Fimmvorduhals Trail from Thorsmork to Skogar | Three Day Hiking Tour
Hike one of the most beautiful and best-known treks in Iceland on this three-day tour. If you have a passion for hiking and seek to immerse yourself in Iceland’s magnificent Highlands, then this is the trip for you.
Your group will gather at the BSI Bus Terminal for an early departure to the valley of Þórsmörk; if you wish, you can book a pick up from your hotel to this location. Once you are all ready, you will start your journey across the beautiful South Coast of Iceland. You will have lunch when you arrive, then start the hike to the famed Fimmvörðuháls Pass.
This incredible route begins in the ‘Valley of Thor’, an otherworldly place of forests, lava, and beautiful streams, set in the shadow of three glaciers. After hiking in the valley, you'll reach the first of the mountain huts in which you’ll be staying; then it’s time to relax and enjoy the scenery.
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.
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.
This tour takes you across rivers and requires up to seven hours hiking a day, but you do not need a wealth of experience to join; you simply need to be at least sixteen, in good health and prepared for the trip of a lifetime.
Do not miss this awe-inspiring tour; hike along one of Iceland’s most famous trails and through one of its most beautiful regions. Check availability by choosing a date.
- Available: Jun. - Aug.
- Duration: 3 days
- Activities: Hiking, Sightseeing
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Minimum age: 14 years old
- Languages: English
Nestled between the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, and Tindfjallajökull is Þórsmörk (Thor's Valley), a nature reserve in the southern Icelandic highlands. Þórsmörk is one of Iceland's most popular hiking destinations.
Strictly speaking, Þórsmörk is a valley and a mountain range between the Krossá, Þröngá, and Markarfljót rivers. Locals, however, often use the name "Þórsmörk" when referring to a much larger region that is composed of the area between Þórsmörk proper, and the Eyjafjallajökull glacier volcano.
Landscapes and Geology
Contrasting vistas of lush oases and roaring glacier rivers cutting through black desert expanses not only make Þórsmörk unique to Iceland but to the entire world. Parts of the valley are rich with moss, fern, and Birchwood, while jagged mountain ridges and ice-capped peaks crown the horizon.
The valley's climate is warmer and calmer than usual in south Iceland, which often causes Þórsmörk's mountains to be cloaked in a veil of mist that materialises when the warm valley air ascends and mixes with the descending cold breath of the glaciers above.
Þórsmörk's surrounding hills, slopes and mountains are beset with small valleys and gullies that make for some of Iceland's most astonishing hiking routes. Experienced hikers, therefore, have a wealth of trails to trek, varying in distances and difficulty. In fact, Þórsmörk offers two of the most popular trails in Iceland, the Fimmvörðuháls and the Laugavegur.
Fimmvörðuháls is a 30km trail that takes you into the hills beneath the Eyjafjallajökull glacier volcano and to the volcanic craters Magni and Móði, which are still steaming from the eruption of 2010. The 55 km Laugavegur path takes you from Þórsmörk to the Landmannalaugar geothermal area which is home to an incredible wealth of hot springs and rhyolite mountains of vibrant colours.
Accommodation and How to get there
During winter (October 16th - April 30th) the road into Þórsmörk is impassable. In summer (May 1st - October 15th) a special 4x4 mountain bus runs three times per day from the BSÍ bus terminal in central Reykjavík. Once there you have the choice setting up base in a small hut, a private room, a dormitory or in Þórsmörk's campsite. Please note that the huts, private rooms and dormitories must be booked well in advance.
Skogafoss is one of the biggest and most beautiful waterfalls of the island with an astounding width of 25 meters and a drop of 60 meters.
This is one of the most popular waterfalls in Iceland for travellers to visit. It is located in South Iceland, not far from Skogar, which itself features a highly interesting regional museum. Due to the amount of spray the waterfall often produces a single or double rainbow on sunny days.
The glacier volcano of Eyjafjallajokull (1651 m) is located at the borders of the South Icelandic highlands. It featured prominently in world news in 2010 when ash from its eruption halted air traffic in Europe.
An ice cap of about 100 km with several outlet glaciers covers the caldera of Eyjafjallajökull that stands at the height of 1651 meters. The diamaeter of its highest crater is around 3-4 km2 wide and the rim has several peaks.
Eyjafjallajokull glacier volcano lies north of Skogar, and to the west of Myrdalsjokull glacier and the massive volcano there; Katla.
Eyjafjallajokull is thought to be related geologically to Katla in Myrdalsjokull and eruptions in the former have often been followed by eruptions in the latter.
The 2010 eruptions
The end of 2010 saw some small seismic activity that gradually increased and resulted in a small eruption in March of 2010, characterized by a flow of alkani-olivine basalt lava.
This first stage lasted until April 12th and created the volcanic craters Magni and Modi at the Fimmvorduhals trail. They are so far Iceland's newest vocanic craters, and still eminate steam with lava glowing under the surface.
However it was the second phase of the eruption that started on April 14th that created the huge ash cloud that rose about 9 km into the skies.
This eruption halted air traffic in Europe for days, and its estimated that as many as 107.000 flights may have been cancelled during the week it lasted.
The ejected tephra measured around 250 million cubic meters. This ash cloud lasted for six days and some more localized disruption continued into May. The eruption was officially declared to be over in October 2010, as the snow on the glacier had ceased to melt.
Future volcanic developments?
Eyjafjallajokull erupted in years 920, 1612 and again 1821-1823.
Its latest eruptions were the two that occurred in 2010.
Future volcanic developments remain unclear. The area is still highly active and can be quite unpredictable. It continues, however, to be closely monitored by The Icelandic Meterological Office.
Myrdalsjokull is a glacier in the south of the Icelandic highlands. It is the country's fourth largest glacier, covering nearly 600 km2. It's highest peak reaches around 1500 meters. Under the icecap is the volcano Katla.
Katla is active and has had at least 16 eruptions since the year 936, usually erupting every 40-80 years. It's latest eruption was in 1918. Myrdalsjokull is to the north of the village Vik and east of the famous Eyjafjallajokull glacier volcano. The popular Fimmvorduhals trail lies between the two glaciers. Due to Eyjafjallajokull's eruption in 2010 the area is closely monitored.
Fimmvorduhals is one of Iceland's most popular hiking trails. It made the world news when the Eyjafjallajokull eruption started there in 2010.
The trail is located between glaciers Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull and lies from Skogar to Thorsmork valley. It is about 22 km long, reaching a height of 1000 m.
The trail offers breathtaking and highly varied scenery, the view down to Thorsmork and of the many waterfalls of the river Fossa being particularly beautiful. Part of the trail is snowy, as the glaciers meet at the trail. The weather can be unpredictable in these parts so caution is advised. The craters Modi and Magni at Fimmvorduhals were formed by the 2010 eruption and are as of yet Iceland's youngest craters. They eminate steam since the hardened lava is still warm and melts the snow in the area.
Magni is one of the two youngest craters in Iceland, along with Modi.
The craters are situated between glaciers Myrdalsjokull and Eyjafjallajokull and were both formed in the Eyjafjallajokull volcanic eruption in 2010. They still steam with lava glowing under the surface. From the top you'll have an excellent view of the glaciers and the beautiful Thorsmork valley.
Modi is one of the two youngest craters in Iceland, along with Magni.
These two craters are situated between glaciers Myrdalsjokull and Eyjafjallajokull and were both formed in the Eyjafjallajokull volcanic eruption in 2010. They still emanate steam with lava glowing under the surface. From the top you'll have a great view of the glaciers and the beautiful Thorsmork valley.
Skogar, in South Iceland, is a popular destination for travelers. It has a population of about 20 people, features a regional museum and and is close to the beautiful Skogafoss waterfall. The area had a region school until 1949, now run as a hotel.
The regional museum site
The museum features several buildings. The main building has many interesting artefacts but its main attraction is the eight-oar fishing ship Petursey, the best-known Icelandic ship of its kind.
There is an electicity station in the area, built in 1929. There’s also charming little schoolhouse there, built in 1901 and serving until 1907. Furthermore, there is a beautiful church there, Skogakirkja, built in the 19th century style, using material from decomissioned churches.
A transport museum at the site has a collection of vehicles, along with am exhibition on the history of transport and its development.
The timberhouse of Holt has its earliest origins in 1878 but has since been restored, with the latest restoration ocurring around 1950. The house has domestic artifacts ranging from 1870-1930. Another building, the reconstructed ‘Skalarbaer’ dates back to 1919-20 and last, but not least, is the old reconstructed turf farm of seven houses, dating back to the 19th century and with old artifacts, showcasing the farm life of the time.
There are several spectacular waterfalls in the area. The most famous, about 5 km from Skogar. is the Skogafoss waterfall, one of the highest and most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. You can walk to the top of the waterfall and on sunny days it may produce a rainbow. You can also travel by jeep to Fimmvorduhals, one of Iceland’s most popular hiking routes. The volcanic glaciers Myrdalsjokull (home to Katla volcano) and Eyjafjallajokull are not far off, the latter famous for its 2010 eruption. Further north is Thorsmork, one of Iceland’s most popular sites.
Starting time : 06:50
Mountain hut accommodation
Pick up from hotel/guesthouse (costs 5000 ISK extra)
What to bring:
Shoes for crossing rivers
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.