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Hiking Iceland’s Laugavegur Trail

Hiking Iceland’s Laugavegur Trail
On the Laugavegur

On the Laugavegur.
Photo Credits: clesenne

The most famous hiking trail in Iceland is the Laugavegur hiking trail. The trail is a 55 kilometer stretch that is commonly begun at Landamannalaugar in the highlands and is completed in the green valley of Þórsmörk (Thorsmork).

Duration and Accommodation

The hike from Landamannalaugar to reach Thorsmork takes four days.  Generally, short hikes extending up to 4-5 hours on a daily basis for four days is the suggested means to hike along the trail. Or a great bike ride, here are some reviews of the best mountain bikes to help you choose a great bike.

Along the route, the hikers can only find limited accommodation in the six huts that are found here. As well,  a reservation is also mandatory so be sure to book ahead. There are also campsites found at the huts, which offers another accommodation option for hikers who may not have been able to book space in the hut.

Hut guests here are provided with bunk accommodation, or sometimes private or semi private rooms.  At these huts, additional ammenities are provided to the hikers including gas heaters, a shared kitchen with pots, stoves, crockery, pans, cutlery and crockery, toilets, and showers.  Food is not available at the huts, so be prepared.

Sights offered by the Trail

Near Landmannalaugar, passing by a few hot springs

Near Landmannalaugar, passing by a few hot springs.
Photo Credits:Aurélien Coillet

The Laugavegur trail provides views of a variety of landscapes, including mountains of all colors of the rainbow, roaring hot springs, glaciers, rivers as well as lakes. The route from Landmannalaugar to Thorsmork is referred to as ‘Laugavegurinn’ or the Hot Spring Route as the hiker can come by hot springs along the way.   As well, a side trip can take the hiker to an ice cave that is magnificent. Throughout the hike, the there is also some glacier passages, which is experienced between Thorsmork and Skogar.

Trip Breakdown

First Day:  Landmannalaugar to Hraftinnusker – The distance between the two points is 12 km, and it takes 4-5 hrs to cover this trail route. The trail passes through ‘Laugahraun’ to reach the slopes of  ‘Brennisteinsalda’, as it proceeds to reach the plateau. Spectacular views embracing a full spectrum of colors is a feature of the hike along this route. The Storihver, a hot spring, and ice caves are also seen along this trail route.

Second Day:  Hrafntinnusker to Alfavatn – The distance covered measures 12 km, and the time required to cover this trail route is approximately 4-5 hrs. Initially the trail leads into a valley, where ravines are found. From there,  the hiker is  taken to colorful rhyolite mountains. Further along , a steep descent is found at Jokultungur , where the hiker reaches an oasis found on the Grashagakvisi river banks. The two huts found lying near lake Alfavatn can then be reached by hiking along flat land.

Third Day: Alfavatn to Emstrur – This distance of 15 km can be covered in 6-7 hrs, as the hiker is let into the Hvanngil ravine, where two huts can be found. The river Kaldaklofskvisi is nearby, with a bridge catering to hikers. The trail branching from the eastern bank of this river, and the one that branches out southwards, leads to Emstrur, where wading of another river is experienced, and 4 km further, a bridge over the river Nyori Emstrua helps the hiker cross. The huts found in Botnar are now in sight.

Fourth day: Emstrur to Thorsmork – It takes 6-7 hours to cover this distance of 15 km. Getting around the canyon of Syori –Emstrua, followed by a walk traversing the area of Almenningar leads the hiker to cross the river Pronga. A thirty minute walk then leads the hiker to a hut found in Langidalur, Thosmork.

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