The Laugavegur Trail | Iceland

Hiking the Laugavegur Trail


Mid-June through mid-September

Nearest city

The trail is a 3-hour drive from Reykjavik

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Hike one of the most famous trails in the world!

There are must-hike destinations on every hiker’s bucket list — the Appalachian Trail, the Haute Route, rim to rim in the Grand Canyon, or Shackelton’s Route — but the Laugavegur Trail, a 34 mile trek through Iceland’s southern highlands, stands out amongst its peers in that the scale of its geographical diversity is unmatched.

No matter whether you decide to hike the trail from north to south (Landmannalaugar to Þórsmörk, or Thórsmörk) or vice-versa, be prepared for glaciers, waterfalls, thermal springs, black sand deserts, mountains, and the odd, active volcano, yes, volcano. Eyjafjallajökull, which erupted in 2010, is just an 8.7km hike from the traditional terminus of the trail at Thórsmörk. Thórsmörk, coincidentally, owes its name to the Icelandic god Thor striking down his hammer and creating a valley between the Tindfjallajökull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers. Not every hike ends in a mythical place, but this one does. Along the way, there are huts for overnight stays in addition to spots for camping. Plan well in advance, keep your eye on the weather, and get ready for a hike unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.

Most popular tours and hikes for exploring the Laugavegur Trail

Laugavegur Trail

Are you visiting Iceland but don’t have enough time to hike the whole trail? On this two day tour, you’ll hike the trail from south to north, from Thórsmörk to Landmannalaugar, and cover about 16.2 miles out of the traditional 34. Don’t worry, though, there’s plenty of challenging hiking and scenery even on this shortened variation.

Laugavegur Trek Classic (Huts)

Hike the trail in its entirety with this 5-day trek. Look forward to spending each night in mountain huts along the way after walking an average of 4-7 hours per day. Your local expert guide will lead you and your group through all of the geological wonders along the way.

Grand Laugavegur Trek

Hike the classic but instead of going home after reaching Thórsmörk, hike to the high mountain pass at Fimmvörðuháls — the ridge between the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull glaciers. After the former’s eruption in 2010, there are now two new craters to see, Magni and Móði. The second extra day of the classic will bring you to Mount Útigönguhöfði, where you’ll have an amazing view of the whole valley. After that, it’s back to Reykjavík.

Need to know

When is the best time to go?

The trail opens in mid-June and carries through to mid-September. Ideal conditions to hike the trail are in July and August. Evening light begins to wane by September, so keep that in mind if you plan on hiking later in the season. Also, plan on keeping a timetable handy for bus schedules to and from the trailhead, as shuttle services change at the beginning and end of the season.

What's a typical itinerary?

You’ll meet up with your guide and other hikers in your group usually after you’ve been picked up with a shuttle in Reykjavik. After you discuss the agenda for the day, usually you’ll start hiking|! Any gear-related questions and concerns will be addressed before setting out on your journey.

What about group sizes?

Group sizes are usually between 6-16 people.

What about bad weather?

Inclement weather can be very disruptive when hiking the Laugavegur Trail. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared to wait out storms or anything else in the event the trail is not viable. Sometimes trail wardens or rangers will tell hikers not to hike if the conditions are not safe. Check with your guiding service about their policies regarding rain and other weather concerns.

Getting there

Travelers fly into Reykjavik and then shuttle to the trailhead.

Who should hike the Laugavegur Trail?

This one is definitely for intermediate-level hikers and kids over 14 years old. There are some steeper climbs and river crossings along the way, so previous experience definitely helps as hike the entirety of the trail. But if you are fit and looking for an adventure, this is a must-hike trail for sure.

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.

Maggie Slepian, Backpacker, trail runner, climber, and mountain biker

from $486 / person

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