The Laugavegur with a Backpack - IMGQ31

Tour type: Backpaking trek from hut to hut

Difficulty:

EASY

HARD

Price from:  

Adult: 125.000

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What's included: Guide, food for 4 days, transportation and mountain hut fees

Duration: 4 days

Accommodation: Mountain huts

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

Meeting point: The tour starts and ends at the BSI bus terminal

Minimum Age: 16

Group size: 6 -14

Language: English

  • Tour Description

    Highlights of the Tour

    • Hike from hut to hut
    • The trail in four days
    • Good local food

    The Famous Laugavegur Trek - Four day backpacking trek from hut to hut

    Hands down the best known trek in Iceland. This trail takes adventurers from the geothermal valley of Landmannalaugar and the southern highlands, south to the Þórsmörk valley, at the foot of world famous Eyjafjallajökull volcano. The trail crosses many spectacles including the third biggest geothermal zone in the world, through yellow rhyolite mountains, over black deserts, past great canyons and finally into the verdurous valley of Þórsmörk. It is no coincidence that the “Laugavegur” hike each year attracts travelers from around the world in addition to being a great favorite amongst locals. Come see what all the fuss is about! Accommodation in mountain huts.

    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 4 days, food for 3 days (from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 4), 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.

    If you like this tour, take a look at the Volcanic Trails, another trail from the Vatnajökull National Park through the Fjallabak area 

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

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  • Tour Itinerary

    Day 1:  Reykjavík-Landmannalaugar-Hrafntinnusker
    We take the regular public bus from BSI central bus staion at 08:00.   Arriving in Landmannalaugar at noon, we have  lunch and then head south into the mountains. The trail takes us past small gorges, steaming hot springs and yellow mountain ridges. Arrival at Hrafntinnusker mountain hut, were we will stay the night, in the late afternoon.
    Distance: 12km (7.5 mi)
    Walking time: 4-5 hrs
    Ascent: 470 m (1540 ')


    Day 2: Hrafntinnusker-Álftavatn
    From Hrafntinnusker we descend down in the gullies of Jökultungur with hundreds of steaming hot springs and mud pools. Up there we enjoy fascinating views to the south to the Álftavatn area (Swan Lake), and the Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers. In the afternoon we arrive at Álftavatn hut where we stay the night.
    Distance: 12km (7.5 mi)
    Walking time: 4-5 hrs
    Descent: 490 m (1610 ')


    Day 3: Álftavatn-Emstrur
    We pass at the foot of the green conic volcano of Stórasúla before entering the black deserts of Mælifellssandur. Heading towards another ancient and verdurous volcano, the Hattfell, we enter the Emstrur region where farmers used to graze their sheep in summer. Before arriving at the Botnar hut where we stay the night, we visit the magnificent Markarfljót canyon cut almost 200 m down into the rocks south of Hattfell.
    Distance: 16km (10 mi)
    Walking time: 6-7 hrs
    Descent: 40 m (130 ')


    Day 4: Emstrur-Þórsmörk-Reykjavík
    We continue up and down through the small valleys and gullies of Emstrur, where the great Mýrdalsjökull glacier rises only a couple of kilometers away. At the end of the day the vegetation starts to grow thicker and higher as we descend in to Þórsmörk's (the woods of Thor) green valleys filled with arctic birch forests and colorful flowers. In Thorsmork we catch the evening bus back to Reykjavík.
    Distance: 17km (10.5 mi)
    Walking time: 6-7 hrs
    Descent: 300 m (985 ')


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

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  • Equipment List

    IMGQ31 Landmannalaugar – Þórsmörk with a Backpack

    Equipment list

    Boots and clothing:

    • Sturdy Hiking Boots – waterproof with good ankle support. 
    • Long sleeve shirt (thermal underwear) – Wool or synthetic. 
    • T-shirt (thermal underwear) – Wool or synthetic. 
    • Light wool or fleece sweater (2nd layer).
    • Trousers – Strong and light material that dries quickly e.g. soft-shell. 
    • Jacket with a good hood – windproof, waterproof and breathable. 
    • Rain trousers – windproof, waterproof and breathable. Please note that full raingear is mandatory in Iceland. 
    • Gloves 1 – 2 pairs – Wool or synthetic (polypropylene / polyester). 
    • Socks – Wool or synthetic. Two or three pairs. 
    • Warm hat – Wool or synthetic. 
    • Long Johns (thermal underwear) – Wool or synthetic.
    • Warm jacket/sweater – Wool or fleece (3rd layer).

    Other gear:

    • Backpack – (woman size: 50-60 litres - man size: 60-75 litres) – note that each guest will need about 10L of free space for food.
    • River shoes – Walking sandals or old running shoes with a good grip are a good choice, along with a pair of warm socks or neoprene socks. Open sandals or flip-flops will not do the job. 
    • Sleeping bag – for camping tours we recommend a 3 season sleeping bag.
    • Towel – light weight and packable. 
    • Sunglasses & sun protection. 
    • Change of clothes – e.g. long and short underwear.
    • Water container – thermos flask or water bottle 0,5 – 1L. 
    • Camera, spare batteries and a memory card or films.
    • Personal first aid kit – including blister care. 
    • Prescription medication and other personal health items.
    • Toiletries; Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap etc. 
    • Ear plugs

    Optional gear:

    • Walking pole(s).
    • Gaiters
    • Neoprene socks – highly recommended for river crossings. 
    • Pen knife. 
    • Sun/rain Hat or a Cap. Shorts
    • Thermal mat (for lunch breaks). 
    • Puffy jacket (e.g. Primaloft or down).
    • Camera, spare batteries and a memory card or films.
    • Dry-bags for electronics and extra clothing. 
    • Heart-warming spirits.

    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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  • Gear Lexicon

    Backpacking Tours

    What is a Backpacking tour?

    Backpacking tours is a multi-day trips where required gear and food is carried on the back. The tour may at some point have support in the form of food supply mid-way. Participants will need to be prepared to carry both their personal gear as well as a share of the team´s food and communal gear (tents, stoves, pots).  On most backpacking tours you will camp wild, others use huts or a combination of huts and camping. 


    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

    A good “hard-shell” jacket with a large protective hood. Gore-Tex membrane or similar to keep you dry. Make sure it is not too tight and that you can fit insulation underneath. Note that a soft-shell jacket is a great addition but will not replace a good 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.


    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. 


    Base layer

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    Bergans Merino

    A thin base layer (next to skin). The most popular is merino wool – comfortable to wear for multiple days without the smell of synthetic materials. Most people should be fine with the same merino shirt on for 2 – 3 days on harder tours where weight matters. Having short and long sleeve is great for adjusting 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 would the classical insulating layer. Wool would also be a good option. Here it is also possible to layer up – two thin jackets or a jacket and a vest rather than one very thick jacket. A thicker base-layer for colder days could also be a part of adjustable layering. 


    Hands, feet and head:

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    ME Knitted beanie

    Gloves: A light pair of fleece or wool gloves or mittens does the job. You can also take a pair of ski-gloves or other wind and waterproof shell gloves. Having an extra pair is recommended, and then of different thickness.
    Socks: Wool is definitely the preferred material for hiking socks. Different blends are available. If you are prone to blisters or have new boots you should consider wearing a thin liner sock underneath your hiking socks. Make sure you have a few pairs of socks to keep your feet dry and in good conditions.
    Warm hat: A normal ski-hat/beanie is perfect. You could also use a thick buff. An extra a buff is also nice to have, you can use it to protect your neck and face when needed or as a thinner option for a hat. 


    Backpack and dry bags

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    Love Alpine Kongur ND 65:75

    You will need a large backpack for most of our backpacking trips. Make sure that you have space for your personal gear, including extra clothes and a sleeping bag inside the pack. Most of your gear should fit into the main compartment of your pack and should be packed into one or more dry bags.  Dry bags, as the name suggests, keep wet and dry things separate. Do not count on only the backpack cover to keep your items dry. The size of the pack depends largely on your personal needs. Most people will use a 65 – 75L (4000 - 4600 cu in) or bigger. Make sure to have at least 20L (1200+ cu in) of space (about 1/3) left for communal gear and food. 


    Puffy Jacket

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    ME Compressor Hooded Jacket PrimaLoft

    A nice light puffy is great during brakes. The insulation could be down or synthetics (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 also when wet but down is also a good option.  A puffy vest would also be a good option. 


    Changes of clothes

    On a backpacking trip weight is everything so you should limit very much the amount of extra clothes your carry. You should still have a change of clothes so that at least a set of long underwear stays dry in your pack during the day. But there is no need for more than one pair of pants or a fresh t-shirt for every 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.  


    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. 


    Sleeping mattress

    Most will use a self-inflating mattress.  A modern model is amazingly light and comfortable and will pack down to the size of a water bottle. A classical foam mattress is also a good option – but bulky and less comfortable. If you choose to store the mattress on the outside of your pack it will need to be in a separate waterproof bag.


    Water container / thermos flask

    In Iceland & Greenland you can drink from any stream, no filters, no iodine or chlorine! 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 are a warm drinker we will be 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 favourite brand). Cold drinkers might like to bring their favoured powdered flavouring/vitamin/energy drink. 


    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.


    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 a bit of reading. There are plenty of options available for LED head lamps that are just perfect for reading and getting around. A small flash-light 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 set will do for your trip.  


    Personal first-aid-kit

    The guides on our tours will have a first aid kit available. It is still nice to have some small items to be self-sufficient with minor things. Band-Aid, Compeed for blisters, pain killers and/or anti-inflammatory drugs.  


    Personal Items

    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 antihistamine is advisable – or any other medication that works for your condition. Items for personal hygiene should also be included, having a small bar of soap handy or some liquid camping soap is a good idea. Toothbrush, toothpaste and dental-floss should be packed. Avoid liquid antiperspirant and glass containers due to risks of spilling and weight. 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 travellers – so a pair of good ear-plugs can ensure a good night sleep – they are also helpful if the wind is howling. Contact lenses, lens liquid etc. as needed.  Think light-weight when packing your personal things on a backpacking trip – keeping clean is important, but the standard is very different than in your normal life.


    Towel

    To save weight and bulk, a light weight microfiber towel is ideal. You might like a big one for drying off after a swim or a small one for drying your feet after river crossings depending on your trip. 


    Swim suit

    Bathing in the natural hot-pools will be one of the highlights of your trip in Iceland (depending on the tour). 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 is good. 


    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. 


    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. 


    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 note-book – 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. Having converters adapters for 220 V will help.
    Playing cards and travel games – or other toys you might like and can travel.
    Cash – in mountain huts shower normally costs about 500 ISK and work on 100kr coins.
    Travel pillow – as long as 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 also contain vitamins and minerals that help your body after a hard day. 
    Shorts - It does get warm enough to wear shorts. They are also nice for sleeping in, in case you need to get out in the night. For hiking it is nice to have some pockets, for the items that other ways would be in the pockets of you pants. But any old pair of shorts will do.


    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 5000ISK, saving 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/ grate products, but not in the down town.

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

    Kringlan & Smáralind are the indoor shopping centers in Iceland – both have outdoor stores – and they are open on Sundays and till 21:00 on Thursdays. 

    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


    Aperitif of other heart-warming spirits

    Aperitif of 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 and limited opening hours stop you from buying any most other places unless you are staying in a hotel. So having a flask (preferably plastic or metal) to share with your fellow travels in front of the camp fire (gas heater) can be the crowning of a good day. You can take care of this in the duty-free up on arrival in Iceland if you like. Just follow all the Icelanders on your flight – they will take you straight to duty-free!
    On trips to Greenland you can take care of this in the duty-free up 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. 


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  • FAQ

    FAQ for IMGQ1 (Landmannalaugar – Þórsmörk)

    What type of sleeping bag do I need for this trek? What temperature rating do I need?

    • A basic sleeping bag with no specific temperature rating is sufficient for this trek since all the huts are heated.

    Is it possible to rent a sleeping bag for the tour?

    • Yes, it is possible. The price pr. sleeping bag is: 5.000 for the trip

    Please contact us at incoming@mountainguides.is if you wish to rent a sleeping bag.

    What are the sleeping arrangements like in the huts?

    • The rooms have bunks and twin beds. Passengers have to be prepared to share a bunk with other travellers from the group. Some huts also have a continuous line of beds.

    Is it possible to take a shower in the huts?

    • Yes, it is possible in Álftavatn (Day 2), Emstrur (Day 3) it costs 500 ISK pr. shower and you can only pay cash.

    Is it possible to charge batteries and phones in the huts?

    • It is possible to charge batteries and phones in Álftavatn (Day 2), Emstrur (Day 3). This costs 500 ISK pr. battery charge. Again, you can only pay cash.

    Do the huts have running water?

    • Yes, all the huts have running water.

    Can Icelandic Mountain Guides accommodate dietary requirements due to allergy or religious reasons?

    • Yes, we can accommodate such requirements. We can also accommodate vegetarian, vegan and glutenfree dietary requirements. 
    • will cost a little extra – 1.500 ISK pr. day.

    Meeting point and time

    • Meeting point is inside the BSI central bus staion located in the city center of Reykjavík. 
    • A representative from Icelandic Mountain Guides will be inside the terminal standing next to a sign that says „Meeting Point“. Please approach the representative and let him know you have arrived.
    • Meeting time is at 07:15 am.
    • We offer the service of picking passengers up from their accommodation in the greater Reykjavík area and driving them to the meeting point – the BSI Bus terminal.
    • If you have arranged a pick up through our company, you will be picked up from your accommodation between 6:45 and 07:00 am. 

    How much luggage do we carry during the hikes?

    • All the gear will be carried by participants. You will need to carry all your luggage and leave some additional space in your back-pack for the food that will be distributed equally among the passengers. 

    River crossing shoes – what type?

    • The most important thing when choosing shoes for crossing the rivers is to have shoes with good grip since the bottom of the rivers can be very slippery and/or rocky.
    • We recommend passengers to bring either an old pair of sneakers or a pair of sturdy sandals for crossing the rivers. The sneakers don’t dry easily though and can be a heavy addition to your backpack.
    • Note: The rivers can be very cold so bring warm socks such as neoprene socks.

    What is included and what is not included in the price?

    • Included
      • Guide for 4 days, food for 3 days (from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 4), transportation to and from Reykjavík, mountain hut fees, cooking gear.
    • Not included
      • International flights to and from Iceland, transportation between Keflavík airport and Reykjavík, accommodation in Reykjavík before and after the trek, transportation to and from meeting point, sleeping bag.

    Cancellation policy

    • You can read all about our cancellation policy on our website here.

    Do you require a full payment at the time of booking?

    • Yes, we do. It is not possible to pay a deposit or confirmation fee.

    Do passengers assist with preparing breakfast and dinner during the trek?

    • This is by no means necessary but guides always welcome assistance with breakfast and dinner from passengers.

    Is it possible to leave extra luggage somewhere back in Reykjavík while on the trip?

    • If you are staying at the same hotel / guesthouse before and after the trek then you can leave your extra luggage there for no extra charge.
    • The BSI Bus terminal can also store your bags for 500 ISK pr. bag pr. day.

    Do all departures have an English speaking guide?

    • Yes, every single one. 

    Is it possible to take a bath in the hot spring in Landmannalaugar?

    • Yes, it is possible but only for a short while. 

    How much is the pick-up and drop off option?

    • The price is 5.000 ISK total
    • If you have arranged for a pick-up, you will be picked up from your accommodation in Reykjavík or the Reykjavík area between 6:45 and 07:00 am.

    General info

    • The tour ends at the BSI central bus stion at aroun 23:45 pm.
    • The tour starts at the BSI central bus staion at 07:15 (departure at 08:00)
    • The minimum age of participants on this trek is 16 years.

    If you have any other questions about this tour, you can contact us at incoming@mountainguides.is

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  • Departure Dates
    Tour Dates Availability
    22.06.2017 Two needed to confirm Select
    13.07.2017 Available Select
    20.07.2017 Available Select
    24.08.2017 Available Select

Select the number of passengers and departure date.

Total price for all passengers:

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