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4-Day Laugavegur Trek – Backpacking

With all of our belongings strapped to our backs, we set off on this 4-day backpacking tour from Landmannalaugar to Þórsmörk to explore splendid and diverse nature.

Reykjavík
4 days and 1 hour
Challenging

Tour description

Hands down the best known trek in Iceland. This trail takes adventurers from the geothermal valley of Landmannalaugar and the southern highlands, south to the Þórsmörk valley, at the foot of world famous Eyjafjallajökull volcano. The trail crosses many spectacles including the third biggest geothermal zone in the world, through yellow rhyolite mountains, over black deserts, past great canyons and finally into the verdurous valley of Þórsmörk. It is no coincidence that the “Laugavegur” hike each year attracts travelers from around the world in addition to being a great favorite amongst locals. Come see what all the fuss is about! Accommodation in mountain huts.


Day 1:  Reykjavík-Landmannalaugar-Hrafntinnusker
We take the regular public bus from BSI central bus staion at 08:00.   Arriving in Landmannalaugar at noon, we have  lunch and then head south into the mountains. The trail takes us past small gorges, steaming hot springs and yellow mountain ridges. Arrival at Hrafntinnusker mountain hut, were we will stay the night, in the late afternoon.

Distance: 12km (7.5 mi)
Walking time: 4-5 hours
Ascent: 470 m (1540 ')


Day 2: Hrafntinnusker-Álftavatn
From Hrafntinnusker we descend down in the gullies of Jökultungur with hundreds of steaming hot springs and mud pools. Up there we enjoy fascinating views to the south to the Álftavatn area (Swan Lake), and the Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers. In the afternoon we arrive at Álftavatn hut where we stay the night.


Distance: 12km (7.5 mi)
Walking time: 4-5 hours
Descent: 490 m (1610 ')


Day 3: Álftavatn-Emstrur
We pass at the foot of the green conic volcano of Stórasúla before entering the black deserts of Mælifellssandur. Heading towards another ancient and verdurous volcano, the Hattfell, we enter the Emstrur region where farmers used to graze their sheep in summer. Before arriving at the Botnar hut where we stay the night, we visit the magnificent Markarfljót canyon cut almost 200 m down into the rocks south of Hattfell.

Distance: 16km (10 mi)
Walking time: 6-7 hours
Descent: 40 m (130 ')


Day 4: Emstrur-Þórsmörk-Reykjavík
We continue up and down through the small valleys and gullies of Emstrur, where the great Mýrdalsjökull glacier rises only a couple of kilometers away. At the end of the day the vegetation starts to grow thicker and higher as we descend in to Þórsmörk's (the woods of Thor) green valleys filled with arctic birch forests and colorful flowers. In Thorsmork we catch the evening bus back to Reykjavík.

Distance: 17km (10.5 mi)
Walking time: 6-7 hours
Descent: 300 m (985 ')

Please note

Please note that we need a minimum of 6 passengers to be able to confirm the departure.

What's included?

Guide for 4 days
Food for 4 days (from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 4)
Public transportation to and from Reykjavík 
Accommodation in mountain huts, dormitory style

What do I need to bring?

Boots and clothing:

  • Sturdy Hiking Boots – waterproof with good ankle support. 
  • Long sleeve shirt (thermal underwear) – Wool or synthetic. 
  • T-shirt (thermal underwear) – Wool or synthetic. 
  • Light wool or fleece sweater (2nd layer).
  • Trousers – Strong and light material that dries quickly e.g. soft-shell. 
  • Jacket with a good hood – windproof, waterproof and breathable. 
  • Rain trousers – windproof, waterproof and breathable. Please note that full raingear is mandatory in Iceland. 
  • Gloves 1 – 2 pairs – Wool or synthetic (polypropylene / polyester). 
  • Socks – Wool or synthetic. Two or three pairs. 
  • Warm hat – Wool or synthetic. 
  • Long Johns (thermal underwear) – Wool or synthetic.
  • Warm jacket/sweater – Wool or fleece (3rd layer).

Other gear:

  • Backpack – (woman size: 50-60 litres - man size: 60-75 litres) – note that each guest will need about 10L of free space for food.
  • River shoes – Walking sandals or old running shoes with a good grip are a good choice, along with a pair of warm socks or neoprene socks. Open sandals or flip-flops will not do the job. 
  • Sleeping bag – for camping tours we recommend a 3 season sleeping bag.
  • Towel – light weight and packable. 
  • Sunglasses & sun protection. 
  • Change of clothes – e.g. long and short underwear.
  • Water container – thermos flask or water bottle 0,5 – 1L. 
  • Camera, spare batteries and a memory card or films.
  • Personal first aid kit – including blister care. 
  • Prescription medication and other personal health items.
  • Toiletries; Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap etc. 
  • Ear plugs

Optional gear:

  • Walking pole(s).
  • Gaiters
  • Neoprene socks – highly recommended for river crossings. 
  • Pen knife. 
  • Sun/rain Hat or a Cap. Shorts
  • Thermal mat (for lunch breaks). 
  • Puffy jacket (e.g. Primaloft or down).
  • Camera, spare batteries and a memory card or films.
  • Dry-bags for electronics and extra clothing. 
  • Heart-warming spirits.

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