Hike Iceland's best-known trail from the geothermal valley of Landmannalaugar in the south, through the Þórsmörk valley, and along the base of the world famous Eyjafjallajökull volcano. On the 35-mile-long Laugavegur trail, you'll see colorful rhyolite mountains, cross black sand deserts, venture into deep canyons, and hike between birch tree groves. After each long day of exploring, stay the night in cozy, rustic mountain huts.

Highlights

  • Explore the orange rhyolite mountains and natural hot springs in Landmannalaugar
  • View the magnificent snow-capped Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull volcanoes
  • Get cozy at night in remote but comfortable mountain huts  
  • Trek across historic shepherding regions and explore the deep Markarfljót canyon
  • Experience the birch tree groves and winding trails of the Þórsmörk region

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Reykjavík - Landmannalugar - Hrafntinnusker Hrafntinnusker mountain hut
Day 2 Hrafntinnusker - Álftavatn Álftavatn mountain hut 
Day 3 Álftavatn - Emstrur Botnar mountain hut 
Day 4 Emstrur - Þórsmörk Þórsmörk mountain hut
Day 5 Þórsmörk - Reykjavík  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Reykjavík - Landmannalugar - Hrafntinnusker

Colorful mountains and hidden lakes await you in the incredible Icelandic mountains 
Colorful mountains and hidden lakes await you in the incredible Icelandic mountains 

Your tour starts in Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland and its largest city. Travel eastward from the city into the mountainous region of Landmannalaugar in the Highlands, arriving in the early afternoon. The road winds down mountain roads and passes by the Hekla volcano, as well as others in the Dómadalur area. Once you arrive, break for lunch before heading into the mountains. 

The trail south takes you through narrow gorges, steaming natural hot springs, and colorful mountain ridges. Arrive at the Hrafntinnusker mountain hut — your home for the night — later in the afternoon.

Hiking distance: 7.5 miles 

Hiking duration: 4 to 5 hours

Day 2: Hrafntinnusker - Álftavatn

Your trek will take you along exposed ridges with views of the surrounding volcanoes
Your trek takes you along exposed ridges with views of the surrounding volcanoes

Today, descend from Hrafntinnusker to the gullies of Jökultungur, where you will find hundreds of hot spring baths and mud pools. From here you have a spectacular view to the south towards the Álftavatn area (also known as Swan Lake), as well as a view of the Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers. Arrive at your hut in the late afternoon. 

Hiking distance: 7.5 miles

Hiking duration: 4 to 5 hours

Day 3: Álftavatn - Emstrur

Numerous rivers wind through Iceland's landscapes, fed by glaciers on high mountains
Hike through rugged terrain, from shallow rivers to craggy ridges

Today you will trek along the base of Stórasúla — an unusual cone-shaped green volcano — before continuing on to the black sand deserts of Mælifellssandur. From here you'll enter the historic Emstrur region, where shepherds used to graze sheep in the shadow of another ancient and magnificent volcano — the Hattfell. 

Pass through the breathtaking Markarfljót canyon that cuts nearly 660 feet into the rocks just south of Hattfell before reaching the Botnar hut — your home for the night. 

Hiking distance: 9.5 miles

Hiking duration: 6 to 7 hours 

Day 4: Emstrur - Þórsmörk

Unlike the previous days, today's trail winds through lush vegetation, and wildflowers in the summer 
See a different kind of landscape on today's trail, which winds through lush vegetation and wildflowers 

You'll start today starts with a river crossing before traversing the awe-inspiring Markarfljót canyon. This deep and winding canyon was carved out by powerful floods that were caused by volcanic eruptions under the nearby ice cap. Continue through a green, forested valley, which becomes thicker as you near Þórsmörk. The last section of the hike takes you through a thick birch forest where scrubby trees have grown on top of even the thickest lava ridges, and wildflowers bloom for a few glorious weeks every summer. You'll overnight at one of the Þórsmörk huts.

Hiking distance: 10.5 miles

Hiking duration: 6 to 7 hours

Day 5: Þórsmörk - Reykjavík

Celebrate! You have completed one of the most incredible hiking trails in the world 
Congratulations! You've completed one of the most incredible hiking trails in the world 

Spend the morning in Þórsmörk resting or exploring one of the many mountain trails in the area. One of these paths leads to Sönghellir Cave, which translates to "Song Cave" in English. Another trail takes you to the vantage point of Valahnjúkur with views of the ice-capped Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull volcanoes. Return to Reykjavík in the afternoon, arriving close to dinner time.

Optional hiking distance: 3 to 6 miles (depending on which trails you choose to explore)

Optional hiking duration: 2 to 5 hours