Welcome to Reykjavik!
As your fellow travellers are arriving throughout the day, there are no planned activities until your welcome meeting this evening, so check-in to the hotel and enjoy the city. Check the notice boards or ask at reception for the exact time and location of the welcome meeting.
We transfer from Reykjavik east along the tabletop mountains of the Esja and down to Lake Thingvallavatn. Here we stop to visit the National Park Thingvellir where you will see one of only two tectonic rift valleys in the worlds, created as the continental plates of America and Europe slowly drift apart.Thingvellir is also the only UNESCO cultural world-heritage site in Iceland and it was here that the Vikings held their parliament and passed out judgments.
From Thingvellir we will head over Geysir hot springs. At Geysir we will see a variety of geothermal pools and Strokkur, the erupting hot spring, surely one of the highlights of any visit to Iceland. Just 10 km up the road we find Gullfoss waterfall where we will stop to view the spectacular 32 meter high cascade and grab some lunch at the local cafe before saying goodbye to civilization and heading into the highlands. Our next stop is Landmannalaugar.
We wake up in the heart of Fjallabak in the South Icelandic highlands. Fjallabak literally means “behind the mountains”, here hidden behind Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjokull lies a vast untouched wilderness like no other in the world. Where glaciers reach for the skies, deep blue mountain lakes fill steep valleys with sharp green peaks on all sides.
Enjoy a day hike to Ljótipollur Crater. Lost hot springs in secluded valleys far, far away from civilization will relax and calm you as you take in the spectacular views. Our home for the day is Landmannalaugar hot springs where we will hike around in the colourful rhyolite mountains before taking a dip in the natural hot pools.
Distance: 13.5 km
Estimated travelling time: 4-5 hrs
Approx ascent: 140 m
We start our journey early morning in Landmannalaugar. From the mountain hut by the campsite we stroll through the rough lava field of Laugahraun. From there on up the beautiful hills by the colourful mountain Brennisteinsalda and onto a plateau. The colours in this part are out of this world. Ancient rivers and streams mark the land so we will be going in and out of small gullies quite a lot. At this point we have reached a rather high altitude and therefore you can expect snow piles that we’ll have to traverse.
At Hrafntinnusker there is a mountain hut where we can have lunch if the weather is bad. Lots of obsidian scattered around gives the place mystic appearance. When the weather permits the views from the hut are amazing. Above 1000 m there is nothing much but bare rocks and wasteland, the immense Icelandic highland desert. Along the hills of Reykjafjöll we continue walking through gullies until we get to Jökultungur. There are some changes in the landscape and we face dark tuff mountains and glaciers. We also start to see some stubborn plants scattered around. We descend some steep slopes into a green oasis, which is a pleasant contrast after the rough landscapes behind us. From there the walk to campsite at the northern shore of lake Álftavatn is easy.
Distance: 24 km
Estimated travelling time: 8-10 hrs
Approx ascent: 900 m
After yesterday’s long journey today is going to be an easy and pleasant day. We cross Brattháls hill and head east for Hvanngil gorge. We cross the Bratthálskvísl River before crossing the bridge at Kaldaklofskvísl. From here we head for the hut and campsite of Emstrur and on our way we cross Bláfjallakvísl River again. A good opportunity to stop and give our feet a refreshing wash after yesterday’s walking! We cross between two sandy hills and soon after that we’ll see our destination for the night. After dinner there is the option of a nice evening walk where we can take a peek at the unbelievable Markarfjlótsgljúfur canyon. The canyon is 200 meters deep and through it flows the powerful Markarfjót River.
Distance: 15 km
Estimated travelling time: 6-7 hrs
Ascent: 40 m
The day starts with a crooked path down to the bridge over the Sy›ri Emstruá river. While crossing the river we’ll have to be very careful, as this is one of the riskiest places on the way. After our heroic crossing we’ll head south to an area called Almenningar where the landscape now starts to change once again and we’ll be seeing peaceful streams covered in arctic birch and flowers. There’s more river crossing to come, but as we are experts by now this should not cause any concerns.
After crossing the river, we leave Almenningar behind and entered Thórsmörk valley. From there we have a short walk to Langidalur hut in Thórsmörk and on to Básar campsite where we will spend the night. This part is wonderful, as vegetation has spread over the area and Thórsmörk is undeniably one of the pearls of Icelandic nature.
Distance: 19 km
Estimated travelling time: 7-8 hrs
Ascent: 300 m
This is one of Iceland’s best known treks and links two of South Iceland’s most breathtaking places, the Thórsmörk highland valley and Skógar. We start our day by hiking up along bottom of the valley, surrounded by glaciers and their mighty glacial rivers, criss-crossed by towering canyons and the steep foothills of the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. We continue up towards Fimmvör›uháls, the site of the first of two volcanic eruptions in 2010. During the hike you will not only be able to touch the new lava, see the brand new craters, mountains and the now cooling lava falls but also enjoy vast sweeping views of the Icelandic highlands. From the snow covered highest point of our trek we start our descent to Skógar with amazing views over the two glaciers. We hike through old lava fields, take in the harsh volcanic landscape and follow the river down towards the top of the 60 m high Skógar waterfall. To finish off a long day we climb down the many steps placed right next to the waterfall, ending up right in front of the fall enjoying its refreshing spray.
Distance: 24 km
Estimated travelling time: 9-11 hours.
Ascent/descent: 1800 meters
Today we have the chance to visit a glacier, and not just any glacier but the frozen glacial tongue that is Sólheimajökull. It is a magnificent phenomenon, a rugged, raw and ever changing hub of ancient frozen water. We will explore the crevasse riddled outlet glacier with its amazing ice formations, sink holes and jagged ridges accompanied by an experienced glacier guide. Along the way we will find an ice wall on the glacier and try our hand at ice climbing. We will provide you with all the tools you need: ice axes, crampons and safety lines, making sure you are very safe as you walk. No previous experience is required, and you will receive a full briefing on using the equipment. No previous experience is required, and you will receive a full briefing on using the equipment. As we drive back to Reykjavik we will stop at the beautiful Skógafoss waterfall.
We start our hike from the outskirts of Hveragerði, the town of hot springs and flowers, into the beautiful valley of Reykjadalur. Up there hot water rushes down the slopes of Hellisheiði mountain range and creates the ideal place to relax in an untouched natural hot stream. The valley also has an amazing abundance of geothermal springs and you will witness everything from small gurgling and bubbling mud to vibrant super-heated pools of water. After a stroll along these wonders of nature we hike back down into the town of Hveragerði. This afternoon is perfect to relax and explore Reykjavik, take a walk around the city center and experience the daily life of the locals while strolling past at an easy pace. Go for a wander through the old streets of the capital and grab some late lunch at one of the many delicious restaurants around.
Depart at any time.