Top reasons to go on a Laugavegur culinary adventure
Visit some of the most popular valleys, beaches, and trails in Iceland
Taste authentic Icelandic meals and discover tradition and culture
Explore landscapes formed by the combined forces of volcanoes and glaciers
Snaking its way through the Southern Highlands of Iceland, the Laugavegur Trail and its ever-changing landscapes are an inexhaustible source of wonder for any hiker. The moss-covered lava fields, polychrome mountains, black sand deserts, and turquoise lakes turn this age-old trail into a vivid riot of colors. With so many natural wonders to offer, it comes as no surprise that it bears the title of the most famous trail in Iceland. And even when you enter the home stretch of this iconic trek, the beauty doesn’t fade! You’ll find yourself in Thorsmork, a valley nestled between three glaciers with amazing hikes of its own and home to glacier-fed rivers, mossy greenery, and so much more. A big part of the experience on these hikes is immersing yourself in Iceland’s culture and recharging your batteries as your guide prepares sweet-smelling Icelandic dishes with local ingredients. Follow the ancient pathways under Iceland’s midnight sun and let this untouched wilderness deliver some unforgettable moments.
June through August
Reykjavík, Iceland, is about 4 hours away
3 or 6 days
Beginner to advanced
Choose how you spend your days
3-Day Thorsmork Hiking and Culinary Adventure
Make your way to Thorsmork, the last leg of the famous Laugavegur Trail and discover its colorful terrain that features glistening glaciers, riverbeds adorned with polished obsidian, and rich flora and fauna. Let your guide prepare fresh meals with local ingredients and get a taste of different landscapes and some of Iceland’s finest ingredients. Set up camp and head on various hikes to soak up the views from towering cliffs.
6-Day Laugavegur Trail Camping and Culinary Adventure
Treat yourself to a 6-day camping and culinary experience on Iceland’s most popular trail and explore a wide array of landscapes with an expert guide. Revel in the views of lava fields, icy river-crossings, canyons, black volcanic rocks, spouting thermal vents, and more as you hike this 35-mile long trail. Taste the authentic Icelandic cuisine as your guide prepares fresh meals and spend your nights in tents to experience this pristine wilderness to the fullest.
6-Day Laugavegur Trail Hut-Based Hiking and Culinary Adventure
Head on a mountain hut based hiking and culinary adventure on the famous Laugavegur Trail and take in the epic views of exciting lava fields, river crossings, and more! Your guide will prepare traditional meals with local ingredients and you’ll get to immerse yourself in the centuries-old culture. Spend your nights in cozy mountain huts and go on a new adventure each day.
On this tour, the food is just as important as the hike itself. A lot of effort is put into making the menu and cooking the food with mostly local Icelandic ingredients. Each day you’ll be served breakfast, lunch, snacks during the hike, and dinner, a great way to regain your energy and stay warm during the evening.
For breakfast you can expect baked goods, sweet and savory crepes, porridge with various toppings such as roasted pecan nuts, berries and Icelandic birch syrup, nordic-style French toast with berries, and warm beverages to warm you up for the day.
Lunch is usually served on trail and therefore usually consists of a variety of Nordic breads for sandwiches, different types of meats, Icelandic cheeses, vegetables, different spreads like Dijon mustard, cream cheese, red pesto and more. Snacks usually include trail mix and cookies or biscuits.
Once you get back to the camping site, your guide will prepare a lavish dinner. Some of the meals include freshly caught cod, lamb steaks, creamy boiled Icelandic potatoes, onion-tomato compound butter, sautéed mushrooms, blueberry barley-risotto, and various salads.
Special dietary requirements
Your guide is capable of catering to most special dietary requirements. There are plenty of delicious vegetarian and gluten-free dishes. Please distinguish between intolerances and allergies. It takes a lot of time and effort to modify the menu for special dietary requirements and it costs more to cater. Please note that your guide is not able to cater to severe food allergies and celiac disease at this point. Hopefully, in the near future, this will change.
Itinerary: 3-Day Hiking and Culinary Adventure
The Thorsmork area boasts countless scenic hiking routes. This is just an example of hikes and variations of hikes that you and your guide might opt for.
Day 1: Réttarfell – Einstígur – Álfakirkja
Kick things off by hiking over Króssá, an ever-changing glacial river whose riverbed is adorned with polished obsidian and other types of volcanic basalt. Cross the bridge over the river and hike up Réttarfell where you can take in amazing views of the whole area with Eyjafjallajökull glacier to the south and Mýrdalsjökull to the east. You’ll get to choose a ridge for the way back or go down a valley and make a loop.
Distance: Approx. 3 miles / 5 km
Elevation gain: 850 ft / 260 m
Day 2: Tindfjallahringur – Rjúpnafell – Útigönguhöfði
Start off this hike by going through, by Iceland’s standards, a forested area. The trail continues towards Trolla Kirkja (Troll’s Church), goes around Tindfjöll and ends with a cliff called Útigönguhöfði. From here, you’ll be able to see, and often hear, the Mýrdalsjökull glacier as icebergs fall off cliffs and echo through the valley. You can also add Rjúpnafell to this trail and get a panoramic view of the area and the three surrounding glaciers.
Distance: approx. 5 miles / 8 km (with Rjúpnafell 6 miles / 10 km)
Elevation gain: 1,000 ft / 300 m (with Rjúpnafell 1,640 ft / 500 m)
Go for a hike on this small mountain rich with flora and fauna. This is an amazing hike for the last day. On this loop hike, you’ll go up and over Valahnúkur and get to Snorraríki Cave. From here, you can take either the longer route or check out the Sönghellir cave as well. Once you reach the top of Valahnúkur, you’ll be able to enjoy the views of the Eyjafjallajökull glacier, stunning shades of blue and black, as well as parts of the eruption from 2010. After the hike, return to the starting point and board a bus that will take you back to Reykjavik.
Itinerary: 6-day Hiking and Culinary Adventures
Day 1: Reykjavík to Landmannalaugar
Arrive at the BSÍ Bus Terminal in Reykjavík from where your bus leaves at 7 am. Get ready for a scenic 4-hour drive to Landmannalaugar. Once you arrive in Landmannalaugar, you will set up your sleeping spot, make sandwiches and head on a hike in the Landmannalaugar area. Soak up the colors, mountains, and lava fields nestled in this huge and formidable environment. On this day you and your guide will decide where you’ll go next. You’ll usually look over a geothermally active area and into the direction of the Laugavegur hike. You’ll make your way to Ljótipollur, the Ugly Puddle, an old caldera crater lake with red rock scattered around it. Have a delicious dinner and go for a dip in a natural hot spring. Take a shower and get ready to hit the hay.
Distance: 7.5–9.5 miles / 12–15 km
Day 2: Landmannalaugar to Hrafntinnusker
Kick things off by packing your luggage in the morning. After breakfast and making lunch sandwiches, you and your group will hike through a moss-covered lava field over colorful rhyolite mountains and towards Hrafntinnusker, where you’ll usually find snow throughout the summer! On this day, you’ll witness the most drastic change of landscape. After passing different spots with geothermal activities, observe small lakes, pockets of hot water venting out of the ground, and Stórihver, a beautiful hot spring. You’ll notice that there will be less and less plants as you ascend and the second half of the trail barely has any plants! Prepare delectable meals with your guide as you get to know each other. Before approaching the hut (on the mountain hut adventure), you’ll be at the highest point of the trail (~3,500 ft–1,066 m).
Distance: 7.5 miles / 12 km
Day 3: Hrafntinnusker to Álftavatn
The biggest day of descending is ahead of you! You’ll cross a river and transition from vibrant rhyolite rocks to more vegetation. Marvel at the glaciers in the background in case the visibility is good enough. This is an epic contrast to the black sand and peaks touching the sky. As you descend, you’ll hear some birds and see some vegetation. Take a shower after a long day of hiking and help your guide prepare some fabulous Icelandic meals.
Distance: 9.5 miles / 15 km
Day 4: Álftavatn to Emstrur
There won’t be much ascending or descending today and the day will be pretty much flat. Start today’s hike and cross a glacial river that is bound to wake you up faster than a double espresso ever could. Take in the views of mountain peaks rising out of black sand and Mýrdalsjökull. This area was formed when glaciers covered the land and the volcaic activity caused the mountains to rise from underneath. Afet dinner in Emstrur, you can go to Markárfljótsgljúfur Canyon, a sight you definitely don’t want to miss out on! Cap off the day with a filling dinner and prepare for the day ahead of you.
Distance: 10 miles / 16 km
Day 5: Emstrur to Þórsmörk
On this day, there will be some ascending, descending, and some flat parts as well. With the stunning Markárfljótsgljúfur Canyon on your right-hand side, you’ll gradually descend most of the day and start seeing more plants, hear more birds, and even see some trees after 4 days without seeing any trees. Today is the most difficult day of the hike—it’s the longest and there are two big hills you’ll have to go over before reaching Thorsmork. There’s one glacial river above a small canyon you’ll need to cross. There’s a sturdy bridge going over the river and the height might be an issue here for some folks, but it doesn’t affect most people. Today you’ll get to Throsmork, one of the most spectacular places in Iceland. Take a moment to appreciate the three glaciers around it nestled in the valley and admire the ever-changing Krossá river which splits the area beautifully. After your dinner, you’ll rest up for the last day.
Distance: 10,5 miles / 17 km
Day 6: Thorsmork – Reykjavík
The final day has arrived! Start the day off with a nice breakfast, pack up your gear and go for a hike. Make your way to Valahnúkur and soak up the views of the Thorsmork area and the three glaciers surrounding the area. You’ll have enough time to process the whole hike and after you’re done, you and the rest of the group will have time for a cup of coffee. Relax before the bus comes and catch the 3 pm bus. You’ll arrive in Reykjavík at 7 pm which is more than enough time to take a quick shower and meet your group at a restaurant in Reykjavík to share laughs over delicious food and reminisce about the experiences from your hiking adventure.
Distance: 4,5 miles / 7 km
Meet your guides
Einar Sveinn WestlundEinar Sveinn Westlund
Einar Sveinn Westlund
Feast in the Wild
Feast in the Wild
Our family (Mum, Dad & 18yo daughter) hiked the Laugavegur Trek from Landmannalaugar to Þórsmörk and were pleased that we had Einar to guide us, he knew the route well and kept us informed (and entertained) along the way, he’s also a good cook! On the second day the weather closed in making navigation across the plateau difficult, but we were always confident that we were in good hands.
Einar also knew the hut wardens, so we were always looked after well both out on the trail, and at the huts. We stayed two nights at the Þórsmörk hut at the end so that we could hike high onto the plateau and view the recent volcanic activity, where again Einar’s knowledge gave us great insight into the volcano and the formation of the mountains.
It really is a beautiful trail and although a couple of the huts were busy, once out hiking we saw very few other people, and it should be on everyone’s ‘to-do’ list, ideally with Einar as your guide.
Einar is a spectacular tour guide! I had the pleasure of getting to know Einar on a group hike on the Laugavegur Trail a few years ago, and those few days are still some of my best travel memories. Einar was patient with the parts of the trail that were challenging, very good at explaining everything from blister prevention to Icelandic history, and really a joy to spend a few days with. On every break he would go around and make sure that everyone had what they needed and was comfortable. Because we were hiking early in the season, one of the planned stops had too much snow to get to, so he improvised a day hike with very little notice. I would very much recommend Einar for your next adventure into the interior of Iceland.
My family and I did the amazing Laugavegur Trek in Iceland in July 2016, walking from the mountains inland back down towards the coast over 4 days. It was a great experience. Einar was our guide. He was well organized and good fun but above all he kept us safe. We walked through snow and we had to ford a river which was running quite high. He clearly knew how to assess the risk and manage these situations. I would love to visit Iceland again and would definitely choose Einar as a guide.
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 traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Thorsmork and on Laugavegur Trail, Iceland, please refer to 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 you get on this Hiking and Culinary Adventure:
- An experienced, local hiking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- 3 or 6 days of hiking
- Highland bus from Reykjavík to Thorsmork and back to Reykjavík
- Camping spot and a kitchen tent
- Accommodations (tents for the 3-day hike, tents and mountain huts for the 6-day hikes)
- All food during the trip (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks)
- Hot shower every day
- Charging battery/power bank
What’s not included:
- Transportation to and from Iceland
- Transportation to and from BSÍ Bus Terminal
- Accommodations in Reykjavík before and after the tour
- Personal hiking gear
- Tent — can be rented from your guide
- Sleeping mat — can be rented from your guide
- Sleeping bag and pillow
- Alcoholic beverages
- Dinner in a restaurant in Reykjavík on the last day
- Special dietary requirements — additional fee of $12 per day
Note: Hot showers are available every day. The showers have a 5-minute timer which might not sound like a lot, but it is more than enough time to wash up. There is no shower on Day 2 of the 6-day hike, as there are no showers in Hrafntinnusker.
How fit do I need to be?
In order to participate in this hiking and culinary adventure, you need to have a moderate level of fitness. If you opt for the 3-day Thorsmork adventure, you’ll have to hike for 3 full days and be ready for multiple hikes in one day. The hikes are anywhere between 3 and 6 miles (5-10 km), but if you do multiple hikes per day, the number of miles will increase depending on which ones you and your guide opt for. The elevation gain on these hikes is anywhere from 850-1640 ft (260-500 m).
If you opt for the 6-day Laugavegur Trail hiking and culinary adventures, you’ll be hiking for 6 days covering 7.5-10 miles per day (12-17 km). On the last day, however, you’ll cover 4.5 miles (7 km), and this will be the shortest hiking day. Keep in mind that the volcanic terrain can be challenging and unforgiving.
What do I need to bring?
You will receive a detailed printable packing list from your guide after booking. Here’s a list of the equipment you will need:
- Backpack or waterproof duffel bag large enough to carry all the items listed
- Daypack large enough for everything you need during the day (35-40L)
- Tent for the 3-day adventure and 6-day camping adventure — can be rented
- Sleeping bag and pillow
- Sleeping mat for the 3-day adventure
- Air mattress for the 6-day camping adventure — can be rented
- Hiking poles — can be rented
- Gaiters — optional but recommended
- Gloves — wool or synthetic, 2 pairs of different thickness
- Long sleeve shirt (thermal underwear)
- T-shirt (thermal underwear)
- Light wool or fleece sweater
- Warm down jacket
- Windproof, waterproof and breathable jacket with a hood
- Windproof, waterproof and breathable rain trousers
- Quick-dry soft-shell trousers
- Socks – wool or synthetic
- Change of clothes for huts/camp
- Sunhat and wool hat
- Sturdy hiking boots — waterproof with good ankle support
- River shoes — walking sandals or old running shoes with a good grip, along with a pair of warm or neoprene socks
- Comfortable shoes for the camp
- Lightweight and packable quick-dry towel
- Swimwear if you want to go for a dip in the hot geothermal pools
- Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, earplugs, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
- Pocket knife
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
- 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
- Dry-bags for electronics and extra clothing — optional
- Camera — optional
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 consists of 4-10 people with one guide. It takes a minimum of 4 guests for these tours to run.
- Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.
- Solo travelers can join the group.
This adventure can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
Min. age requirements:
- If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
- Minors as young as 12 are permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.
If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
Deposits and cancellation policy
A 30% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 3 months (90 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies:
- More than 60 days before the trip – Full refund
- Less than 60 days, more than 21 days before the trip – 90% refund
- Less than 21 days, more than 14 days before the trip – 50% refund
- Less than 14 days – no refund
Getting there and meeting location
To get to Reykjavík, most people fly into Keflavík Airport (KEF) about 45 minutes away. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus or taxi to the BSÍ Bus Terminal in Reykjavík. From there, you’ll head to your adventure. On the last day, the bus will take you back to the BSÍ Bus Terminal in Reykjavík.
The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.