5 Reasons Why Laugavegur is the Most Popular Trek in Iceland

01. June 2016 —
Gréta S. Guðjónsdóttir
Landmannalaugar

You come to Iceland with adventure in your heart and a longing to experience parts of the world unique and unknown to most. You crave the untouched, uncommon and rare. The spirit of adventure is one trait us explorers share, and a great place to find a whole lot of that spirit is on the iconic Laugavegur Hiking Trail - a trail that will take you through landscapes like no other on our small blue planet. Now, it would be more than presumptuous of us to say we can list the sheer vastness of Laugavegur Trail’s many attributes in one small blog post, but we can sure try, and at least give you an idea as to what you’ll be in for. Just remember, like most of Iceland, this is one experience you'll have to see to believe! Here’s our breakdown on why the standard Laugavegur Trail hike is the one of the most famous treks in Iceland!

1. Diverse Landscapes

Diverse may be a bit of an understatement here. On this 5 day hike, you will come across a huge variety of some of Iceland's most notorious features. Beginning in the breathtaking geothermal valley of Landmannalaugar, with it's unbelievable multicolored rhyolite mountains, you will explore the third largest geothermal zone on earth, experiencing bubbling hot springs and steaming stretches of ground - and this is just in the first day of your trek! The days that follow will unveil a seemingly endless array of mystifying sites from the crystal blue Álftavatn lake to the black sand deserts of Mælifellssandur,, and the great canyon of Markarfjótsgljúfur, complete with jaw dropping views of the intimidating Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers.You will traverse through moonlike terrains, ford rivers, and skirt the Stórasúla and Hattfell volcanoes until you finally reach the lush green valley of Þórsmörk. There truly are no words to properly express the majesty of this trail, but it is a sure-fire way to thoroughly explore this magnificent country of Iceland!

2. Comfort Included

Icelandic Mountain Guides offers many different ways to hike the Laugavegur trail. You can choose to overnight in one of the trail’s mountain huts or camp out under the stars. Our most popular tour is ‘vehicle assisted”, meaning you only have to carry your day packs and we’ll transport your overnight luggage for you. Meals are provided, as is accommodation and you can bring along your own linens, extra clothes, toiletries and even a couple of beers, or whatever you need, up to about 15 kg!

You will also enjoy (and greatly appreciate) the experience and local knowledge our highly trained, professional guides provide. No sight will be left unseen, even the out of the way ones, and you will never feel overwhelmed if things get tough. Our guides are well versed on all of the local flora and fauna and will teach you all about the geological landmarks. Crossing the rivers alone will remind you of the importance of their expertise!

3. Explo(re)lax!

This 5 day excursion is a perfect mid level difficulty. It is by no means a breeze, but it is not too hard either. The pace is kept at an invigorating 4-7 hours a day, with plenty of time for exploring and getting to know your fellow hikers. You will be making new friends from all across the globe and we consider this an important part of your adventure. Lodging is also included in the trail huts where you truly get to bond with your trail mates. Evenings cooking and eating a communal Icelandic meal together, exploring the area and sharing stories is an experience you will carry with you for a long time. Work hard AND play hard!

Craig Downing

4. Accomplishment

5 days is a good long hike. After trekking through lava fields, up and down rocky hills and crossing rivers like the trailblazers you are, you will finally find yourself in the green glacier valley of Þórsmörk (Thor’s Wood). The valley, being enclosed and protected by the Eyjafjallajökull, Mýrdalsjökull and Tindfjallajökull glaciers, tends to be warm and full of lush green fern, moss, brightly colored wild flowers and arctic birchwood. This small, tucked away forest will astound you with it's maze of gorges and verdant hillsides. Here we’ll celebrate the way the locals of Þórsmörk are accustomed, with a leg of lamb on the grill, in the golden summer night, surrounded by your new friends.

5. Magic

The Laugavegur Trail is a great choice for the hiker who wants to experience the diversity of Iceland. Strange and wonderful awe inspiring surroundings, with the freedom to explore and learn unhindered, all while making new friends and pushing yourself to do great things, the sum of these things add up to a magical feeling you are bound to never forget!

Please join us on one of our summer excursions and experience the wonder yourself. At Icelandic Mountain Guides, we love nothing more that to share the beauty of our great country with you!

View the Laugavegur Trail tour options. 

About the Author

IMG Staff Writer

An anonymous but well informed member of our team that enjoys sharing their knowledge of Iceland & Greenland’s stunning nature.

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