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Iceland is known as the land of fire and ice, where turbulent volcanic forces meet the icy touch of the Arctic to shape an island that is as desolate as it is beautiful. Blasted tundra, glistening glaciers and pounding waterfalls are among the many wonders vying for space in the Icelandic wilderness, and the best way to explore the extremes of this spellbinding country is to take a long walk into its heart, on the famous Laugavegur trail.

Stretching 55km from Landmannalaugar to Thórsmörk, the Laugavegur trail is the country’s most well-known hiking route. The four-day trek takes you past colourful mountains, warming hot-springs and steep ravines as you wind your way through the landscape of South-East Iceland.

The trail attracts a steady stream of hikers during its open season (June to August), but it is long enough to allow some distance between yourself and other hikers, so you can still feel that you are experiencing the scenery on a personal level, if that is what you are looking for.

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Almost every inch of the path offers an opportunity to take a great picture, and if you bring a camera along, you might struggle to put it away. Consider bringing a widescreen and waterproof camera to capture the sweeping vistas in weather that could become damp at any moment. Take a look at Techradar’s article about the best waterproof cameras for some expert advice. Hiking Iceland’s Laugavegur trail.

The trail is challenging and will put your endurance to the test, with long climbs, steep descents and rocky surfaces awaiting those who take on the challenge.

Although the trail is only open over the summer, don’t expect four days of glorious sun; the weather in the Icelandic interior is notoriously volatile, and is liable to change from sunshine to thick fog and rain at the drop of a hat. If you want to find out more about what to expect on the trail, take a look at the official trail website. Best Iceland trails best iceland hikes.

You should ensure that you are suitably dressed for the journey. Essential items include: comfortable hiking boots, a water/windproof jacket and overtrousers, thermal hat and gloves, and sunglasses in case of snow glare. Make sure your equipment is of a good quality and be sure to stock up on anything you need before you leave from an outdoor clothing specialist.

Above and Beyond is one such specialist, and their range of waterproof jackets and other clothing will have you covered for the very worst the Icelandic weather can throw at you. Where to go hiking in Iceland.

As the hike will take several days, there are two options for your overnight stays. The first, and most comfortable, option is to book a place at one of the six huts that are dotted along the trails at Landmannalaugar, Hrafntinnusker, Álftavatn, Hvanngil, Emstrur/Botnar and Langidalur in Thórsmörk. The second is to camp in one of the sites attached to each hut which you don’t need to book in advance. Where to stay on the Laugavegur trail Iceland.

Each hut has bunk accommodation, running water, and heating, offering a basic but pleasant night’s sleep. Due to high seasonal demand, many visitors opt to book a package deal to secure their place in their desired huts and transport to and from the trail. This package from Volcano Huts will cover you for your accommodation and transport.

The trail is very well signposted, with guideposts acting as comforting pointers in good weather. However, as the weather is prone to change, it may be a good idea to bring along a detailed map of the area. In addition to a map, it might also be advisable to pack a compass and GPS-unit that you can use should visibility become reduced. Camping on the Laugavegur trail Iceland.

The Laugavegur trail offers a beautiful but challenging opportunity to explore Iceland’s wilderness. The region’s open landscapes and wild mountains can mesmerise you for hours as you journey towards your goal. If you are looking to test yourself physically, as well as rewarding yourself with moments of wonder, then Iceland’s Laugavegur is the trek for you.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: Featured photo by Leon Dolman. In order of appearance thereafter, both Pinterest images by Alexander Hahn, hiking up a glacier by Leon Dolman, hiking through mist by Alexander Hahn, camping on the trail by Leon Dolman, footwear by Jenny Salita, volcano huts by Alexander Hahn

    20 Comments

  1. I love hiking and most of all, I love a challenge! Your photographs look spectacular and clearly show it’s a rewarding trail. Thanks for helping me put more of Iceland on my bucket list!

    • Sounds like The Laugavegur trail is for you then Alice! I hope you manage to organize a trip to Iceland soon 🙂

  2. The scenery looks like paintings! This has been on my list for a while now, glad to have more information! I can not wait to do this hike, roar!

    • It does, doesn’t it! I swear that Iceland has the ability to turn anyone into a pro photographer just with a simple click! The landscape does the work!!

      Have a blast on the hike – you’ll love it 🙂

  3. Hi there, wow… it looks like a real adventure:) Btw, where did you stay? I am helping a friend book her trip to Iceland and kinda have no idea which area to suggest. Thanks a lot

    • Hi BonBon – in Iceland itself we stayed in B&B’s which were dotted around the Ring Road – we used Booking.com to find the best rates.

      On this trail specifically you can either book a place at one of the six huts that are dotted along the trails at Landmannalaugar, Hrafntinnusker, Álftavatn, Hvanngil, Emstrur/Botnar and Langidalur in Thórsmörk. Or you can camp in one of the sites attached to each hut which you don’t need to book in advance.

      If you’re looking for a cheap place to stay in Reykjavik we stayed at the Bus Hostel and loved it – hostel accommodation, so very social with a really fun atmosphere. Great place to mix with other travelers 🙂

      Hope that helps!

  4. Some places are worth the extreme temperatures. I’ve never been to Iceland but it’s high on my list. I’m trying to decide if I want to go alone or bring my daughter along.

    • Absolutely Lesley – Iceland being one of them!! I would take your daughter along – I’ve found that part of the joy of discovering Iceland was having someone to share each spectacular moment with 🙂

  5. Hiking and volcanos are my two guilty pleasures. We just hiked around Etna, which was a surreal experience for me: a wild adventure just a couple hours from a metropolis. Time to think about next big hiking trip. Iceland looks like a good choice. In fact, it’s been on my wish list for ages, but something always came up to interrupt these plans. These photos are so tempting. The Laugavegur trail definitely fits into the type of things I would like to try. Sadly, June-to-August time frame makes it impossible this year (those Schengen restrictions 🙁 ). Perhaps, next year…

    • You’ll LOVE Iceland then!! I actually recently also published a post on the best volcanoes throughout Iceland so you should definitely give that a look – some fabulous options for treks and hikes 🙂

      Definitely start looking into for next year if you can’t make it work with your current visa. It’s worth the wait I promise you 🙂 Feel free to reach out if you’re looking for any further tips in the planning process. Always happy to help where we can X

    • Iceland is an amazing experience no matter which part of the country you visit 🙂 Hope you can get there soon!

  6. Seems like everyone is going to or has been to Iceland. I haven’t made it there yet, but the more posts I see on it the bigger my list of things I should do when there grows.

    • Try and get there soon before the big tourism boom hits. Right now it’s an amazing and special place largely because it remains untouched. I hope it remains that way as more and more of the world realize how special it is.

  7. These photos are just gorgeous! Ive never been to iceland but its very high on my list! I think I would love this hike!

    • Glad you enjoyed the photos and the post Jess. Hope you manage a trip to Iceland soon – one of the most stunning countries on earth by far!! I’m sure you would love the laugavegur trail!

  8. These heated huts with running water and beds offer a comfortable break during the long hike – it’s a good idea to make the trip more accessible for those who want to rough it in the tents or enjoy a little comfort at night.

    • Absolutely Mary – and I’ve found it’s often nice to have a little bit more comfort than offered by a tent for long treks sometimes. At least the option is there anyway, and those who are more than happy to camp it out can do so too 🙂

  9. I will be in Iceland from July 4 to 13 and want to hike the Laugavegurin Trail and then continuing down to Skogar. i will be travelling “solo” and while I am an experienced hiker, I do not always have the best sense of direction and am concerned about getting lost, especially if it gets foggy and I can’t see the sign posts. Is it easy to hook up with others along the trail to consult on directions if necessary? what do you think about doing this hike alone in July?

    Thanks very much.

    Susan Manion

    • Hi Susan, I would say you should be fine taking on the hike alone in July. High season usually sees more than 100 hikers on the trek (so book your accommodation in advance if you’re not planning to camp), so there’s always help nearby if it’s needed. The track itself is well marked and is usually easy to follow.

      Do be prepared for fog, because the weather can change – if you’re not the best at navigation, make sure you buy a GPS or a sat nav for the trip; coordinates go up on the information tables at the huts, so you can enter the position of the next hut before you start hiking.

      Hope that helps – check out http://www.fi.is/en/hiking-trails/laugavegurinn/ for more info, they have a fantastic range of resources to help plan your trip.

      Happy travels!

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