Adventurous 3-Day Self-Guided Hiking Tour of Thorsmork Valley and Fimmvorduhals
Discover the best areas of the world-famous Laugavegur trail on this three-day hiking tour of the Thorsmork glacier valley and the Fimmvorduhals pass. Thrill-seekers who want the challenge of a self-guided adventure while having control over the pace of hiking should book this multi-day tour today.
Your trekking in Iceland begins early in the morning as your board a bus bound for the Icelandic Highlands at Reykjavik’s BSI bus terminal. The terminal is easy to locate or navigate because it’s less than a mile away from downtown Reykjavik.
To have a safe and more comfortable hiking experience, you need to gear up with waterproof hiking clothes, thermal underwear, and sturdy hiking boots. Other essentials include food, a water bottle, toiletries, and a sleeping bag. Fortunately, you can rent a sleeping bag upon booking if you don’t own one.
From the terminal, you’ll journey to the scenic region of South Iceland, passing through towns like Selfoss, Hvolsvollur, and Hella. The bus ride covers roughly 93 miles (150 kilometers) and can take around two hours.
You will hop off at the Langidalur hut area in the Thorsmork valley, where you will lodge for two nights after each day of hiking.
The Langidalur hut is a shared space between travelers and hikers, with dormitory-style bunk beds and mattresses. You can also use its well-equipped kitchen and shower facilities for a small fee.
The first day of your hike will take you around the beautiful sites of the Thorsmork Nature Reserve, also known as the “Valley of Thor.” According to local legend, the valley was named after the Norse god of thunder, Thor, which created the area by striking his hammer, Mjolnir.
Around the Thorsmork valley, you’ll cross a narrow bridge over the beautiful Krossa river, see the Trollakirkja rock formation, and pass through the Hvannargil canyon or Mount Rettarfell.
The hiking trail is well-marked, so it’s safe to explore even for self-guided tours.
Day two of your self-guided hike in Iceland brings you to the famous Fimmvorduhals pass of the Highlands. You will slowly climb the mountain ridge to get a panoramic scenery of the region, including views of Utigonguhofdi mountain and the Morinsheidi plateau.
The day’s highlight is visiting the Magni and Modi craters and their surrounding lava fields. The two young craters resulted from the infamous eruption of the nearby Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010.
The last day of your tour will bring you closer to the heart of the Thorsmork valley. You’ll get close to its hidden natural wonders, such as the lush Slyppugil valley and the towering Rjupnafell mountain. As you see these sites, you’ll discover why travelers call Thorsmork the crown jewel of the Laugavegur trail.
After successfully covering roughly 26 miles (42 kilometers) of the hiking course in three days, peaking at an elevation of 3,280 feet (1,000 meters), you’ll return to Reykjavik late in the evening onboard a bus.
See the most breathtaking landscapes of Iceland, from the Thorsmork valley to the Magni and Modi craters of Eyjafjallajokull glacier, on this three-day hiking tour in the Highlands region. Check availability now by choosing a date.
Day 1 - Reykjavik to Thorsmork Nature Reserve
The first day of your hiking trip on the Laugavegur trail’s Thorsmork valley opens as you board a bus at the BSI bus terminal. You’ll take the route bound for the Icelandic Highlands and head southeast of the capital city.
The bus ride may take around two hours, but the surrounding views in South Iceland will give you a great introduction to the diverse nature of Iceland. You’ll pass through farmlands, geothermal fields, mountain ranges, and rivers in the towns of Selfoss, Hella, and Hvolsvollur.
Your bus will drop you off at the Langidalur hut in Thorsmork valley, where you will spend two nights resting and sleeping. The mountain hut may not be as convenient as a hotel, but it has the necessary accommodation items like beds, a kitchen, and shower areas.
Once you’re ready to begin the hike, you’ll start exploring the magnificent valley of Thorsmork. Most multi-day hiking tours in the Laugavegur trail end in the Thorsmork valley. But since you’re doing a shorter hike without a guide, you’ll spend most of your hours close to Thorsmork.
One notable activity you’ll do is cross the rocky terrain of the Krossa river near the mountain hut. There is a small hiking bridge at the river, so you don’t have to worry about crossing the Krossa’s main flow.
Another place of interest to stop at is the unique rock formation of Trollakirkja. Travelers also call it the “troll church” because of its appearance and the small cave under its boulder.
Your last attraction for the day is either the Hvannargil canyon or the Rettarfell mountain. The mountain gives a fantastic view of Thorsmork while the canyon offers a relaxing scenery swarming with vegetation and glacial rivers.
For this day, your hike covers up to five miles (eight kilometers) of the Thorsmork trail. You will spend the night at the Langidalur hut, where you can prepare dinner and enjoy a night’s sleep.
Day 2 - Thorsmork Valley to Fimmvorduhals Pass
Day two of your Highlands trekking begins with a beautiful view of the lush mountains and rivers surrounding the mountain hut.
Before returning to the hiking trail, make sure to eat your breakfast and prepare your meals, snacks, and drinks. You’ll cover around 11 miles (18 kilometers) of hike and ascent of 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) for this day, so you need the extra energy boost.
You’ll slowly make your way from the mountain hut to the Fimmvorduhals pass, a mountain ridge renowned for its unrivaled view of the Highlands. Once you reach the summit, you can get the best views of the nearby Myrdalsjokull and Eyjafjallajokull glaciers.
Before reaching the main attractions of the Fimmvorduhals pass, you’ll hike over steep yet well-marked passages, such as the Kattarhryggir ridges and Morinsheidi plateau. While the hike may be tiring, the spectacular scenery and geological formations are enough motivation to conquer the adventure.
One of the awe-inspiring mountains you’ll see in the area is the Utigonguhofdi mountain. Spotting the mountain is relatively easy because it towers over the valleys and canyons in the area.
The highlights of the Fimmvorduhals hike are the twin craters of Magni and Modi, named after the two sons of the Norse god Thor. The explosive eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull glacier volcano in 2010 created the two geological wonders. You might recall this infamous event because it disrupted European air travel for a few days.
Fortunately, it’s safe to explore these areas today during the Icelandic summer. During your trip, take many photos as the remote location of the craters makes them not a hotspot for tourists.
After taking in the exceptional views, you’ll hike back to the Thorsmork Nature Reserve. For the last time, you’ll spend the night at the mountain hut in Langidalur.
Day 3 - Thorsmork and Tindfjoll Circle to Reykjavik
Your last day in the Icelandic Highlands offers more opportunities to explore the Thorsmork glacier valley. You will spend the day exploring the nature reserve’s best spots that you can’t find anywhere else.
Today, your self-guided hiking in Thorsmork highlights a course of nearly 10 miles (16 kilometers), with an ascent and descent of 1476 feet (450 meters). To help you go over this, ensure to eat and prepare your meals at the mountain hut.
While exploring the Thorsmork valley, you’ll be treated to some exciting views you haven’t seen in the past few days.
Godaland, a former summer pasture covered by vegetation, is one of the first notable terrains to marvel at. You’ll then continue toward the Slyppugil valley and Tindfjallagil gorge trails, where you can get an open view of the plains crisscrossed by shallow rivers, including the mountain hut where you slept.
From this perspective, you can get a better image of the nature reserve and appreciate its thick vegetation cover, from green mosses to birch trees.
One of the more challenging trails you can take is climbing Mount Rjupnafell. This Icelandic tuff mountain lies near the center of Thorsmork and rewards hikers with natural treasures as far as the eyes can see. Although the climb is steep, the path to the peak is well-laid.
If you want an alternative track to visit on this day or day one, you can go west of the mountain hut to tour the small mountain of Valahnukur. Other fascinating attractions on this side of the Thorsmork valley are the Husadalur valley and the Songhellir cave.
Whichever trail you choose, you will have an excellent time surrounded by the inspiring natural beauty of the Icelandic Highlands.
After an adventurous and satisfying journey, you’ll walk back to the mountain hut and board the bus back to Reykjavik.
What to bring
Good to know
- This hiking tour is self-guided, so you will hike on your own or with other solo and small-group hikers.
- Food and drinks are not included in this package, so you must bring a supply that will last for three days. Cooking is allowed in the mountain hut.
- The mountain hut is a shared space with other hikers and travelers, particularly the rooms and bathrooms. The use of a shower includes a minimal fee.