Trekking on your own in Iceland

Ingrid Morel
iceland hiking trails
Your adventure travel

From
1200€/pers
Duration
9 days / 8 nights

You and the hiking trails of Iceland!

Only for experienced and independent hikers! Even if you are walking the “Laugarvegur” track, Iceland’s most iconic trail, and you are sleeping in a mountain hut each night, you will be unassisted and without a guide. You will be carrying your own equipment and the weather can be very challenging. Yet, every day you are rewarded by the awe-inspiring sights that these contrasting and particularly wild, other world regions provide. You will see: multicolored volcanic mountain ranges and valleys, black sand deserts, glaciers, forests and, the effects of recent eruptions.

Trip available from the end of June to beginning of September

Length of trek: 7 days 
Length of each leg: 4-8 hours 
Distance covered: about 90 km 
Altitude: 200 – 1100 m. 
Maximum altitude change: about 1000 m 
Accommodations: mountain hut 
Luggage: you carry your gear and food in a backpack and we provide supplies at Thórsmörk

The route
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Step 1

Reykjavík

Settle into your guesthouse, have dinner and enjoy the night at your leisure.

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Step 2

Landmannalaugar

Climb Bláhnukur and relax with a bath in the nearby river's hot waters.

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Step 3

Hrafntinnusker

Admire hundreds of hot water springs and little turquoise reservoirs that emit white smoke

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Step 4

Hvanngil

Join Alftavatn, "Swan lake" and the valley of Hvanngil

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Step 5

Emstrur

Arriving in the Emstrur you may even come across some adventurous sheep!

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Step 6

Thorsmörk

The vegetation becomes progressively more abundant and the first dwarf birch trees announce your arrival in the forests of Thor

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Step 7

Fimmvörthurhals

You will discover the fields of dark lava and the reddish craters from the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull volcano in spring 2010

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Step 8

Reykjavik

You will discover Skógafoss waterfall and get back to Reykjavik

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Your Trekking on your own in Iceland day by day itinerary

Day 1

Keflavík-Reykjavík

50 km about 1h 

Pick up and transfer from the Keflavik international airport to your Reykjavík accomodation. Settle into your guesthouse, have dinner and enjoy the night at your leisure. 

Day 2

Reykjavík – Landmannalaugar

180 km about 4h driving and 4h of walking 

Depart by bus for Landmannalaugar through the southern countryside. You’ll drive along the expanses of black sand and ash that surround the strato-volcano Hekla, which in the Middle Ages was considered to be one of the gates to hell. Arrive at the Landmannalaugar campsite around noon. You can opt to climb Bláhnukur, the mountain that dominates the valley and wields a magnificent view of the rhyolite mountain chain. At the peak, a map will allow you to orient yourself and become familiar with the mountains of the region. At the end of the day relax with a bath in the nearby river’s hot waters.

Staying the night in a mountain hut. 

Day 3

Landmanalaugar – Hrafntinnusker

12km about 4- 6h

You’ll head due south to begin the mythical “Laugarvegur trek” going through lava fields and small gorges before heading up to the highlands in an environment of multicolored mountains, hot springs and solfataras. Arriving at the end of the day at Hrafntinnusker’s hut. You are at an altitude of 1000 meters, and on another world.

Staying overnight in Hrafntinnuskers hut. 

Day 4

Hrafntinnusker - Alftavatn - Hvanngil

16km about 6h

From Hrafntinnusker you’ll go up and down the roller coaster of the Jökultungur ravines with their hundreds of hot water springs and little turquoise reservoirs that emit white smoke. Surprising splashes of colour dot this dramatic landscape. On the horizon, you will see the Myrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers. Soon Alftavatn, “Swan lake” will appear, and the valley of Hvanngil. You’ll follow this path across landscapes of green tundra until you arrive at the old stables of Hvanngil.

Staying overnight in the mountain hut at Hvanngil 

Day 5

Hvanngil - Emstrur

12km about 5h

You’ll go by the foot of Storasula’s surprisingly green volcanic cone before reaching the black sand of the Maelifellssandur desert. Then it’s off to another ancient volcano, this time with a very characteristic shape, Hattfell or “hat mountain,” whose different shades of green contrast stunningly with the black sand of the desert. Arriving in the Emstrur you may even come across some adventurous sheep! Before arriving at the mountain hut in Botnar, you’ll discover the impressive Markarfljot canyon that cuts deeper than 200 metres into Hattfell’s southern flanks.

Staying overnight at the botnar hut in Emstrur, with its magnificent location in front of the Myrdalsjökull glacier

Day 6

Emstrur – Thorsmörk

16km about 6h

You keep descending following verdant valleys and crossing little mountain passes until the Emstrur ravine; the glacier tongues of Myrdalsjökull come here to melt several kilometres up. As you descend, the vegetation becomes progressively more abundant and the first dwarf birch trees announce your arrival in the forests of Thor. Thorsmörk. Your arrival in the glacial valley and the white birch forests is enchanting after the desert crossing the day before. The comfortable mountain hut is definitely a welcome sight!
You’ll find the food supplies we have left for you in your mountain hut.

Overnight in Thorsmörk’s hut. 

Day 7

Thorsmörk – Fimmvörthurhals

14km about 6-7h

Set off for the longest leg of your trek, during which you will cross a pass at a height of 1078 meters dissecting the Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull glaciers. A feat that difficult weather can make very tricky. Half way up, detour on the plateau of Morinsheiði to walk on top off the cliffs, which give you a beautiful view on the Glaciers. The slope becomes pretty steep and snowfields more common. At the pass, before Fimmvördurhal’s hut, you will discover the fields of dark lava and the reddish craters from the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull volcano in spring 2010. Close to the hut, if the weather is clear, you will have a view on the ocean as a reward.

Staying overnight in Fimmvordurháls’s hut 

Day 8

Fimmvörthurhals – Skogar - Reykjavik

13km about 4h of walking and 180 km of road. about 3h 

You will now follow the river Skoga across grassy hills staying on a well marked path. At the end of this hike, a surprise awaits you: the Skógafoss waterfall. At a height of 60 metres take in the sound of its deafening roar.
If you still have time you can go visit Skogar’s folk museum (entrance fee).
In the beginning of the afternoon you will board the bus back to Reykjavík along the southern coast.

Dine at your leisure and stay overnight in your guesthouse in Reykjavík

Day 9

Reykjavik – Keflavik

50km about 1 h 

Transfer to Keflavik international airport

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Your accomodation during your Trekking on your own in Iceland

Accommodations are provided in well-kept mountain huts. They are heated, some even have electricity and hot water, but they remain nevertheless mountain huts with no luxury and little privacy. You will stay in shared rooms with bunks that you may be forced to share. But in this wild environment, especially if there is difficult weather, these mountain huts will seem like four star hotels!

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Price between 1200€ and 1600€

  • Camping (6 nights) and guesthouse in double room in Reykjavík (2 nights) : 1200 Euros 
  • Mountain huts (6 nights) and guesthouse in double room in Reykjavík (2 nights) : 1600 Euros

It is possible to schedule a private departure date with a professional guide with a minimum of five participants. Ask for a quote.

Included in this travel

  • Night in mountain huts and in Reykjavik
  • Transfers
  • Food for 7 days, including food drop-off in Thórsmörk
  • Detailed rood book and maps

Not included in this travel

  • Flights
  • Meals in Reykjavík
  • Showers in mountain huts when available (about 500 ISK – for 5 minutes of hot water)
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Friendly advice for your Trekking on your own in Iceland:

  • This itinerary is meant for experienced and autonomous trekkers. If you don’t want to carry your things you can trek the same itinerary in a tour group with a guide and vehicular assistance. A bit more expensive, but much easier.
  • Don’t cut corners when it comes to the quality of your equipment. Bring protection against potential cold and rain, a quality overcoat and shoes…
  • Prepare yourself before your departure and come with shoes that are already moulded to your feet to avoid crippling blisters.
  • In September the temperature is a bit cooler, but the climate is also dryer and there is less snow making the going easier.
  • For a cheaper and even more challenging trek, choose to forgo the mountain huts and opt for our camping option.

Staff information

Unaccompanied.
We will provide you with a detailed road book as well as a map with your itinerary. The trail is very well indicated and in good weather you will have no trouble following it. Even when the weather is favourable, however, this remains a challenging trek due to the weight you will have to carry (about 20 kg). When the weather is inclement, you will have to be very vigilant and sure to follow all of our recommendations as well as those of the people tending the mountain huts where you will be spending your nights.

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Your adventure travel

From
1200€/pers
Duration
9 days / 8 nights
Highlights

  • We take care of transfers and mountain hut booking
  • A well marked trail across a large variety of landscapes
  • We provide a very detailed handbook
  • Food drop-off at Thorsmörk
Our Guarantees