3-Day Fimmvörðuháls Trek in Huts - Part 2

3-Day Fimmvörðuháls Trek in Huts - Part 2
3-Day Fimmvörðuháls Trek in Huts - Part 2
3-Day Fimmvörðuháls Trek in Huts - Part 2
3-Day Fimmvörðuháls Trek in Huts - Part 2
3-Day Fimmvörðuháls Trek in Huts - Part 2
3-Day Fimmvörðuháls Trek in Huts - Part 2
3-Day Fimmvörðuháls Trek in Huts - Part 2
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This hike over Fimmvörðuháls is probably the best known in Iceland, along with the Laugavegur trek. This popular trail marks the sighting of the first phase of the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. Since then, the Fimmvörðuháls hike has become a real hot spot showcasing spectacular nature and exciting geological features. The trail goes from the nature reserve of Þórsmörk, up between the two glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull, then travels over the newly batch of formed lava. From there, we travel pass the two newest craters Magni and Móði formed in the eruption, before descending to the lowlands on the southern side. Afterward, we are finally greeted by the great Skógarfoss waterfall with the Atlantic coast residing in a short distance. This astonishing diversity makes this short trek another favorite in Iceland. Accommodation in mountain huts dormitory style and sleeping bags are included. This tour can be added countiousily to the 5-day Laugavegur Trail from Landmannalaugar to Þórsmörk for a 7-day full Laugavegur Trek experience. Note that the tour has no transportation of luggage and is therefore light backpacking.

Total walking distance: 22 km. (13,6 miles)

Altitude: 150-1100 m. (490-3600 feet)

Maximum Ascent: 1000 m. (3280 feet)

Day 1: Reykjavík - Þórsmörk 

From the Reykjavik BSI bus terminal we take the regular public bus at 08:00 am to the beautiful Þórsmörk valley behind the glaciers in the south highlands. We arrive in Þórsmörk around noon and after lunch we’ll have the opportunity to explore this natural wonder and enjoy the picturesque scenery. Night in one of the huts in Þórsmörk. Note: you will meet your guide and some of the group members in Þórsmörk - the bus ride is therefore unguided.

Day 2: Þórsmörk - Fimmvörðuháls

Leaving Þórsmörk we cross the river Krossá on a footbridge entering the magic landscapes of Goðalönd – the abode of the Gods. Nesting at the foot of two glaciers this is a wonderland of ridges and cliffs covered by a multitude of flowers and grasses, certainly fit for gods and humans alike. Even the elves have made themselves at home here. We continue up the hills leading to the pass of Fimmvörðuháls, walking along the Kattarhryggir ridges with views to the impressive mountain of Útigönguhöfði up to Morinsheiði heath. A the end of the Morinsheiði plateu we enjoy the view of the lava stream that flowed down from the Fimmvörðuháls volcano in March and early April 2010. The lava is all set with different outlets of fuming steam and decorated with green and yellow sulphur. As we gain height above Morinsheiði we come again to the lava and then to the two craters Magni and Móði that erupted prior to the main Eyjafjallajökull crater. We cross the brand new lava just at the foot of the magnificent red craters, through places were the lava is almost glowing warm inside the fissures and cracks on its surface. After crossing safely the lava we get a view to the lava and the craters from a hill on the other side, before crossing the néves of the high pass of Fimmvörðuháls, to get to the hut between the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull, where we set up for the night.

Distance:12-14 km (7-9 mi)            Walking time: 6-7 hrs                                  Ascent: 900 m (2953’)

Day 3: Fimmvörðuháls - Skógar - Reykjavík 

After a night between the two glaciers we head down to Skógar. At the beginning, the path takes us over a desolate heath an old hut that does not offer much shelter any more. We come to the Skógaá River and follow the river exploring its many hidden gorges, and waterfalls all the way to the famous Skógafoss waterfall. The river and its surroundings offer great scenery. The coast seems to be within arm´s reach and you can almost feel the surf on your cheeks. Arriving at Skógafoss, we hop on the scheduled bus to Reykjavík. Arrival at Reykjavik BSI bus terminal at 7:20 pm, where the trip ends.

Distance:12-13km (7-8 mi)              Walking time: 6-7 hrs                              Descent: 1000 m (3280’)

Quick facts

Tour information:
Pickup information:
  • Pickup time : 06:50

Please be at your pickup location in time for your departure. Should your pickup location be at a bus stop and you need assistance finding it, seek guidance in your Hotel's reception or contact your tour provider directly.

  • Guide for 3 days

  • Public transportation to and from Reykjavík

  • Food for 3 days (from lunch day 1 to lunch day 3)

  • Accommodation in Mountain Huts, dormitory style

  • Transfer of luggage

  • Sleeping bags

  • Pick up from hotel/guesthouse (costs 5000 ISK extra)

What 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, e.g. Gore-Tex or comparable. 

  • Rain trousers – windproof, waterproof and breathable. Please note that full raingear is mandatory in Iceland. 

  • Gloves – Wool or synthetic 2 pairs of different thickness. 

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

  • Warm hat – Wool or synthetic. 

  • Other gear:

  • A duffel bag for the transport of your overnight gear between huts. Please avoid bringing a suitcase! 

  • Backpack for extra clothes and food during the day. 25 – 40L (1500 – 2500 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. 

  • Light 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, soap etc. 

  • Earplugs

  • Optional gear:

  • Walking pole(s) - recommended.

  • 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. 

  • Slippers for indoor use. 

  • Aperitif or other heart-warming spirits.

Good to know:

This tour requires you to cross rivers, so ensure you bring appropriate footwear, with good grip, to do this. It is advised to bring sturdy sandals or old trainers for this.

The tour starts and ends at the central bus station in Reykjavík (BSÍ), meeting time is at 7:15 am. Pick up from hotel or guesthouse at the beginning of the tour can be added for an extra fee.

All of the mountain huts are heated, some have electricity and some have hot water. They have bunk rooms with single and twin beds, participants have to be prepared to share a bunk with other travelers from the group.

Daily itinerary

Day 1 - The South Coast to Þórsmörk

A birds-eye-view of glacier rivers cutting through the Highlands of Iceland.

On day one, you will leave Reykjavík on a bus from the BSI Bus Terminal, and be driven to the verdant, valley of Þórsmörk.

This is an otherworldly place of forests, lava, and beautiful streams, set in the shadow of three glaciers. You'll spend all afternoon hiking in the valley, until you reach the first of the mountain huts in which you’ll be staying; then it’s time to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Day 2 - Hiking through Fimmvorðuháls

One of many geothermal hot spots in the Highlands of Iceland.

On the second day, you will cross the river Krossá into the aptly name Goðalönd, which translates to ‘the abode of the Gods’. At the foot of two glaciers, you will walk through fields of grass and flowers, along ridges and over hills, to the new lava that formed during the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. You will see several of the craters that played a part in this eruption, and will still be able to feel the heat of the lava in the newly formed rocks.

Day 3 - To Skógar and Home

An aerial view of the Highlands of Iceland.

For the final day, you will trek towards the Skógar River, and follow it to the famous Skógafoss waterfall. Along this track, you will come across many beautiful gorges and formations and pass several lesser known falls. Once you reach the destination, you will have time to enjoy the beauty of the South Coast, before hopping back on the bus to Reykjavík.

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3-Day Fimmvörðuháls Trek in Huts - Part 2
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