Volcanic Trails 2: The Wilderness of Strútur Trail - IMG382

Trekking in the volcanic highlands

Photo: Jan Zelina
Photo: Jan Zelina
Photo: Jan Zelina
Photo: Jan Zelina
Photo: Jan Zelina
Photo: Jan Zelina
Photo: Jan Zelina
Photo: Jan Zelina
Photo: Jan Zelina
Photo: Jan Zelina
Photo: Jan Zelina
Strútslaug Nature Bath
Photo: Jan Zelina

Strútslaug Nature Bath

Photo: Jan Zelina
Photo: Jan Zelina
Photo: Jan Zelina
Photo: Jan Zelina
Photo: Jan Zelina
Photo: Jan Zelina
Our guide was an outstanding guide. The food, and its preparation, exceeded my expectations. More importantly though, our guide did a great job understanding our needs as well as helping us go farther, and experience more, than we would have thought possible.

- Barbara USA -

Tour type: Trek from hut to hut with luggage transport

Difficulty:

EASY

HARD

Price from:  

Adult: 159900

  • JAN
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  • DEC

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

Duration: 5 days, 4 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: 3 - 8 hours

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

  • Video
  • Tour Description

    Highlights of the Tour

    • Rich variety of sceneries
    • Solitude and dramatic landscapes
    • Bathe in a hidden hot spring

    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.

    Black volcanic sands and green mountains

    The second part of the Volcanic trails trek, takes us to the south side of the very colorful Torfajökull rhyolite massif where the colors yellow, orange, red and even blue green, make a refreshing contrast to the black sands and bright green mountains. The trail goes along to Álftavötn lakes, passing Strútur mountain into the black desert Mælifellssandur, dominated by the vast glacier of Mýrdalsjökull. The trek ends at Hvanngil hut, and after a morning walk the next day those who finish here, get on a bus that takes them back to Reykjavík. We bath in the Strútslaug natural pool and enjoy crystal clear waterfalls, cross rivers on a natural stone bridge and enjoy the silence of the highlands. This is by far one of the most dramatic parts of the Fjallabak are where you will feel the vastness of the land as well as the immense solitude, there are but few who venture into this area.

    Hikers joining the Volcanic Trail must travel to its starting point via the renowned Landmannalaugar and Eldgjá the day before.

    • Total distance: 50-58 kilometers (31-36 miles)
    • Altitude: 400-700 meters (1300-2300 feet)
    • Maximum ascent: 200 m (650 feet)
    • Minimum age: 16 years 

    Included: Experienced and qualified guide during the trek (until noon on day 5), food from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 5, sleeping bag accommodation in dormitory (sleeping bags not included), public transport from Reykjavík to Hólaskjól via Landmannalaugar and from Hvanngil (Álftavatn) to Reykjavík 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 - Landmannalaugar - Eldgjá - Hólaskjól
    Meeting point at 7:15 at BSÍ bus terminal in Reykjavík. Today you leave on the morning bus to Landmannalaugar. On arrival in this magnificent rhyolite area you have a chance to dip into the natural pool on the premises or simply admire the beauty of this astounding place during the 2,5 hour stop. You get onto the bus leaving Landmannalaugar in the afternoon for Skaftafell, getting off at Hólaskjól after approximately 3 hour´s drive with a stop at the canyon Eldgjá. At Hólaskjól you meet the guide and join the ongoing Volcanic Trails trek. Night in a comfortable hut, WC and showers available.

    D2: Hólaskjól - Álftavötn
    After breakfast we set out for the trek to the lakes of Álftavötn. We follow the river Syðri Ófæra that drains from the glacier Torfajökull through rolling green hills. Torfajökull is not only a glacier but one of the bigger geothermal areas in Iceland. Depending on weather the river can be high or low but we will most certainly be able to cross it over to the lakes Álftavötn on a natural bridge. There is a traditional hut close to the lakes where we spend the night. The tranquility of this magical place is amazing and this is really a great spot to recharge. Rustic hut, outhouse, no showers.
    Distance: 7- 10 km  (4-6 mi) Ascent/descent: 150 m Walking time: 5 - 6 hrs

    D3: Álftavötn - Strútur
    Today we continue along the river Syðri Ófæra crossing once again the Canyon of Fire, Eldgjá and can wonder at the immensity of the natural forces at play when it was created. The landscape changes from green meadows to black sands with screaming green streaks of moss that almost blow our minds. After rounding the massif of Svartahnjúksfjöll we come to the river Hólmsá and its lagoon. We need to cross the river and even though it may feel cold we can warm ourselves in the natural pool Strútslaug, on the other side. After a relaxing soak in the pool we conclude the day´s march walking to the hut at Strútur where we spend the night. Comfortable hut, WC and showers available.
    Distance: 24 km (15 mi) Ascent/descent: 300 m Walking time: 7 – 8 hrs

    D4: Strútur - Hvanngil
    Leaving the comfortable hut we set out for the day´s trek along the Mýrdalssandur, the black volcanic sand plain, hemmed in by the icecap of Mýrdalsjökull glacier to the south and the Torfajökull rhyolite massif to the north. We need to cross some of the rivers and better have our river crossing shoes ready. The mystical palagonite landscape of Hvanngil valley greets us and we are yet amazed at the wonders of the Icelandic landscape. At the mouth of the valley a hut awaits for the night. Comfortable hut, WC and showers available.
    Distance: 14-18 km (9-11 mi) Ascent/descent: 150 m Walking time: 5 - 6 hrs

    D5: Hvanngil (Álftavatn) – Reykjavík
    After breakfast we pack our things and get ready for the day´s hike exploring the side trails of the Laugavegur hiking trail. We proceed along the river Kaldaklofskvísl, admiring the eerie green Stórasúla mountain on the other side, which summit only the birds seem able to visit. The river winds along and soon we climb the small pass of Brattháls from where we can enjoy the views to lake Álftavatn “Swan lake” before continuing to the huts on the northern shore of the lake. Here we get onto the bus for Reykjavík, taking leave of our guide and the hikers continuing on the Volcanic Trails for the last section. Arrival in Reykjavík at 19:35 where the tour ends at the Reykjavík Bus Terminal.
    Distance: 5 – 6 km (3-4 mi) Ascent/descent: 300 m Walking time: 3 – 4 hrs

  • 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 2: IMG382 The Wilderness of Strútur Trail  

    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 The Volcanic Trail 2: IMG382 The Wilderness of Strútur Trail is 7.500 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 day 1, at the hut in Strútur on day 3 and in Hvanngil on day 4. 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 1. 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 and Vegan diet will cost a little extra – 1.500 ISK pr. day.


    Meeting point and time

    • Meeting point is at the BSI Bus terminal located near the center of Reykjavík. The address is Vatnsmyrarvegur 10, 101 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 7:15 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 7:00 and 7:15 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 5000 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 7:00 and 7:15 am.


    General info

    • The tour ends at the BSI Bus terminal in Reykjavík around 19:35.
    • The tour starts at the BSI Bus terminal in Reykjavík at 7:15 am.
    • 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  
    02.07 - 06.07 2018 Two needed to confirm English Select
    09.07 - 13.07 2018 Available English/French Select
    16.07 - 20.07 2018 Two needed to confirm English Select
    23.07 - 27.07 2018 Available English/French Select
    30.07 - 03.08 2018 Two needed to confirm English/German Select
    06.08 - 10.08 2018 Two needed to confirm English/French Select
    13.08 - 17.08 2018 Available English Select
    18.08 - 22.08 2018 Available English/French Select
    27.08 - 31.08 2018 Available English/German Select
    03.09 - 07.09 2018 Available English/French Select

Select the number of passengers and departure date.