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Hiking Iceland’s Famous Laugavegur Trail

The Laugavegur Trail | Iceland
5.00
4 REVIEWS
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to hike the Laugavegur Trail

  • Trip Highlight

    One of the most incredible shorter thru-hikes in the world

  • Trip Highlight

    Landscapes formed by millennia of glaciers and volcanoes

  • Trip Highlight

    Explore glacier-fed lakes, deep canyon, and hidden waterfalls

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! Find out why Laugavegur Trail is one of the best hiking destinations worldwide from Maggie Slepian — backpacker, trail runner, climber, and mountain biker.

Season

June through September

Nearest city

Reykjavik, Iceland, is 3 hours away

Duration

5 days

Skill level

Intermediate to advanced

Itineraries

Book This Adventure

5-Day Laugavegur Trail Classic Hut Tour

5 days

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. Make sure for yourself that Iceland’s most famous trek from Landmannalaugar to Þórsmörk really does live up to the hype!

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1: Reykjavík - Landmannalaugar - Hrafntinnusker

Join your guide and take the public bus from the BSI bus terminal at 07:00. Enjoy a scenic drive along the mountain tracks that lead to Landmannalaugar, passing by the Hekla volcano and other volcanoes in the Dómadalur area. After arriving in Landmannalaugar around noon, have lunch with your group and head south into the mountains! The trail will take you past steaming hot springs, small gorges, and stunning yellow mountain ridges contrasting the blue skies. Hike for about 4 hours and reach the Hrafntinnusker mountain hut, were you will spend the first night of your adventure.

Distance: 12 km (7.5 mi)
Walking time: 4 – 5 hrs
Ascent: 470 m (1540 ft)

Laugavegur Trail Hiking

Day 2: Hrafntinnusker - Álftavatn

After a hearty breakfast at the hut, begin your second day with a descent down to the gullies of Jökultungur and witness the beauty of hundreds of steaming hot springs and mud pools. Soak up the fresh Iceland air and fascinating views to the south to the Álftavatn area, the Swan Lake, and the Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers. In the afternoon, arrive at Álftavatn hut where you will stay for the night. Relax with your group around the campfire and regain the energy for the next day.

Distance: 12 km (7.5 mi)
Walking time: 4 – 5 hrs
Descent: 490 m (1610 ft)

Laugavegur Trail Hiking Hut

Day 3: Álftavatn - Emstrur

As you pass the foot of the green conic volcano of Stórasúla, prepare for unbelievable sights of the black deserts of Mælifellssandur. Hike towards another ancient and verdant volcano — the Hattfell — and enter the beautiful Emstrur region that serves as pastures over the summer. Before reaching your hut for the night, the Botnar hut, stop at the magnificent Markarfljót canyon. This hidden gem that cuts almost 200 m down into the rocks south of Hattfell is one of the most impressive and stunning canyons on Iceland but not visited by many. Use the photo ops and enjoy the spectacular views!

Distance: 16 km (10 mi)
Walking time: 6 – 7 hrs
Descent: 40 m (130 ft)

Laugavegur Trail Hiking

Day 4: Emstrur - Þórsmörk

After a peaceful night at the hut, continue your adventure through the small valleys and gullies of Emstrur. Notice the great Mýrdalsjökull glacier that rises only a couple of kilometers away! After several hours of hiking through the Icelandinc wilderness and lush green valleys, descend into Þórsmörk’s (the woods of Thor) filled with arctic birch forests and colorful wildflowers. After arriving at the huts in Þórsmörk, enjoy your last night with your group and a barbecue!

Distance: 17 km (10.5 mi)
Walking time: 6 – 7 hrs
Descent: 300 m (985 ft)

Laugavegur Trail Hiking

Day 5: Þórsmörk - Reykjavík

Spend the morning of your last day in Þórsmörk, where you can choose to walk along one of numerous paths. Visit the Sönghellir cave (Song cave) famed for its acoustics or climb up the small mountain of Valahnúkur from where magnificent views can be enjoyed, before taking the afternoon bus to Reykjavík. You should arrive at Reykjavik BSI bus at 19:20. Say your last goodbyes to these unforgettable landscapes, enjoy the moment, and prepare for take-off!

Laugavegur Trail Hiking
Reviews

Reviews (4)

5 day Laugavegur hiking trail in huts
Suzanne12014 about Icelandic Mountain Guides on TripAdvisor

What an awesome experience. If you are unsure just do it. This company were great even before we set off on our adventure. They stepped in and helped out with kit when our luggage was delayed. The professionalism of the whole team and the planning was superb. Our driver transported our bags from hut to hut and helped out with the cooking. His lamb stew will live long in the memory after trekking in a storm that day. Sölvi our guide was brilliant and our group of fellow trekkers (we were 7) and lovely Silja from the company quickly became friends. The scenery was epic and ever changing and Sölvi our native Icelandic guide was a source of geological knowledge and wonderful Icelandic folk tales to scare us with. The food was incredible given the circumstances. The river crossings were even fun! Make sure you have the right kit. The weather was stormy on one of our days but we were in safe hands and had a cosy lunch inside our guide’s storm shelter to warm us up.
This was the highlight of our Iceland trip and a truly brilliant adventure. Would definitely recommend and will be back for more.

Experience of a lifetime
Mark S about Icelandic Mountain Guides on TripAdvisor

Having own a travel agency for years I can speak with some credibility when I say that Icelandic Mountain Guides is an excellent ground operator. I’ve just returned from accompanying a group of 14 to Iceland and Margret Blöndal handled all aspects of our three week trip. Our reservations covered a wide range of services that included advice in booking our private tour, a hut trek on the Laugavegur trail, and ground transfers to various spots like the glacier lagoon in Vik and an ice cave tour. She was knowledgeable, accommodating, and efficient. Agust, our guide on the hut portion, lead us through one of the most remote areas of Iceland with seven hour days. The luggage was always waiting for us and the food prepared under such austere conditions was delicious – baked Salmon and leg of Lamb to name a few. There wasn’t one unpleasant surprise. Regardless of the type of trip you plan to Iceland, I encourage you to call Icelandic Mountain Guides first. They are Top-Notch.

Laugavegur trek
US Traveler about Icelandic Mountain Guides on TripAdvisor

One of most amazing treks you will do in your lifetime. Its not super strenuous but daily distances are large: 8mi-10mi per day. The huts are extremely basic as you would expect: facilities outside, one with no shower, bunk rooms of 20ppl. But the trail and scenery are more than worth it. We had a difficult group with some adults, teenagers and even a 7yo (yes an active kid who can walk long distances can definitely do this trail). Our guide Martha was wonderful and handled everything amazingly well. Informative, supportive, efficient and cooks great food!!!

5-days Laugavegur trek, an experience of a lifetime!
Frances C about Icelandic Mountain Guides on TripAdvisor

How do I start this…I celebrated my birthday with a trip to Iceland. We did the 5-days Laugavegur trek first and then another 5 days sightseeing in Reykjavík. For me the trekking experience was amazing. The weather was so nice during the trekking, mostly sunny with a few cloudy moment here and there. Our tour guide Greta was caring, fun, knowledgable, very helpful and a good story teller. I love listening to her stories, especially the ghost one! The scenery on the 5-days trek was breathtaking, so raw, pure, and untouched in some places. The only suggestion I would have is the hut accommodation, I hope they would put less people in a tiny room (I still couldn’t believe that 20 adults were actually sharing a tiny hut). Other than that, hands down the best Laugavegur trek in Iceland!!!

Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in Iceland

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures on Laugavegur Trail, Iceland, please visit the official Government of Iceland and Official Information about Covid in Iceland websites.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get on this adventure:

    • An experienced, local, English-speaking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
    • Mountain hut sleeping bag accommodation in dormitories
    • Kitchen and all needed cooking equipment
    • Transport at the beginning and end of trek
    • Four breakfasts, five lunches, and four dinners during the trip
    • Transfer of luggage

Special dietary supplements, such as vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, gluten free or other supplements, can be ordered at some extra cost. If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know prior to booking to make arrangements.

All of the huts are heated, some have electricity and some have hot water. They have bunk rooms with single and twin beds. Participants have to be prepared to share a bunk with other travelers from the group.

What’s not included:

    • Sleeping bag
    • Showers in huts (payable on site)
    • Transportation to and from Iceland
    • Accommodation in Reykjavík before and after the tour

Optional extras:

    • Sleeping bag
    • Accommodation in Reykjavík before and after the tour

How fit do I need to be?

For the Laugavegur Trail, 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 do I need to bring?

Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

    • A duffel bag for the transport of your overnight gear between huts
    • Day backpack for extra clothes and lunch pack during the day (around a 25-40L bag)
    • Sleeping bag – a basic sleeping bag with no specific temperature rating is sufficient for this trek since all the huts are heated
    • Small thermal mat to sit on — optional
    • Hiking poles — optional
    • Gaiters — optional but recommended for departures in
    • June and early July
    • Gloves – wool or synthetic 2 pairs of different thickness
    • Long sleeve shirt (thermal underwear) – wool or synthetic
    • T-shirt (thermal underwear) – wool or synthetic
    • Light wool or fleece sweater (2nd layer)
    • Warm, down jacket
    • Puffy jacket e.g. Primaloft — optional
    • Jacket with a good hood – windproof, waterproof and breathable, e.g. Gore-Tex or comparable
    • Soft-shell trousers – strong and light material that dries quickly
    • Rain trousers – windproof, waterproof and breathable — full raingear is mandatory in Iceland, poncho is not useful because of wind
    • Socks – wool or synthetic
    • Change of clothes for wearing in the hut
    • Sunhat
    • Wool hat
    • Sturdy hiking boots – waterproof with good ankle support
    • River shoes – walking sandals or old running shoes with a good grip are a good choice, along with a pair of warm socks or neoprene socks
    • Comfortable shoes for the camp
    • Quick dry towel – lightweight and packable
    • Swimwear if you want to bathe in the hot geothermal pool in Landmannalaugar
    • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
    • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
    • Lunch box
    • Pocket knife
    • Aperitif or other heart-warming spirits – liquor laws in
    • Iceland prohibit the sale of alcohol, so having a flask to share with your fellow travelers in front of the campfire can be the crowning of a good day — optional
    • Headlamp or flashlight
    • Sunglasses
    • Earplugs
    • Portable power bank
    • Dry-bags for electronics and extra clothing — optional
    • Camera — optional (but recommended)

Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans. Iceland is home to infamously unpredictable weather, so you need to be prepared with the right gear.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and prices:

    • The group size for this hiking tour is usually six to sixteen guests.
    • Pricing is per person, and the cost does not decrease as your group grows.

If your hiking party is larger than six people, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Min. age requirements:

    • Anyone over the age of 18 can join these day-hiking tours
    • Minors as young as 14 may be allowed to join a hike on a case-by-case basis.

If you plan to hike with anyone under the age of 18, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to the Laugavegur Trail, most people fly into Keflavík International Airport (KEF) — about three and a half hours away from the trailhead. From there, you will join your guides that will transport you to the trailhead.

The meeting location is BSI Bus terminal. After joining your guides, a scenic 3.5-hour drive is the only thing separating you from your hiking adventure!

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