In just 3 days
Most people start their Laugavegur Hike in Landmannalaugar and head down to Þórsmörk. But on this trip we travel in the opposite direction, going against the main flow of travel is one of the most unique way’s to experience the hike. It takes you from the lush and sheltered valley’s nestling just above sea level and progressively every day into more alien and remote surroundings. Until on the last day you find your self immersed in colorful rhyolitic mountains, passing through obsidian lava fields and bathing in geothermal pools.
Starting at 189.000 isk
What you need to bring
Day 1: Þórsmörk to Emstrur
On this first day we meet up in Reykjavík at 7:30 in the morning and start the long bus ride into the Valley of Þór better known as Þórsmörk and is the beginning point of our hike. After grabbing a quick lunch and making second lunch to go we start our hike and head up into the mountains. Yearly on the hike we cross a clear boundary in the form of Þröngá river where we get to try our river crossing techniques for the first time and leave behind us the trees of Þórsmörk. The first day is a long one at roughly 17 km (10.5 mi) with a gentle climb of 700 m (2300 ft) over the day so the second lunch will be welcomed as we realize we are almost about to leave vegetation behind all together and walk towards the foothills of vast glacier’s and powerful Volcano’s. As we finish the last big climb of the day, seeing our camp up ahead is guaranteed to bring joy, especially as our luggage driver welcomes us with the smell of a good and hearty traditional Icelandic dinner.
Day 2: Emstrur to Álftavatn
After a long first day, the second day is a welcome relive. After a good breakfast and distribution of lunch pack’s we break camp and start heading upwards. Early in the morning we will see one of the clear highlight’s of the trip as we walk past the great Markarfljótsgljúfur (I dare you to say that ten times fast) canyon and up into the sandy desert that will accompany us for the majority of the day. Though sometimes long, today is a easy day with 15 km (9.5 mi) of hiking and the minimal elevation gain of 220 m (730 ft). Quickly after our first climb we reach the empty black sand plateau with towering green mountains and the occasional summer flowers grouped along the trail. We make our way across the desert and cross the Bláfjallakvísl river, sometimes a worthy challenger but most often just a cold one. And Make our way towards our second and last campsite of the trip lake Álftavatn.
Day 3: Álftavatn to Landmannalaugar
The last and longest day of our trip, but possibly the best day of our trip as well. Covering 23 km (14.5 mi) and climbing approximately 950 m (3100 ft), we will need to start our day early. With a quick breakfast and lunch packs bigger than before. We head out around 7 in the morning and as our Luggage driver breaks camp we quickly finish our last river crossing of the trip and start climbing the strangely colorful rhyolitic mountains ahead, entering a world of geothermal fumaroles, receding glaciers and often dangerous weathers. As we make our way to the half way point of today’s hike and overall highest point it’s easy to forget that just two day’s ago we were in lush greenery instead of the ominous yet beautiful volcanic range we cross today. If all goes well, we show up at our destination Landmannalaugar with time to spare, grap quick snack’s from our driver and head towards the famous geothermal pool where we soak for a while until it’s time to grab the last bus of the day heading into Reykjavík.
The Devil is in the Details
I got to know Frímann on a Laugavegur trip in the summer of 2021, and what a gentleman he is. But also what a character he is too!
He will enlighten you with his expert knowledge of the environment, trails, and scenery, as well as the remarkable chemistry of Iceland, allowing you to see and learn uniquely. Some say he is the most knowledgeable guide on the Laugavegur. I do not discount this!
I would highly recommend walking with Frímann, and I’m keen to keep in contact and organise something new in the future. Highly regarded.
Adam / UK