The Laugavegur Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in Iceland. Located in the southern highlands, the trail spans 55 kilometers and takes hikers through some of the most stunning landscapes in the country, including geothermal areas, glaciers, mountains, and waterfalls. The trail can be completed in four to five days, and is suitable for hikers of all levels, making it a must-see destination for anyone interested in exploring the natural beauty of Iceland.
Day 1: Landmannalaugar to Hrafntinnusker
The Laugavegur Trail begins in the geothermal area of Landmannalaugar. Hikers can start their journey by soaking in one of the many hot springs in the area, before setting off on the trail. The first day’s hike is a challenging one, with steep ascents and descents, and takes hikers through some of the most dramatic landscapes in Iceland. The highlight of the day is the ascent to the top of the Brennisteinsalda volcano, where hikers are rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The day’s hike ends at the Hrafntinnusker hut, where hikers can rest and enjoy a warm meal before retiring for the night.
Day 2: Hrafntinnusker to Álftavatn
The second day of the Laugavegur Trail is slightly less challenging than the first, but still takes hikers through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Iceland. The trail winds its way through colorful rhyolite mountains, past steaming hot springs, and through fields of snow and ice. The highlight of the day is the descent into the Jökultungur valley, where hikers can see the stunning Álftavatn lake in the distance. The day’s hike ends at the Álftavatn hut, where hikers can rest and enjoy a warm meal before retiring for the night.
Day 3: Álftavatn to Emstrur
The third day of the Laugavegur Trail is a relatively easy one, taking hikers through rolling hills and vast expanses of black sand. The trail passes through the stunning Mælifellssandur desert, and takes hikers past the impressive Markarfljót river canyon. The day’s hike ends at the Emstrur hut, where hikers can rest and enjoy a warm meal before retiring for the night.
Day 4: Emstrur to Þórsmörk
The final day of the Laugavegur Trail takes hikers through some of the most stunning landscapes in Iceland. The trail winds its way through the picturesque Básar valley, past towering glaciers, and through fields of wildflowers. The highlight of the day is the crossing of the stunning Fimmvörðuháls pass, where hikers can see the Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull glaciers in the distance. The day’s hike ends at the Þórsmörk hut, where hikers can rest and enjoy a warm meal before retiring for the night.
Things to know before you go:
- Weather: The weather in Iceland can be unpredictable, so it is important to be prepared for all conditions. Make sure to bring warm, waterproof clothing and sturdy hiking boots.
- Accommodation: The Laugavegur Trail has several huts along the way, which provide basic accommodation and meals for hikers. It is important to book your accommodation in advance, as the huts can fill up quickly during the peak hiking season.
- Water: There are several streams and rivers along the Laugavegur Trail where hikers can
refill their water bottles, but it is important to bring a water filter or purification tablets, as the water may not be safe to drink.
- Terrain: The Laugavegur Trail is a challenging hike, with steep ascents and descents, and varied terrain. It is important to be prepared for the physical demands of the hike, and to have appropriate hiking gear.
- Transportation: The Laugavegur Trail is located in a remote area of Iceland, and transportation can be difficult. There are several companies that offer transportation to and from the trailhead, but it is important to book in advance.
- Wildlife: The Laugavegur Trail is home to a variety of wildlife, including reindeer and Arctic foxes. It is important to respect the wildlife and their habitats, and to take precautions to avoid encounters.
- Leave No Trace: The Laugavegur Trail is a fragile ecosystem, and it is important to minimize your impact on the environment. Make sure to pack out all of your trash, and to follow the principles of Leave No Trace.
Overall, the Laugavegur Trail is an incredible hiking experience that offers stunning views of Iceland’s natural beauty. With a little preparation and the right gear, hikers of all levels can enjoy this challenging and rewarding adventure.