Thorsmork, the 'Valley of Thor,' is a region in the southern Icelandic Highlands in the Húsadalur Valley, between the three glaciers of Eyjafjallajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, and Tindafjallajökull. Due to the quality of the roads in the region—some impassible with even standard four-wheel-drive vehicles—it's best to go as part of a Super Jeep tour, multi-day trekking tour, or use a combination of self-driving and Super Jeep.
Thosmork is a well-known destination for trekking, and there are two popular routes: the Fimmvörðuháls and the Laugavegur trails. Fimmvörðuháls is a 19-mile (30 km) trek that skirts along the Eyjafjallajökull glacier and past the volcanic craters of Magni and Móði. The Laugavegur trek is a 35-mile (55 km) trail that takes you through the vibrant rhyolite mountains and through areas rich with natural hot springs. Each of these routes are accessible by day tour for a glimpse into the stunning landscape.
For more information about hiking in Thorsmork, check out this article detailing a 2-day itinerary and this Guide to Thorsmork for even more ideas for planning activities and excursions during your time in the region.
Duration: 3-3.5 hours
Traveling from the capital city to Thorsmork nature reserve is an endeavor best done with a combination of self-driving and public transport. This is due to the sections of the route near Thorsmork that are impassable by regular and even most four-wheel-drive cars.
It's also possible to access the region via special 'Super Jeep' buses from various stops off the Ring Road (Route 1), like the LAVA Centre in Hvolsvollur. Reykjavik Excursions specifically uses 4x4 wheel buses, and taking one of theses gives visitors more flexibility and less risk with self-driving. There are limited departed times and travelers may want to stay overnight and return on the bus the next day or two in order to allow more time for the longer hiking trails. There are several day or multi-day tours that depart from the city, visiting the Thorsmork area as well.
Find out more about how to get from Reykjavik to Thorsmork.
From the Golden Circle
Duration: 2.5-3 hours
Drivers will head south on Route 30 if departing from either Geysir geothermal area or Gullfoss, two of the main attractions on the Golden Circle, then take the Ring Road east before turning onto F249, the mountain road into the valley (only four-wheel drive vehicles allowed).
You will have to complete several river crossings before parking in the lot designated for visitors taking the 'Super Jeep' buses equipped for the last crossing of the Krossa River, as it's very dangerous and impassable by regular cars. This lot allows cars overnight if you're taking the bus to Volcano Huts, a great base for starting your hikes.
Duration: 8-10 hours (on foot), 1.5-2 hours (driving)
Those choosing to hike into the valley should be aware that this is an option for serious hikers as the Fimmvörðuháls route is a strenuous hike starting in Skogafoss and into Thorsmork. Self-drivers can depart the south coast village of Skogafoss by heading west on the Ring Road (Route 1) and turning onto the mountain road F249 (only four-wheel-drive vehicles allowed).
You will have to complete several river crossings before parking in the lot designated for visitors taking the 'Super Jeep' buses equipped for the last crossing of the Krossa River, as it's very dangerous and impassable by regular cars. There are day and multi-day tours leaving from Skogafoss and other nearby villages to explore Thorsmork as well.