bus station in Reykjavik instead of at the initially scheduled drop-off point).
But, again, this is a fabulous trek and worth the effort and cost to do it (maybe even better to do the 6 days, but we had other plans in the Highlands). We had good weather most of the time ... which is much more important than anything else.
Laugavegur trekking trip - 4 days of magic
Reviewed on September 19, 2018 by Corinne Review from Tripadvisor
The views. The people. The experience. Everything was magical. A great place to step out of your comfort zone and learn more about yourself. You walk A lot, and every step is different. Every day is different, but it's also the same : breathtaking views. Our guide, Jono, was sensational. And he is an AMAZING COOK. I didn't think it was possible to eat so well in the middle of a sand desert in the artic. Seriously, if you are looking for an adventure of a life time this is the one.
Laugavegur 4 Day Trek
Reviewed on September 19, 2018 by marciacarlsonpack Review from Tripadvisor
This journey of a lifetime in the land of fire & ice was the fodder of fairytales! There is a mystery & magic in the Icelandic highlands which allows one to be and to see oneself, and it profoundly changes you from the inside out. Tough trek? Yes. But it was amazing and astounding as I proved myself to myself with every step. Exhilarating and life changing in ways only those on the alpine trek can know. I am eternal grateful to Jono, our most capable guide, for keeping us safe, adding his unique sense of wonder to the trek, and for the gourmet meals he prepared. There is not a better man to be found. To my fellow trekkers, yes, we are family ~ all of us, bound by a knowing that happened up there. If you are looking for a superb, top of the world, adventure, don't delay! Arctic Adventures & Jono will inspire you to do the greatest of things! It is with deep gratitude, that this "senior citizen" leaves such a rave review.
Reviewed on September 01, 2018 by Sanja Review from Tripadvisor
Absolutely amazing! I had a wonderful time - one of my best vacations ever. I was in a group of 11 people and had a excellent guide, Zahari (Zaho). He took very good care of all of us - and in addition, he is a great chef. I was very sad to leave - the group and the amazing scenery.
I can warmly recommend artic adventure and the best guide of all, Zaho.
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.
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.
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.
We recommend bringing hiking poles on the trek. However, they are not necessary and it depends on your personal preference. Many people prefer to have them for the river crossings and if you are used to hiking with poles then you should bring a pair with you. It’s also possible to rent a pair from us in the booking process.
Showers are found in every hut/campsite except the one at Hrafntinnusker. Using the showers costs 500 ISK and can be paid for at the warden’s hut at each hut/campsite.
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.
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.
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.
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. If you have extra luggage that you would like to leave, we recommend storing luggage at the BSI Bus terminal (fees apply) or another luggage storage space in Reykjavik.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, you can purchase the single tent rental either when you book the tour or by adding it to your booking at least 2 days before the start of the tour.
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.
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.
The meals are prepared by all participants, guides and the 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.