Volcanic Trails 1: Explorer’s Peak to the Canyon of Fire - IMG381

Amazing Craters and Impressive Waterfalls

Photo: Gréta S. Guðjónsdóttir
Photo: Gréta S. Guðjónsdóttir
Photo: Gréta S. Guðjónsdóttir
Photo: Gréta S. Guðjónsdóttir
Photo: Gréta S. Guðjónsdóttir
Photo: Gréta S. Guðjónsdóttir
Photo: Gréta S. Guðjónsdóttir
Photo: Gréta S. Guðjónsdóttir
Photo: Gréta S. Guðjónsdóttir
Photo: Gréta S. Guðjónsdóttir
Photo: Gréta S. Guðjónsdóttir
Photo: Gréta S. Guðjónsdóttir
Photo: Gréta S. Guðjónsdóttir
Photo: Gréta S. Guðjónsdóttir
Photo: Jan Zelina
Langisjór
Photo: Klemenz Geir Klemenzson

Langisjór

It certainly met our expectations. The scenery was magnificant, the guide excellent and our hiking companions thoroughly enjoyable. The fact we had the first two huts all to ourselves made it even better.

- Mary Ellen, Richard and Alex USA -

Tour type: Trek from Hut to Hut with luggage transport

Difficulty:

EASY

HARD

Price from:  

Adult: 159000

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What's included: Guiding , transport, accommodation, full boar and luggage transport

Duration: 4 days, 3 nights

Accommodation: Mountain huts

Meeting point: BSI bus terminal at 07:15

Group size: 5 to 14 participants

Language: English, French and German

Walking per day: 5 - 8 hours

Note: This tour can be booked for private groups upon request

  • Video
  • Tour Description

    Highlights of the Tour

    • The stunning view from mount Sveinstindur
    • The remote areas
    • The moss covered lava fields
    • The impressive volcanic fissure

    The Volcanic Trails

    The Volcanic Trails is a trekking tour combining three distinct sections. The trail takes you through volcanic landscape which is one of the most various and complete to be found in the entire world.  Each day varies from the one before and brings different colors and landscapes. You will see everything from volcanoes and glaciers, black lava covered with the unreal bright green moss, to colorful rhyolite mountains and geothermal hot springs. With these three separate sections you can enjoy the flexibility of choosing only one part of the trail, combine two of the three legs, or hike the entire Volcanic Trails all the way from Sveinstindur “Explorer´s Peak” to Landmannalaugar.

    Volcanic landscapes and waterfalls

    The first part of the trek takes you through one of the greatest volcanic regions of the southern Icelandic highlands, the area of Skaftá river and Eldgjá “Fire Canyon”. Our journey begins in the Vatnajökull National Park at Sveinstindur mountain by the magical 25km (15M) long Langisjór lake located at the south western edge of Vatnajökull glacier. The trail leads on along the great Skaftá river through bright green moss covered lava formations, impressive waterfalls, canyons and amazing craters. We then continue to the Eldgjá volcanic fissure created in one of the greatest eruption in historical times, starting around 934 AD. Beautiful waterfalls, crystal clear streams and traditional mountain huts add to the experience and help make this one of the best trek you can find on the planet. On the last day, the bus back to Reykjavík goes via the highland oasis Landmannalaugar where you have a chance to dip into a natural pool.

    • Total distance: 40-42 kilometers (25-26 miles)
    • Altitude: 400 – 1050 meters (1300 - 3450 feet)
    • Maximum ascent: 450 meters (1480 feet)
    • Minimum age: 16 years 

    Included: Experienced and qualified guide during the trek (until morning day 4),  food from lunch day 1 to lunch day 4, sleeping bag accommodation in dormitories for 3 nights (sleeping bags not included), public transport from Reykjavík to Sveinstindur and from Hólaskjól to Reykjavík via Landmannalaugar and transfer of luggage.

    • Accommodation in Reykjavik and pick up and drop off at accommodation can be added. 
    • Sleeping bag can be rented for 7000 ISK

    As environmental stewards in Iceland, we take a proactive approach to preserve the trail and the surrounding nature 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. 

  • Tour Itinerary

    D1: Reykjavík - Sveinstindur
    Meeting point at 07:15 at BSI central bus terminal at Vatnsmýrarvegur 10. You meet your guide and get onto the bus that will take you into the magical southern highlands, partly on highland tracks. You arrive at the foot of Mt Sveinstindur, named after one of Iceland´s first explorers and naturalists Sveinn Pálsson. You climb to the summit of this peak that is located at the western end of the magical lake Langisjór offering superb views over the lake and the massif of Fögrufjöll on its southern shores. Descent to a traditional mountain hut on the other side of the mountain where you spend the first night. Rustic hut, outhouse and no showers
    Distance: 6 km  (4mi)           Ascent/descent: 480 m 

    D2: Sveinstindur - Skaftá - Skælingar
    Today we hike along the shores of the glacial river Skaftá, draining from the nearby Vatnajökull icecap. The trail leads to the small and impressive canyon of Hvanngil before reaching the spectacular Uxatindar peaks and their nearby canyons. The landscape is truly volcanic, black volcanic sands, and old lava fields along with different rock formations of the canyons allow for an impressive hike. Past the Uxatindar the landscape becomes more green and at the end of the day you arrive in the magical Skælingar area, an ancient lava forest close to the riverbed of Skaftá. Here a traditional mountain hut awaits for the night. Rustic hut, outhouse and no showers
    Distance: 16 -18 km  (10-11 mi)       Ascent/descent:250 m  Walking time: 6 – 8 hrs

    D3: Skælingar - Gjátindur - Eldgjá - Hólaskjól
    After packing up we start the day´s hike leading to the Canyon of Fire - Eldgjá. We climb the soft hills up to the peak of Gjátindur, located at the eastern end of the canyon. From the peak amazing views give us an idea of the immensity of the canyon that reaches far beyond to the Mýrdalsjökull glacier. A slow descent into the canyon and we have time to enjoy this remarkable place and its many wonders before concluding the day with a hike to huts at nearby Hólaskjól where we spend the night after having completed the first section of the Volcanic Trail. Comfortable hut, WC and showers available
    Distance: 18 km  (11mi)         Ascent/descent: 350 m Walking time:6 – 8 hrs

    D4: Hólaskjól - Landmannalaugar - Reykjavík
    Today you return to Reykjavík on the scheduled bus, taking leave of your guide that will continue along the Volcanic Trails. The bus leaves Hólaskjól for the 2,5 hour drive to Landmannalaugar. At Landmannalaugar you have a 2 hours stop and can dip into the natural pool on the premises or simply admire the beauty of this amazing rhyolite area. The bus to Reykjavík leaves Landmannalaugar at 15:30 and arrives at the Reykjavík Bus Terminal at 19:35 where the tour ends.

  • Equipment List

    Trekking Tours

    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. 

    Boots and Clothing:

    Gear Lexicon Trekking Tours

    Further reading on Trekking equipment.

    • 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
    • Socks – Wool or synthetic. Two or three pairs. 
    • Warm hat. 

    Other gear:

    • A duffel bag for the transport of your overnight gear between huts. Please avoid bringing a suitcase! (not necessary for IMG35-Þórsmörk-Skógar).
    • Backpack for extra clothes and food during the day. 25 – 40L (1500 – 2500 cu in)  (For IMG35- Þórsmörk- Skógar 30-45L (1850-2750 cu in)
    • 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. (not necessary for IMG35-Þórsmörk-Skógar).
    • Light Sleeping bag. (For IMG35 Þórsmörk-Skógar only: only sleeping bag liner is needed as a basic sleeping bag is stored in the huts so you will not need ot carry a sleeping bag).
    • Towel – light weight and packable. 
    • Sunglasses & sun protection. 
    • Water container – thermos flask or water bottle 0,5 – 1L. 
    • Headlamp for reading and getting around the hut. 
    • Casual clothes / change of clothes for wearing in the hut.
    • Personal first aid kit – including blister care. 
    • Prescription medication and other personal health items.
    • Toiletries; Toothbrush, toothpaste etc. 

    Optional gear:

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

    Should you have any questions regarding this equipment list or the equipment on our tours feel free to contact incoming@mountainguides.is.

  • Gear Lexicon

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  • FAQ

    FAQ

    The Volcanic Trail 1: IMG381 Explorer‘s Peak to the Canyon of Fire  

    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 for renting one sleeping bag for the entire trip IMG381 VT1 Explorer‘s Peak to the Canyon of Fire is 6.850 ISK  
    • 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 Hólaskjól on 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 Hólaskjól on day 3. This also 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 dietary requirements.  
    • Gluten free, Vegetarian and Vegan diet will cost a little extra – 1.500 ISK pr. day.


    Meeting point and time

    • Meeting time is at 7:15 at BSI central bus terminal at Vatnsmýrarvegur 10.
    • 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.
    • 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 6:50 and 7:10 am.  


    How much luggage do we carry during the hikes?

    • All of your larger luggage is transported for you between huts by the support vehicle. During the trek we will have a luggage transport vehicle in the area that comes and picks up the luggage and takes it from one hut to the other. Please note that sometimes we might have to leave our luggage at a hut, where it will be kept under a tarp for a few hours until the transport arrives and moves it to the next hut. So, we recommend that you bring your luggage in a waterproof duffelbag and with a padlock.
    • You have to carry your daypack which needs to contain some extra clothes, (e.g. rain coat, rain trousers, extra socks, gloves, hat etc.), water bottle, food for the day and river crossing shoes (not on day 1 though).


    River crossing
    Participants will need to cross rivers on the trail. The water level in the rivers changes from time to time due to seasonal conditions. In some cases we will be able to step from stone to stone to get to the other side. In other cases we will need to take our shoes and socks off, put on river crossing shoes and wade the rivers. Your guide will provide you with advice on river crossing as welll as help you to cross the river. Trekking poles might come in handy when wading rivers as well as crossing with a partner.  

    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.

    Is it possible to take a bath in the hot spring in Landmannalaugar on the way back to Reykjavík ?  

    • Yes, it is possible and ideal when stopping in Landmannalaugar for 2,5 hours during the bus ride on the last day back to Reykjavík


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

    • Included: Guide, food, transportation to and from Reykjavík, mountain hut fees, cooking gear and transfer of luggage.  
    • 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 (BSI Bus terminal), 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 1.000 ISK pr. bag pr. day.


    Do all departures have an English speaking guide?

    • Yes, every single one.  


    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 6:15 and 6:30 am.


    General info

    • The tour ends at BSÍ in Reykjavik city centre at around 19:35.
    • The tour starts at BSÍl in Reykjavik city centre at 7:15
    • The minimum age of participants on this trek is 16 years.
    • Jeans are an absolute no‐no in highland tours in Iceland! We also recommend that participants do not wear cotton. See the equipment list for more information.  


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

  • Map
  • Departure Dates
    Tour Dates Availability Language  
    30.06 - 03.07 2018 Two needed to confirm English Select
    07.07 - 10.07 2018 Available English/French Select
    14.07 - 17.07 2018 Two needed to confirm English Select
    21.07 - 24.07 2018 Available English/French Select
    28.07 - 31.07 2018 Available English/German Select
    04.08 - 07.08 2018 Available English/French Select
    11.08 - 14.08 2018 Available English Select
    16.08 - 19.08 2018 Available English/French Select
    25.08 - 28.08 2018 Available English/German Select
    01.09 - 04.09 2018 Available English/French Select

Select the number of passengers and departure date.