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Volcanic Trails - Part 1

Combine the first two parts of the Volcanic Trails trek for a stunning 7 day trek through one of Iceland’s greatest volcanic regions

7 days

Tour description

Combine the first two parts of the Volcanic Trails trek for a stunning 7 day trek through one of Iceland’s greatest volcanic regions. From the peak of Sveinstindur by lake Langisjór, the trail goes along the river Skaftá and then follows the Eldgjá volcanic fissure along the Strútur trail to Álftavatn.

D1: Reykjavík – Sveinstindur, The Explorer’s Peak

Meeting point at 7:15 at  BSI central bus terminal at Vatnsmýrarvegur 10. Our transport takes us along highland tracks to Mt Sveinstindur, by lake Langisjór one of Iceland’s most beautiful lakes.  After climbing the peak for some amazing views over the mountains and up to Vatnajökull glacier we descent to a traditional hut on the other side.
Rustic hut, outhouse and no showers.

Distance: 6km                       Ascent/descent: 480 m

D2: Sveinstindur - Skaftá - Skælingar
Following the river Skaftá, with rapids and waterfalls the trail leads to the small and impressive canyon of Hvanngil. The landscape is truly volcanic, black lava, green moss, and different rock formations. At the end of the day you arrive in the magical Skælingar area, an ancient lava forest close to the riverbed of Skaftá.
Rustic hut, outhouse and no showers

Distance: 16-18 km         Ascent/descent: 250 m        Walking time: 6 – 8 hrs

D3: Skælingar - Gjátindur - Eldgjá - Hólaskjól
After packing up we start the day´s hike leading to the Canyon of Fire - Eldgjá. A slow descent into the canyon and we have time to enjoy this remarkable place and its many wonders before concluding the day with a hike to huts at nearby Hólaskjól where we spend the night after having completed the first section of the Volcanic Trails.
Comfortable hut, WC and showers available

Distance: 18 km   Ascent/descent: 350 m              Walking time: 6 – 8 hrs

D4: Hólaskjól - Áftavötn
We head out on the second part of the trail heading to the lakes of Álftavötn. Hiking through green hills we follow the river Syðri Ófæra. At Álftavötn we find a traditional hut where we spend the night. The tranquility of this magical place is amazing and this is really a great spot to recharge.
Rustic hut, outhouse, no showers.

Distance: 7-10 km         Ascent/descent: 150 m        Walking time: 5 - 6 hrs

D5: Álftavötn - Strútur 
Today we continue along the river Syðri Ófæra crossing once again the Canyon of Fire, Eldgjá. The landscape changes from green meadows to black sands with bright green streaks of moss. Along the way we come to the natural pool Strútslaug, right after fording the river Hólmsá.  After warming up and relaxing in the pool we conclude the day´s march walking to the hut at Strútur where we spend the night.
Comfortable hut, WC and showers available.

Distance: 24 km         Ascent/descent: 300 m        Walking time: 7 – 8 hrs

D6: Strútur - Hvanngil
Leaving the comfortable hut we set out for the day´s trek along the Mýrdalssandur, the black volcanic sand plain. We need to cross some of the rivers and better have our river crossing shoes ready. The mystical landscape of Hvanngil valley greets us and we are yet amazed at the wonders of the Icelandic landscape.
Comfortable hut, WC and showers available.

Distance: 14-18km         Ascent/descent: 150 m        Walking time: 5 - 6 hrs

D7: Hvanngil ,Álftavatn – Reykjavík
After breakfast we pack our things and get ready for the day´s hike exploring the side trails of the Laugavegur hiking trail. We proceed along the river Kaldaklofskvísl, admiring the eerie green Stórasúla mountain on the other side.The river winds along and after a climb up the small pass of Brattháls we see lake Álftavatn “Swan lake”. Here we get onto the bus for Reykjavík, taking leave of our guide and the hikers continuing on the Volcanic Trails for the last section. Arrival in Reykjavík at 19.00 where the tour ends at the Reykjavík Bus Terminal.

Distance: 5 – 7 km     Ascent/descent: 300 m        Walking time: 3 – 4 hrs

Please note

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

What's included?

Guide during the trek (until noon on day 7)
Food for 7 days (from lunch day 1 to lunch day 7)
Sleeping bag accommodation in dormitory (sleeping bags not included) for 6 nights
Transfer from Reykjavík to Sveinstindur and from Álftavatn/Hvanngil to Reykjavík
Cooking gear and transfer of luggage.

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
  • Socks – Wool or synthetic. Two or three pairs. 
  • Warm hat. 

  • Other gear:
  • A duffel bag for the transport of your overnight gear between huts. Please avoid bringing a suitcase! (not necessary for IMG35-Þórsmörk-Skógar).
  • Backpack for extra clothes and food during the day. 25 – 40L (1500 – 2500 cu in)  (For IMG35- Þórsmörk- Skógar 30-45L (1850-2750 cu in)
  • 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. (not necessary for IMG35-Þórsmörk-Skógar).
  • Light Sleeping bag. (For IMG35 Þórsmörk-Skógar only: only sleeping bag liner is needed as a basic sleeping bag is stored in the huts so you will not need ot carry a sleeping bag).
  • Towel – light weight and packable. 
  • Sunglasses & sun protection. 
  • Water container – thermos flask or water bottle 0,5 – 1L. 
  • Headlamp for reading and getting around the hut. 
  • Casual clothes / change of clothes for wearing in the hut.
  • Personal first aid kit – including blister care. 
  • Prescription medication and other personal health items.
  • Toiletries; Toothbrush, toothpaste etc. 

Optional gear:

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

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