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6 Days of Hiking on Iceland’s Laugavegur Trail

Iceland’s Laugavegur Trail is a popular destination for hikers from around the world, known for its stunning landscapes and challenging terrain. The trail covers 55 kilometers (34 miles) of rugged wilderness and typically takes 4-6 days to complete. Here is a suggested itinerary for a 6-day hike along the Laugavegur Trail:

Day 1: Landmannalaugar to Hrafntinnusker

The hike begins in Landmannalaugar, a geothermal area in the highlands of Iceland. From there, the trail climbs up to Hrafntinnusker, a mountain hut at an elevation of 1,100 meters (3,600 feet). The first day is one of the most challenging, with steep ascents and descents through rocky terrain.

Day 2: Hrafntinnusker to Álftavatn

The second day of the hike is slightly easier, with a gradual descent through volcanic ash fields and colorful mountains. The trail passes by the beautiful Hrafntinnusker Lake and the picturesque Jökultungur area before arriving at the Álftavatn hut.

Day 3: Álftavatn to Emstrur

The third day of the hike takes you through the scenic Hvanngil Valley and over Brattháls Ridge. The trail then descends to the Emstrur hut, which is located near the Markarfljót River and offers stunning views of the surrounding glaciers.

Day 4: Emstrur to Þórsmörk

The fourth day of the hike is one of the most diverse, as you pass through a variety of landscapes including the black sand desert of Mýrdalssandur, the verdant forest of Þórsmörk, and the glacial rivers of Krossá and Þröngá. The trail ends at the Þórsmörk hut, where you can relax and enjoy the stunning surroundings.

Day 5: Rest day in Þórsmörk

On the fifth day, take a break from hiking and explore the beautiful Þórsmörk valley. You can take a dip in the natural hot springs, hike to nearby glaciers, or simply relax and soak in the stunning scenery.

Day 6: Þórsmörk to Skógar

The final day of the hike is the longest, covering a distance of 22 kilometers (14 miles) from Þórsmörk to Skógar. The trail passes by several waterfalls, including the famous Skógafoss, before arriving at the small town of Skógar, where you can celebrate your accomplishment with a well-deserved meal and drink.

Hiking the Laugavegur Trail is a challenging but rewarding experience that offers some of the most breathtaking scenery in Iceland. With the right preparation and a sense of adventure, this 6-day hike is sure to be an unforgettable journey.

How to get to Laugavegur Trail

To get to the Laugavegur Trail, you will first need to arrive in Iceland. The country’s main international airport is Keflavik Airport, located about 50 kilometers (31 miles) southwest of Reykjavik. From there, you can take a bus or rent a car to reach the starting point of the trail in Landmannalaugar.

There are several companies that offer bus transportation to Landmannalaugar, including Reykjavik Excursions and Trex. The journey takes around 4-5 hours and includes several stops along the way to take in the stunning Icelandic scenery.

If you prefer to rent a car, you can do so from Keflavik Airport or from Reykjavik. The drive to Landmannalaugar takes around 3-4 hours, depending on road conditions and weather.

It’s important to note that the Laugavegur Trail is only open during the summer months, typically from mid-June to mid-September. During this time, there are also several tour companies that offer guided hikes along the trail, which can be a good option for those who prefer a more structured experience.

What to pack for Laugavegur Trek?

When hiking the Laugavegur Trail, it’s important to pack wisely to ensure that you have all the necessary gear while also keeping your backpack as light as possible. Here are some essential items to bring on your 6-day hike:

  1. Hiking boots: A sturdy pair of hiking boots with good ankle support is essential for the rocky and uneven terrain of the Laugavegur Trail.
  2. Waterproof clothing: Iceland’s weather can be unpredictable, so it’s important to bring waterproof gear including a rain jacket, rain pants, and a waterproof backpack cover.
  3. Warm layers: Even in the summer months, temperatures can drop quickly in the highlands of Iceland, so bring warm layers including a fleece jacket, hat, and gloves.
  4. Tent and sleeping bag: If you plan to camp along the trail, you will need to bring a lightweight tent and sleeping bag. Keep in mind that the weather can be harsh, so choose a tent that is sturdy and waterproof.
  5. Food and cooking supplies: There are huts along the trail where you can buy food, but it’s also a good idea to bring some lightweight and high-energy snacks such as nuts, dried fruit, and energy bars. If you plan to cook your own meals, bring a lightweight camping stove, fuel, and cooking utensils.
  6. Water bottle and filter: There are several streams and rivers along the trail where you can refill your water bottle, but it’s important to bring a filter or purification tablets to ensure that the water is safe to drink.
  7. First aid kit: A basic first aid kit with items such as bandages, pain relievers, and blister pads can be helpful in case of injury or discomfort.
  8. Map and compass: While the Laugavegur Trail is well-marked, it’s still a good idea to bring a map and compass in case of emergency or if you need to navigate off-trail.

By packing these essential items, you can ensure that you are well-prepared for the challenging and rewarding experience of hiking the Laugavegur Trail.

Activities to combine with the Laugavegur trek in Iceland

Iceland is a beautiful country with many unique and exciting experiences to offer beyond the Laugavegur Trail. Here are some other things you can consider combining with your trek:

  1. Explore Reykjavik: Iceland’s capital city is a vibrant and cosmopolitan destination with plenty of things to see and do. Visit the iconic Hallgrimskirkja church, stroll along the waterfront, and soak in one of the city’s famous geothermal pools.
  2. Visit the Golden Circle: This popular tourist route includes stops at some of Iceland’s most stunning natural attractions, including the Geysir geothermal area, Gullfoss waterfall, and Thingvellir National Park.
  3. Relax in a hot spring: Iceland is famous for its many hot springs and geothermal pools. After a long day of hiking, unwind in one of the country’s many natural hot springs such as the famous Blue Lagoon.
  4. Go whale watching: Iceland’s coastal waters are home to a variety of whale species, and several companies offer whale-watching tours from Reykjavik and other coastal towns.
  5. Take a glacier tour: Iceland is home to several glaciers, and many tour companies offer guided glacier hikes and ice cave tours.

Note: To Experience the Northern Lights: You must visit Iceland in the winter months

By combining your Laugavegur Trail trek with some of these other Icelandic experiences, you can make the most of your time in this unique and unforgettable country.