Iceland's Laugavegur Trek

8 days
from
2 679 €
Loading...
5 / 5 from 2 reviews
Walking & Trekking
Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Moderate / Challenging
Activity Rating - Moderate/Challenging
Trip code: 
TSE
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Group size:
8–16
Min age:
16

Iceland is now firmly established as one of the best, most dramatic trekking destinations. The variety of landscapes has been created over the centuries by volcanic eruptions and gigantic glaciers. One of the most popular trails is known as the Laugavegur Trail, and this is the focus of our week. All meals are included while camping, and we start in the colourful Landmannalaugar Mountains before heading to the dramatic Thorsmork region where we discover the craters from the 2010 eruption. Few trekking routes can match the striking vistas on offer here. 
In addition, the early departures offer long days, up to 24hrs daylight in July, while the late August and early September departures bring with them some darkness and with that the chance to see the Northern Lights.

Highlights

  • Iceland's best-known trekking route
  • Natural hot pools, waterfalls, lava fields, craters and volcanic fissures
  • 24hr daylight in July, chance of Northern Lights in late August

Key information

  • 2 nights hotel, 5 nights participatory camping
  • 6 days walking
  • Low altitude throughout
  • Group normally 8 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Transfer to meet any flight
  • Countries visited: Europe, Iceland

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 5 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
+356 21423994
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

6

Days of Walking & Trekking
Day by day breakdown
Day 26.0km/4.0miles
Day 322.0km/8.0miles
Day 416.5km/8.0miles
Day 520.0km/11.0miles
Day 616.0km/9.0miles

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Reykjavik
to
Reykjavik
  • Day 1

    Start Reykjavik

    After a Flybus transfer to our hotel we begin with a briefing from your leader, usually at 1830. Here you will have an outline of the the week ahead and the chance to ask any questions.

  • Day 2

    Reykjavik to Landmannalaugar

    We transfer up to the unmistakable Landmannalaugar Mountains. The drive will take approximately 4 hours as we head through the south of Iceland, up the Thjorsardalur valley towards Mt Hekla, an enormous volcano which in centuries gone by has been responsible for enormous destruction. Here we turn into the Highlands and the black volcanic desert of the Fjallabak area. The Fjallabak Nature Reserve is one of the most popular areas in Iceland for trekking with a landscape like nowhere else, from black volcanic plains to multicoloured rhyolite mountains. At the heart of all this are the Landmannalaugar Mountains where we pitch our camp before having lunch.

    Typically most trips begin the Laugavegur trail today, however, we take the opportunity to enjoy a daywalk in these unique surroundings.

    Our afternoon walk heads to the top of Blue Peak and across the black Laugahruna lava field. The hot pools originate in this lava field, which was created in 1477, the last known eruption in the area. 

    This area is believed to be the southern end of the Bardarbunga volcanic system. The last eruption in the Bardarbunga system was a fissure eruption in the northern end of the system from 2014 to 2015. Some 150 km north of Landmannalaugar, it was the largest eruption in Iceland for over 200 years though luckily did not have the same impact on air travel as the more famous Eyafjallajokull eruption of 2010. Our guide will prepare the evening meal in our mess tent, though group members are expected to pitch in and help with food preparation and washing up.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Landmannalaugar to Alftavatn

    For the next two days we cross the Torfajokull volcanic area (rhyolitic stratovolcano). An area formed by series of subglacial volcanic eruptions which today are most commonly found in Iceland or in Antarctica. The area consists of rolling rhyolite hills with numerous hot springs and sulphur vents and is the largest rhyolitic area in Iceland.

    We start by crossing the Laugahraun lava field to the slopes of Brennisteinsalda, known for its photogenic spectrum of colours. We take a short but very worthwhile detour to the top.

    En route we pass the Storihver hot spring, cross the high plateau and enter the Hrafntinnusker area. Here steam rises from the hundreds of vents,  and our route passes numerous hot springs along the way. 

    From Hrafntinnusker and across the Torfajokull Massif. The route meanders southwards and we hike past steaming hot springs and boiling mud pools before we start dropping down Jokultungur to the black volcanic plains vest of the Myrdalsjokull glacier. The view is spectacular on a clear day with Myrdalsjokull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers in the foreground and the black volcanic landscape between. We enter to a totally different landscape made up from Palagonite ridges and peaks with black volcanic plains and big glacier rivers all around. Our aim for the day is Alftavatn lake (Swan lake) where we pitch our tents once more.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Alftavatn to Emstrur

    We head further south towards Myrdalsjokull ice cap across the black volcanic landscape. There are several rivers in this area, the largest are bridged however the smaller ones are not. We make a detour just before we make it to our destination of the day, Emstrur. We head west for the Markarfljotsglufur canyon. The Markarkfljot glacial river has cut this canyon nearly 200m deep and it is worth a visit. After the Markarfljostgljufur canyon we have a short distance to Botnar in the Emstrur area, a small green oasis in the black volcanic desert.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Emstrur to Thorsmork (Basar)

    We start the day by crossing the bridge over the Emstrur River on our way to Thorsmork. We hike along the western edge of the Myrdalsjokull Ice Cap and leave the pitch black volcanic area. Vegetation increases slowly and eventually we get to the lush Birch covered area of Thorsmork (Thor's woodland). Thorsmork valley is a beautiful place with its magnificent glaciers, river and wind-swept mountains. This area has been a local walkers' favourite for decades and it’s not hard to see why. We hike across the Thorsmork valley and over the Krossa glacial river (by bridge) and to our camp in Basar.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Return to Reykjavik.

    Today we pack up ready to head back to Reykjavik. We board the bus and drive to the capital for our final night. Before getting to Reykjavik we go for a hike on Solheimajokull, an outlet glacier extending from the Myrdalsjokull icecap. We explore this wonderland of ice sculptures, crevasses, and long, narrow ridges. We strap on the crampons and get the ice axes before making our way up this massive ice flow. After the glacier walk en-route to Reykjavik we stop at Skogarfoss and Kvernufoss, two particularly photogenic waterfalls. On arrival in Reykjavik we can check in and then head out for our final meal together. The leader will be on hand to recommend or book a local restaurant for the group.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    End Reykjavik

    Those wishing to spend extra time in Reykjavik will find it time well spent as this busy city has plenty to offer, from the Harpa Concert Hall to the many restaurants and cafés, not forgetting the geothermal baths, a key part of Icelandic culture.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Iceland

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Iceland

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 dinners included

Typical Meals when camping:
Breakfast: fresh fruit; yoghurt; porridge; muesli; bread; jam; tea/coffee. 
Lunch: bread and soup; cheese; tuna; biscuits. 
Evening meal: A combination of the following: meat (including Icelandic specialities such as smoked lamb), fish, pasta, beans, noodles, vegetables, and hot drinks. We will also have a few bars of chocolate, dried fruit, biscuits and some sweets to sustain us on the walks. Those who prefer evening drinks are advised to buy them in the duty-free in Keflavik airport on arrival.
Dietary requirements - vegetarians can be catered for, please advise at time of booking. As this is predominantly a camping trip, there is limited flexibility whilst in camp. If you have specific dietary requirements please ask at time of booking to allow us to check with our local partners. Unfortunately, due to the remoteness of some locations, we are unable to cater for vegans.

Weather

Iceland is on the northern edge of the temperate zone, meaning it has cool summers. Daytime temperatures in the summer months can be anything from 10 to 20degC, though in 2008 they reached 25 and could equally drop close to 0. As we are in a mountain area you must be prepared for some days of poor weather with strong winds and rain, but usually the weather is quite pleasant, though cool. There is constant daylight, but not midnight sun, in May, June and July.

Is this trip for you?

This trip is classified Level 3, Moderate. 
Walks are of varying length and distance on this trip. The longest day is around 7 hours. This trek is on a clearly defined path, however there can be some loose ground and uneven terrain.
Walks are subject to change in the event of adverse weather conditions. While camping, members are expected to participate, including erecting and dismantling your own tent and helping the leader with some kitchen duties and the preparation of meals.
Luggage is transported by minibus from camp to camp, meaning you will only need to carry provisions for each day, see packing list for further details.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
+356 21423994
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Camping & Hotel

The first and last two nights are spent in Reykjavik. Here we usually use Hotel Cabin, Klettur of the Fosshotel Baron offering comfortable rooms with en suite facilities.  As hotel availability in Reykjavik can be scarce during the summer due to strong demand, we may occasionally use an alternative hotel of the same standard.
When camping we usually stay at organised campsites, with good facilities and showers are available for a small fee (about £2) at some, included at others. Some also have a launderette service or facilities for washing clothes.
We use spacious two-person tents with sewn-in groundsheets and separate flysheets are supplied. We provide a dining tent with a table, campstools, and LED lamps. Please note that some campsites in Iceland cannot be pre-booked, and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Occasionally in busy periods we may use campsites different to those outlined in the itinerary.

Single accommodation, including a single tent, is available on request.

Call for general departures:
+356 21423994
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed September 2019
    Christine Gausden

    'Storm Group'

    This was an unexpectedly challenging trek across a mix of terrains in the Laugavegur region of Iceland - not only did our group experience the most stunning & variable scenery but equally a variable mix of weather conditions & the unexpected evacuation of camp at speed due to extreme wind conditions that started to uplift our overnight accommodation - & a colleague's possessions ….

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were several - daily - which largely revolved about the scenery - 'wow' moments, which will not be forgotten

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gunner was affable, stoic & professional throughout; quietly unassuming, he was the calm amidst 'our storm' - whilst we were somewhat excited by the chaos he was efficient in his acquisition of alternative accommodation - at speed

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Notwithstanding the weather, this is not a moderate trip - the walks are substantive in length, & whilst the pace was not over demanding, there were several high, steep, narrow &/or exposed parts to almost every day which a more moderate walker may not anticipate

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Before visiting Iceland I was advised by fellow travellers I would love this seismic land - they were not wrong .. a fantastic trek in great company & highly recommended
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Ian Hudson

    A walk through a lunar landscape

    A five day walk through the land that allegedly inspired JRR Tolkien to write "Lord of the Rings". Go on your own journey to return your own one ring to Mount Doom. More volcanoes than you can count on both hands but no Orc's. Iceland has quite a high rainfall but not a problem for this trip because: 1) It didn't rain all week! 2) There is very little soil, so no mud, you spend most of the time walking over volcanic ash or lava!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking over a mountain of obsidian boulders/cobbles. For non geologists obsidian is a volcanic glass that appears black , shiny and breaks with sharp edges. Usually difficult to locate but here there is a whole mountain of the stuff. Being informed that Icelandic trolls are bad, big, don't live under bridges and turn to stone if caught in daylight. Familiar if you have read the "The Hobbit". Petrified Troll spotting was a highlight of most days. The company of a great bunch of Exodus clients.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gunnar is a very experienced Icelandic guide with a flexible approach to travelling in the mountains. The forecast of high winds early in the trip meant we we didn't use a couple of exposed campsites which made the trip more enjoyable, high winds and tents don't mix! He is a wealth of knowledge on the locality, its eruptive history and the Icelandic saga's. He even coached me in local pronunciation I can now say Eyjafjnallajokull .......(I think).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes the advice in them is good especially the bit about using duty free at the airport. Gunnar carried hot water flasks for lunch tea/coffee but if you a lunchtime cuppa soup person take your own flask and packets, plenty of hot water at breakfast. Strong winds over ash produce "dust storms", take a pair of close fitting sunglasses to keep it out of your eyes. Goggles would be a little OTT.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is trip that will interest Geologists.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]