The best known of all treks in Iceland, the Laugavegur Trail, offers all the colours of the rainbow over the course hike. Beginning in the geothermal valley of Landmannalaugar in the southern highlands the route heads south past small gorges to the Þórsmörk valley. Arriving at the foot of Eyjafjallajökull volcano which last errupted in 2010 and whose crater is completely covered by an icecap, marks one of the many highlights of the trip. The trail then crosses the third biggest geothermal zone in the world where steaming hot springs are dotted through the landscape, over the yellow rhyolite mountains, through black deserts, past great canyons and into the green valley of Thórsmörk. Two days longer than our popular Laugavegur Trail guided walk takes you through the magical landscapes of Goðalönd – the abode of the Gods where a multitude of flowers and grasses cover the cliffs and glaciers, volcanoes and lava streams occupy the view. Reaching the famous Skógafoss waterfall, with the coast so close you can almost taste the salt, is a fitting conclusion to this outstanding hike. Throughout this guided trip you will stay in mountain huts, with your luggage transferred on all but the last two days where you will be required to carry a light pack (food and blankets are stored in the overnight hut).
The trip involves daily walks of up to seven hours per day. There are some hills but most are moderate, and a few steep sections which require care - but on average the trail is a descent. The accent is on keeping a steady pace to with time to stop and take photos. You will need a good level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure. Weather conditions may be harsh at times and you will need to be comfortable walking in such conditions. We suggest up to one hour of strenuous exercise 3-4 times a week. The total walking distance is 78km (48 miles), at altitudes between 150-1100m (490-3600 feet). The maximum ascent is 1000m (3280 feet).
From Reykjavik we meet with the group and guide and take the public bus from the BSI bus terminal, that during the summer months drives the mountain tracks that lead to Landmannalaugar, passing by the Hekla volcano and other volcanoes in the Dómadalur area. Arriving in Landmannalaugar at noon, we have lunch and then head south into the mountains. The trail takes us past small gorges, steaming hot springs and yellow mountain ridges. We will arrive in the late afternoon at Hrafntinnusker mountain hut, where we will stay the night.
Distance: 12km (7.5 mi) Walking time: 4-5 hrs Ascent: 470 m (1540 ')
From Hrafntinnusker we descend down into the gullies of Jökultungur with hundreds of steaming hot springs and mud pools. Inspiring views to the south to the Álftavatn area (Swan Lake), and the Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers. In the afternoon we arrive at Álftavatn hut where we stay the night.
Distance: 12km (7.5 mi) Walking time: 4-5 hrs Descent: 490 m (1610 ')
We pass the foot of the green conic volcano of Stórasúla before entering the black deserts of Mælifellssandur. Heading towards another ancient and verdurous volcano, the Hattfell, we enter the Emstrur region where farmers used to graze their sheep in summer. Before arriving at the Botnar hut where we stay the night, we visit the magnificent Markarfljót canyon cut almost 200 m down into the rocks south of Hattfell.
Distance: 16km (10 mi) Walking time: 6-7 hrs Descent: 40 m (130 ')
We continue up and down through the small valleys and gullies of Emstrur, where the great Mýrdalsjökull glacier rises only a couple of kilometers away. At the end of the day the vegetation starts to grow thicker and higher as we descend in to Þórsmörk's (the woods of Thor) green valleys filled with arctic birch forests and colorful flowers. We spend the night in one of the huts in Þórsmörk.
Distance: 17km (10.5 mi) Walking time: 6-7 hrs Descent: 300 m (985 ')
We spend the day in Þórsmörk where we have a variety of options to choose from. For example, we can visit the Sönghellir cave (“Song cave”), climb up the small mountain of Valahnúkur from where magnificent views can be enjoyed, or hike into the beautifully carved canyon Stakkholtsgjá. This oasis between the mountains is also an ideal place to relax and just enjoy nature. We spend the night in one of the huts in Þórsmörk.
Distance: 5-10 km (3-6 mi) Walking time: 2-5 hrs Ascent/Descent: NA
Leaving Þórsmörk we cross the river Krossá on a footbridge entering the magic landscapes of Goðalönd – the abode of the Gods. Nestling at the foot of two glaciers this is a wonderland of ridges and cliffs covered by a multitude of flowers and grasses, certainly fit for gods and humans alike. Even the elves have made themselves at home here. We continue up the hills leading to the pass of Fimmvörðuháls, walking along the Kattarhryggir ridges with views to the impressive mountain of Útigönguhöfði up to Morinsheiði heath. At the end of the Morinsheiði plateau we enjoy the view of the lava stream that flowed down from the Fimmvörðuháls volcano in March and early April 2010. The lava is all set with different outlets of fuming steam and decorated with green and yellow sulphur. As we gain height above Morinsheiði we come again to the lava and then to the two craters Magni and Móði that erupted prior to the main Eyjafjallajökull crater. We cross the brand new lava just at the foot of the magnificent red craters, through places were the lava is almost glowing warm inside the fissures and cracks on its surface. After safely crossing the lava we reach a view to the lava and the craters from a hill on the other side, before crossing the néves of the high pass of Fimmvörðuháls, to get to the hut between the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull, where we set up for the night.
Note: Because of difficult access to the hut for vehicles, we will send our extra luggage to the end of the trek at Skógar. Food and sleeping bags/blankets have been stored in the Fimmvörðuháls hut so we only need to carry our sleeping bag liner and toiletries for the night and a little bit of fresh food.
Distance: 12-14 km (7-9 mi) Walking time: 6-7 hrs Ascent: 900 m (2953’)
After a night between the two glaciers we head down to Skógar. At the beginning, the path takes us over a desolate heath past an old hut that does not offer much shelter any more. We come to the Skógaá River and follow the river exploring its many hidden gorges, and waterfalls all the way to the famous Skógafoss waterfall. The river and its surroundings offer great scenery. The coast seems to be within arm´s reach and you can almost feel the salt on your cheeks. Arriving at Skógafoss, we hop on the scheduled bus to Reykjavík. Arrival at Reykjavik BSI bus terminal at 7:20 pm, where the trip ends.
Distance: 12-13km (7-8 mi) Walking time: 6-7 hrs Descent: 1000 m (3280’)
Per Person, Twin Share