The Hidden Trails
Why Hidden Trails?
Hidden Trails is an adventure that combines the famous Laugavegur Trail along with some of the most reclusive gems of Iceland. We will discover geothermal areas, secret valleys, endless lakes and lava fields that challenge our imagination.
The tour is about seclusion. For most of the trek, we will be on our own in forgotten places and away from the common-and-crowded hiking routes. That is, until we join the last stages of the Laugavegur Trail for a thunderous climax: Thórsmörk, a valley of mythic proportions fit for the gods.
- NO CROWDS
- NO ERODED TRAILS
- A TRUE ADVENTURE
- HIDDEN GEMS
- BASIC EQUIPMENT
Landscape evolves daily
Flaming-colored relief, lava forests, and even molten, fiery lava can be found while adventuring.
Enchanting pitch-black ground, volcanic ashes, black sand beaches and deserts.
Landmannalaugar is a geothermal valley with picturesque orange shades of the ground.
From moss-green mountains to valleys and light-green plants, these shades of green are breathtaking.
There will not be a lack of blue on your adventure, as there are numerous gorgeous lakes around.
Finally, there are also a few colder areas where the whitest virgin snow covers the ground.
The raw experience
Besides the dramatic, picturesque landscapes at every turn, what makes this an adventure of a lifetime is the experience you can’t get anywhere else in the world. You can undergo four seasons in a day, sleep in shepherd huts, eat authentic local meals, and bathe in natural thermal pools.
Experience the raw and primal traditions, connect yourself with nature, and energize your body, mind, and soul in the vast and breathtaking scenery only found in Iceland.
Connect for life
Sleeping with your travel-buddies in huts in the middle of Icelandic vastness creates unbreakable connections. You will be able to meet people from other sides of the world while sharing the same unforgettable experiences.
This spectacular journey hosts anywhere from 7 to 13 travelers looking for an adventure.
First time in Iceland?
The Island of Ice and Fire Awaits
The general itinerary for hiking the hidden trails of Iceland requires 4 to 8 hours of walking a day, crossing between 6 to 10 miles from one hut to the next, for 10 days in a row.
Ready to take the first step?
Mónica is a mountain guide certified by UIMLA. She is experienced in mountaineering, sport climbing, and skiing. She knows her way around Iceland’s hidden gems, as well as all the best spots in Black Forest, Morocco, United States, Scotland, and Nepal.
Alberto has guided adventure treks in Iceland, Greenland, South America, and Nepal. He has also worked as a documentary and travel photographer for international magazines. He has lived in Iceland since 2015, traveling the country, discovering hidden gems and adventuring off beaten paths.
Outstanding hiking in remote and incredibly scenic parts of the highlands of Iceland. Highly recommend Alberto and Monica and their trips. You will see the most beautiful parts of hidden Iceland, several days you will not see any other people and only incredible natural beauty.
I would go anywhere with Alberto! Loved the off beat trek, good food and awesome settings.
Alberto was incredibly fun & knowledgeable, Monica as well. They made the whole trip unforgettable. “Just finished “ Hidden Trails” in Iceland with Amarok Adventures. A beautiful and epic trip through the less touristy parts of the icelandic highlands. Utterly amazing and mind blowing.
Thank You Amarok,
Marc & Maria”
Our guide Alberto provided us a safe, fun and excellent experience in the Highlands. He has a set of skills perfectly suited for the task: knowledge, strength, confidence, experience, responsibility, quick thinking and grace under pressure. And a great sense of humor! And a good cook too! We had a great time throughout the entire trip. Memories for a lifetime.
The Highlands of Iceland is unique, vast and beautiful. Massive glaciers, black deserts, too many spectacular waterfalls to count. Iridescent mosses, surprising flowers against a background of mountains, cones and craters. Amazing!
Meet your guides in the Icelandic capital Reykjavík and get settled. Once you’re briefed by your guides, and your personal materials have been reviewed, enjoy the rest of the afternoon. Your first night will be spent in a hostel. (Dinner not included.)
Ascent: 438 m
Descent: 476 m
Max elevation: 1002 m
Hiking: 7-15 km | 4-9 mi
Driving: 105 km | 121 mi
Set out to Landmannalaugar in a 4×4 vehicle to one of the most spectacular places in the Highlands of Iceland. Explore a geothermal valley and enjoy the views of impressive lava fields and rivers, lakes, and beautiful craters. For two days, trek and discover all the hidden secrets of the surrounding colorful mountains, hike the spectacular trails and feel the energy that flows through these beautiful valleys. You will spend both nights in a mountain hut.
Ascent: 300 m
Descent: 350 m
Max elevation: 800 m
Hiking: 12 km | 7 mi
Driving: 60 km | 37 mi
On your fourth day, drive to the Langisjór lake. Once you’re there, spend the day hiking through the Fögrufjöll mountains (the “beautiful mountains”) with the Vatnajökull glacier on the horizon. Enjoy the wilderness that floods in this place, where only the faint sound of water and the wind are heard. Spend the night in a mountain hut.
Ascent: 416 m
Descent: 564 m
Max elevation: 685 m
Hiking: 16 km | 10 mi
Today, explore the deserts, lava fields and canyons. Hike to the magical and mysterious area of Skælingar, a lava field near the Skaftá river. Follow the trail and it will take you to the outstanding Hvanngil canyon, where the moss & the lava together create a range of colors that will leave you amazed. After admiring the beautiful coastal views, spend the night in a mountain hut.
Ascent: 580 m
Descent: 703 m
Max elevation: 934 m
Hiking: 18 km | 11 mi
After breakfast, get ready to trek to Eldgjá (the “Fire Canyon”). Descend inside the canyon and explore its ancient rocks & the “impassable waterfall” Ófaerufoss before finishing the day off with a short trek to the hut of Hólaskjól, where you’ll spend the night.
Ascent: 182 m
Descent: 58 m
Max elevation: 446 m
Hiking: 10 km | 6 mi
Get ready to hike the unique trails leading to the lakes of Álftavötn. You’ll hike through stunning green hills and along the Syðri Ófæra river. The peaceful energy will leave you speechless. It’s a really unique place to feel the Highlands energy, before entering into the deserts that you’ll explore in the next few days of the trip. Spend the night at the mountain hut.
Ascent: 673 m
Descent: 495 m
Max elevation: 706 m
Hiking: 23 km | 14 mi
On the longest day of your trip, your group will continue hiking along the river and cross the exciting canyon to head towards Strútur. You will be amazed by the black sand marbled with bright green streaks of centennial moss that covers the impressive Icelandinc volcanoes, connecting them to the beautiful surrounding flora. As you reach a natural hot spring, relax in the geothermal sulphurous waters, or if the weather doesn’t allow it, enjoy the spectacular views. Hike towards the mountain hut where you will spend the night.
Ascent: 375 m
Descent: 374 m
Max elevation: 728 m
Hiking: 17 km | 11 mi
After an early breakfast, your group will leave the last mountain hut to face the unknown and follow the Laugavegur Trail and witness the magical lake of Álftavatn. After 17 kilometers of hiking through spectacular landscapes and enjoying the view of the deep and decorative lake, spend the night at the last mountain hut on this trip.
Ascent: 224 m
Descent: 288 m
Max elevation: 604 m
Hiking: 16 km | 10 mi
Enjoy the fresh morning air as you continue your hike through the beautiful wilderness of Iceland. Discover the wonders of the famous black desert and cross several rivers by foot. Spend the day surrounded by beautiful pink and white flowers growing in the desert soil, and witness the breathtaking Myrdalsjökull glacier just a few kilometers away. The glacier sitting on top of the explosive volcano Katla is the fourth largest ice cap. It covers nearly 600 square kilometres, and the blue ice streaked with different shades of white will leave you breathless. From the desert plain and escorted by the Hattafell volcano, descend to the vicinity of the Emstrur canyon where the refuge is located and spend the night.
Ascent: 288 m
Descent: 506 m
Max elevation: 481 m
Hiking: 16 km | 10 mi
Your last day of hiking will be spent in the area surrounding the Emestur canyon, where you’ll cross ancient glacial moraines and volcanic terrain, until you reach an oasis of dwarf birch trees, willow forests and hanging glaciers. Explore one of the most popular hiking trails—Thórsmörk, the valley of the God of Thunder. If the weather allows, conclude your trip with a delicious barbecue made with local products, surrounded by an incredible landscape. Spend your last night at the mountain hut.
Today you say farewell to the hidden trails of Iceland. You’ll return to your starting point, Reykjavík. Leave recharged and one memorable adventure richer!
To ensure your place, reserve the dates you want with a 5% deposit on next year’s adventure. Read about our cancellation policy on our FAQ page.
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 in Iceland, please refer to the Official Information about Covid-19 in Iceland.
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 in this adventure:
- A local certified guide from Amarok Adventures
- A professional & licensed driver from Amarok Adventures & 1 private 4×4 vehicle for the group for getting into the Highlands and returning from Thórsmörk
- Accommodation in mountain huts in multiple rooms
- Accommodation in quadruple rooms in hostel in Reykjavík with breakfast
- Every meal during the hiking days
- Vehicle fuel
- All the cooking equipment
- Transfers from/to the airport
- Agency support 24/7
What’s not included:
- International flights
- Dinner in Reykjavík
- Showers in the mountain huts
- Lockers in Reykjavík to leave remaining luggage not needed during the trip
- Sleeping bag & personal mountain equipment
- Trip insurance
- Everything not specified under “what’s included”
Accommodation: You will stay in rooms of four without distinction of gender and with shared bathrooms. During the days in the Highlands, you will stay in a mountain hut that has multiple rooms shared between all the guests without distinction of gender. There’s a kitchen inside the same building, and showers & toilets outside of the main building.
*Important: the price of the showers is not included in the price.
The accommodation in Reykjavík has quadruple rooms with bunk beds and without pillows. The possibility of having double or single rooms in any accommodation is impossible, since they do not have them.
Many accommodations in Iceland do not have blinds, so due to the polar day, we recommend using a mask.
Meals: The diet of the trip is conceived as a full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner) every day that you are in the Highlands. The only meals not included are the dinner on day 1 & any food after breakfast on day 12. The lunch at noon will be picnic style to take full advantage of the daily trekking route, and will have to be carried by travelers in their backpacks during the route.
Breakfast and dinner will be held in the mountain hut itself and will be elaborate meals. Every day, the guides will prepare dinner and the travelers will participate in the cleaning. The guides will be in charge of coordinating the different group tasks among all the travelers.
In case of special dietary needs, please contact us and we can make arrangements.
This tour is for experienced hikers. You need to be able to hike for full days, carrying a full daypack. Each day you will hike between five and seven hours, between 7-23 km (4-14 miles) per day for a total of 130 km (81 miles) over 12 days. The 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.
After booking, your guide will let you know all the necessary equipment to bring. Prior to the start of the route, the guide together with each traveler will review the material to ensure that everything necessary is available. Here’s a general list of the equipment you need to bring:
- Personal hiking gear
- Sleeping bag for the sailboat
- Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex recommended)
- Wind and waterproof pants (Gore-Tex recommended)
- Hiking pants
- Down jacket or vest
- Synthetic or wool base layers (top and bottom), underwear and socks
- Spare clothes for layering and 8 days of hiking and sailing
- Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
- Lightweight hiking or trekking boots
- Hiking poles — optional (but recommended)
- Pocket knife
- Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
- Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 40L bag)
- Camera — optional (but recommended)
All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent all personal hiking gear from Iceland Camping Equipment in Reykjavik. Gear should be picked up prior to the first day of your hiking tour. It is not necessary for the traveler to bring any kind of extra technical material. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.
Hiring a local guide means getting a chance to see trails as equally alluring as tourist fave, the Laugavegur Trail, but much less known to the public — you’ll be getting half the hype and twice the experience of Iceland’s beauty. Iceland has notoriously fickle weather and the hidden trails on this adventure are remote, but your guide will know just what to do if the weather takes a turn or something unexpected happens.
You will be joining a group that usually consists of 5-13 people. Pricing is per person.
A 5% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. 30% of the full amount needs to be paid 3 months before the trip. The balance of payment is due one month prior to the departure date.
If you are an individual traveler, you can join the group. The guide will be adding travelers until the minimum group size to confirm the trip can be guaranteed. There are no supplements to individual travelers, as they will share a room.
Once you book, either by paying in full or by a deposit, you’ll be connected to our guide, Alberto. You’ll be able to talk with him about the details of this trip.
Your 10% deposit will be fully refundable by end of 2021. All deposits are refundable at a later date if the trip is not yet confirmed.
The trip date will be confirmed when the minimum group size (5) is reached. The group can be confirmed as early as 1.1.2022 if the minimum number of travelers is reached. If the group minimum size is not reached, the guide can cancel the trip the latest 2 months before the trip departure. Please note the trips for 2022 are expected to reach the minimum number of people soon, and the likelihood of trip not happening is very low. The groups for 2021 were sold out as soon as Iceland borders were opened for travelers, and the trips for 2022 are already receiving first bookings.
If the trip group minimum size is reached, you will need to pay 30% of the full price (an additional $624 to the 10% deposit) for the confirmation of your spot on the confirmed trip. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, and you paid the 30% deposit, the cancellation policy stated below applies, and deposits are no longer refundable.
The remaining 70% of the amount is paid the latest 1 month before the trip.
- Everybody over the age of 16 is welcome on this hiking adventure.
- Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis. If you plan to hike and sail with anyone under the age of 16, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
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 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.
In the event that the minimum number of people to confirm the trip is not reached, the trip can be canceled by the guide at most 2 months before the start of the trip. The traveler is entitled to a full refund in this case.
In case the traveler needs to cancel the trip, the following cancellation costs would be incurred:
- 100% of the price of the trip is refundable before the trip is confirmed.
- 50% of the tour price is refundable if canceled 30-59 days before departure.
- 25% of the tour price is refundable if canceled 16-29 days before departure.
- 0% of the price of the trip if it is canceled 15 days before departure.
Because Iceland has been a popular destination in recent years, it is advisable to book in advance. Most of the groups are confirmed months in advance, and for 2022 we expect to have the groups confirmed months in advance.
We highly recommended that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.
As we’ve recently seen, travel plans can be abruptly halted, so it’s a good idea to purchase travel insurance that covers cancelled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans. For peace of mind, we suggest you consider both options of insurance.
If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!
To get to the starting point of this tour in Reykjavík, most people fly into Keflavík International Airport (KEF). From there, you can take a bus, shuttle, or taxi to Reykjavík.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the BSI central bus terminal in Reykjavík or another predetermined location. From there, you’ll head to the trailhead. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.