Guided 7 Day Hiking Tour of Iceland’s Volcanic Trails & Highlands with Black Sands & Hot Springs
Join this 7-day hiking excursion to experience the extent of Iceland’s most celebrated volcanic regions, as you trek through the Highlands of the land of ice and fire, visiting mountains, glacier lakes, ice caps and fissure zones. This tour is for any avid trekker looking for a full week of wonders and incredible sights.
Prepare to witness dramatic lava fields coated with thick green moss, stretches of black volcanic sand plains, lush meadows, steep mountain peaks, majestic glaciers and natural geothermal hot springs.
Your journey begins in Reykjavík City and takes you to some of the most renowned hiking trails in South Iceland, where you will be trekking between renovated mountain huts in the company of your certified local guide. Your heavy luggage will be transported for you over the rugged highland roads.
Some of the highlights of your trip include wading the rivers of the black sand plain Mýrdalssandur, bathing in the natural hot spring Strútslaug and trekking the highland trail Laugavegur with its rhyolite mountains.
This excursion is perfect for those who wish to recharge in the open arms of mother nature, while getting plenty of exercise as each day of the tour includes hiking for some six or eight hours, through some of the most astonishing landscapes this volcanic island has to offer.
The land of ice and fire is in constant formation by its natural forces, and you’ll see just why as you trail through the volcanic fissure of Eldgjá to descend into what the locals call the canyon of fire.
The week’s itinerary is filled to the brim with perfect hiking trails, as well as mountain accommodation and full board, guaranteeing an unforgettable excursion. So don’t hesitate in booking this trip now to experience some of the most magnificent mountain views of Iceland. Check availability by choosing a date.
Day 1 - Volcanic Lake View from Mt. Sveinstindur
On the first day of your journey, you’ll meet with your guides and the rest of your travel companions in Reykjavík City. You will then board your transportation and head along the highland roads along Langisjór Lake, a hidden gem by the roots of Vatnajökull Glacier.
Then, it’s time to leave the vehicle and lace up your hiking boots, as you'll make your way up the peak of Mt. Sveinstindur. From the top, you'll enjoy some incredible views, including the active and infamous volcano of Hekla and the massive water body that is Langisjór.
Descending down the mountain from the other side, you will arrive at your accommodation for the night at a traditional mountain hut, where you will enjoy dinner with your newfound friends before turning in for the night.
Day 2 - Lava Forest of Skaelingar
On your second day, you will enjoy breakfast before following the rapids and waterfalls of the river Skaftá, alongside a scenic trail leading to the impressive canyon of Hvanngil. The landscapes at hand are dramatically volcanic, where stark lava meets with endless patches of dark green moss.
The windswept fields of the area are dotted with small rivers and mystical rock formations, while the clean mountain air is sure to revitalise your spirit. At the end of a full day of hiking through extraordinary nature, you’ll arrive at the ethereal area of Skælingar.
This ancient lava forest was once a farm during the settlement era but is now part of the uninhabitable terrain of the Icelandic Highlands. The peace and quietude here are only interrupted by the sound of streaming rivulets and chirping birds, and at the end of the day, you’ll retreat to a hut by the riverbed of Skaftá.
Day 3 - Eldgja Volcanic Canyon
On day three, you’ll begin hiking to Eldgjá, the largest volcanic canyon in the world and one of the highlights of your trip. You’ll be descending the canyon slowly, giving you ample time to enjoy the marvels of this magical place.
With an areal extent of approximately 800 square kilometres of ancient magma, the system’s eruption in 934 AD constitutes the largest flood basalt in recorded history on a world scale.
Everywhere you look, the scenery is full of wonders, including the beautiful waterfall Ófærufoss that cascades down two tiers amidst the steep cliffs and smoothed lava walls of the canyon.
At the end of the day, you’ll hike to the huts of Hólaskjól where you will be spending the night.
Day 4 - Alftavotn Lakes and Rivers
On day four of your adventure, you will begin the second section of your trail. Following the riverbanks of Syðri Ófæra, you’ll be hiking through a landscape of lush green hills; reflected in the deep blue waters of the rivers and lakes at hand.
Your destination for the day is the lakes of Álftavötn, an enchanting paradise of tranquillity nesting between the Eldgjá canyon and Mt. Bláfjall. The entire area used to be covered in water and was carved out by the flow of the Eldgjárhraun Lava.
After exploring this wonderworld to your heart’s content, you’ll make your way to a renovated sheepherder's hut to make camp for the night.
Day 5 - Black Sands & Hot Springs
On day five, it’s time to continue further along the river of Syðri Ófæra to once again cross the Eldgjá Canyon. Watch as the scenery transforms dramatically; changing from meadows of green to stretches of black volcanic sand, dotted with bright streaks of moss.
Along the route of the day, you will wade the river Hólmsá to arrive at the natural pool Strútslaug, where you can kick off your boots to soak in the geothermal waters of the spring; relaxing as you take in your incredible surroundings.
After such an authentic Icelandic experience, you will conclude your day’s hike by marching to the hut at Strútur where you will be spending the night.
Day 6 - Myrdalssandur Plain & River Crossings
Waking up at Strútur on day six, your destination of the day is the outwash plain of Mýrdalssandur. This incredible stretch of black volcanic desert, located on the South Coast of Iceland, was created by eruptions from Katla Volcano; resting underneath the looming ice cap of Mýrdalsjökull.
Get ready to wade over rivers as you make your way across this otherworldly terrain―while maintaining the belief that you are still on planet Earth. Eventually, you’ll be greeted with open arms by the mystical landscape of Hvanngil Valley, which is also the location of your next and last mountain hut.
As you turn in for the night, know that tomorrow is the last day of your journey, where some of the most exciting adventures yet await you.
Day 7 - The Rhyolite Mountains of Laugavegur
On your last day, you will explore the side tracks of the Laugavegur hiking trail, one of the Icelandic Highlands’ most celebrated destinations, where rhyolite mountains meet with geothermal landscapes of striking colours.
Passing along the winding river of Kaldaklofskvísl, you’ll admire the mountain Stórasúla on one side as you climb up the pass of Brattháls. The hike of today is short but incredibly scenic, concluding at Álftavatn Lake, where your transportation awaits to take you back to the capital.
As you make your way back to Reykjavík City, know that you just spent a full week hiking through the incredible and wild nature of Iceland and its magnificent Highlands.
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Please note that this tour is conditions dependent. In case of extreme weather, the route of the tour might be altered or a certain activity cancelled.