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Iceland Laugavegur Trail 2018
Classic remote trek from Landmannalaugar to Þórsmörk
Course overview

The memories of a visit to Iceland will stay with your forever; bubbling mud pools, lakes full of icebergs, plunging waterfalls and powerful and wild landscapes. Most of these stunning landscapes are on the edges of the permanent icecaps, such as the Vatnajökull. This trek is designed to show you some of the best landscapes, as well as great trekking.
Our route varies from the thick birch woods of Thorsmörk, to the multi-coloured hills and valleys that surrounds the rhyolitic Landmannalaugar geothermal region, where you can dip in hot pools. Another highlights are the vibrant green landscape in Þórsmörk valley, the vivid yellow rhyolite mountains, and black sand deserts. Iceland truely is a land of contrasts.
The total walking distance of the Laugavegur Trail is 56km (35 miles), and the maximum daily ascent is 600m. Each day there is typically between 4 and 7 hours walking, but note that the Icelandic terrain and weather are often tough, and it can snow even in mid summer! In many ways that's part of the attraction to this beautiful route, in that the elements and landscapes are harsh yet stunning.
You trek for 5 days along the Laugavegur route across the Fjallabak, led by an Icelandic English speaking guide. There is vehicle support and mountain hut accommodation is provided for the four nights of the trek. We provide B&B accommodation in Reykjavik, but if you wish to choose your own, we can offer an upgrade or a reduction in price, if you wish to book your own accommodation directly. This allows you to select a standard and budget of your choice, and to perhaps spend a few extra days in the Icelandic capital and it's surrounds, such as visiting the Blue Lagoon, or Geysir.
Iceland is situated just to the south of the Arctic Circle, and it straddles the mid-Atlantic tectonic ridge, so geologically is half in Europ and half in North America! Essentially these plates are being torn apart, so the volcanic activity is always present.
For the fact hunters, Iceland is the 18th largest island in the world, and the 2nd biggest in Europe (after the UK). Over 10% of the island is glaciated, and this hike is through the 3rd largest geothermal zone in the world. The major towns are the capital Reykjavík, Keflavík, where the international airport is situated, and Akureyri. The island of Grímsey on the Arctic Circle contains the northernmost habitation of Iceland.
Dates: These are listed in the column on the right, and they show the live availability from our secure online booking system. When you book online, you receive immediate confirmation, your Alpine Information Booklet, course specific kit list and invoice.
Trip notes

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. At the time of writing visas were not required by UK or EU nationals. All other nationalities should check with their embassy. If flying from the UK, a few low cost airlines operate flights to Reykjavik. Easyjet, fly from Gatwick, Luton, Edinburgh and Manchester. Wow Air fly from Gatwick, Stansted, Bristol and Edinburgh.
Our trips are not 'resold packages' from Icelandic operators, but are privately run trips exclusively for our clients where there are six or more on a trip. All dates are guaranteed, and if there are five or less of our clients on a trip, you are matched with other clients from our partners. We use local logistics agents for providing the guides, transport and accommodation. You are guided by an English speaking local guide on these trips.
The mountain huts on the Laugavegur trail are similar to Alpine huts. All the huts are heated, some have electricity and have hot water. There are bunk rooms with single and twin beds, and a few huts also have a continuous line of beds. Each trek participant has their own bed, but the hut rooms are shared. You take a sleeping bag (transported by jeep between huts), which can be rented locally if you do not have one.
The weather is massively variable in Iceland, but it is rarely unpleasant. Due to its latitude, Iceland is on the north edge of the temperate zone (the UK is in the middle of the temperate zone), which means mild winters (compared to Arctic zones) and cool summers. Daytime temperatures in the summer months range from 10° to 20°C (but they could drop to freezing). When you are in the mountains, be prepared for strong winds and rain / snow. If you are ready for whatever is thrown at you, then you will definately enjoy your trip more.
An advantage of being so far north in the summer is that there is constant daylight in May, June and July, and only a few hours without the sun in the months of April and August.


Daily Course Itinerary
Sun Reykjavík
Fly into Keflavik, and get an airport tranfser to Reykjavik, where you are staying in a B&B for the night. There is time to explore the colourful town, and to go out for a meal in the evening.
Mon

Day 1: Reykjavík - Landmannalaugar - Hrafntinnusker
Distance: 12km (7.5 mi), Walking time: 4-5 hrs, Ascent: 570m, Descent: 200m.
You meet with your guide and the support vehicle in the early morning, just after breakfast, at the central BSI bus terminal. Load your baggage onto the support truck, and take the scheduled bus to Landmannalaugar. This has to rank as one of the most spectacular bus journeys in the world, typically taking 3.5 hours. You drive along roads then mountain tracks past the Hekla volcano and other volcanoes in the Dómadalur area. Arriving in Landmannalaugar at noon, you stop to have a lunch, and then start the trek to head south into the mountains. You ascend up past small gorges, steaming hot geothermal springs and yellow mountain ridges. In the late afternoon, you arrive at Hrafntinnusker mountain hut, were you will stay the night. There's an evening meal provided in the hut.

Tue Day 2: Hrafntinnusker - Álftavatn
Distance: 12km (7.5 mi), Walking time: 4-5 hrs, Ascent: 400m, Descent: 790m.
Todays trek is a geographers paradise, as from Hrafntinnusker you descend down in the gullies of Jökultungur where there are literally hundreds of steaming hot springs and mud pools. The geothermal activity is intense in this region, and you can get quite close to see some of the safer vents. Ahead you should get amazing views to the south into the Álftavatn (Swan Lake) region, and the Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers, the latter of fame for its eruptions in 2010 which grounded many European and trans-Atlantic flights. In the afternoon you arrive at the Álftavatn hut where you stay the night. The lake has a eighteenth century folklore legend about a farmer who hunted swans on the lake, and drowned then his body was mysteriously found near a cliff that his wife had dreamed about. Night in hut.
Wed Day 3: Álftavatn - Emstrur
Distance: 16km (10 mi), Walking time: 6-7 hrs, Ascent: 200m, Descent: 240m.
After breakfast in the hut, you set off trekking past the foot of the green conical shaped Stórasúla volcano, before entering the black sand deserts of Mælifellssandur. This is a stunning, yet haunting landscape, and the colours seem surreal. On the far side of the black plain, you heading towards the ancient and bright green coloured valcano of Hattfell. Here marks your entrance into the Emstrur region where farmers can sometimes graze their sheep in the brief Icelandic summer. As you trek through the area, you reach the stunning and steep sided Markarfljót canyon, which is cut straight down almost 200m vertically into the rocks just to the south of Hattfell. Eventually you arriving at the Botnar mountain hut where you stay the night, and have your evening meal in the hut. Night in hut.
Thu Day 4: Emstrur - Þórsmörk (Thorsmork)
Distance: 17km (10.5 mi), Walking time: 6-7 hrs, Ascent: 400m, Descent: 700m.
Soon after leaving the Botnar hut, the rolling landscape brings you through a series of small valleys and gullies of the Emstrur region, below the huge Mýrdalsjökull glacier. The canyon was carved by successive jökulhlaups (glacier water pocket bursts from under the icecaps), and again the region is of great interest to physical geographers and those keen on geology. Towards the end of the days trek, you descend into the Þórsmörk's (Thorsmork) valley. This translates as Thors Forest, and is widely considered one of the most beautiful areas of Iceland, which by now you will realise sets the bar quite high! The valley is sheilded by glaciated mountains, and fast flowing meltwater rivers, and the valley is filled with arctic birch forests and colourful flowers. At the Þórsmörk hut you have a barbecue dinner. Night in hut.
Fri Day 5: Þórsmörk (Thorsmork) - Reykjavík
Distance: 8km (5 mi), Walking time: 2-3 hrs, Ascent: 300m, Descent: 300m.
Your final morning on the trail is a little more flexible, to allow you to decide how your legs are feeling. Typically you trek through the Þórsmörk valley, and ascend up one of numerous paths to visit the Sönghellir cave (Song cave), so called because of the amazing echoes and acoustics within the cave. The walls of the cave are inscribed with peoples names carved into the stone. Famous Icelanders featured among them include Eggert Olafsson and Bjarni Palsson, who in the late 18th century fought against superstition and for enlightenment. You'll also find runes and signs of sorcery carved into the rock. Later you climb up the small mountain of Valahnúkur from whose summit, magnificent view can be enjoyed across the icecaps of Myrdalsjokull and Eyjafjallajokull. In the afternoon you trek down to the trail head and take the afternoon bus to Reykjavík. This arrives back at the BSI bus terminal in the evening. Night in B&B.
Sat Reykjavík
Breakfast then the accommodation check out is by 10:00. Most arrange their airport transfers to leave around this time, to catch a flight from Keflavik in the afternoon. Depart for home.
N.B. ITINERARY NOTES: Where possible we follow itineraries. Mountain adventures are weather and conditions dependant, so occasionaly we are forced to alter the plans. If this is the case, suitable alternatives are offered. Please use this outline itinerary as a guide to the types of route / activity that you will attempt.
Course Prices
Standard course
5 days guiding, 7 days holiday in total £1899
Live availability
Click on the planner logo to the right to
see the real time live course availability
Latest Availability
Secure online booking system
Standard Course Inclusions: 1) Icelandic trekking guide for five days, 2) Food for 5 days during the trek; 4 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 dinners, 3) Transportation to / from the trail heads, 4) Mountain hut fees, 5) Provision of cooking gear, 6) Transfer of luggage during the trek, 7) Pre course information booklet, 8) Equipment discount voucher for use in our UK shop, 9) Two nights B&B in Reykjavik, one at each end of the trek.
Exclusions: 1) Flights to and from Iceland and transfers to / from Reykjavik, 2) Equipment hire, 3) Personal laundry, telephone calls, lunches, evening meals in valley, & any purchases in mountain huts / hotels / restaurants, 4) Accommodation and 2 evening meals in Reykjavik, 5) Activities insurance, & excess baggage charges.
Group sizes: 2 - 16 people per Icelandic mountain trekking guide. Note that if single bookings are made, this is fine where there is another solo traveller to match you with, but if there is not there is a supplement for single B&B accommodation in Reykjavik for the first and last nights of the trip.
Current course availability

Course Dates
Iceland Laugavegur
  • [ 2 ] 24 - 30 Jun 2018
  • [ 4 ] 8 - 14 Jul 2018
  • [ 4 ] 29 Jul - 4 Aug 2018
  • [ 4 ] 12 - 18 Aug 2018
  • [ 4 ] 26 Aug - 1 Sep 2018
  • [ 2 ] 9 - 15 Sep 2018
NOTE: This trip has scheduled
dates, but if there are six who
are booking together, it can be
operated on any date you wish
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Price: £1899 Book online

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Client feedback


Wow, wow, wow, wow! What else can I say about this beautiful country

Robert N , Iceland Laugavegur trek

Thank you for organising this trek. It was an amazing experience, and we were blown away (often literally by the strong glacial winds) by the colours of the rocks and the landscapes

Janie M , Iceland Laugavegur trek

We took your advice to spend a couple of nights in Rekyavik on each end of the trek, and it was great local knowledge of where to go and what to do, that really was the icing on our trip. Thanks

Rachael B , Iceland Laugavegur trek
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Location data for this trip
The trips all have a night B&B each end in Reykjavik, and you meet the guide at the central BSI Bus Station in Reykjavik. The town is easily accessed via a 45 minute transfer from Keflavik airport.
Time Difference
GMT +0hr
Local Currency
ISK
Travel from UK
2+hr flight
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So why choose us?
We are true specialists in the guided treks. See our blog, by clicking on logo.
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Itinerary flexibility to allow you to take full advantage of the weather and conditions each day, so that you maximise the amount you can achieve each day.
Our prices are fixed in £ pounds sterling, to protect you from euro currency fluctuations, so that you can budget accurately.
We have a team of over 30 guides, and a logistics support team, who all want you to have the best time possible! For more details on the guiding team and qualifications, please click here.
Any further questions?
A key part of choosing a company is being able to come and talk about your plans with an experienced course advisor face to face. In an increasingly virtual world, we know our clients value speaking to real people, getting open and honest advice. The vast majority of our clients are British, and our office and outdoor store is based in Windermere in the English Lake District.



Get in contact to arrange a meeting, and come in for a coffee to discuss your course in person with a trip advisor. Many people opt for this service, and it is an integral part of what we offer, as we are keen to ensure that you are prepared as possible, and that you select a course that is suitable for you. It makes it easier and more enjoyable for you and us, if you are on the right trip.
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