Four-day Highland Hiking Tour | Volcanic Trail Part 1

Four-day Highland Hiking Tour | Volcanic Trail Part 1
A remote highland hike will expose you to views you could barely dream of.
Photography opportunities in the highlands of Iceland are unmatched across the country.
The summer sun makes exploring the highland of Iceland possible.
Most of the Icelandic highlands is barren, ashy, black-sand deserts from Iceland's regular eruptions.
Connect with the verdant mossy landscapes in the untouched corners of Iceland.
Beneath the midnight sun, the Icelandic highlands can be explored day and night.

Immerse yourself in Iceland’s raw and untouched nature on this four-day hiking tour, taking you across the unspoilt volcanic terrain of the central Highlands. This tour is the perfect choice for any avid trekkers looking for an authentic travel experience in the land of ice and fire.

You will start this tour from the BSI Bus Terminal, where you will meet your group and your guide. You will spend the morning driving to the beautiful southern highlands, to the roots of Mt. Sveinstindur.

Your first adventure will be scaling this peak, and you will instantly be rewarded. From the top, you will be granted magnificent views of the surrounding Highlands, particularly to the south where you will see the serene lake Langisjór.

You will descend part of this mountain once you have digested the beauty from the peak to the first of three mountain huts you and your companions will be staying in.

The second day will start with a trip along the banks of Skaftá, a river formed by meltwater from the vast Vatnajökull glacier, Europe’s largest ice cap. You will reach the canyon Hvanngil, which, while stunning, provides just a small taste of what is ahead. By the time you reach the Uxatindar peaks, you will have seen much larger canyons and ravines, plunging dramatically into the earth. 

While, for the first part of this day, you will be surrounded by stretches of volcanic sands and fields of old, twisted lava, the landscape will become more verdant throughout the afternoon, until it is covered in a bright green moss. This area is called Skælingar, and it is here that you will retire for the night.

For your third day, you will hike to Eldgjá, otherwise known as the ‘Canyon of Fire’. You begin by reaching and ascending the mountain Gjátindur, which overlooks this immense ravine; it stretches as far as the eye can see, past Mýrdalsjökull glacier. You will descend into the canyon, and spend several hours enjoying the stark, dramatic geology and natural beauty. Following this, you will hike to the nearby huts at Hólaskjól, where you can expect comfortable lodgings for your final night.

Your fourth day, you will be picked up and head back to Reykjavík via the incredible Landmannalaugar Highland region. At Landmannalaugar, you will have two hours to explore the yellow rhyolite mountains and many trails, or else to bask in a natural hot-spring, surrounded by extraordinary beauty. 

This tour shows you parts of the Highlands most people never get to see. If you are an avid hiker, do not miss this incredible opportunity. Book now to reserve your place. Check availability by choosing a date.

Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: All year
  • Duration: 4 days
  • Activities: Hiking, Sightseeing, Hot Spring Bathing, Cultural Activity
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Minimum age: 16 years.
  • Languages: English
  • Highlights: Langisjór, Vatnajökull, Eldgjá, Landmannalaugar, Mýrdalsjökull, Laugavegur Hiking Trail, Sveinstindur
Pickup information:
    Please be at your pickup location in time for your departure. Should your pickup location be at a bus stop and you need assistance finding it, seek guidance in your Hotel's reception or contact your tour provider directly.
    • Guide during the trek (until morning day 4)

    • Food for 4 days (from lunch day 1 to lunch day 4)

    • Accommodation in mountain huts for 3 nights

    • Bus from Reykjavík to Sveinstindur and from Hólaskjól to Reykjavík via Landmannalaugar

    • Transfer of luggage.

    • Sleeping bag (can be added for 6850 ISK)

    What to bring:
    • Sturdy Hiking Boots – waterproof with good ankle support.

    • Thermal underwear, light fleece/wool layers

    • Soft-shell trousers or similar

    • Waterproof jacket and trousers

    • Gloves, hats, warm socks

    • A duffel bag for the transport of your overnight gear between huts.

    • Backpack for extra clothes and food during the day

    • Sturdy shoes for crossing rivers (sandals or old trainers, not flip-flops)

    • Light Sleeping bag

    • Towel

    • Sunglasses & sun protection. 

    • Water container – thermos flask or water bottle 0,5 – 1L. 

    • Personal first aid kit

    • Toiletries

    • Walking pole, camera, dry bag (optional)

    Good to know:

    You may add a pick-up from your hotel to the BSI Bus Terminal for an additional 5000 ISK. Be sure to specify when booking.

    Daily itinerary

    Day 1 - Reykjavik to Mt. Sveinstindur

    Sveinstindur allows for beautiful views over the Icelandic highlands.

    Your first day will begin at the BSI Bus Terminal; you can arrange a transfer there for an extra fee while booking. Once your group is gathered, you will board a bus that will whisk you to the Highlands.

    Your destination is at the foot of the mountain Sveinstindur; this beautiful peak takes its name from one of Iceland's most esteemed explorers, Sveinn Pálsson. You will scale this mountain, for a spectacular panoramic view of the surrounding highlands, the massif of Fögrufjöll, and the lake Langisjór.

    On the mountainside is a rustic hut where you will be spending your first night.

    Day 2 - Sveinstindur to Skaelingar

    The highlands of Iceland are veined with river systems and dotted with lakes.

    On day two, you will follow the river Skaftá, which comes from the nearby Vatnajökull glacier. Your hike will take you to the canyon of Hvanngil, then up to the Uxatindar peaks.

    The landscape here shows the raw volcanism of Iceland's nature; you will be surrounded by black sands and lava fields. After passing the Uxatindar mountains, however, the area will become much more verdant. Finally, you will reach the lava forest of Skælingar, your final destination for today.

    Your mountain hut sits on the banks of the Skaftá river.

    Day 3 - Skaelingar to Holaskjol

    See why Eldgjá in the Icelandic highlands is called the Canyon of Fire.

    You leave Skælingar on your third day, heading towards Eldgjá, the 'Canyon of Fire'. You will approach from the east, climbing the gentle hills to the peak of Gjátindur, where you will be rewarded with magnificent views.

    You will descend into the canyon, and have several hours to explore its many beautiful features. You then continue on your hike to Hólaskjól, where your hut is waiting. Unlike the lodgings for the past two nights, this cabin is equipped with showers.

    Day 4 - Holaskjol to Landmannalaugar, Landmannalaugar to Reykjavik

    This tour will also allow you to visit the highland, hot-spring area of Landmannalaugar.

    On your fourth day, a bus will meet you at Hólaskjól to return you to Reykjavík, with a two-hour stop at Landmannalaugar en route. 

    Landmannalaugar is one of Iceland's most famed Highland regions, known for its geothermal areas and colourful rhyolite mountains. You can spend your time here taking one of the many hiking trails, or else basking in the hot springs.

    You will leave Landmannalaugar in the afternoon, to arrive back at the BSI Bus Terminal in the evening.

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