On this epic trek, we will journey into the alien world of the Icelandic highlands on the famous Laugavegur Trail, renowned across the world for its awe-inspiring scenery, ancient volcanic landscapes and emerald valleys.
One minute you will be traversing rainbow-colored volcanoes in Landmannalaugar and the next you will be skirting around the foothills of glaciers in Thorsmork, it's the ideal way to explore the land of ice and fire. As a bonus, we will spend our last day exploring the most spectacular waterfalls on the South Coast and the mesmerizing world of glaciers on an exciting glacier hike on the blue ice of Solheimajokull. Perfect for those who wish to experience the profound beauty that Iceland has to offer and a must for anyone who loves hiking, nature and the great outdoors!
Day one of our adventure begins with collection from one of our many pick-up points in Reykjavik or along the South Coast (please note that this process may last up to 30 minutes depending on your location). Then once everyone is together, we will make the scenic journey inland, taking in famous sights such as the capricious Hekla volcano, whose many eruptions have crafted the surrounding area. The entire journey will last between 3 & 4 hours depending on the time of year and is a great way to soak up some of Iceland’s magnificent scenery and atmosphere.
Once we reach Landmannalaugar, we will be greeted by the imposing and awe-inspiring sight of the Laugahraun lava field: a glorious mix of green and black, crafted by the violent rage of the Brennisteinsalda Volcano in 1477. Once we have crossed Laugahraun, we will find ourselves in the foothills of Brennisteinsalda itself, whose vibrantly colored slopes have been dyed various shades of ruby, amber, emerald, and sapphire by the centuries of volcanic activity that it has experienced. This has made it one of the most iconic sights in all of Iceland and the ideal start to our trek into the Icelandic wilderness.
We will spend our first night at Landmannalaugar huts.
Meals included: lunch, refreshments & dinner.
Distance: 8 km / 4.9 mi
Hiking Time: 4 hours
Altitude value: 470 m / 1540 '
After a traditional Icelandic breakfast, we will head towards Hrafntinnusker, a pitch black obsidian desert that will set the tone for an adventurous day. Next up are Reykjafjoll Mountains, whose snowy peaks provide awe-inspiring views over the surrounding area. After which, we will begin to descend into the Jökultungur area, a gorgeous emerald valley, replete with rocks that have been dyed blood red and vivid yellow by the volcanic activity that has occurred over the millennia. This part of the walk is especially majestic, with an otherworldly quality that is completely unique.
As we move through Jökultungur, the scenery will start to change: we will put the colorful rhyolite mountains behind us and enter an area filled with darker and more foreboding palagonite mountains. The higher mountains are dotted with snow-peaked glaciers, making it a profound place that will take your breath away.
By now we will be at the foot of the Jökultungur Mountain and our ascent will start to begin, meandering around the mountain path to its summit. Once we have scaled it, we will be rewarded with awe-inspiring views over Fjallabak an incredible nature reserve, whose majestic landscape has been crafted by erosion over thousands of years, and the picturesque Lake Alftavatn.
We will begin our descent towards the River Grashagakvisl, an emerald green oasis in an otherwise dark and rocky landscape, fording a small stream before we arrive at the idyllic Lake Álftavatn, (Whooper Swan Lake), where we will spend the night.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, refreshments & dinner.
Distance: 24 km / 14.9 mi
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
Altitude value: 900 m / 2950 '
Day three’s adventure begins with an invigorating stream fording, as we press deeper into the spectacular Icelandic wilderness. Skirting around the foot of Stórasúla, a grass-carpeted volcano that rises up out of the beautiful landscape. This magnificent area is the perfect illustration of how rich volcanic soil is.
From there we will pass into the coal-black desert of Mælifellssandur: a foreboding black landscape, punctuated by icy-blue streams, which makes it one of the most unique places on the entire planet. Its center is pierced by the glorious Mt. Mælifell, an emerald green mountain that contrasts beautifully with the surrounding area. The entire area is truly stunning, with vibrant bursts of color, contrasting beautifully with the jet-black landscape.
Once we have traversed this beautiful black landscape, we will reach Emstrur, a narrow valley, with rich flora and fauna as far as the eye can see. Our penultimate stop will be the deep canyon of Markarfljótsgljúfur, a craggy canyon that has been hewn into the earth by the glacial river that runs through it. From there we will travel to our accommodation at Botnar, where we will dine under the stars and discuss the many beautiful things that we have seen on our adventures.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, refreshments & dinner.
Distance: 15 km / 9.5 mi
Hiking time: 6-7 hours
Altitude value: 40 m / 130 '
Our final day in Iceland’s highlands will take us to Thorsmork, a stunning emerald valley nestled between two mighty glaciers. The journey begins close to the mighty Myrdalsjokull glacier, as we pick our way around its base an enjoy some stunning glacial scenery. From there we will travel past the uniquely shaped Einhyrningur (The Unicorn), a mountain, so named because it looks eerily similar to the legendary creature.
This will take us to a dense birch forest that marks the start of Thorsmork, an oasis of life and color nestled between the Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull Glaciers. It is named Thorsmork, because in Icelandic myth, Thor, created the valley with a blow of his mighty hammer. Steeped in myth and legend, rimmed by magnificent mountains and carpeted in green vegetation, it is the essence of the Icelandic Highlands, the ideal place to finish our time in this spectacular natural wilderness. We will depart Thorsmork at around 6 p.m., heading to a comfortable country hotel for a night of relative luxury, before we finish our adventure on Iceland’s majestic south coast. Please make sure that you notify the bus driver that you will be getting out at Hella.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch & refreshments. There are restaurants at Hella where you can get dinner.
Distance: 15 km (9.5 mi)
Hiking Time: 6-7 hours
Altitude value: 300 m / 985 '
The final day of our journey will be spent exploring Iceland’s gorgeous south coast, starting with breakfast at your accommodation followed by a pick-up at your hotel.
Discover Skogafoss, a breathtaking 60-m (200-ft) high cascade. This impressive waterfall plunges over the ancient cliffs which once formed a part of the coastline.
Then, hike on the mighty Solheimajokull Glacier! The ice cap is often described as one of the bluest glaciers in Iceland. Together with a glacier guide, we go for an extensive glacier hike to show you the best of Solheimajokull. Be inspired by jagged ice ridges, deep crevasses, and moulins. You’ll be talking about this blue ice experience for a long time!
After the glacier hike, stop at the stunning Seljalandsfoss Waterfall. The great gusher is famous for its footpath that runs around the back of the tumbling cascade. Take a walk around Seljalandsfoss and see nature from an entirely new perspective!
In the evening, we will return to Reykjavik, where we will drop you off at your accommodation or a nearby location.
Meals included: breakfast. We will stop at shops & restaurants where you can purchase meals.
Meeting points outside of Reykjavik:
8:15 a.m. - Selfoss N1 gas station
9:00 a.m. - Hella Bus Terminal
*Note that it can take up to 30 minutes before the bus departs the given locations.
After the south coast and glacier hike tour on day 5, you will be dropped off at your accommodation in Reykjavik at around 7- 8 p.m.
Iceland is known for unforeseeable weather. It is likely that you can see all 4 seasons in one day.
Dressing for that kind of weather can always be demanding, so we suggest dressing in layers. 3 or 4 upper layers are highly recommended, for example, a light t-shirt (preferably wool) next to the skin, then a fleece or heavy wool garment topped off with a waterproof windbreaker.
Jeans are not recommended for our trips as they are not suitable for the weather conditions, they become very heavy, cold and uncomfortable to wear when they get wet.
Lightweight hiking pants, track pants or long cotton pants are convenient and wear wind/waterproof pants over them. There is high UV and sunlight reflecting off on the glacier so we highly recommend using sunglasses and sunscreen even if it is cloudy.
You will need sturdy hiking boots that fit crampons for the glacier hiking tours. If you do not own a pair then we rent out suitable hiking boots as well as a waterproof raincoat and trousers.
The scenery on the tour is full of stunning, scenic views that are photographable so you should definitely bring your camera along.
It is good to bring your own backpack on our full day or half day tours. It’s the best carry-on for a small lunch, extra clothes and other necessary items.
This is surely a personal choice, we do not deny pregnant women on our glacier trips but we highly recommend you to take a closer look at our trip description and difficulty ratings, they will hopefully give you a better idea. We also recommend you to contact your physician, as pregnant women’s health can be quite different. If you have any further questions or concerns then feel free to contact us.
Lunch is not provided on any of our trips, therefore we recommend you to bring your own lunch especially for the longer trips, snacks and a bottle of water (you can refill it on the trip).
Crampons make you enable to walk on the glacier ice without slipping. They are metal spikes that we attach to the soles of your hiking shoes.
Yes, we have specially trained and certified glacier guide on every glacier tour that we offer. And for our 3rd party tours we only partner with operators that meet our quality and safety standards.
Yes, we provide you with all the necessary glacier gear for our glacier hiking tours. Ice axe, crampons, harness, and helmets are provided. This will help you to complete the tour safely. The minimum shoe size to attach crampons is EU 35.
Iceland is known to have a lot of snow and when the snow stays long enough in one place than it turns to ice. Over long periods of time, the ice layers up becoming huge blocks called glaciers. It forms to create ginormous glaciers that sweep across huge masses of land. Iceland is home of the largest glacier in Europe that is called Vatnajökull. The Glacier Guides can tell you more about and everything you need to know about the Glaciers.
Rain is common in Iceland but we never let the rain be in our way to go forward with our tours.
That’s why we highly recommend appropriate clothing so you can be warm and dry on the tours.
Nature is out of our control and therefore we need to adapt to the weather. Your safety is our first priority so if your safety is compromised by going on the tour then we will cancel it and you will get full reimbursement.
The guide on your Glacier Hiking tour will provide you with all the information you might need when preparing for a glacier hike.
All of our tours are small group experiences. We have a maximum of 16 participants on the hut tour and 14 participants on the camping tour.
Yes, you can fill your water bottles with tap water at the huts/campsites. It's perfectly safe to drink. There are also several streams along the way with safe drinking water, just ask your guide.
Gaiters are optional but we always recommend that our participants use them. The weather in Iceland can be quite wet so the trails subsequently get wet as well. They are not necessary but being drenched on a hike when conditions are wet and muddy is very unpleasant. Some rain pants have straps at the bottom which serve a similar purpose as gaiters so if you are equipped with those you don't need both.
Hiking poles are also optional. The choice of using them or not, of course, depends on your own personal preference. Note that we do recommend hiking poles if you are used to hiking with them.