If you're looking for a classic Icelandic adventure but are short on time, the Fimmvörðuháls trail in southwestern Iceland does not disappoint. The moderate-to-challenging trek will take you through three distinct landscapes in just one day, making it one of the best options for a single-day excursion. You'll hike past more than 20 waterfalls, before coming to a moonscape-like expanse. You'll then trek between active volcanoes and glaciers, and see some of the most recent geological activity on earth up close.

Highlights

  • Trek through a diverse array of landscapes in one day
  • See over 20 waterfalls as you ascent the trail known as the "waterfall route"
  • Trek below Eyjafjallajokull volcano, of 2010 fame 
  • Descend into the stunning Þórsmörk valley for incredible views of the region

Overview

The Fimmvorduhals trail winds through some of the most incredible and easily-accessible scenery that Iceland has to offer.  Starting near the ocean in Skógar and ending in Þórsmörk valley, the 15-mile trek splits into three distinct parts — the waterfalls, the volcanic moonscape, and the canyonland. At the end of your long day, enjoy an exhilarating ride back to base camp in a modified off-road SuperJeep.  

Detailed Itinerary

Thorsmork
This landscape is like nothing you have ever seen — in one word, breathtaking

Your guide will drive you from Midgard Base Camp in Hvolsvöllur, South Iceland, to the trailhead. Starting at Skógar, follow the Skógá river as you pass by more than 20 incredible waterfalls.  From here, the trail takes you between the volcano of Eyjafjallajokull (famous for disrupting international air travel after erupting in  2010) and the Myrdalsjokull glacier. Cross the 2010 volcano eruption area, and feel the still-warm lava underfoot. Nearby, the two newest mountains in the world — Magni and Móði — make for a picturesque matching pair. 

Descend along a ridge into Þórsmörk (Thorsmork) and feel like you're standing on top of the world as you gaze into the deep canyons below. The surrounding landscape is one of the most dramatic and breathtaking on the planet. From here you will be picked up by Super Jeep and go off-roading through rugged terrain on your way back to base camp. 

Keep in mind that the weather on this hiking route can change rapidly and conditions often vary. It's at a high enough elevation that there may be snowfall — even in the middle of summer — in addition to the snow that may remain on the trail well into the summer season. These conditions and others can make this seemingly moderate hike extremely challenging. 

The full distance hiked is 15 miles, with an elevation change of 3,445 feet. The hike will take approximately 9-12 hours, and the total trip will take roughly 11-14 hours, including the Jeep ride.