Skógafoss south Iceland

Hiking between two glaciers and a volcano

I have talked to many tourists and travelers that have been to Iceland several times wanting to do something different when returning because normally they have done the driving route around the island and seen all the most famous waterfalls and spots.  If you are in this position or if you simply love hiking then please read further.

I'm gonna walk you through a very exciting hiking route in the highland called "Fimmvörðuháls" which is one of the most beautiful hiking trail in the country.  If you are into photography then this pass is also for you.

fimmvörðuháls southern Iceland

The route

The Fimmvörðuháls (five-cairn trail)  route is about 25km long including 1000m of climbing and is the area between the Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull glaciers in southern Iceland.

fimmvörðuháls southern Iceland

Starting point 

The starting point is normally by the fabulous and famous waterfall Skógafoss ending in the beautiful green valley Thorsmork but certainly you can do it the other way around. 

fimmvörðuháls southern Iceland

The hike is only possible during summertime and normally people accomplish the trip in one day but ofcourse there are many people who split it up and hike for 2 days staying in the mountain hut based up there.  The one in the picture is not in use anymore though.  

fimmvörðuháls southern Iceland

When I did this route we hiked for one day but I have to admit for me being enthusiastic about photography it would have been better to have more time focusing on all the amazing waterfalls and breathtaking views up there so next time I will probably hike for 2 days but as said it depends on your goal.

Travel Itinerary

The first part of the pass is along Skógá river that is stuffed with enormous amount of beautiful waterfalls big and small falling from it.  Skógafoss runs from this river as well.  After departing from the river you will enter more desolated area leading you to the pass between the two glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. 

fimmvörðuháls southern Iceland

When arriving there you will discover the new craters and lava created in the Eyjafjallajökull eruption 2010.  I think the steam and the heat from the lava is still noticeable which is awesome cool to see. Its kind of other worldly and amazing how you connect strongly with mother nature by seeing all those forces and steamy hot lava. 

fimmvörðuháls southern Iceland

Some parts of this hike are really like from another planet leaving you with lunar rocky and lava landscape, steep hills and pure water that you can enjoy and drink. The highlight of the route is when you have reached the highest point overviewing  breathtaking scenery over the endless amount of mountain ridges. Standing up there is facinating and fairy-tale like making you feel so small and in total awe.  

fimmvörðuháls southern Iceland

fimmvörðuháls southern Iceland

Equipment and gear

Things I recommend for this trip are good sturdy and comfortable hiking shoes, outdoor clothing for all kinds of weather because the climate is different between areas and weather can change rapidly in the highland so even if your day starts as a sunny one you might end up in rain, fog or blizzard at some point.  You need a good backpack and best if you have hiking poles, crampons (don't need big ones), food, snacks and plenty of water, band aid, sunglasses and protection as well. 

fimmvörðuháls southern Iceland

This route is not for total beginners and you have to be in pretty good shape I would say.  Keep in mind that on your way you can fill your water "tank" with water from the river the first 8 or 10km when hiking along Skógá river.

If you are ready to rock the highland and connect with nature this way then I highly recommend this journey.  Its a once in a lifetime experience for every nature lover and hiker.  Something that you will never forget.  If you are interested and want more information pls contact.  See also plenty of hiking possibilities through Guide to Iceland.

See also:

Fimmvorduhals Day Tour - Volcano Hiking

Laugavegur & Fimmvörðuháls Trek - 6 Day Tour (Huts)

South Iceland Tours

Hiking Tours

6 Day Highlands Camping Tour | Self Drive Landmannalaugar & Þórsmörk

Thorsmork Valley and Volcano Eyjafjallajökull | Super Jeep Tour

Hiking in Iceland

Tips for Backpacking in Iceland 

Top 5 places to Visit in the Highlands of Iceland

More photos:

fimmvörðuháls southern Iceland

fimmvörðuháls southern Iceland

fimmvörðuháls southern Iceland

fimmvörðuháls southern Iceland

fimmvörðuháls southern Iceland

fimmvörðuháls southern Iceland

fimmvörðuháls southern Iceland

fimmvörðuháls southern Iceland

 

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