Once-in-a-Lifetime 4-Day Highland Hiking Tour of the Laugavegur Trail from Reykjavik
Explore the beauty of Iceland with this multi-day hiking tour listed as one of the top 20 hikes in the world by National Geographic. Travelers who love hiking to the most beautiful corners of the world should take the chance to experience Laugavegur in the Icelandic Highlands and book this small-group tour now.
There is no other hike like the Laugavegur trail. Get ready to embark on a four-day journey filled with beautiful views of glaciers, volcanoes, lakes, black sand deserts, and more.
Guests can bring one small day bag and a larger bag up to 44 lbs (20 kg).
This multi-day tour starts with a pick-up in Reykjavik. From there, it’s a four-hour drive to Laugavegur, where the hike begins. As you drive along the South Coast to the Highlands, you’ll witness awe-inspiring landscapes, including a close-up view of Hekla, one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes.
On the first day, you will be hiking for five miles (eight kilometers) in four hours. You’ll start your hike in Landmannalaugar, and over the day, you will get to see Mount Brennisteinsalda, Stori Hver hot spring, and Hrafntinnusker mountain.
On day two, the group departs Hrafntinnusker for Mount Reykjafjoll, the Jokultungur and Fjallabak areas, and Alftavatn lake. This day brings you through an obsidian desert, and you can partake in a river crossing.
Day three traverses the last black sand deserts to hike along volcanoes. You’ll get to enjoy the breathtaking views of Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull glacier before ending your day at Markarfljotsgljufur canyon.
Finally, on day four, you’ll make your way through the Emstrur area into Thorsmork valley and past Mount Einhyrningur, also known as the Unicorn Mountain. After a six-hour hike, you’ll find yourself at the trail's end, where you can celebrate and relax on the ride back to Reykjavik. For an extra highlight, you’ll get to see Seljalandsfoss as you make your way back to the city.
This unique experience includes a trained and certified guide, transport, accommodation, and all meals. Hikers should bring their sleeping gear for the mountain hut accommodation. Your guide will plan all the meals, and the group will work together to share the load during the hike.
You should bring everything you need for the journey. You will have two bags, one travel sack that will be transported between campsites, and one day pack that you will be carrying.
The Laugavegur trail is a once-in-a-lifetime hiking tour through the breathtaking Icelandic Highlands and is an experience you will never forget. Check availability now by choosing a date.
Day 1 - Reykjavik to Landmannalaugar
The first day of this multi-day hiking adventure starts with a Reykjavik pick-up. The beautiful vistas begin during the four-hour drive to Landmannalaugar, a small taste of what’s to come over the next four days. Sit back, relax as you take in the spectacular South Coast scenery, and enjoy an up-close view of Hekla volcano as the tour heads into the Highlands.
Your hike starts in Landmannalaugar, a colorful landscape of reds, greens, rolling caramel-colored peaks, and the starting point of the Laugavegur Trail. First, you’ll fuel up with lunch before hiking around 4.9 miles (eight kilometers). The afternoon trek covers about 1540 feet (470 meters) of elevation gain and should take four hours to complete.
Day one boasts several diverse natural landscapes. You’ll traverse the well-marked trail through the Laugahraun lava field and Vondugil canyon. Chunks of black lava rock interspersed with blankets of green lie on the sides of the path, with the colorful mountains rising before you.
Brennisteinsalda mountain is the most famous of this mountain range, towering 2805 feet (855 meters) overhead. This rainbow-colored mountain is also known as the “Sulphur Wave.” It gets its colors from yellow sulfur, red iron, blue and black lava and ash, and green moss.
You’ll also see the Graenagil gorge, a breathtaking green canyon, and the steam rising from the Stori Hver hot spring. With time permitting, the group can climb up Blahnjukur volcano for spectacular panoramic vistas.
After an unforgettable first day of hiking, it’s time to enjoy a delicious dinner before relaxing and getting to know fellow hikers as you settle in for the evening. You’ll stay at a mountain hut in Landmannalaugar, where you can continue to bask in this fascinating landscape's otherworldly scenery.
The afternoon’s physical exertion, combined with a tranquil setting, sets you up for a peaceful evening. Enjoy a good night’s sleep, ready for the next exciting day.
Day 2 - Landmannalaugar to Alftavatn lake
Day two of your four-day hike starts with a nourishing breakfast to set you up with the energy to enjoy the day ahead. Today you’ll enjoy spectacular views over the Fjallabaki area, covering a walking distance of 14.9 miles (24 kilometers). The walking time is between seven and eight hours, with a 2952-foot (900-meter) ascent.
The trek starts with a walk past the Stori Hver hot spring to Hrafntinnusker, a black obsidian desert. With this lunar-like landscape stretched out before you, you can enjoy the quiet serenity of the area.
Heading south, marvel at the magnificent colors of the Reykjafjoll rhyolite mountains and the Jokultungur area. Swirls of differently-toned reds and yellows adorn the gullies across this geothermal landscape, creating a perfect contrast with the surrounding caramel-colored peaks.
When you reach Jokultungur peak, there are sweeping views in every direction. You’ll be able to see lake Alftavatn, a stunning lake and the final destination on today’s itinerary. First, however, it’s time to enjoy the thrill of a river crossing. Your tour leader will guide you across for an experience you won’t forget.
Majestic scenery awaits as you arrive at Alftavatn lake. The lake is sure to be one of the trip’s highlights, and you might spot sheep grazing in the Highlands above the calm waters. With the mountains and hills casting clear reflections onto the water below, it’s a picture-perfect scene and a photographer’s dream.
Interestingly, the lake remains shallow for a long way. Wade through and check it out for yourself or relax and enjoy the lake’s hut, where you will spend the night. The facilities are excellent, with a common room to get to know other hikers and a small restaurant.
Hikers will appreciate the clean bathrooms and hot showers. Finishing with a delicious dinner and a hot shower is the ultimate way to end a fantastic day out exploring.
Day 3 - Alftavatn lake to Emstrur
Day three begins with a hearty breakfast before heading out for another fantastic day of trekking. You’ll be eager to discover today’s various natural treasures, from black sand deserts and a magnificent canyon to dramatic glacial views.
After yesterday’s ascent and considerable distance, today’s trek is gentler. The group will cover 9.5 miles (15 kilometers) over six or seven hours with only a slight descent.
Today's excursion starts with wading through another stream. After yesterday’s introduction, you’ll feel like a pro this time! As you head into volcanic terrain, Maelifellssandur, a volcanic desert, stretches before you.
Soon you’ll walk past the Storasula and Hattafell volcanoes with their green slopes contrasting against the surrounding grey volcanic landscape. As you continue along the route to Emstrur, the more famous volcano mountain glaciers, Myrdalsjokull and Eyjafjallajokull, reward hikers with spectacular views on a clear day.
Under Myrdalsjokull’s ice cap lies Katla, one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes. Rising 4961 feet (1512 meters) above sea level, Katla erupts an average of every 50 years. Its most recent eruption was in 1918, so it’s long overdue.
Eyjafjallajokull glacier volcano has links with its neighbor, Katla, although they are part of different volcanic systems. Historically, Eyjafjallajokull eruptions have triggered Katla to erupt. Eyjafjallajokull became famous when it erupted in 2010 and caused widespread disruption to air traffic across Europe.
Markarfljotsgljufur canyon is another stunning landscape you’ll witness today. This 656-foot (200-meter) boasts jaw-dropping natural beauty, so you’ll love staying in a mountain hut in this area tonight.
After another glorious day of hiking, it’s time for dinner and relaxation as you take in your incredible surroundings, the perfect place to spend the final night of your hike. Today you’ve seen volcanoes and glaciers, traversed black sand deserts, and been up close to a majestic canyon. Enjoy a good night’s sleep to prepare for an exciting fourth day.
Day 4 - Emstrur to Thorsmork and return to Reykjavik
The group will begin the day with a final breakfast together before leaving the Emstrur area and continuing along the path to the Thorsmork nature reserve.
Today you’ll hike between six and seven hours and cover 9.5 miles (15 kilometers) with a descent of 985 feet (300 meters). Yet more incredible scenery awaits, adding to the diversity of what you’ve seen already.
From the Emstrur area, you’ll walk through the Almenningar gorge, where the excellent glacier views continue. You’ll also see the interestingly-shaped Einhyrningur mountain, also known as “Unicorn Mountain.”
The scenery begins to change as you get closer to Thorsmork. The reserve is known for its dense birch forest, and as trees start to appear around you, you’ll know you’re getting near the heart of this much-loved hiking area.
Valleys adorned with ferns, moss, and birchwood contrast perfectly with jagged mountain peaks. The colors are just as striking, with greens producing a dramatic effect against black desert expanses and picturesque glacial rivers weaving throughout the landscape, so make sure you’ve got your camera handy!
Thorsmork is an incredible place to appreciate nature’s beauty and a fantastic spot to finish the Laugavegur Trail. Even the climate here is unique. It’s generally warmer, wetter, and calmer than other parts of the country, and sometimes a mist covers the mountains.
At the trail’s end, you will feel great satisfaction from your incredible accomplishment. Over the past four days, you’ve been close to several natural wonders in the South Iceland highlands. The excitement isn’t quite over yet, with a stop on the way back to Reykjavik to see the breathtaking Seljalandsfoss waterfall.
Seljalandsfoss drops 200 feet (60 meters) from a cliff, so you’ll feel dwarfed as you stand below it. One of the most notable features of this pristine waterfall is the path that enables you to walk behind the waterfall for a unique perspective. It’s the perfect finish to an amazing four days.
What to bring
Good to know
The maximum group size is 16.
There are plenty of places to fill your water bottle along the trail and at the huts.
Hut showers cost 500 ISK, so bring cash to cover this. You will find toilet paper and soap in the bathrooms, and you should bring anything else you need.
Power outlets are unavailable in the huts, so bring a power bank if you want to charge your device. Hikers should not rely on an internet connection throughout the trail or at the huts. There are a few Wi-Fi spots, but the connection may not be good.
The huts have shared dormitory accommodation.
A special food extra is available for vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free hikers, or those with food allergies. Your guide will organize the food, and the team will prepare meals together.
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.