Walking through raw volcanic deserts of ash and bubbling mud pools
Exploring the world’s most northerly capital, Reykjavik
Taking a dip in a steaming geothermally heated natural pool at Landmannalaugar
Picking your way across a frigid (yet exhilarating!) glacial stream
Catching sight of the infamous Eyjafjallajokull volcano
Wandering trails through lush vegetation at Thorsmork Valley
Finding out the trail’s hidden secrets and hearing fascinating personal insights from an expert Icelandic guide
Follow in the footsteps of enthusiastic walker and TV presenter Julia Bradbury, as seen on the BBC’s ‘Julia Bradbury’s Icelandic Walk’. On the Laugavegur Trail you will encounter volcanoes, lava fields, hot springs, mud pools, waterfalls, mountain lakes, canyons and wooded valleys.
Explore the world’s most northerly capital, Reykjavik, a small yet lively city with a welcoming café culture. Set off on the trail from the highland region of Landmannalaugar with its colourful rhyolite peaks and pass by deep gorges and yellow mountain ridges before you arrive at the first of four remote mountain huts.
Spot hundreds of steaming hot springs and mud pools, and enjoy outstanding views across to the glaciers of Myrdalsjokull and Eyjafjallajokull (the latter made famous thanks to the volcano’s mischievous ash cloud of 2010).
Heading south, encounter the surprising black deserts of Maelifellssandur and walk alongside the Markarfjlot canyon which plunges to a depth of 200m at the foot of Hattfell volcano. This iconic walk ends at the wooded valley of the Norse God of thunder; ‘Thorsmork’. Return to Reykjavik where you’ll spend a further two nights, with the chance to explore the Golden Circle or take a whale watching trip out into the bay.
You will be walking in a small group of between 6 and 16 people and will be accompanied by a fully qualified expert local guide. Your guide will really help to bring the area to life through their expert knowledge on this fascinating country and its amazing geology!
DAY 1: Arrive in Reykjavik
Flying into Keflavik International Airport, you can immediately recognise that you are about to arrive in Iceland, with views of craters and lava fields. There are regular international flights operating to Iceland from Europe and North America.
Upon arrival at Keflavik, hop on a shuttle bus for the transfer into Reykjavik city centre (payable locally). A popular choice is to transfer via the Blue Lagoon en route, for a welcoming dip!
Reykjavik is a vibrant yet small city, and is easily explored on foot. Wander along the main shopping street and browse handicraft shops or stop in one of the many cafés to watch the world go by.
Reykjavik boasts some truly excellent restaurants, with the freshest possible fish and succulent lamb on the menu.
Overnight: 3* Hotel Fron, Reykjavik
Hotel Fron is a friendly and stylish property located on Laugavegur, in the heart of downtown Reykjavik, close to all the main shops, restaurants, cafes, galleries and museums.
DAY 2: Bus to Landmannalaugar, walk to Hrafntinnusker
Pick up from your hotel and transfer to the Concert Hall in the centre of Reykjavik, where you will board a regular mountain bus for the transfer into Iceland’s wilds, passing by Hekla volcano, which erupted as recently as the year 2000. Arrive at the popular highland location of Landmannalaugar in time for lunch, surrounded by colourful rhyolite mountains.
Lace up your boots for the walk to Hrafntinnusker mountain hut, passing by small gorges, steaming hot springs and yellow mountain ridges. By the time you reach tonight’s mountain hut accommodation in the late afternoon, you will have fallen for this harsh yet beautiful volcanic landscape.
Overnight: Mountain hut at Hrafntinnusker
On this trail you will stay in mountain huts. Some have electricity and some have hot water, all have heating. Cooking equipment and facilities are provided at each hut. Please note that the bunk rooms are mixed sex.
Walk: 12km, 4-5 hrs Ascent: 470m
DAY 3: Walk to Alftavatn
Iceland sits astride the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, and this morning you’ll note just how fragile the earth’s crust is here. Hundreds of steaming hot springs and mud pools stretch across this lunar-like terrain; this could only be Iceland.
Ahead, sight the Myrdalsjokull and Eyjafjallajokull glaciers which sit atop slumbering volcanoes; the latter’s ash cloud being infamous for causing havoc to airspace in May 2010! Arrive at the Alftavatn (translates as ‘Swan Lake’) hut in the afternoon, for an overnight stay.
Walk: 12km, 4-5 hrs Descent: 490m
Overnight: Mountain hut at Alftavatn
DAY 4: Walk to Emstrur
Pass by the foot of Storasula, a green cone volcano, then the trail enters the black ash deserts of Maelifellssandur. Another ancient volcano, Hattfell, rises up to greet you as you cross the pastures of the Emstrur region; farmers used to graze their sheep here in summer.
Visit the remarkable Markarfljot canyon, which plunges almost 200m down into the rocks south of Hattfell. Overnight at the Botnar hut.
Walk: 15km, 6-7 hrs Descent: 40m
Overnight: Mountain hut at Botnar
DAY 5: Walk to Thorsmork Valley
Start the morning with an undulating walk through the small valleys and gullies of the Ermstrur region. Here, the great Myrdalsjokull glacier feels almost within touching distance, although it is a few kilometres from the track.
As you head south the vegetation starts to grow thicker and higher, as you approach the Thorsmork Valley. This lush protected valley is filled with arctic birch forests and in high summer is dotted with colourful flowers. Spend the night at one of the huts in Thorsmork.
Walk: 15km, 6-7 hrs Descent: 300m
Overnight: Mountain hut at Thorsmork
DAY 6: Walk at Thorsmork, travel to Reykjavik
This morning, choose from one of the numerous trails which lead out from Thorsmork. This afternoon, take the highland bus back to the capital city of Reykjavik in the evening.
Transfer to your accommodation.
Walk: 2-3 hrs (choice of walks)
Overnight: 3* Hotel Fron, Reykjavik
DAY 7: Free in Reykjavik
Today is at leisure. Perhaps spend time exploring Reykjavik itself, or join an optional excursion into the countryside; the ‘Golden Circle’ route is a popular choice, visiting the trio of two-tiered Gullfoss waterfall, UNESCO World Heritage Site Thingvellir National Park, and Geysir hot springs area.
Overnight: 3* Hotel Fron, Reykjavik
DAY 8: Onward Travel
Return to Keflavik International Airport by shuttle bus (payable locally) for your return flight home.
The Laugavegur Trail has set departure dates for small group trips of between 6 and 16 people. Departures operate during Iceland's summer months, from June to September.
If we are unable to accommodate your on your confirmed dates/tour or an alternative of your choice your deposit is fully refunded.
Grade & Terrain
This trip is graded moderate to strenuous and daily walks are between 4-7 hours in length (up to 15km per day). The trail is tough underfoot in places with changing terrain. This tour is suitable for experienced walkers looking for a challenge.
Your bags will be transferred between mountain huts as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.
You will be accompanied by an English-speaking expert walking guide whilst on the trail during this small group trip. They will help bring the incredible scenery to life with personal observations and information that you would only find out from a local!
Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, lightweight clothes, waterproofs and a day pack.
This trip is available to solo walkers and is ideal for those travelling on their own who are looking to join a small group walking holiday. A single supplement is payable for the single occupancy of accommodation in Reykjavik only, and single rooms are not available whilst on the trail due to the configuration and nature of the mountain huts.
class="MsoNormal">It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.
The distances and ascent/descets are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, (for example, proper rain gear jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking/cycling gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes or the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.
Getting to/from Iceland:
Reykjavik is Iceland’s capital city and located in the south west of the country.
Air - Fly into Keflavik International Airport, which is served by numerous airlines from UK, European and International destinations. Keflavik is just a 3 hour flight from the UK and just a 5 hour flight from Boston, with Icelandair offering many direct flights from various US airports.
Bus - From Keflavik Airport there are regular and reliable transfer services into Reykjavik itself (and vice-versa). Transfers which allow you stop off for a bathe in the geothermal Blue Lagoon (which is just 15 mins from the airport) are very popular and may also be pre-booked. Reykjavik Excursions/FlyBus and Airport Express/Iceland Excursions offer transfer services. Keflavik is approx. 90 mins (standard transfer) from Reykjavik.