7 nights/ 8 days
Reykjavik to Reykjavik

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Chosen as one of the “20 Best Hikes in the World” by National Geographic, The Laugavegur Trek is the most famous hiking trail in Iceland. It is known all over the world for its trails offering astounding and breathtaking sceneries. Combined with some whitewater rafting, a buggy off-road adventure, and a visit to The Blue Lagoon, named as one of the Wonders of the World , this is sure to be a trip for your bucket list.

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Activities:Trekking
2017 Dates:July 19-26 $TBD
Group Size:8-14 people
Travel Style:Comfort/Camping
Physical Rating:Moderate
Single Supplement: $TBD

2017 GROUP TRIPS

July 1-8 $TBD Single Supplement TBD) Book Trip
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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Trekking in the Highlands of Iceland on the Langevagur Trail
  • Golden Circle visit including Thingvellir National Park and Gulfoss Waterfall
  • Explore Iceland’s black sand beaches, dazzling glaciers, volcanoes, and thundering waterfalls
  • Navigate class II-III rapids on the Hvita River with its serene and scenic canyons of Brúarhlöð
  • Get off the beaten path in a Buggy Car and get your blood pumping in the cold air of Icelandic nature
  • Take a soothing dip in the waters of the geothermally-heated Blue Lagoon

ABOUT THE TREK

This four-day trek runs between the Landmannalaugar Hut in the north and Thorsmork park in the south. This 50-mile trail is stunning in every respect and packs in more variety in 50 miles than most trails offer in 500. It passes through a very colorful, varied landscape: from rainbow-colored hills to black volcanic deserts, neon green valleys to ice caves. This is not a trek for wildlife spotting, just wide open landscapes that seem to have sprung from another world.

After reaching a barren mountain pass between two glaciers – one of which sits on top of the notorious Eyjafjallajokull volcano that stopped flights between the US and Europe in 2010, you will descend into the valley of Thorsmork (translated as “the woods of Thor”). This breathtaking valley was visited by J.R.R. Tolkien before he penned The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. The landscape is believed to have inspired many of Tolkien’s descriptions of Middle Earth.

Few hikes offer the pure wilderness experience of Laugavegur, which wanders through otherworldly volcanic landscapes, paired with stays at comfy huts each night. In between, there are steaming fumaroles, expanses of lichen-covered volcanic rocks, and stunning views of copper-colored rhyolite peaks.

HUT ACCOMMODATIONS INCLUDE

  • Bunk accommodation in rooms for up to 20 people
  • Shared kitchen with stoves, pots, pans, crockery and cutlery
  • Running cold water
  • Gas Heaters
  • Showers
  • Water Toilets

Day 1: Reykjavik

Today is arrival day, so there are no activities planned. Our hotel is located in the heart of Reykjavik, close to a variety of shops, galleries, restaurants, coffee houses and bars to suit all tastes. Once you get settled in, get your bearings by visiting the observation deck of Hallgrimskirkja, or “the big white church.” Visit the church and take the elevator to the top floor for the best view in the city. Afterwards, take a stroll down to the Solfar (Sun Voyager) sculpture on the waterfront and then continue down to the harbor for lunch or dinner.

Upon arrival, you can easily get to our starting hotel by taking the Fly Bus, which departs from Keflivik Airport 35-40 minutes after each flight arrival and cost is 2800ISK one way for transfer to your hotel. Should you arrive before check-in time you can leave your luggage at the hotel to go explore the city.

Overnight at City Center Hotel or similar

Day 2: Golden Circle & Whitewater Rafting in Hvita (B, L)

Today starts with adrenaline pumping, whitewater rafting on the Hivita River where we’ll navigate class II-III rapids and even jump from a cliff into the glacier river. No one should leave Iceland without experiencing the power of its rivers. Located a little more than an hour’s drive from Reykjavik is the Hvita River (pronounced: Kveetau) with its serene and scenic canyons of Brúarhlöð. Afterwards, the showers and sauna are at hand before having lunch at Drumbo basecamp.

Next, we’ll head out to the geothermal area of Geysir, the home of the one and only Geysir. There the ground gurgles, bubbles and super-heated water escapes from the ground with enormous force. Next, we’ll stroll down to Gullfoss, the undisputed queen of Icelandic waterfalls. Gullfoss is an amazing sight, the water rushes down three steps of lava layers with breathtaking power and grandeur.

We end the day at Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site and the original birthplace of the oldest existing parliament in the world. In addition, it’s the place where the great tectonic plates of America and Europe meet and the rift valley is clearly visible.

INCLUDED:

  • Whitewater Rafting, sauna & lunch at Hvita River
  • Geysir Visit
  • Gulfoss Waterfall Visit
  • Thingvellir National Park Visit
  • Private Vehicle
  • Meals: Breakfast/ Lunch

Estimated Travel Time: 1.5 hours by private vehicle
Overnight at
 City Center Hotel or similar

Day 3: Landmannalaugar/ Buggy Offroad Adventure (B, D)

After breakfast, we’ll say goodbye to civilization as we make our way to the Highlands. Landmannalaugar, a place in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve in the Highlands of Iceland, is a superb example of mind-blowing landscapes. It is at the edge of Laugahraun lava field, which was formed in an eruption around the year 1477.

On the way, we’ll stop for a two-hour adrenaline-filled adventure in a Buggy Car, a two-person ATV that will take you into the varied landscape. Here, we’ll explore a stunning natural playground for the next few hours as you test out your buggy surrounded by amazing scenery that only Iceland can offer. The great thing about the ATV’s is they will get us off the beaten path for some intense exploration of natural sights not accessible otherwise.  They are able to travel on gravel roads, muddy trails, old bridges, and river crossings.

Once we’ve finished our ATV adventure, we’ll continue our way to the Landmannalaugar Hut, which will be our home for the night. This is a nice hut with a well-equipped kitchen, surrounded by mountains with a natural hot thermal pool located just 100 meters away.

INCLUDED:

  • 2-hour Buggy Car adventure
  • Private Vehicle
  • Meals: Breakfast/ Dinner

Estimated Travel Time: 3 hours by private vehicle
Overnight at
Landmannalaugar Hut

Day 4: Landmannalaugar to Alftavatn/ Laugavegur Trek (B, L, D)

Early this morning, we’ll begin our day on the Landmannalaugar Trail, starting from the mountain hut and walking through this geothermal wonderland. Admire colorful mountains and steaming hot springs as we walk by the beautiful hot spring Stórihver before crossing into the obsidian desert by Hrafntinnusker, where we’ll stop for lunch. Between Landmannalaugar and Hrafntinnusker there are several water crossings over rivers, streams, and possibly snow.

After lunch, we’ll continue hiking along Reykjafjoll to the Jokultugnur, an area with mountains, glaciers, and more hot springs. Enjoy the green scenery after the lava field and highland desert. After completing a steep descent, the rest of the walk towards the Lake Alftavatn camp is easy. We’ll spend the night here, listening to ghost stories in the twilight after dinner.

INCLUDED:

  • Laugavegur Trail Trek
  • Meals: Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner

Estimated hiking time: 10-12 hours
Hiking Distance: 24km (15 miles)
Hiking Ascent: 470m (1542 ft)
Hiking Descent: 470m (1542 ft)
Overnight at Alftavatn Hut

Day 5: Alftavatn to Emstrur/ Laugavegur Trek (B, L, D)

We’ll set out from Alftavatn Lake and start the day with another refreshing stream crossing at the foot of the majestic volcano Storasula and into the black desert of Mælifellssandur. On our way, we’ll see Hattafell, a volcano with a strange flat top. We’ll walk through this black glacial desert and into Emstrur where there is a chance to enjoy the view on Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull glaciers. Just before reaching the hut in Botnar, we’ll turn off the path to take look at Markarfljotsgljufur, a canyon that is almost 200m deep and carved out by the glacial river Markarfljot. The hut in Botnar is a little green oasis, a welcome sight after walking through the black sands.

INCLUDED:

  • Laugevegur Trail Trek
  • Meals: Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner

Estimated hiking time: 6-7 hours
Hiking Distance: 15km (9 miles)
Hiking Descent: 40m (130 ft)
Overnight at
Botnar Hut

Day 6: Emstrur to Thorsmork/ Laugavegur Trek (B, L, D)

This morning, we’ll leave Emstrur behind and continue our way to Thorsmork along the canyons. The trail takes us within a few kilometers from the great Myrdalsjokull glacier. Enjoy the change in landscape and a break from crossing through chilly rivers. As we descend towards Almenningar a few trees can be seen, a sign we are getting closer to the coast. This downhill section of the hike is among the most challenging sections of the trek. We walk at the foot of the characteristic mountain Einhyrningur and into the dense birch forest in Thorsmork valley, an area where warmer temperatures allow vegetation like moss birchwood and shrubs to grow. It offers a beautiful mountain view of volcanic glaciers Myrdalsjokull and Eyjafjallajokull. Thorsmork is situated between the rivers Krossa, Thronga and Markarfljot.

INCLUDED:

  • Laugavegur Trail Trek
  • Thorsmork Volcano Alley Hike
  • Meals: Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner

Estimated Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
Hiking Distance: 19km (12 miles)
Hiking Descent: 300m (985 ft)
Overnight at
Thorsmork Hut

Day 7: Thorsmork to Skogar/ Laugavegur Trek (B, L)

Today we leave Thorsmork early in the morning across the plains of Krossa into the lush birch forests at Basar heading upwards in Strakagil gorge along Kattarhryggir (Cat’s spine) towards the craters of Magni and Modi. These craters were created in a short eruption in 2010 that was a prelude to the large eruption in Eyjafjallajokull. The craters are 1000 meters above sea level so we will hike through snowfields before reaching our destination. It is an unforgettable experience to sit atop a warm/hot volcano between the two glaciers of Myrdalsjokull and Eyjafjallajokull.

The trail continues past several waterfalls including Skogafoss, one of the largest and most recognizable waterfalls in Iceland. The 60m (200ft) high falls form a constant mist that floats in the air. If viewed in the sunlight, the mist can create rainbows. The sound and view of the thundering water cutting through the green hills make the falls a must-see on any trip to Iceland.

At the end of our trek, we’ll be picked up and taken to our hotel for the night.

INCLUDED:

  • Laugavegur Trail Trek
  • Visit to Skogafoss Waterfall
  • Private Vehicle
  • Meals: Breakfast/ Lunch

Estimated Hiking Time: 8-9 hours
Hiking Distance: 16km (10 miles)
Hiking Ascent: 1000m (3280 ft)
Overnight at Hotel Katla or similar

Day 8: Black Sand Beach/ Vik/ Seljalandsfoss/ Blue Lagoon

This morning we’ll do some sightseeing in the area including a visit to the black sand beach of Vik, named one of the ten most beautiful non-tropical beaches on earth by Islands Magazine.  It’s easy to see why! Vik is Iceland’s southernmost village and faces the open Atlantic Ocean framed by a long black volcanic sand beach. Nearby the spindly Reynisdrangar rock formations stick out of the sea, and as the legend goes, were formed when trolls attempted to drag three ships ashore.

Next, we’ll visit the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, one of the best known waterfalls in Iceland. It is 60 meters (200 ft) high with a foot path behind it at the bottom of the cliff, making it one of the only waterfalls where it is possible to walk behind it.

We’ll end our adventure at the famous geothermal spa of the Blue Lagoon. The warm water are rich in minerals such as silica and sulfur and bathing in the Blue Lagoon has many health benefits and is perfect for relaxing and re-energizing after our trekking adventure. The Blue Lagoon is recognized as one of the wonders of the world according to National Geographic.

INCLUDED:

  • Visit to the black sand beach of Vik
  • Visit to Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
  • Entrance at the Blue Lagoon
  • Private Vehicle
  • Meals: Breakfast

Depart Iceland

Note: Please do not make ongoing travel arrangements before 5pm (local time) on this day. Not ready to leave? Your trip leader can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

What’s Included?

Standard hotel w/ breakfast, 3 nights
Mountain Huts w/ full board, 4 nights (4 dinners, 4 lunches, 4 breakfast)
Local, English & Icelandic speaking guides
Private Transportation
National Park Fees
Entrance Fee at the Blue Lagoon
Buggy Car Adventure
Golden Circle Tour w/ Whitewater River Rafting
Luggage, Gear transport from hut to hut (hikers carry daypack)
Meals indicated in the itinerary (B=Breakfast L=Lunch D=Dinner)

What’s Not Included?

Roundtrip international airfare to Reykjavik
Beverages & Meals not specified
Optional Activiites
Gratuities
Personal Expenses
Travel Insurance

 

Trip Length
7 Nights/ 8 Days
Travel Style
Comfort/ Camping
Physical Rating
Moderate to Difficult
Price
Starting at $TBD