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Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls Trek  The Natural Adventure Company 6

Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls Guided Trek

Overview

This amazing tour combines two of the most popular hikes in Iceland – the Laugavegur Trail and the Fimmvörðuháls Trek. The tour starts at the famous geothermal area of Landmannalaugar. You will cross multicoloured hills and black sands, alongside small gullies and great canyons, through rich green valleys to Þorsmork, the valley of Thor. There the second part of the trek begins, up between huge glaciers, from the craters on top of the pass and down to the other side, past fantastic waterfalls. After hiking over the fascinating terrain across Fimmvörðuháls, the trek ends at the popular Skógafoss waterfall. You will spend the nights in cosy mountain huts, where you will enjoy delicious Icelandic meals.

  • The colourful mountains of Landmannalaugar
  • Contrasts of black sand and green moss
  • The green valley of Þórsmörk
  • The volcanic craters from the 2010 eruption

Click to view map

*This map is only for general reference; detailed route maps will be provided in your pre-departure package.

Itinerary

Day 1: Reykjavík/Landmannalaugar – Hrafntinnusker | 12 km

We take the public bus from BSI bus terminal (meeting time is at 06:30 h) that during the summer months drives along 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. In the late afternoon, we will arrive at Hrafntinnusker mountain hut, where we will stay for the night.

  • Walking for the day: 12 km, 4-5 hours, ↑470 m
  • Overnight in Hrafntinnusker hut

Day 2: Hrafntinnusker – Álftavatn | 12 km

From Hrafntinnusker, we descend into the gullies of Jökultungur with hundreds of steaming hot springs and mud pools. Here we enjoy fascinating views of the south to the Álftavatn area (Swan Lake) and the Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers. In the afternoon, we will arrive at Álftavatn hut, where we will overnight.

  • Walking for the day: 12 km, 4-5 hours, ↓490 m
  • Overnight in Álftavatn hut

Day 3: Álftavatn – Emstrur | 16 km

We pass at 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 will overnight, we visit the magnificent Markarfljót canyon cut almost 200 m down into the rocks south of Hattfell.

  • Walking for the day: 16 km, 6-7 hours, ↓40 m
  • Overnight in Botnar hut

Day 4: Emstrur – Þórsmörk | 17 km

We continue up and down through the small valleys and gullies of Emstrur, where the great Mýrdalsjökull glacier rises only a couple of kilometres away. As our hike is coming to an end for the day, we descend into Þórsmörk’s (the woods of Thor) green valleys filled with arctic birch forests and colourful flowers.

  • Walking for the day: 17 km, 6-7 hours, ↓300 m
  • Overnight in Basar Hut

Day 5: Þórsmörk – Fimmvörðuháls | 20 km

We climb up the hills leading to the pass of Fimmvörðuháls, walking along the Kattarhryggir ridges with views of 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. As we gain height above Morinsheiði, we come to the lava and then to the two craters, Magni and Móði, that erupted prior to the main Eyjafjallajökull crater. We head back to Þórsmörk with the magnificent view over the glaciers and this beautiful valley for our celebration barbeque dinner and night in Básar Hut.

  • Walking for the day: 20 km, 6-7 hours, ↑900 m ↓900 m
  • Overnight in Basar hut

Day 6: Þórsmörk – Reykjavík | 5-10 km

We spend the last day in Þórsmörk, the hiker’s paradise, where we have an abundance of choices between various paths. For example, we can visit the Sönghellir cave (“Song cave”), climb up the small mountain of Valahnúkur from where the 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. Return to Reykjavik in the afternoon. No overnight is included.

  • Walking for the day: 5-10 km, 3-4 hours

What to Expect

Accommodation

The accommodation on this trek is in dormitories at mountain huts. All of the mountain huts are heated, some have electricity, and some have hot water. Where showers are available, there is a small fee to use them (~ 500 ISK/3-4 EUR payable on the spot in cash). There will be running cold water in all the huts. Some huts have flushable toilets; others have outhouses. The mountain huts have no private rooms available; all rooms are dormitories. There are bunk rooms with single and twin beds; participants have to be prepared to share a bed with a stranger. You need to bring a sleeping bag, or you can rent one when booking the tour. We recommend bringing a power bank to charge your electronic devices. 

Meals

All meals from the lunch on day 1 to the lunch on day 6 are included in the price. Special dietary meals, such as vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, gluten-free or other, can be pre-ordered at some extra cost. 

Difficulty & terrain

This is a demanding but rewarding trek (read more about difficulty grades). It is appropriate for physically active walkers with some experience in trekking in mountainous terrain with a backpack. Children under 14 years are not allowed on this tour. The walks are 6 – 7 hours per day. Clients that are physically unfit or not equipped for their tour can be dismissed from the tour at their own expense.

When to go

This small-group tour can start every Friday from 23 June to 1 September 2023. Please click the See Dates and Prices link above to check availability. There are limited seats available, and the groups are 6-16 people. The climate of Iceland’s coast is subarctic. The warm North Atlantic Current ensures generally higher annual temperatures than in most places of similar latitude in the world. The south coast is warmer, wetter, and windier than the north. The average daily temperatures in June – August are 11°C – 13°C, and at night – 6°C – 7°C.

What to bring

We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited. For your own well-being and safety, we strongly suggest following the advice of our equipment list; this includes having good quality rain gear, tops and bottoms! Please note that cotton clothing is not appropriate for any strenuous outdoor activity. Modern outdoor clothing is by far more comfortable and will greatly improve your experience.

Inclusions

Included

  • Transport from Reykjavík to Landmannalaugar on day 1 and from Þórsmörk to Reykjavík on day 6 by public bus
  • Professional and qualified English-speaking guide
  • 5 nights’ accommodation in mountain huts dormitory-style
  • Luggage transfers
  • 5 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners

Excluded

  • Airfare and airport transfers
  • Accommodation and meals in Reykjavík
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as included in the programme

Options, extras & supplements

  • Sleeping bag rental
  • Accommodation in Reykjavík before and after the tour
  • Hiking poles rental
  • Special dietary requirements (vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, gluten-free etc.)
  • Shower in the huts, where showers are available – you have to pay about 500 ISK (3-4 EUR) on the spot

Travel

View country info and up-to-date travel advice

By plane

Recommended airport: Reykjavík

By train or bus

Keflavík International Airport (KEF) is located about 50 km southwest of the capital. It is a 45-minute drive to Reykjavík. In order to reach the city, you can take Flybus, operating every day, all year long, in connection with all incoming flights. You can check for more information here or use the Omio travel planner above. Private airport shuttles can be booked here. It is also possible to take a taxi from the airport to the city.

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