Laugavegur - light and fast - IMGR31

Tour type: Lightweight and fast backpacking trek from hut to hut

Difficulty:

EASY

HARD

Price from:  

Adult: 99.900

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What's included: Qualified hiking guide for 3 days; food included from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 3; transportation in a scheduled bus at the beginning and end of the trek; accommodations are in a mountain hut.

Duration: 3 days, trek for 2 days

Accommodation: Mountain huts

Meeting point: The tour starts and ends at the BSI bus terminal. Pick up and drop off at your hotel or guesthouse in Reykjavik can be added

Group size: 4 to 12 participants

Language: English

Note: This tour is for people in good physical shape ready for long hikes at a relatively fast pace.

  • Tour Description

    Highlights of the Tour

    • The natural wonders of the Laugavegur hiking trail
    • Pack in all of the trail highlights in two days
    • 5 hrs. hike in Landmannalaugar 
    • Small group

    If you are the sporty type that is short on time but is still keen on trekking the famous Laugavegur trail, then this is the tour for you!

    Within 2 days, this fantastic trail will take you through the geothermal valley of Landmannalaugar, which is surrounded by colorful rhyolite mountains, and the beautiful oasis of Þórsmörk valley, which is located between three glaciers.  The hikes are 28 and 26 km long without technical difficulties (there are some shallow rivers to cross). The maximum ascent is around 470 m and the maximum descent is around 490 m. During the hike you will carry your own sleeping bag, extra clothes, some food supplies and your lunch pack, but your backpack should not weigh more than 8 - 10 kg for this short tour. 

    A fast and sporty way to discover the magnificent landscapes of Laugavegur!

    Due to this trail's popularity, there is potential for irrepairable damage to the nature that we all enjoy.  As environmental stewards in Iceland, we are taking a proactive approach to preserve the trail and the surrounding environment by allocating 1% of the tour price for each passenger to our Environmental Fund. With us, you get to experience this amazing trail and minimize your environmental impact. 

    Total walking distance: 56 km. (35 miles)
    Altitude: 200-1100 m. (650-3600 feet)
    Maximum Ascent: 600 m. (1900 feet)

    Included: Guide for 3 days, food from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 3, transportation to and from Reykjavík by scheduled bus, and mountain hut fees.

    Minimum age: 16 years 

    *About the mountain huts: All of the huts are heated, some have electricity and some have hot water. They have dormitories with single and twin beds, participants have to be prepared to share a bunk with other travelers from the group.

    You can add a pick up and drop off at your accommodation in Reykjavík at the beginning and end of the tour for 5.000 ISK.

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  • Tour Itinerary

    Day 1:  Reykjavík-Landmannalaugar
    The adventure begins with a bus ride from Reykjavík to Landmannalaugar. Along the way we will pass by the world renown Hekla volcano and other volcanoes in the Dómadalur area. Arriving in Landmannalaugar at noon, we have a picnic style lunch.  Once we have finished fueling our bodies, we set out for a 4-5 hour hike up Mount Bláhnjúkur. After reaching its peak, we are rewarded with stunning views of the multicolor landscape surrounding the mountain. After our descent, we have the chance to dip into a natural hot spring for a warm, relaxing bath.  A hearty dinner awaits us after the bath and we have a cozy overnight stay in the Landmannalaugar hut.

    Day 2: Landmanalaugar- Hrafntinnusker-Álftavatn-Hvanngil
    We start the day off with an early morning departure. The trail takes us past small gorges, steaming hot springs and yellow mountain ridges to the Hrafntinnusker hut. From there, we descend into the gullies of Jökultungur with hundreds of steaming hot springs and mud pools. As we ascend from the steamy gullies, we enjoy fascinating views of Swan Lake, a gorgeous lake to the south in the Álftavatn area, and views of the Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers. In late the afternoon we arrive at Hvanngil hut where we stay the night.
    Trekking Distance: 28 km
    Walking time: 8-9 hrs.
    Descent: 490 m (1610')


    Day 3: Hvanngil – Emstrur – Þórsmörk
    On the last day we trek along the foot of the green conic volcano Stórasúla before entering the black deserts of Mælifellssandur. Heading towards another ancient and verdurous volcano, Hattfell, we enter the Emstrur region, where farmers used to graze their sheep in summer. Before arriving at the Botnar hut, we visit the magnificent Markarfljót canyon, which is cut almost 200 m down into the rocks south of Hattfell. We continue up and down through the small valleys and gullies of Emstrur, where the striking Mýrdalsjökull glacier stands only a couple of kilometers away. As we descend into Þórsmörk's (the woods of Thor), the vegetation starts to grow thicker and higher into green valleys filled with arctic birch forests and colorful flowers. We arrive in Þórsmörk in time to catch the evening bus back to Reykjavík at 20:40. The bus is scheduled to arrive at the Central bus station (BSI) at 23:45.
    Trekking Distance: 26 km
    Walking time: 8-9 hrs
    Descent: 40 m (130 ')

    It is possible to add one night in Þórsmörk (contact us for availability) and take the afternoon bus next day back to Reykjavik. Þórsmörk offers endless hiking possibilities and it is also a good place to rest and enjoy the magnificent sceneries of the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull.

    *All of the huts are heated, some have electricity and some have hot water. They have bunk rooms with single and twin beds, participants have to be prepared to share a bunk with other travelers from the group. 

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  • Gear Lexicon

    Trekking Tours

    What is a Trekking tour?

    On a IMG Trekking tour all the overnight gear it transported from one camp-site/hut to the next. You will only need to carry your daypack during each day’s hike.  This is a comfortable and light weight option for hiking. Some Trekking tours have hut accommodation with communal sleeping spaces while others have tents (1 – 2 persons) and a mess tent for group meals, cooking and socializing.


    Hiking Boots

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    Scarpa Hekla

    Sturdy hiking boots with good ankle support. Leather or synthetic with a waterproof membrane, e.g. Gore-Tex. Make sure they are a good fit, leaving some space for your toes – and wear them in, even if it is just by light hiking in the city. 


    Jacket with a good hood (wind and waterproof)

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    ME Manaslu

    We recommend a water resistant or waterproof “hard-shell” jacket with a large protective hood, and a Gore-Tex membrane, or similar material, to keep you dry. Make sure it is not too tight and that you can fit insulation underneath. Please note that a soft-shell jacket is a great addition but will not replace a waterproof hard-shell when you really, really need one! Good rain-gear – tops and bottoms are mandatory on all IMG tours.


    Hard shell pants (wind and waterproof)

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    Ideally the hard-shell-pants should be lightweight – as they will be in your backpack most of the time. If they have zip-up legs to ease getting into it is a big bonus. Make sure they are breathable and strong enough to take some abuse from walking.  We often see cheap rain pants disintegrate during the tour.  Gore-Tex or similar waterproof breathing membrane is appropriate. Good rain gear – tops and bottoms are mandatory on all IMG tours.


    Base layer

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    Bergans Merino

    The most popular thin base layer (next to skin) is made with merino wool because it is comfortable to wear for multiple days without the smell of synthetic materials. Most people should be fine with wearing the same merino shirt for 2 – 3 days on harder tours where weight matters. A thicker base-layer for colder days could also be a part of your adjustable layering.  We recommend packing short and long sleeve options to adjust to different weather conditions.  Women might want a sports bra as a part of their base layer. Cotton t-shirts are not advisable for any strenuous outdoor activity.


    Insulation layer

    A fleece jacket is a classic insulating layer material. Wool is also a good option. It is possible to layer up – two thin jackets or a jacket and a vest rather than one very thick jacket.


    Hiking pants

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    Soft shell is strong and durable, wind resistant and quick drying – ideal for any outdoor activity. Some might consider a thin base-layer (long-johns) for extra insulation on colder days.  Jeans and other cotton pants are not advisable for any outdoor activity. 


    Puffy Jacket

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    ME Compressor Hooded Jacket PrimaLoft

    A light puffy is great during breaks. The insulation could be down or synthetic material (such as Primaloft). It should not be very big or bulky for summer time use. Synthetic insulation is preferred as it keeps most of its insulating properties when wet, but down is also a good option.  A puffy vest is a good option as well.


    Hands, feet and head:

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    ME Knitted beanie

    Gloves: A light pair of fleece or wool gloves/mittens does the job. You can also take a pair of ski-gloves or other wind and waterproof shell gloves. Having an extra pair of different thickness is recommended. 

    Socks: Wool is the preferred material for skiing socks, and different blends are available. If you are prone to blisters or have new boots, you should consider wearing a thin liner sock underneath your socks in your ski boots. Make sure you have a few pairs of socks to use to keep your feet dry.

    Warm hat: A normal ski-hat/beanie is perfect. You can also use a thick buff. An extra buff is nice to have - you can use it to protect your neck and face when needed, or as a thinner option for a hat. 


    Casual clothes / change of clothes

    Once in the hut, it is good to be able to change out of your trekking gear. We highly discourage you from wearing cotton clothing (including jeans!) while skiing or hiking but you are welcome to wear them in the hut/tent in the evening. If it is cold, a warm sweater (jumper) or an extra fleece jacket is always nice. We always recommend having a few pairs of comfy socks and some fresh underwear.  Avoid bringing too much extra clothing. Life in the mountains is simple and nice, so one pair of extra pants, a warm sweater (jumper), a few t-shirts and underwear should do the job just fine. Light sneakers and slippers for indoor use will feel great at the end of the day


    Sun

    A baseball cap or a comfortable hat with brim is great to have and is useful both in sunny and rainy weather. You should also have a nice pair of sunglasses and some sun-bloc – SPF 15-25 should be enough protection for most.  If you plan to be playing on snow covers summits you should bring a pair of quality sunglasses for mountaineering SPF 30 – 50 sunblock.  


    Backpack / day-pack

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    Love Alpine AirZone Trek 30L

    You will need a nice daypack to carry your extra clothes, river crossing shoes, food and water for the day. Having a compartment for smaller items like sun screen and sunglasses is also good. The pack will never be heavy, but a bit of padding on the shoulder- and hip straps/belt with a buckle is good. Unless you have some bulky personal needs, like photographic equipment, then you should be fine with 20-30L (1200 - 2000 cu in).


    Duffel-bag

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    ME Wet & Dry bag

    On many of our tours your overnight gear is going to be transported from hut-to-hut / camp-to-camp and space is limited. We therefore ask you to pack your gear in a soft bag rather than a regular hard suite case, since this is more space-efficient. A 60 - 80L bag should be more than enough for all your extra kit including a sleeping bag.  If it is reasonably waterproof that is a big plus. 


    Dry-bags

    There are plenty of different products available for storing your equipment inside your pack and keeping it dry. A rain cover over your pack often has limited use due to high winds– a safer option is to pack whatever needs to be kept dry into dry-bags inside your back-pack. It is also a great way to organize the inside of your pack. One bag for electronics (camera and phone) and one bag for extra clothing, as an example. Note that dry-bags were out and might not be as dry as they were when you first bought them. 


    River shoes

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    Keen Newport Sandal

    An old pair of running shoes will do just fine. Closed hiking sandals or neoprene kayaking shoes will also work great.  Any quick drying shoe with a good sole that can be securely attached to the foot will do. Loose slippers, flip-flops etc. are not acceptable.
    A good addition to your river crossing shoes are neoprene socks – see Neoprene socks.


    Trekking pole(s)

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    Black Diamond Trekking / hiking poles

    One or two poles are nice to have. Some trekkers like to use them all the time, other use them only during river crossings or on steep ups and downs. If you like them, make sure that they are foldable and light weight. A small basket is also nice. 


    Sleeping Bag Hut

    The mountain-huts during the summer are usually warm, although most are not heated during the night. Any old sleeping bag will therefore do, unless you get cold easily. For temperature control having a full length zipper is the best. A liner bag is also a very nice addition and will improve your ability to regulate your head during the night.  If you are doing a winter hut trip or summer camping a 3 season sleeping bag would be sufficient. All the huts we use have mattresses on the beds so no need to bring your own for huts.  


    Sleeping Bag Tent

    Camping in the arctic summer can be cold. A good quality sleeping bag is essential. Due to the favourable weight-to-warmth ratio down sleeping bags is most people’s choice. Consider a 3 season sleeping bag unless you are a very warm sleeper. Note that the pack volume of your sleeping bag should affect the size of your backpack.  Bear in mind also that temperature rating on sleeping bags are an inexact science, and you may need a heavier or lighter bag than the climate you are headed out to. Consider a liner bag for comfort, temperature regulation and to lengthen the lifetime of your sleeping bag. 


    Water container / thermos flask

    In Iceland & Greenland, you can drink from any stream, no filters, no iodine and no chlorine needed! It is good to have a small water bottle at hand. A 1L bottle should be plenty, as water is easily found all over. If you prefer warm drinks, we are happy to fill up your thermos in the morning and a selection of teas will be available. Very dedicated tea drinkers often bring an emergency stash of their favorite brand. Those who like cold drinks might like to bring their favorite powdered vitamin/energy drink. 


    Head-lamp

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    Even though the summer night is bright, the inside of the hut/tent might not be. A headlamp is also useful for those that want to do some reading. There are plenty of options available for LED head lamps that are just perfect for reading and getting around. A small flashlight will also do the job. Most LED headlamps have more than enough light for our purposes and the battery life is so good that one fully charged battery will be enough for your trip.  


    Personal first-aid-kit

    All the guides on our tours will have a first-aid kit available. However, it is still nice to have some small items for minor injuries. Band-Aids, Compeed for blisters, pain killers and/or anti-inflammatory drugs are recommended personal first-aid kit items.  


    Personal items

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    Make sure to have all your prescription medication with you. If you have any medical condition that could in any way affect you during the trip, make sure to let your guide know. For those suffering from allergies, having an antihistamine is advisable – or any other medication that works for your condition. Items for personal hygiene should also be included, such as a small bar of soap or some liquid hand soap. We recommend packing a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental-floss. Avoid liquid antiperspirant and glass containers due to risks of spillage. Feminine products like pads, tampons etc. should also be packed, if needed. If you take vitamins or other supplements, you should continue to do so during your holiday. In most cases, you are sharing sleeping facilities with one or more fellow travelers – so a pair of good ear-plugs can ensure a good night’s sleep. Those not accustom to the bright summer nights might want to bring an eye mask.  Please make sure to pack extra contact lenses (if needed), contact lens cleaning solution, shampoo, conditioner and shower gel in small plastic bottles that close tight. A big towel is nice to have – especially if you are taking a bath in one of the natural hot-pools. 


    Swim suit

    Bathing in the natural hot pools will be one of the highlights of your trip in Iceland. Make sure you come dressed for the occasion. There are no specific rules, written or unwritten on how to dress or not to dress; board shorts, speedos, bikinis or bathing suits – anything goes. Quick drying material is always a good idea. 


    Thermal mattress

    It is really nice to have a small thermal mattress to sit on during lunch break and other stops.  It should not be big, just enough to sit on. And it should fold up nicely so it does not get in the way inside your pack. 


    Gaiters

    For summer time use you should normally not need gaiters as they are designed to keep snow from getting into your boots. Some like them also for scree slopes. Keep in mind that the volcanic soil in Iceland is very abrasive so you will want to be able to remove the strap that goes under your boot sole to keep it from getting trashed.


    Other cool things to have

    Book – to read during the evenings. 

    Music - and head phones. Some of our guides also have speakers with them to share Icelandic music. 

    Diary or notebook – to write down your good memories from Iceland. Also, a pen or pencil

    Power-bank / extra battery for your electronics – small solar cells usually do not work that well in Iceland, so a pre-charged power bank is a better option.  Charging your electronics in huts in the highlands often is not an option or will cost you extra. Make sure you have an adapter plug and/or a voltage converter for 220 V. 

    Playing cards and travel games – or other toys you might like and can travel. 

    Cash – showers in mountain huts normally cost about 500 ISK and take 100 ISK coins. 

    Travel pillow – if it is not very bulky. Otherwise, you can just use your clothes. 

    Powder drink mix – Good water is never a problem – but you might like a bit of variety. Some powders contain vitamins and minerals that help your body after a hard day.  

    Shorts - It does get warm enough to wear shorts on occasions. They are also nice for sleeping in, and can be worn if you need to get out of your sleeping accommodations at night. For hiking, it is nice to have some pockets to hold items that would normally be in the pockets of your pants. But any old pair of shorts will do.


    Aperitif of other heart-warming spirits

    Aperitif or other heart-warming spirits - Liquor laws in Iceland prohibit the sale of alcohol in most places you come by on your trip in the highlands. Additionally, limited opening hours prevent you from buying alcohol in most places unless you are staying in a hotel. Having a flask (preferably plastic or metal) to share with your fellow travellers in front of the camp fire (gas heater) can be a great way top off a good day. You can buy alcohol in the duty-free shops upon your arrival in Iceland. Just follow all the Icelanders on your flight – they will take you straight to duty-free! Also, there are government run alcohol stores in Reykjavík called Vínbuðin.  If time allows, you can purchase alcohol there but alcohol is much less expensive in the duty-free shops at the airport. 

    On trips to Greenland, you can buy alcohol in the duty-free shop on arrival in Iceland. Duty free in Kulusuk, Greenland does not sell high % spirits – but if you make it to the supermarket they will have beer. 


    Gear shopping in Iceland

    Already in Iceland and need to grab some extra gear? No worries. There are a few shops in Reykjavík to go to (remember to ask for a VAT refund slip when you buy over 5000 ISK, which will save you 14%):

    Íslensku Alparnir: http://alparnir.is/  this is where IMG gets its Mountain Equipment gear, much of with is featured on the pictures above – can’t go wrong there.

    GG-Sjósport: http://www.gummibatar.is/ great products, but not in the downtown area.

    Laugavegur: the main shopping street downtown has a few stores, including some local brands like 66°North and Cintamani.

    Kringlan & Smáralind are the indoor shopping centers in Iceland – both have outdoor adventure equipment stores and are open on Sundays.

    For your own wellbeing and safety, we strongly suggest following the advice of our equipment list -  this includes having good quality rain-gear, tops and bottoms!  Also respect that cotton clothing is not appropriate for any strenuous outdoor activity – this includes jeans and t-shirts. Modern outdoor clothing is by far more comfortable and will greatly improve your experience.  Should you have any questions regarding this equipment list or the equipment on our tours, feel free to contact incoming@mountainguides.is


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For availability and more information about this tour please contact us.

Total price for all passengers:

0ISK

    1. Just a tip - You can convert the currency here!