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Laugavegur Trail: Hike 80km on the hot springs trail through Iceland

Iceland's Laugevagur Trail, also called the Hot Springs Trail, is one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world. The Laugevagur hike leads across the Icelandic highlands to the green south coast. I found the tour terrific. Chapeau!

laugavegur trail

Content

1. Journey

2. Route

3. Accommodation

4. Weather and best time to travel

5. Further information

6. Recommended stages

7. Packing list

8. GPX and map information

9. Conclusion


On the way of the hot springs you will walk through a varied landscape of volcanic origin. The tour begins in

Landmannalaugar, a geothermal rainbow-colored wonderland, winds through deserts, sweeps through a green birch forest and passes the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. Amazing fields of lava, red and yellow rhyolite mountains, black sand and glittering white glaciers, enchant you on the way to Iceland's south coast.


As always, I recommend my video of the tour:

Arrival

Fly: The best way is to take a flight to the Icelandic capital Reykjavik, to the airport "Keflavik Airport (KEF)".

Bus: You can easily get to the city center by bus. Alternatively, you can take a cab, but the prices are exorbitantly high. Riding the bus in Iceland was very relaxed. The bus drives almost through the whole city and you can even tell the bus driver where you want to get off.


Tip: The bus goes directly to the campsite in Reykjavik (Reykjavik Campsite). At the campsite you will definitely get the cheapest place to sleep. One night will cost you about 25 euros (as of 2022).


Tip: At the campsite you can buy gas cartridges to screw and stab. However, there are many people who leave their used gas cartridges for others. For this purpose, a specially labeled shelf ,directly in front of the reception is available. For my tour, a used gas cartridge was completely sufficient.

Tip: At the BSI Bus Terminal you can also buy a gas cartridge. You can make a note of the BSI bus terminal right away, it is an important contact point for many activities.

The next morning it is best to take the "Highland Bus" from "Reykjavik Excursion" first thing in the morning. It starts at the "BSI Bus Terminal" and takes you to "Landmannalaugar". You should buy a ticket at the following Link reserve:


Tip: I can highly recommend the "Highland Bus". You can get the round trip for about 100 euros (as of 2022).


Tip: I recommend starting the hike in Landmannarlaugar. You go from there to Skogar always a little downhill and thus save some altitude.

hiking laugavegur trail

Around lunchtime you will reach Landmannalaugar. The drive with the 4x4 bus was a fascinating adventure. The landscape is just unbelievably beautiful. I enjoyed every minute.

The rest of the day you can use for two smaller hikes at Bláhnúkur and Sudurnamur. In the later afternoon I can highly recommend a bath in the hot springs, which are located right next to the campsite. Yes what can I say, it was an unforgettable experience.

laugavegur hot springs

Route

From this tour you can stay in tents as well as in huts. A timely reservation I would strongly recommend as always. In total you have to do about 80 km and a good 2000 meters of altitude. I needed three days for the tour, which is very sporty. For the connoisseur I would recommend 4-5 days.


Day 1: Landmannalaugar is the starting point of the hike. The landscape there is characterized by rhyolite colored rock, active springs and countless lava fields. An incredible play of colors will surround you there. The sulfurous fog makes the whole thing then also quite mystical. I also found the sulfur crystals and small geysers interesting. This impressive area really touched me deeply, it was nice to be allowed to dive into this world. After leaving the rhyolite colored hills, a fantastic view over the green plains of Iceland awaits you at the end of the first stage. Lake Álftavatn is then already in sight.


Don't forget to take an emergency bivouac with you. It consists of an emergency blanket that is cold-resistant, a whistle and a mini compass. It should be in your rucksack on every hike anyway.

As the old Scottish saying goes: "There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes!"

Day 2: The next day you leave the green plains and enter the almost endless ash desert at Hatfell. Before you reach the desert you have to ford a river without a bridge. Tips on how to ford properly can be found under this link: https://trekkingtrails.de/furten-wandern-trekking/

On your hike you have to ford several times. The water is ice cold, because it is melted glacier water. So take off your shoes, roll up your pants and then off you go through the middle. I was the only hiker without water shoes, so I crossed the river barefoot. But I would still urgently water shoes recommend.

At the end of the desert you have to cross the canyon of the Fremri-Emstrua glacier river before you reach one of the rare birch forests of Iceland.

Day 3: On the third day you have to climb up to Fimmvörðuháls. Fimmvörðuháls is a plateau in the south of Iceland and lies between the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull in the west and Mýrdalsjökull in the east. Breathtaking views await you on this impressive section. Shortly before reaching the plateau, there is a short rope-secured passage, which, according to my subjective assessment, was minimally exposed.


Due to the long distance and the sweaty altitude meters, I would like to recommend my ultra light hiking gear at this point:

Furthermore, I would like to recommend my beloved Salewa trekking shoes because of the challenging mountain trails and the often soaked meadows. For this trail, the shoes were a real blessing. One hundred percent waterproofness pays off here, but quality also has its price.

"Only where you have been on foot have you really been". Quote Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

After the icy plateau you go downhill, past countless beautiful waterfalls, to Skogar. At the end you can still look at the famous Skogarfoss.

laugavegur hiking trail

Accommodation

Hut: There is a shelter about every 12-15 km that also offers food and a place to sleep. At the shelters you may also pitch your tent for a fee.


Wild camping: Is not allowed in the nature reserve, i.e. along the entire trail.


Wetness: If there is a lot of wetness, the tent site should be well chosen to escape the wetness of the ground. I would recommend an additional ultralight groundsheet.

"A Scottish fog soaks an Englishman to the skin"

Hotel: In Skogar you have a camping site as well as a hotel at your disposal.


Cabins: You can find the cabins along the trail map on Outdooractive in the link below: https://www.outdooractive.com/de/route/wanderung/island/laugavegur-trail-80km-auf-dem-weg-der-heissen-quellen/801270392/#dm=1

laugavegur trail blog

For optimal preparation for any tours, I recommend the workouts on my Youtube channel:

Weather and best time to travel

In Iceland you can often expect a mix of sun, clouds, wind, rain and snow. The temperatures were actually always between 0 and 5 degrees. The best time to travel is definitely from the last week of July until the last week of August. Then there is only little snow and the landscape comes visually to full advantage. Overall, you can complete the trail from mid-June to mid-September.


Tip: Make sure that you do not want to run your hike when the ultramarathon is taking place. It is then bustling with runners, course marshals, escorts and photographers. The lonely and relaxing hiking adventure is then gone.

the Laugavegur Trail

Further information

Credit card: At the huts I could partly pay electronically.


Water: The water in the rivers is not drinkable due to impurities. It contains a lot of volcanic sediment. However, you can also fill up your water at the huts. The water is filtered there. In an absolute emergency, at least use a water filter. You should carry one with you on every longer hike anyway.

Tip: Stay in a Tent - the huts are more than full and must be reserved well in advance. With a tent you are more flexible. Please stay on the official campgrounds though, the Laugavegur Trail is completely in a nature reserve.


Food: Unfortunately, the food at the huts is immensely expensive. For a simple Chilli Con Carne I paid 46 euros (as of 2022).


Trails: The trail conditions were very good on the entire trail. They are easy trails, some of which are multi-tracked. Now and then there are gravel paths, or mountain trails. At higher elevations, the trail is snow covered throughout the summer. However, the trail was well marked with blue pegs.


Surefootedness: To be safe on the trail, sure-footedness and the right footwear are the most important factors - after all, falls due to tripping and slipping are the most common cause of accidents when hiking. So remember: the right footwear and the right walking technique are therefore incredibly important. You are sure to find the right footwear in the article below!


Hazards: Here are the hazards to watch out for:

- volcanic activity

- heavy rain which makes the rivers swell quickly and makes fording impossible.

Please keep an eye on the warnings on vedur.is and on the huts.

For information about dangers of any kind, including volcanic activity, visit safetravel.is


Tip: Avoid the day of the ultra marathon


Long-distance hiking trails in Europe: 90 routes, all countries

Wild & adventurous: these are the most beautiful long-distance hiking trails in Europe.


Safety advice

All the safety rules of mountain sports also apply to hiking and trekking! You can find the safety rules in the link below:

Laugavegur Trail

Recommended stages

For connoisseurs I recommend:

1) Landmannalaugar - Hrafntinnusker approx. 11 km

2) Hrafntinnusker - Álftavatn approx. 12 km

3) Álftavatn - Emstrur approx. 16 km

4) Emstrur - Þórsmörk approx. 15 km

5) Þórsmörk - Fimmvörduskali approx. 14 km

6) Fimmvörduskali - Skogar approx. 15 km


For sporty ones I recommend:

1) Landmannalaugar - Álftavatn approx. 23 km

2) Álftavatn - Þórsmörk approx. 31 km

3) Þórsmörk - Skogar approx. 29 km

As already mentioned, I walked the tour in 3 days.

On the way you cross the following peaks:

Valahnúkur (465 m) summit

Heljarkambur peak

Fimmvörðuháls (1.011 m) mountain pass

laugavegur trail map

Laugavegur Packing list

Here I recommend the most important hiking equipment that I own, have tested myself and have also bought myself. I pay a lot of attention to the weight and quality of my equipment. The equipment should simply feel good on longer tours and also be light. I can recommend the equipment for women because my wife uses it and it is basically the same as the equipment for men.


Note: Please keep in mind that the packing list is general and you will have to adapt it depending on the season and your needs!


Advertising note: These product links are affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, I will receive a small commission without you having to pay more. This is for the maintenance of my blog and you support me with my project, for which I am very grateful. Thank you very much!


Clothes

Hiking boots

Hiking shorts


Long hiking pants


Functional shirt


Hybridjacket


Fleece-jacket


Rain jacket


Functional underwear


Hiking socks


Other hiking equipment:

Sun cap


Hiking backback (approx. 60 litres or as required)

by EXPED - unfortunately not available on Amazon.

Backback - Ospray (was my old one and is also good)


Technology and orientation:

Compass

• GPS device or GPS watch if necessary

• Binoculars if necessary


Catering:

• Sweets to keep up morale :)


Health & first Aid:

First Aid (small and light)

Tape

Bivouac

• Toilet paper


Other:

• Passport/Insurance certificate

• cash

• Gas cartridge


Film equipment:

Drone

Tripod

Clip

laugavegur and fimmvörðuháls trail

GPX and map information (Laugavegur trail map)

The GPX files are available for download on my pages from the following providers.


Outdooractive: https://out.ac/3vOAUO




Here is the route on the map (Madeira trail map):

laugavegur hiking Trail map gps
Skogarfoss

Conclusion

The Laugavegur Trail with its length of 80km is a fantastic long distance hiking trail that offers an incredible amount. It shows a cross section of the beautiful landscape of Iceland. I really enjoyed the tour! The tour is definitely one of my favorites. Have a great time and good luck ;)


As always, I would be very happy about a feedback on one of my channels.



Also feel free to leave me a comment.

 
Foto des Inhabers Hikingfex

Hello, I am Christian, the chief globetrotter of this Site and an enthusiastic adventurer, hiker and filmmaker. I love to explore new paths and inspire people with them, and I love to share my hiking knowledge with you! You can also find my videos on YouTube! On my blog you can find tips for beginners and professionals on the greatest and most beautiful hiking tours there are. I want to encourage people to explore the world as a hiker, whether in the countryside, through the forest or in the mountains. True to the motto: If you haven't hiked, you haven't seen the world,


On my blog, I also write about hiking gear, the right summit training and nature conservation, as well as tips and information about hiking.


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