The Laugavegur Trail | Iceland

Hiking Iceland’s Famous Laugavegur Trail

Season

June through September

Nearest city

Reykjavik, Iceland

Group size

6-16 people, solo travellers welcome

Duration

5 days

Skill level

Intermediate

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Hike one of the most famous and beautiful trails in the world!

There’s a reason National Geographic named this 34-mile trek through Iceland’s Southern Highlands one of the most beautiful hikes in the world. The geothermal features give Yellowstone a run for its money, with looming glaciers, hidden waterfalls, inviting thermal springs and black sand deserts dotted with huge shards of obsidian. This legendary guided thru-hike will have you sleeping under the midnight sun as you trek from place to place on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Classic 5-Day Hut Tour

Hike the legendary Laugavegur Trail and witness otherworldly sights along the way. Not every trip ends in a mythical place, but this one does. Following an ancient pathway across petrified lava, azure lakes and through ashen fields, you’ll explore all the crowd faves — like Álftavatn lake and the valley that Thor himself created. After long days filled with adventure and Iceland’s untamed nature, you’ll warm up and recharge your batteries in authentic mountain huts!

Things you need to know

COVID-19 measures in Iceland

Iceland borders are opening on June 15th. Passengers arriving to Iceland need to chose between sitting in quarantine for 14 days or taking a COVID-19 test. Testing will be free of charge until end of June, while a 15,000 ISK (about $115) will be charged afterwards. Children born in 2005 or later do not need to be tested.

Official COVID-19 updates by the Icelandic Government for travellers are available on this link: https://www.covid.is/announcements

Why should I book with 57hours?

With us, it’s all play and no work for you! 57hours is an open platform that connects you with trained and certified outdoor adventure professionals all over the world. Using our tech-savvy, we make it super easy to find and book adventures worth tackling, with guides worth booking, all gathered from the first-hand experiences of the locals who adventure in these amazing locations.

Why should I go hiking?

Cars just don’t do Iceland justice. Why view this breathtaking landscape passively through a window, when you can walk on the volcanic ground beneath you and smell the tiny arctic flowers scattered across the ink black ground? Hiking is undoubtedly the best way to enjoy Iceland’s striking terrain and experience the untouched nature around you.

What’s included?

What you’ll get on this adventure:

  • Transportation
  • A local guide with extensive knowledge of the area
  • Mountain hut accommodations
  • All meals
  • Permits are taken care of for you

Not included:

  • Country Visa
  • Travel insurance
  • Sleeping bag
  • Hiking poles
  • Mountain hut amenities like showers are payable on-site

*Sleeping bags can be rented for an additional $60 fee and hiking poles for $25. Let us know in the booking process if you’re interested in this option.

What can I expect from hiking with a guide?

Hiring a local guide offers you the chance to experience Iceland’s beauty to the fullest. Local guides know all the hidden gems the area has to offer, will explain the history and geology during the hike, and will transport you to and from the destination. Iceland also has notoriously fickle weather, but your guide will know just what to do if the weather takes a turn or something unexpected happens.

What do I need to bring?

Here’s a list of the equipment we suggest you bring:

  • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 40L bag)
  • Water bottle
  • Hiking boots & river shoes
  • Thermal underwear & waterproof clothes
  • Sleeping bag
  • Toiletries (sunscreen, toilet paper, etc.)
  • High quality sunglasses
  • Hiking poles – optional
  • Camera – optional

*Sleeping bags can be rented for an additional $60 fee and hiking poles for $25. Let us know in the booking process if you’re interested in this option.

What’s the itinerary?

Day One

  • Bus drive to hot spring valley of Landmannalaugar
  • Lunch
  • 4 – 5 hrs hike past rainbow mountains
  • Night at mountain hut

Day Two

  • 490 m descent to the gullies of Jökultungur
  • 4 – 5 hour hike to the Álftavatn Lake, Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers
  • Night at mountain hut

Day Three

  • Pass at the foot of Stórasúla volcano
  • 6 – 7 hour hike through black deserts and Markarfljót canyon
  • Night at mountain hut

Day Four

  • 6 – 7 hour hike through the gullies of Emstrur, near Mýrdalsjökull glacier
  • 300 m descent in Thórsmörk Valley
  • Night at mountain hut, barbecue

Day Five

  • Hike in Thórsmörk, visit to the Sönghellir cave/climb to the top of Valahnúkur
  • Afternoon bus drive
  • Arrival at Reykjavik BSI bus terminal

How fit do I need to be?

You need to be able to hike for full days, carrying a daypack full of your gear. Each day you will hike between four and seven hours, on top of that, volcanic terrain can be challenging and the weather unforgiving. That said, if you are looking for adventure and up to the task of multiple days of full-day trekking, you’ll be rewarded immensely.

What is the minimum age requirement?

Everybody over the age of 14 is welcome on this hiking adventure.

What about group sizes?

You and your group will be joining a party of up to 16 people.

What about bad weather?

Iceland is home to infamously unpredictable weather, so you need to be prepared with the right gear. The same white cloud shielding you from sunbeams can easily turn into a stormcloud plummeting hailstones within minutes. Rest assured, your guide will know the correct course of action if the weather throws a curveball. Plus, you’ll get the chance to warm up in one of the area’s cozy mountain huts.

Do I need an insurance policy?

It’s highly recommended that you cover all your bases with travel and medical insurance. While hiking might seem like a low-risk outdoor activity, accidents can happen anywhere.

Global Rescue offers deals that cover everything from costly medical expenses, abruptly halted travel plans and even lost baggage. Make sure your insurance covers cancelations due to the pandemic.

Cancelation policy

All policies regarding cancellation, rescheduling and trip insurance will be clearly laid out by your guide prior to booking your adventure. Contact us if you’d like more information on a specific adventure.

Getting there and meeting location

The meeting location is BSI Bus terminal. After joining your guides, a scenic 4-hour drive is the only thing separating you from your hiking adventure.

This trail is like a portal to another world. Glacier-fed lakes, black volcanic rock, spouting thermal vents, and rolling hills make it one of the most incredible shorter thru-hikes, mile for mile, anywhere in the world.

By Maggie Slepian, backpacker, trail runner and 57hours contributor

Read Maggie’s review of the best hiking trails in the world here

$1660
per person

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