Hiking the Iconic Laugavegur Trail

Laugavegur is a natural treasure, a continuous display of geographical wonders that seem to have been painted by the hand of a divine artist. Imagine walking among snow-capped mountains that rise majestically against a crystal blue sky, or crossing vast fields of black lava that tell stories of past volcanic eruptions. As you progress, you’ll encounter intense blue glacial rivers, winding through green valleys and ending in spectacular waterfalls. But that’s not all; the trail also leads you to natural hot springs, where you can relax in warm waters while gazing at the horizon.

Every stretch of the path is a new postcard for your memories, a sensory experience that makes you feel alive and deeply connected with the beauty and grandeur of the Earth. The diversity of landscapes will keep you in awe at every step, making the hike a visually and emotionally rich experience.

Why choose the Laugavegur Trail?

Hiking the Laugavegur Trail is not just a physical challenge; it is a test of mental endurance. The terrain varies from gentle paths to steep ascents and descents, forcing you to use different muscles and navigation skills. This variability not only strengthens your body but also sharpens your mind. Learning to handle changes in terrain and weather makes you more adaptable and resilient.

Every kilometer done is a personal achievement, a testament to your strength and determination. As you overcome the challenges of the trail, you build greater confidence in your abilities. This confidence doesn’t stay on the trail; it carries over into your daily life, helping you face and overcome obstacles with a strengthened mindset.

Hiking the Laugavegur Trail

Hiking the Laugavegur Trail is a shared experience, and one of the joys of this adventure is the community of people you’ll meet along the way. Hikers on the Laugavegur Trail share a passion for nature and adventure, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie and mutual support.

The stories shared around a campfire, the laughter during breaks, and the experiences lived together create bonds that can last a lifetime. This network of support and friendship is an invaluable benefit of hiking, providing not only company during the trek but also meaningful connections that transcend the trail.

Laugavegur Trail Map

Laugavegur Trail Highlights

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Itinerary

6 day Laugavegur Trail

Embark on an epic 6-day self-guided hiking adventure on the Laugavegur trail, taking you from the colorful rhyolite mountains of Landmannalaugar to the lush valley of Þórsmörk, sleeping in tents along the way. This journey offers a stunning diversity of landscapes, beginning with the vibrant lava fields of Landmannalaugar and ascending to Hrafntinnusker, known for its black obsidian deposits and snow-covered landscapes even in summer.

The route continues descending into the Jökultungur valley, with its impressive mountainous formations and colorful sediments, leading to the serene Álftavatn lake, perfect for camping and enjoying the tranquility. We proceed through the Mælifellssandur desert, passing by the solitary Hattafell mountain and the dramatic Markarfljót river canyon, until reaching the Emstrur campsite, with views of the Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers. The journey culminates in the green valley of Þórsmörk, a natural paradise with dense vegetation and dreamlike landscapes, providing the perfect end to this unforgettable hike.

Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this unique hiking adventure in Iceland. Each day on the Laugavegur trail is filled with surprises and natural beauty, guaranteeing unforgettable memories and a deep connection with nature. Discover why this hike is one of the most spectacular in the world!

Day 1 : Reykjavík -> Landmannalaugar

We depart from Reykjavík after breakfast at 07:00 am (pick up routes begins at 06:30 am), heading towards the Highlands of Iceland. Today will be a relatively calm day as we travel to the Landmannalaugar campsite. Upon arrival, we will set up our tents and have time for an easy first trek to get accustomed to the terrain and enjoy our initial hiking experience.

Distance: 11 km
Ascent: 402 m
Descent: 380 m
Duration: 4-5 hours


 
Day 2 : Landmannalaugar -> Hrafntinnusker -> Álftavatn

Landmannalaugar

The real adventure begins! After an early breakfast and packing up our tents, we will start our hike. Today, we will cover the longest distance, trekking through the Laugahraun lava field and ascending towards the geothermal area of Stórihver. This section offers panoramic views of the valley, and on clear days, you can see the surrounding glaciers.

Hrafntinnusker

As we ascend, the landscape changes dramatically. We will reach Hrafntinnusker, known for its impressive deposits of black obsidian. Hrafntinnusker also houses the Höskuldsskáli mountain hut, but we will continue our route. In this area, snow and ice formations can remain even during the summer, creating an almost surreal landscape.

Jökultungur

The trail from Hrafntinnusker to Álftavatn begins with a descent into the Jökultungur valley, known for its beautiful mountain formations and colorful sediments. Here, you will find streams and small lakes, and the flora changes as you descend, with more vegetation and wildflowers.

Álftavatn

The section ends at Lake Álftavatn, surrounded by mountains and a serene landscape. Álftavatn, meaning “Swan Lake,” is where we will camp and relax after the hike. The view of the lake with the mountains in the background is one of the highlights of the route.

Distance: 24 km
Ascent: 629 m
Descent: 692 m
Duration: 8-9 hours


 
Day 3 : Álftavatn -> Emstrur

Álftavatn

The hike from Álftavatn to Emstrur begins in the beautiful surroundings of Lake Álftavatn, surrounded by mountains and green meadows. This spot is perfect for enjoying a peaceful sunrise before starting the hike.

Crossing the Brattháls River

The route continues towards the Brattháls river crossing, where you will cross the Kaldaklofskvísl river. Here, the panoramic views of the valley and surrounding mountains are stunning. It’s a great spot to stop and take photos of the spectacular landscape.

Hattafell and Mælifellssandur Desert

After crossing the river, the hike takes you through the black sand desert of Mælifellssandur. Along the way, you will pass near Mount Hattafell, a solitary mountain rising above the desert landscape, offering a striking contrast.

Markarfljót Gorge

Before reaching Emstrur, the route skirts the impressive gorge of the Markarfljót river. This deep and steep canyon offers dramatic views and is one of the highlights of this section of the hike.

Emstrur

The day ends at the Emstrur campsite, located in a more arid area but with spectacular views of the Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers. Here you can rest and prepare for the next stage of the hike.

Distance: 15 km
Ascent: 260 m
Descent: 258 m
Duration: 4-5 hours


 
Day 4 : Emstrur -> Þórsmörk Langidalur

Emstrur

From the Emstrur campsite, the hike begins with a descent into the valley, crossing small streams and tundra landscapes. The transition from the black sand desert to greener areas is remarkable.

Crossing the Fremri-Emstruá River

One of the challenges of this stage is crossing the Fremri-Emstruá river, which can be which can have risen quite high depending on the time of year. It is important to be cautious when crossing this river.

Alnus Forest

As you advance, you will notice a change in vegetation, entering an area with more tree cover. This forest of alders (Alnus) provides shade and a different environment from the open landscapes of the previous stages.

Þórsmörk Valley

The Þórsmörk valley is known for its stunning views and dense vegetation. Here, green mountains, glaciers, and rivers create a dreamlike landscape. It is one of the most beautiful places on the entire hike.

Þórsmörk Langidalur

The stage ends at Langidalur, one of the main campsites in Þórsmörk. This campsite is situated in an idyllic setting, surrounded by mountains and rivers, and is a perfect place to rest and enjoy nature.

Distance: 16 km
Ascent: 214 m
Descent: 482 m
Duration: 6-7 hours


 
Day 5 : Þórsmörk Langidalur -> Þórsmörk Husadalur

Þórsmörk Langidalur

From Langidalur, the hike to Husadalur is short but equally beautiful. This section takes you through some of the lushest landscapes in Þórsmörk.

Þórsmörk Forest Trail

The trail takes you through dense forests of birch and willow trees. The rich vegetation and abundance of wildflowers in summer make this a charming walk.

Views of Eyjafjallajökull Glacier

Along the way, you will have impressive views of the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. This glacier is famous for its eruption in 2010 and is a majestic sight on the horizon.

Crossing the Krossá River

The Krossá river is one of the highlights of this stage. Although it is not necessary to cross it, you will walk near its banks, enjoying the sound of the water and the views of the surrounding mountains.

Þórsmörk Husadalur

The hike ends at Husadalur, another main campsite in Þórsmörk. Husadalur offers more complete facilities and is an excellent place to relax after the hike, with options to explore more local trails or simply enjoy the natural surroundings.

Distance: 11 km
Ascent: 228 m
Descent: 304 m
Duration: 4-5 hours


 
Day 6 : Þórsmörk Husadalur -> Reykjavík

After our last breakfast, we head back to Reykjavík. Today will be a calm day, and if you are an early riser, you can enjoy a short hike before starting the return journey to Reykjavík. Once in Reykjavík, you can enjoy the Icelandic capital, one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Europe.

5 day Laugavegur Trail

Day 1 : Reykjavík -> Landmannalaugar

We depart from Reykjavík after breakfast at 07:00 am (pick up routes begins at 06:30 am), heading towards the Highlands of Iceland. Today will be a relatively calm day as we travel to the Landmannalaugar campsite. Upon arrival, we will set up our tents and have time for an easy first trek to get accustomed to the terrain and enjoy our initial hiking experience.

Distance: 11 km
Ascent: 402 m
Descent: 380 m
Duration: 4-5 hours

Day 2 : Landmannalaugar -> Hrafntinnusker -> Álftavatn

Landmannalaugar

The real adventure begins! After an early breakfast and packing up our tents, we will start our hike. Today, we will cover the longest distance, trekking through the Laugahraun lava field and ascending towards the geothermal area of Stórihver. This section offers panoramic views of the valley, and on clear days, you can see the surrounding glaciers.

Hrafntinnusker

As we ascend, the landscape changes dramatically. We will reach Hrafntinnusker, known for its impressive deposits of black obsidian. Hrafntinnusker also houses the Höskuldsskáli mountain hut, but we will continue our route. In this area, snow and ice formations can remain even during the summer, creating an almost surreal landscape.

Jökultungur

The trail from Hrafntinnusker to Álftavatn begins with a descent into the Jökultungur valley, known for its beautiful mountain formations and colorful sediments. Here, you will find streams and small lakes, and the flora changes as you descend, with more vegetation and wildflowers.

Álftavatn

The section ends at Lake Álftavatn, surrounded by mountains and a serene landscape. Álftavatn, meaning “Swan Lake,” is where we will camp and relax after the hike. The view of the lake with the mountains in the background is one of the highlights of the route.

Distance: 24 km

Ascent: 629 m

Descent: 692 m

Duration: 8-9 hours

Day 3 : Álftavatn -> Emstrur

Álftavatn

The hike from Álftavatn to Emstrur begins in the beautiful surroundings of Lake Álftavatn, surrounded by mountains and green meadows. This spot is perfect for enjoying a peaceful sunrise before starting the hike.

Crossing the Brattháls River

The route continues towards the Brattháls river crossing, where you will cross the Kaldaklofskvísl river. Here, the panoramic views of the valley and surrounding mountains are stunning. It’s a great spot to stop and take photos of the spectacular landscape.

Hattafell and Mælifellssandur Desert

After crossing the river, the hike takes you through the black sand desert of Mælifellssandur. Along the way, you will pass near Mount Hattafell, a solitary mountain rising above the desert landscape, offering a striking contrast.

Markarfljót Gorge

Before reaching Emstrur, the route skirts the impressive gorge of the Markarfljót river. This deep and steep canyon offers dramatic views and is one of the highlights of this section of the hike.

Emstrur

The day ends at the Emstrur campsite, located in a more arid area but with spectacular views of the Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers. Here you can rest and prepare for the next stage of the hike.

Distance: 15 km
Ascent: 260 m
Descent: 258 m
Duration: 4-5 hours

Day 4 : Emstrur -> Þórsmörk Langidalur

Emstrur

From the Emstrur campsite, the hike begins with a descent into the valley, crossing small streams and tundra landscapes. The transition from the black sand desert to greener areas is remarkable.

Crossing the Fremri-Emstruá River

One of the challenges of this stage is crossing the Fremri-Emstruá river, which can be which can have risen quite high depending on the time of year. It is important to be cautious when crossing this river.

Alnus Forest

As you advance, you will notice a change in vegetation, entering an area with more tree cover. This forest of alders (Alnus) provides shade and a different environment from the open landscapes of the previous stages.

Þórsmörk Valley

The Þórsmörk valley is known for its stunning views and dense vegetation. Here, green mountains, glaciers, and rivers create a dreamlike landscape. It is one of the most beautiful places on the entire hike.

Þórsmörk Langidalur

The stage ends at Langidalur, one of the main campsites in Þórsmörk. This campsite is situated in an idyllic setting, surrounded by mountains and rivers, and is a perfect place to rest and enjoy nature.

Distance: 16 km
Ascent: 214 m
Descent: 482 m
Duration: 6-7 hours

Day 5 : Þórsmörk Langidalur -> Reykjavík

After our last breakfast, we head back to Reykjavík. Today will be a calm day, and if you are an early riser, you can enjoy a short hike before starting the return journey to Reykjavík. Once in Reykjavík, you can enjoy the Icelandic capital, one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Europe.

4 day Laugavegur Trail

Day 1 : Reykjavík -> Landmannalaugar

We depart from Reykjavík after breakfast at 07:00 am (pick up routes begins at 06:30 am), heading towards the Highlands of Iceland. Today will be a relatively calm day as we travel to the Landmannalaugar campsite. Upon arrival, we will set up our tents and have time for an easy first trek to get accustomed to the terrain and enjoy our initial hiking experience.

Distance: 11 km
Ascent: 402 m
Descent: 380 m
Duration: 4-5 hours

Day 2 : Landmannalaugar -> Hrafntinnusker -> Álftavatn

Landmannalaugar

The real adventure begins! After an early breakfast and packing up our tents, we will start our hike. Today, we will cover the longest distance, trekking through the Laugahraun lava field and ascending towards the geothermal area of Stórihver. This section offers panoramic views of the valley, and on clear days, you can see the surrounding glaciers.

Hrafntinnusker

As we ascend, the landscape changes dramatically. We will reach Hrafntinnusker, known for its impressive deposits of black obsidian. Hrafntinnusker also houses the Höskuldsskáli mountain hut, but we will continue our route. In this area, snow and ice formations can remain even during the summer, creating an almost surreal landscape.

Jökultungur

The trail from Hrafntinnusker to Álftavatn begins with a descent into the Jökultungur valley, known for its beautiful mountain formations and colorful sediments. Here, you will find streams and small lakes, and the flora changes as you descend, with more vegetation and wildflowers.

Álftavatn

The section ends at Lake Álftavatn, surrounded by mountains and a serene landscape. Álftavatn, meaning “Swan Lake,” is where we will camp and relax after the hike. The view of the lake with the mountains in the background is one of the highlights of the route.

Distance: 24 km

Ascent: 629 m

Descent: 692 m

Duration: 8-9 hours

Day 3 : Álftavatn -> Emstrur

Álftavatn

The hike from Álftavatn to Emstrur begins in the beautiful surroundings of Lake Álftavatn, surrounded by mountains and green meadows. This spot is perfect for enjoying a peaceful sunrise before starting the hike.

Crossing the Brattháls River

The route continues towards the Brattháls river crossing, where you will cross the Kaldaklofskvísl river. Here, the panoramic views of the valley and surrounding mountains are stunning. It’s a great spot to stop and take photos of the spectacular landscape.

Hattafell and Mælifellssandur Desert

After crossing the river, the hike takes you through the black sand desert of Mælifellssandur. Along the way, you will pass near Mount Hattafell, a solitary mountain rising above the desert landscape, offering a striking contrast.

Markarfljót Gorge

Before reaching Emstrur, the route skirts the impressive gorge of the Markarfljót river. This deep and steep canyon offers dramatic views and is one of the highlights of this section of the hike.

Emstrur

The day ends at the Emstrur campsite, located in a more arid area but with spectacular views of the Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers. Here you can rest and prepare for the next stage of the hike.

Distance: 15 km
Ascent: 260 m
Descent: 258 m
Duration: 4-5 hours

Day 4 : Emstrur -> Þórsmörk -> Reykjavík

Emstrur

From the Emstrur campsite, the hike begins with a descent into the valley, crossing small streams and tundra landscapes. The transition from the black sand desert to greener areas is remarkable.

Crossing the Fremri-Emstruá River

One of the challenges of this stage is crossing the Fremri-Emstruá river, which can be which can have risen quite high depending on the time of year. It is important to be cautious when crossing this river.

Alnus Forest

As you advance, you will notice a change in vegetation, entering an area with more tree cover. This forest of alders (Alnus) provides shade and a different environment from the open landscapes of the previous stages.

Þórsmörk Valley

The Þórsmörk valley is known for its stunning views and dense vegetation. Here, green mountains, glaciers, and rivers create a dreamlike landscape. It is one of the most beautiful places on the entire hike.

Þórsmörk Langidalur

The stage ends at Langidalur, one of the main campsites in Þórsmörk. This campsite is situated in an idyllic setting, surrounded by mountains and rivers, and is a perfect place to rest and enjoy nature.

Distance: 16 km
Ascent: 214 m
Descent: 482 m
Duration: 6-7 hours

Frequently asked questions

Where will we sleep?

During the route, we will sleep every night in our own tent, at campsites very close to the mountain huts, where you will find sanitary facilities such as toilets and showers for the days you wish to use them (not included in the base price).

What is included in the base price?
  • All transfers between Reykjavík, Landmannalaugar, and Thórsmörk.
  • Tracking routes so you can enjoy the route at your own pace.
  • 3, 4, or 5 nights of camping near the huts on the Laugavegur trail.
  • Advice on equipment to bring and a pre-route training guide.
  • 24/7 support during the days on the route.
Do I need to bring all the equipment, or can I rent it?

We have designed this trip so that you can choose how you want to do it and what equipment you want to bring. You can choose to bring your own camping gear or rent it from us. This is the list of optional extras you can hire:

  • Bus transfer. Keflavík to Reykjavík and vice versa (price per trip): 35 €
  • Hiking poles: 20 €
  • Night pack (tent, sleeping bag, mat, and sheet): 79 €
  • Luggage transfer between camps: 140 €
  • Cooking pack (gas stove, dish, cutlery and pot): 50 €
  • Accommodation first and last night in Reykjavík in dorm (price per night): 90 €

* All specified prices are per person.

You can bring your own camping equipment, but it’s highly recommendable for it be of decent quality. Three-season tent, sleeping bag with a minimum comfort temperature of 2°C, and a compact mattress with an R-value >3.

Will we go with guides during the route?

No. This is a self-guided trip where you will complete the route independently and entirely at your own pace, spending as much time as you deem necessary at each detailed stage. However, this does not mean you will be “alone.” Our team of guides is continuously in the area and will attend to any emergencies that may arise.

What about food and drinks?

Food and drinks are not included on these stages of the Laugavegur trail. We recommend that you make the necessary purchases the day before in Reykjavík at any supermarket. We will provide you with a list with a series of indications and ideas about what types of food and quantities to buy. We recommend booking the “Cooking pack” which includes a stove, gas, pot, and pan to facilitate cooking your meals. Finally, remember that if you hire the luggage transport service, we will also take care of transporting the food you have purchased.

For drinks, you need to bring a water bottle or several bottles with a large capacity. It is recommended to carry at least 2 liters of water. It is feasible to find water during the hikes, although not always. In the huts, you can refill your water bottle without any problem.

What equipment should I bring?

You will receive a detailed list of all the necessary materials and their general descriptions well in advance. Here is a summary of the basic items you should bring:

  • Appropriate footwear for walking: Choose comfortable shoes that allow you to walk long distances without problems.
  • Large backpack: Between 65 and 80 liters, to carry all your equipment.
  • Daypack: Between 30 and 40 liters, for daily excursions.
  • Quality camping gear: Includes a tent (minimum three-season), a mattress with a minimum R-value of 3, and a sleeping bag with a minimum comfort temperature of 2°C.
  • Protective clothing: Make sure to bring waterproof clothing and warm clothing, as weather conditions can change suddenly, especially at night.
  • Additionally, you can rent camping equipment and hiking poles from us. The camping kit we offer includes a compact and quality tent, a mattress, a sleeping bag and sheet. 

Prepare well, and you will be ready to enjoy an unforgettable experience in nature.

What does the luggage transfer consist of?

Without a doubt, it is a very comfortable way to do the trekking routes. We take care of carrying your luggage in a 4×4 vehicle every day between the campsites so that you only have to carry a small 30-liter backpack each day for your daily needs. We carry the rest of your luggage, including the tent, sleeping bag, or cooking equipment. 

This service is limited to 1 piece of luggage per person and a maximum weight of 20 kg. If you have more clothes or equipment that you will not need during the route, we recommend storing it in a locker at BSI (Reykjavík Bus Terminal) or any other storage place in Reykjavík that you choose. Our agents will advise you on this so that you have no doubts.

Can I combine the trekking trip with another trip around Iceland?

Yes, perfectly. The trekking route includes pickup from Reykjavík, but if it is more convenient for you, we can pick you up at another location such as Selfoss or Hella, for example. If you want to take a custom car trip or a guided trip, do not hesitate to consult with our agents, and they will create a program that best suits your requirements.

What distance will we cover?

Depending on the route you choose, the distances will vary. As an informative guide, these will be the approximate distances for each route:

  • Laugavegur trail 6 days: 80 km
  • Laugavegur trail 5 days: 65 km
  • Laugavegur trail 4 days: 55 km

Each day you will have a stage to complete, reaching the next campsite, but you will do it at your own pace. The stages are distributed and balanced so that any prepared person should be able to complete the trek perfectly fine. If you are exceptional and want to take on more routes, we will provide alternative and additional routes on some of the stages.

Who can do the routes?

Based on our experience, we recommend a minimum age of 16 years, but we do not specify a maximum age. Being in good physical condition, this route is perfectly doable, but you must keep in mind that you need to be trained in long walks carrying some equipment and on mountainous terrain with certain elevations. Once the reservation is formalized, you will receive a guide with training and adaptations to prepare you adequately for your route a couple of weeks before. If you have any doubts, consult with our specialists so they can guide you on this adventure.

Note: For minors under 16 who want to do the route, their legal guardians must sign an agreement stating that the minor is capable of completing the route, with their legal guardians being responsible for them.

Can I cancel the trip?

We allow the cancellation of our trips, but we must bear in mind that sometimes expenses are generated that we need to cover. Depending on the trip, the cancellation policy is as follows:

Laugavegur trails self-guided tours in tents
Cancellation fee of 100% is charged if cancelled 5 days or less before the event
Cancellation fee of 50% is charged if cancelled 14 days or less before the event
Cancellation fee of 25% is charged if cancelled 21 days or less before the event
Cancellation fee of 5% is charged if cancelled 365 days or less before the event

Laugavegur trails self-guided tours in huts
Cancellation fee of 100% is charged if cancelled 8 days or less before the event
Cancellation fee of 50% is charged if cancelled 15 days or less before the event
Cancellation fee of 25% is charged if cancelled 31 days or less before the event
Cancellation fee of 5% is charged if cancelled 365 days or less before the event

Do I need travel insurance?

Yes, we recommend that you have both trip cancellation insurance and travel assistance insurance. There are multiple reasons why you might need travel insurance, such as illness, an accident, loss or theft of luggage, flight cancellations or delays, or an early return that could disrupt your travel plans. The main reason to purchase insurance is so you can enjoy your trip with peace of mind. 

Our team can advise you on what type of insurance and coverage to purchase. We will be happy to assist you!

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