Thrilling 4-Day Hiking Tour in Fjallabak Nature Reserve from Reykjavik

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Tour starts
Reykjavík, Iceland
Starting time
at 07:30
4 days
Ending place
Reykjavík, Iceland
Minimum age
13 years old


Discover the beauty of a captivating protected area in the Icelandic Highlands on this thrilling hiking tour in Fjallabak Nature Reserve from Reykjavik. This four-day adventure is the best option for travelers looking to get up close and personal with Iceland’s nature through hiking.

The Fjallabak Nature Reserve is a breathtaking expanse known for its stunning landscapes, diverse ecosystems, and unique geological features. Established in 1979, the Fjallabak Nature Reserve aims to protect the area’s natural features so that future generations will be able to enjoy and appreciate them. To ensure the area’s protection, guests entering the Fjallabak Nature Reserve must follow a specific code.

The Fjallabak Nature Reserve measures over 47,000 hectares and over 1,640 feet (500 meters) above sea level. Though birdlife in the nature reserve is sparse, there are still 23 known nesting bird species in Fjallabak led by snow buntings. You may also see swans and red-necked phalaropes around the lakes.

One of the most striking aspects of Fjallabak is its dynamic terrain, which has been shaped by volcanic activity, glaciers, and rivers for thousands of years. Towering rhyolite mountains, painted in hues of red, yellow, and green due to mineral deposits, create a breathtaking panorama. During summer, you’ll also see vast lava fields, serene lakes, cascading waterfalls, and expansive moors covered in vibrant wildflowers.

Visitors to the Fjallabak Nature Reserve can enjoy various outdoor activities, including camping and birdwatching. However, this tour will focus on hiking, where you’ll take on the Laugavegur Trek, a renowned trail stretching approximately 55 kilometers from Landmannalaugar to Thorsmörk.

Interestingly, this trail cuts through the heart of the reserve, giving you awe-inspiring views of its diverse terrain. Along the way, travelers encounter steaming geothermal vents, tranquil hot springs, and crystal-clear streams.

In this four-day adventure, you’ll also visit Selfoss and Hveragerdi, two fascinating towns in the region. You’ll also enter Landmannalaugar, a stunning hiking area that’s also known for its natural hot spring bathing.

Aside from conquering hiking trails, the tour will also take you to a mountain climbing experience. You’ll climb until you reach the summit of the highest mountain in the Fjallabak region before descending to a lake for a refreshing bath.

You’ll also explore a beautiful canyon before admiring some of the most impressive waterfalls in the area.

Don’t miss this golden opportunity to experience one of Iceland’s most stunning nature reserves on this thrilling four-day hiking tour in Fjallabak Nature Reserve. Check availability now by choosing a date.

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Minibus transportation for 4 days
Experienced and qualified driver-guide for 4 days
Sleeping bag accommodation in Landmannahellir mountain hut, in a dormitory for 3 nights
Full board from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 4



Daily itinerary

Day 1
The Fjallabak Nature Reserve is home to dramatic mountains.

Day 1 - Settling in Landmannahellir

Day one of your four-day hiking tour in Fjallabak Nature Reserve begins when you meet your friendly driver-guide in Reykjavik. They will pick you up on a minibus that will take you eastward along Highway 1 en route to Landmannahellir, a small cave at the foot of the Hellisfjall mountain.

Landmannahellir is where your cozy cabin is located. For many years, Landmannahellir served as one of the primary dwelling places for sheep gatherers during autumn. Moreover, there was a time when the cave was used as a stable that could fit around 70 to 80 horses. In 1907, the settlers built a cottage near the Landmannahellir cave.

Toward the cave’s east are the ruins of the walls that used to gather the sheep and keep them in one place. During the drive to Landmannahellir, you’ll see breathtaking mountains and the charming towns of Hveragerdi and Selfoss. Hveragerdi is often called “the Hot Spring Town” or the “Earthquake Town” because of its active geothermal and geological activity.

Located around 28 miles (45 kilometers) from Reykjavik, Hveragerdi offers some fascinating features that will surprise you. The town has steam rising from the ground, with hot springs scattered throughout the area. Meanwhile, Selfoss is a vibrant town nestled along the banks of the Olfusa river. Selfoss is also one of Iceland’s largest towns outside Reykjavik.

The town's name translates to " seal waterfall," though the town isn't home to any waterfall. Nevertheless, the town is worth visiting, considering it’s one of the region’s best cultural hubs. As you head into the Icelandic Highlands, you’ll pass through a highland road called Domadalsleid.

Before you reach your cabin, you’ll alight from your bus and hike up the Raudufossar waterfall. Translated to “red waterfalls” in Icelandic, Raudufossar is a hidden gem nestled within the landscapes of the Highlands. The waterfall measures 197 feet (60 meters) tall and offers stunning views from the top. While in the area, you can appreciate the beauty of Raudufossar and its surrounding nature while learning about its origins through your knowledgeable guide.

At the end of your first day in Iceland, you’ll head to your cabin in Landmannahellir, which will also be your home for the next three nights.

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Day 2
Iceland's highlands have many dramatic rivers.

Day 2 - From Landmannahellir To Landmannalaugar and Back

On day two of your four-day hiking tour in Fjallabak Nature Reserve, you’ll ride your trusty minibus toward the geological wonder called Landmannalaugar. The name Landmannalaugar translates to "the people's pools," referencing the natural hot springs surrounded by rugged landscape.

Landmannalaugar is also known for its stunning and colorful rhyolite mountains, showing the dynamic relations between volcanic activity and glacial erosion. As you appreciate the mountains of Landmannalaugar, you’ll see vibrant hues ranging from deep reds to bright yellows, greens, and blues.

These fascinating mixes of colors create a breathtaking panorama. Interestingly, the mountains’ colors result from the region’s geothermal activity, which has led to the formation of various minerals and rocks over time. To further appreciate Landmannalaugar’s beauty, you’ll go through the adventurous Laugavegur trail, passing through Blagil, before going up to the colorful Brennisteinsoldu mountain.

With a name translated as “sulfur wave” in English because of the vibrant array of colors ranging from fiery reds to sulfur yellows on its slopes, Brennisteinsoldu mountain is one sight to behold. Standing at an impressive elevation of 2,805 feet (855 meters), the Brennisteinsoldu mountain commands attention with its rugged silhouette against the Icelandic landscape.

As you climb the mountain, you’ll get closer to its geological composition, which is made up of layers of volcanic ash, lava flows, and colorful mineral deposits. These layers tell the story of the mountain's past, shaped by volcanic eruptions and glacial activity for thousands of years.

After enjoying the wonders of Brennisteinsoldu, you’ll walk down to Votugil and through the Laugahraun lava field. Laugahraun means “the hot spring lava flows” for locals because Laugahraun is actually a lava flow that extends from Brennisteinsalda to the Vondugil valley.

Laugahraun is also the name of the trail in this area. Being one of the easiest trails in Landmannalaugar, Laugahraun is perfect for first-time hikers and families with teens. As you go along the trail, you’ll see the amazing terrain of the Laugahraun lava field. Be sure to appreciate the volcanic formations and colorful rhyolite mountains around you.

After finishing your hike, you’ll head to the river for a relaxing hot bath with a cold drink in your hand. In the evening, the guide will drive you back to your cabin in Landmannahellir.

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Day 3
Steps run down the face of a mountain in Landmannalaugar.

Day 3 - Climbing Mount Lodmundur

Day three of this memorable hiking tour in Fjallabak Nature Reserve will focus on climbing Mount Lodmundur. With an elevation of 4,700 feet (1,432 meters), Mount Lodmundur is the highest peak in the Fjallabak region.

The mountain features steep hills, with the top portion having near-vertical cliffs. As you climb Mount Lodmundur, you’ll see how it commands attention with its imposing stature and dramatic silhouette against the breathtaking Icelandic landscape. Mount Lodmundur offers a challenging yet rewarding hiking experience.

As you climb up to the summit, you’ll see a variety of terrain, from rocky slopes to alpine meadows with vibrant wildflowers, particularly during summer. Be sure to take in the panoramic vistas of neighboring peaks, glacial valleys, and vast lava fields the Icelandic Highlands are known for.

The summit gives you stunning views of Lake Lodmundarvatn and the unpredictable Mount Hekla. Nicknamed “the gateway to hell,” Hekla is one of Iceland’s most explosive mountains. Mount Hekla stands 4,892 feet (1,491 meters) tall and has an elongated, ridge-like shape that stretches over 5 kilometers, making it a prominent feature in the Icelandic Highlands. You’ll also get to see the Hofsjokull, Iceland’s third-largest glacier.

Located in the mid-highlands, the Hofsjokull glacier has a circular area of 357 square miles (925 square kilometers) and close to 25 miles (40 kilometers) in diameter. In addition, you’ll get majestic views of the Kerlingarfjoll mountain range. This relatively young mountain range was formed around 10,000 years ago. Kerlingarfjoll belongs to the 39 square-mile (100 square-kilometer) Tuya volcano system.

The Kerlingarfjoll mountain range is home to many small ice caps and rhyolite mountains with beautiful colors.

After spending time at the summit of Mount Lodmundur, you’ll descend toward Löðmundarvatn or Löðmundur lake, where you’ll stop for a refreshing dip before heading back to your cabin in Landmannahellir.

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Day 4
Clouds descend on the highlands of Iceland.

Day 4 - The Journey Back to Reykjavik

On your final day in Iceland, you’ll begin your adventure-filled journey back to Reykjavik. In the morning, you’ll pack up your stuff and hike from your Landmannahellir cabin toward Sigalda, where you’ll find the Sigoldugljufur canyon. Often referred to as the "Valley of Tears," the Sigoldugljufur canyon is known for having an array of beautiful waterfalls.

As you explore the canyon, you’ll see many waterfalls, cascading down its steep, moss-covered walls into clear, blue pools below. These falls are fed by glacial meltwater and geothermal springs. As for the canyon walls, they are composed of layers of lava and volcanic ash.

Mosses and small plants thrive in the moist environment, adding vibrant green hues contrasting with the dark rock and the sparkling blue water. You’ll explore the canyon for about an hour before heading to two majestic waterfalls: Haifoss and Granni.

Translated to “high waterfall” in Icelandic, Haifoss measures 400 feet (122 meters) tall and is fed by the Fossa river. The waterfall plunges over a dramatic cliff into a deep, rocky gorge, creating a spectacular sight that captivates visitors. On the other hand, Granni, which translates to “neighbor” in Icelandic, is a smaller waterfall beside Haifoss.

Though Granni is less powerful than Haifoss, it complements the beauty of Haifoss and completes the panoramic view when standing above the two waterfalls.

If there’s still enough time, you’ll also visit Gjain, a small valley rich in various landscapes and geological wonders formed by lava. After about three hours of active walking, you’ll return to Reykjavik and end your four-day Icelandic adventure.

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What to bring

Weather-appropriate clothes (preferably
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 rain gear 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.
A duffel bag for your overnight gear. Don't use 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 with blister care.
Prescription medication and other personal health items.
Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap etc.
Walking pole(s) (Optional)
Gaiters (recommended for departures in June)
Pen knife. (Optional)
Sun/rain Hat or a Cap. (Optional)
Shorts Thermal mat (for lunch breaks). (Optional)
Puffy jacket (e.g. Primaloft or down) (Optional)
Camera, spare batteries and a memory card or films.
Charging bank / -s
Dry-bags for electronics and extra clothing.
Slippers for indoor use.
Aperitif or other heart-warming spirits.

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