Wild 7-Day Highlands Hiking Tour of Laugavegur Trail with South Coast from Reykjavik

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Tour starts
Reykjavík, Iceland
Starting time
at 07:00
7 days
Ending place
Reykjavík, Iceland
June - Sept.
Minimum age
14 years old


Journey along the world-renowned Laugavegur trail on this multi-day hiking tour that explores the most breathtaking sights in the Highlands of Iceland. Travelers seeking a wild hiking adventure around colorful mountains, glaciers, and bubbling hot springs should book this unforgettable tour.

The multi-day hike in Iceland begins in Reykjavik, with a morning pick-up in the city’s tourist information center. Your experienced guide will brief you on everything you need to know about the tour, including the itinerary along the 34 miles (55 kilometers) Laugavegur hiking trail.

Your first hike is at the Landmannalaugar area of the Fjallabak Nature Reserve, the starting point of the Laugavegur trail and 121 miles (195 kilometers) from Reykjavik. The first day will take you to Iceland’s most colorful rhyolite mountains, the expansive Laugahraun lava field, and the enormous Brennisteinsalda volcano.

The day concludes with a sumptuous dinner and a peaceful night’s rest in a Landmannalaugar mountain hut. You’ll spend every night of this tour resting in different cozy mountain huts, where you will also prepare your meals. 

Days two and three involve a hiking adventure around the diverse terrain of Alftavatn lake, where you will see dramatic changes in landscapes. The peaceful lake of Alftavatn is the perfect place for birdwatching because it’s swarming with the rich wildlife of ducks and birds. 

From here, the small-group tour will proceed to visit more Icelandic geological wonders. The day’s highlight is a trip to the lonely mountain of Maelifell, set against the black sands of the Maelifellssandur volcanic desert.

Days four and five present a more challenging yet rewarding hiking experience as you pass near the enormous Myrdalsjokull glacier and the famous Fimmvorduhals pass. On the fifth day, you’ll reach the green oasis of Thorsmork Nature Reserve, arguably the highlight of the hiking tour on the Laugavegur trail.

Sometimes referred to as ‘The Hidden Valley of Thor,’ the Thorsmork valley is the defining spot to see Iceland’s most contrasting sceneries. You will marvel at views of towering mountains, complex river systems, black desert sands, volcanic craters, mighty glaciers, and even a lush birch forest.   

The scenic landscapes around the Thorsmork valley will encapsulate your entire hiking trip. These mountain ridges are the perfect spot to take unforgettable photos of the Highlands. 

The last two days of the tour are less adventurous but equally thrilling. Day six will still be at the valley but has room for flexibility, whether you prefer to roam around the valley or explore the Katla volcano nearby. 

To end the seven-day hiking tour on a high note, day seven will bring you to South Coast’s most visited attractions. You will hike atop Solheimajokull glacier and see its rugged formations. 

Soon after, before returning to Reykjavik, full of great photos and memories, the tour will have the last stop at the majestic Skogafoss waterfall.

Join the most unforgettable hiking adventure on Iceland’s Laugavegur trail to witness the Highland’s most beautiful sceneries, from  Alftavatn lake to Thorsmork Nature Reserve and Fimmvorduhals pass.  

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Transportation from Reykjavik
Experienced English-speaking guides
Accommodation in mountain huts for five nights
Hotel accommodation for one night (day six)
Glacier hiking equipment
Luggage transport from hut to hut
Small group tour (maximum of 16)
Space for one small day bag and one larger bag (up to 44 lbs/20 kgs)


Glacier Hiking
Hot Spring Bathing

Daily itinerary

Day 1
Landmannalaugar is the starting point of the Laugavegur trail where you'll see colorful rhyolite mountains and bubbling geothermal springs.

Day 1 - Landmannalaugar Rhyolite Mountains

The seven-day Laugavegur hiking tour begins as you meet your guide and small hiking group in Reykjavik’s tourist information center. From here, you will set off on your wild hiking tour across the Highlands of Iceland’s top attractions.

The entry point of this hiking route in Iceland is the Landmannalaugar area, 121 miles (195 kilometers) from Reykjavik. En route to this location, you’ll see breathtaking views of different landscapes, such as Mount Hekla, one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes.

As you start the hiking expedition in Landmannalaugar, many geological formations await you. This area of the Fjallabak Nature Reserve is known for its geothermal baths, a reason why it was named the ‘people’s pools.’ If the conditions are right, you’ll get a chance for geothermal bathing.

Apart from the Icelandic hot spring bathing, the defining features of this area are its colorful rhyolite mountains. The spectrum of colors on the surface of these mountains, from green, yellow, and red, can rival that of Peru’s Rainbow Mountain. While hiking around these magnificent views, make sure to snap some photos.

You’ll witness more diverse scenic landscapes as you hike along the Landmannalaugar trail. The expanse of the obsidian Laugahraun lava field offers a refreshing and contrasting view from the colorful rhyolite mountains.

The volcano that created the lava field, Brennisteinsalda volcano, is towering nearby at 2805 feet (855 meters). The volcano’s body is rich in sulphuric deposits and has a colorful surface of ash black, red iron, and vibrant green. Because of this, the Brennisteinsalda volcano is called the ‘Sulphur Wave.’

After hiking the entire afternoon, you’ll spend the night relaxing at a remote mountain hut in Landmannalaugar. The mountain hut is also where the group will prepare and cook dinner.

While the hut isn’t as convenient as a five-star hotel, it’s the ideal place for a night’s sleep, surrounded by stunning mountains. Just what you need for another hiking adventure the next day.

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Day 2
The Alftavatn lake is an oasis for many bird species in the Highlands of Iceland.

Day 2 - Landmannalaugar to Alftavatn Lake

The second day of your hiking tour on the Laugavegur trail begins early with an Icelandic breakfast prepared by the whole group. After a night’s rest and a tasty meal, you’re now ready for another day of exciting adventure.

The first stop of the day is at the Hrafntinnusker desert. The volcanic black desert is bizarre yet beautiful, something you can always say about the land of fire and ice.

Soon after, you’ll reach the snow-capped Reykjafjoll mountains, where you can get a great view of the valley you’ll explore next. Then, as you slowly descend from the mountains, you’ll reach the Jokultungur valley. Although the valley isn’t as famous as the other stops on this hiking tour, the place is just as beautiful with its vibrant flora.

As you go deeper into the Jokultungur valley, you’ll notice gradual changes in the scenery. From vibrant colors, the valley will turn paler and darker.

With good weather permitting, you’ll reach the summit of Mt. Haskerdingur at 3385 feet (1032 meters) elevation. Otherwise, you’ll continue hiking to the summit of Jokultungur mountain. Both peaks offer an exceptional view of the whole Fjallabak Nature Reserve, from mountains of different colors and nearby Icelandic glaciers.

As you descend from the mountains and before reaching the lake, you’ll go over the Grashagakvisl river. The river serves as an oasis in an environment full of enormous snow-capped mountains and obsidian deserts.

Before the night approaches, you’ll reach the day’s final destination at Alftavatn lake. Although in a very remote location, the lake is a renowned birdwatching spot to see different species of waterfowl, birds, and whooper swans. This thriving birdlife on a lake surrounded by barren landscapes is a testament to how diversely beautiful Iceland is.

For the second day of the hiking tour, your group covered roughly 15 miles (24 kilometers) of the Laugavegur trail. The day ends with a full dinner and peaceful sleep in a mountain hut along the banks of Alftavatn lake.

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Day 3
The iconic Maelifell volcano at the center of Maelifellssandur black desert is one of the most beautiful scenes in Iceland.

Day 3 - Alftavatn Lake To Emstrur Valley

Day three begins where your day two ended. At Alftavatn lake, the small-group tour will prepare another Icelandic breakfast. By this time, you have already spent quite a bit of time with other hikers, so preparing meals and hiking will be extra fun moving forward.

Your day will cover slightly fewer hiking trails than the previous day, trekking an estimated 9.5 miles (15 kilometers), but the hike to Emstrur valley and Botnar is filled with distinctive volcanic formations.

Storasula mountain is the first attraction you’ll see on the third day of your Laugavegur hike tour in the Highlands of Iceland. Equally stunning mountains may surround it, but Storasula mountain is easy to spot due to its distinctive cone shape and emerald green surface.

Not far from here is the otherworldly beauty of the Maelifellssandur desert. The volcanic desert is a sight to behold with its jet-black sand and the glacial streams intersecting it in different directions.

But arguably, the most beautiful part of this view is the Maelifell volcano. This volcano is covered with grasses and stands lonely yet proudly at the center of the black desert. Seeing this whole image is more than awe-inspiring and is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for you to remember.

Mount Maelifell used to be hidden under the mighty Myrdalsjokull glacier but is now entirely visible for you to marvel at any time.

Before retreating to a hut in Botnar, you’ll hike through to two more locations.

After seeing primarily barren lands the entire day, you’ll arrive at the small farming valley of Emstrur. Traditionally, this area is a grazing farm to raise sheep. It is now a common refuge for travelers traversing the Laugavegur trail.

The final stop of the day is at the Markarfljotsgljufur canyon. The canyon is 656 feet (200 meters) deep and is said to be formed by the Katla volcano’s massive eruption a few thousand years ago. Then the Markarfljot river that runs on it until today further carved it out.

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Day 4
Thorsmork Nature Reserve is a thriving green paradise in the Highlands.

Day 4 - Emstrur Valley to Thorsmork Nature Reserve

On the fourth day of the small-group hiking tour, you’ll finally reach one of the Laugavegur trail’s highlights, Thorsmork valley. Before arriving there, you must journey 9.5 miles (15 kilometers) in the rugged region of the Icelandic Highlands.

The day begins with your small group preparing breakfast in the Botnar mountain hut.

After, as you go deeper into Iceland’s Highlands, the presence of the Myrdalsjokull glacier will be more noticeable. The gigantic glacier covering nearly 232 square miles (600 square kilometers) is Iceland’s fourth largest ice cap.

For most people, the glacier might be known as the location of the notorious Katla volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in Iceland. On this Iceland hiking tour, you’ll have the best chance to see its immense beauty.

On your way to the Thorsmork valley, you’ll pass by a weirdly-shaped mountain called Mount Einhyrningur. It is often described as a unicorn-shaped mountain because of its protruding horn-like formation near the base.

The mountain, which stands at 2460 feet (750 meters), is a famous landmark for those traveling the Emstruleid mountain road.

The day’s hike is relatively easy compared to the previous days as you’ll walk mostly on flat lands. The Markarfljot river guides the Laugavegur trail on these plains.

After a short while, you’ll finally see a dense paradise of birch forest and lush vegetation of shrubs. This view signals that you have reached the Thorsmork valley.

Thorsmork Nature Reserve, also known as the Valley of Thor, is an oasis in the rough terrain of the Southern Highlands. The valley is also between Tindfjallajokull and Eyjafjallajokull glacier volcanoes. So you’ll get a good glimpse of these landscapes while there.

As you spend the night in a Thorsmork mountain hut, you’ll learn more about the myth surrounding Thor’s valley.

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Day 5
The Fimmvorduhals pass is one of the most popular hiking trails in Iceland.

Day 5 - Magni and Modi Volcano and Fimmvorduhals Pass

Day five of the seven-day tour begins on a high note as you get a better view of the Thorsmork valley. The viewing experience is further enhanced as you munch on another Icelandic breakfast your hiking tour group prepared.

For today’s 10 miles (16 kilometers) hiking activity, you’ll be witnessing up close why Iceland is a land of active geological activities.

You’ll spend a few hours hiking on the Fimmvorduhals pass, one of Iceland’s most popular hiking trails. This mountain pass is an excellent spot to see and take photos of the Myrdalsjokull glacier and Eyjafjallajokull glacier volcano.

The Fimmvorduhals hiking trail can be separately explored with a day tour, usually starting at the Skogafoss waterfall. But as part of a multi-day tour Laugavegur trek, your starting point is the Thorsmork Nature Reserve.

The highlight of your trek in the mountain pass is a view of the Magni and Modi craters. The two craters, named after the two sons of the Norse god Thor, are Iceland’s two youngest craters.

Created in 2010, when the infamous eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano happened, Magni and Modi craters prove how powerful nature is. They are a testament to how Iceland is one of the most active volcanic regions in the world. Today, the two craters offer an incredible viewing experience.

Apart from stunning views of craters, glaciers, and mountains, you’ll also see more diverse formations here. These excellent views include a frozen lava waterfall, a unique Icelandic formation you’ll only see in very few locations.

After spending the afternoon in amazement at these sceneries, you’ll head back to Thorsmork valley to have a great evening.

To make the most of your stay in the area, your hiking group will prepare a special dinner that might include grilled lamb meat. Once satisfied, you’ll sleep in a Thorsmork hut, still euphoric from the day’s adventure.

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Day 6
The gigantic Mount Katla is one of the most active volcanoes in the land of fire and ice.

Day 6 - Thorsmork Nature Reserve to Hella

The sixth day of the Laugavegur hiking tour is your last day in the Highlands, but definitely not the least amazing.

After spending the last five days hiking on easy and rough terrains, the group might need a more easygoing adventure. So for this day, you can choose a more flexible itinerary.

Your first option is to explore more of Thorsmork valley’s hidden beauty. The few hours you previously spent around the area might not be enough to capture its magnificence. So you may have an entire day around the site.

The nature reserve features many hiking trails of different difficulty levels. You can even have trail running activities on specific courses here. Besides the Laugavegur trail and Fimmvorduhals pass, there is another renowned trekking area in the valley called the Thorsgata volcano trail.

Meanwhile, if you want a panoramic view of the whole Thorsmork Nature Reserve and its surrounding landscapes, you might hike up to the summit of Valahnukur mountain. This mountain sits at an elevation level of roughly 3280 feet (1000 meters), giving you the best spot to take photos and see the landscapes.

If you’re still up to more thrilling adventures, your other option is to visit Katla volcano and Eyjafjallajokull volcano. These glacier volcanoes are very close to the valley, and you can hike towards their surrounding area for a better view.

The day ends as you leave the Laugavegur trail and Thorsmork Nature Reserve, full of great photos and unforgettable memories. Your small-group hiking tour will proceed to the small town of Hella, where you will spend the night in a cozy hotel for tomorrow’s great adventure on the South Coast.

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Day 7
Skogafoss waterfall is a beautiful gem in the South Coast.

Day 7 - Iceland’s South Coast with Glacier Hiking

The last day of your seven-day tour is a bonus exploration of more Iceland attractions away from the Highlands of Iceland. This time, you have the best opportunity to visit South Coast’s most beautiful landscapes.

The first attraction you’ll see on this day is the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, one of Iceland’s most famous waterfalls. This waterfall is always included in South Coast tours because not only is it beautiful, but it is also close to Iceland’s ring road.

The Seljalandsfoss waterfall cascades beautifully from a drop of 200 feet (60 meters). Around its waters is a distinctive path that allows for sightseeing from a 360-degree view.

Just 25 miles (40 kilometers) from the waterfall is the Solheimajokull glacier, your second stop on the South Coast. This outlet glacier is part of Iceland’s fourth largest ice cap, the Myrdalsjokull glacier.

Solheimajokull glacier measures five miles (eight kilometers) long, just the perfect length for a thrilling glacier hiking adventure. But more than its size, the South Coast glacier has an impressive surface that is hard to find elsewhere.

As you arrive at the glacier’s base camp, your experienced tour guide will provide all the information and equipment you need for an unforgettable glacier hiking tour. While atop the icy wonders of Solheimajokull glacier, you’ll see its colorful formations, from crevasses to ridges and moulins.

After an hour of glacier hiking, the tour will have its last stop in one of Iceland’s most majestic waterfalls.

The Skogafoss waterfall is massive as it is beautiful, with a width of up to 82 feet (25 meters) cascading from a cliff of 197 feet (60 meters). If you’re visiting on a sunny day with luck on your side, you might even see a double rainbow shooting from its waters toward the sky.

The waterfall has view decks above and underneath. Some photos here will make the perfect opportunity to cap off your seven-day Highlands hiking tour of the Laugavegur trail with sightseeing on the South Coast.

The day ends as you return to Reykjavik with a lifetime of memories to cherish.

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What to bring

Sturdy and waterproof hiking boots (with sufficient ankle support and robust sole)
Thermal underwear made of wool or synthetic (top and bottom wear)
Thermal mid-layer made of wool or fleece
Hiking pants and socks (three pairs for socks)
Waterproof and breathable jacket like Gore-Tex (preferably with a hood)
Waterproof gloves and mittens made of wool or synthetic
Winter hat or balaclava
Day backpack (25-40 L) 
Travel sack or duffel bag for baggage that is transported between huts (suitcases are not recommended)
River crossing shoes or sandals (quick-drying)
Sleeping bag and travel pillow
Tooth brush & personal toiletries
Sunglasses & sunscreen
Water bottle (one to two liters capacity)
Hiking poles and gaiters (recommended)
Camera, batteries, earplugs, & power bank
Headlamp for trips in late season (after August 10th)
Pen knife
Book and playing cards (optional)

Good to know

-Minimum age to join the hiking tour is 14.

-Accommodation for days one to five is at different mountain huts, while day six is at a hotel.

-Facilities of the mountain huts are shared, including rooms and bathrooms. The use of a shower includes a minimal fee.

-Water, meals, and refreshments are provided in the mountain huts. All hikers, including the guide, will prepare the meals.

-The standard menu incorporates dairy, meat, and bread products. Special extra food can be purchased for those with allergies and dietary requirements upon booking.

-There are no power outlets and Wi-Fi in the mountain huts.

-Each traveler is allocated a small backpack and one piece of luggage weighing up to 44 lbs (20 kgs). Extra baggage can be stored in the tour operator's Reykjavik office for a minimal fee.

-Sleeping bags can be rented upon booking.

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