What is the Laugavegur trek? What is Fimmvörðuháls? Read up on Iceland's most popular hikes here.
I recently completed a 6-day hike doing the famous Laugavegur trek, starting in Landmannalaugar and finishing in Þórsmörk – PLUS the incredible Fimmvörðuhals.
This trip easily incorporates some of the most incredible sights that Iceland has to offer – and if you got the time and money to spare, I would say it is an absolute must.
You can complete the trip by yourself and do it in just a few days, you can also opt for a trip with one of the leading providers of wilderness hikes in Iceland. You'll be accompanied by guides who are really knowledgeable and will show you some true hidden gems.
We started the first day in Landmannalaugar and quickly started venturing through the colourful rhyolite mountains. It was an experience that I will not forget anytime soon.
We ended the day high up in the mountains at Hrafntinnusker where you will get to see some incredible black obsidian rocks. I refer to them as Dragon Glass ;-)
On the second day, we headed from the snow-covered Hrafntinnusker to the green and fertile Álftavatn area, crowned with the beautiful Álftavatn lake.
It’s incredible how you can go through such landscape diversity in just a day of hiking.
Yet another day of incredible scenery. We started the day by forging a few rivers and then through endless black sand deserts before reaching the campsite of Emstrur. Here you will find breath-taking views over the Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull glaciers.
This is one of the most exciting days during the hike, where you go through rugged landscape and suddenly end up in otherworldly Þórsmörk (Valley of Thor – a referral to the Norse Mythology). Þórsmörk is that kind of place you thought didn't exist - like Nature is just messing around with you, dangling landscapes of ethereal beauty in front of you only to take it away.
From Þórsmörk, we headed to the Fimmvörðuháls mountain pass, which is located between the two glaciers of Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull (yes try to pronounce that for a second J). Our hike took us up to the two volcanos Magni and Móði – which are famous for erupting just before the larger eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. Until recently, you could still feel the hot ground when standing on top of the volcanos.
It was a day filled with impressions that will last for a lifetime – not least some incredible photography.
On the final day, we roamed around in Þórsmörk for half a day before our bus departed for Reykjavik. It was great just to get to chill in these incredible surroundings, sit in silence and enjoy the scenery from another world. There is some serious Lord of the Rings action taking place all around you.
It’s hard to say which one is better than the other (Landmannalaugar or Þórsmörk) – it’s like comparing beer and wine – they both taste great but are distinctively different.