Hiking & Trekking

Volcanic Trails


The Volcanic Trails is a trekking tour combining two distinct sections.

CONFIRMED departures for 2023:

  • July 13th - 19th
  • August 11th - 20th

Tour code: IMG384

Volcanic Trails
Price from: 348.000  ISK

Exploring the Wilderness

This remote trail takes you through one of Iceland's most spectacular volcanic regions. Your expert trekking guide will lead you into the wilderness of Vatnajökull National Park, starting with a hike up to the peak of Sveinstindur mountain with a fantastic view of lake Langisjór, the long lake. The trail goes along the great Skaftá river through bright green moss-covered lava formations, impressive waterfalls, canyons, and amazing craters, to the Eldgjá, a volcanic fissure created in one of the greatest eruptions in historical times.

The journey then continues through the contrasts of black sands and green moss of Mælifellssandur desert. Hiking through this dramatic landscape you will feel the greatness of the land as well as the immense solitude. In the evenings you will enjoy the company of your friendly and knowledgeable guide and your small group in the tiny cozy mountain huts along the trail. The perfect trek for those looking to venture off the beaten track!

See video from the Volcanic Trails.

Tour Overview

  • Transport

    Private transport

  • Group size

    6 - 14 participants

  • Language


  • Accommodation

    Mountain hut

  • Walkin per day

    3 - 8 hrs

  • Total Distance

    90 km (56 mi)

  • Difficulty



    Suites those that are physically active and have some background in basic traveling in mountainous terrain with a backpack. 6-7 hrs walks per day.

  • Availability

    Jul - Aug

  • Duration

    7 days

  • 16

    Minimum age:

    16 yrs

Departures Confirmed to Run

CONFIRMED departures in Summer 2023 are: 

  • July 13th - 19th
  • August 11th - 20th

Book this tour

Customer Reviews

Tour Highlights


  • Experienced and qualified guide
  • Mountain hut sleeping bag accommodation in dormitories
  • Transport at the beginning and end of trek
  • Breakfast (6), Lunch (7), Dinner (6)
  • Transfer of luggage

Not Included

  • Sleeping bag
  • Showers in huts (payable on site)

Optional Extras

  • Sleeping bag

Tour Map and Itinerary

Click map for detailed itinerary

Volcanic Trails


Day 1

Reykjavík - Sveinstindur (The Explorer’s Peak)

Meeting time is at 07:30 at BSI central bus terminal at Vatnsmýrarvegur 10. There a representative from Icelandic Mountain Guides and your guide will meet and greet you. Our transport takes us along highland tracks to Mt Sveinstindur, by lake Langisjór one of Iceland’s most beautiful lakes.  After climbing the peak for some amazing views over the mountains and up to Vatnajökull glacier we descent to a traditional hut on the other side. Rustic hut, outhouse and no showers.
Distance: 6 km (4 mi)
Ascent/Descent: 480 m (1574 ft)

Day 2

Sveinstindur - Skaftá - Skælingar

Following the river Skaftá, with rapids and waterfalls the trail leads to the small and impressive canyon of Hvanngil. The landscape is truly volcanic, black lava, green moss, and different rock formations. At the end of the day you arrive in the magical Skælingar area, an ancient lava forest close to the riverbed of Skaftá. Rustic hut, outhouse and no showers.
Distance: 16 - 18 km (10 - 11 mi)
Walking time: 6 - 8 hrs
Ascent/Descent: 250 m (820 ft)

Day 3

Skælingar - Gjátindur - Eldgjá - Hólaskjól

After packing up we start the day’s hike leading to the Canyon of Fire - Eldgjá. 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 Trails. Comfortable hut, WC and showers available.
Distance: 18 km (11 mi)
Walking time: 6 - 8 hrs
Ascent/Descent: 350 m (1150 ft)

Day 4

Hólaskjól - Álftavötn

We head out on the second part of the trail heading to the lakes of Álftavötn. Hiking through green hills we follow the river Syðri Ófæra. At Álftavötn we find a traditional hut where we spend the night. The tranquillity 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)
Walking time: 5 - 6 hrs
Ascent/Descent: 150 m (492 ft)

Day 5

Álftavötn - Strútur

Today we continue along the river Syðri Ófæra crossing once again the Canyon of Fire, Eldgjá. The landscape changes from green meadows to black sands with bright green streaks of moss. Along the way we come to the natural pool Strútslaug, right after fording the river Hólmsá.  After warming up and relaxing 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)
Walking time: 7 - 8 hrs
Ascent/Descent: 300 m (984 ft)

Day 6

Strútur - Hvanngil

Leaving the comfortable hut we set out for the day´s trek along Mælifellssandur, the black volcanic sand plain. We need to cross some of the rivers and better have our river crossing shoes ready. The mystical landscape of Hvanngil valley greets us and we are yet amazed at the wonders of the Icelandic landscape. Comfortable hut, WC and showers available.
Distance: 14 - 18 km (9 - 11 mi)
Walking time: 5 - 6 hrs
Ascent/Descent: 150 m (492 ft)

Day 7

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. The river winds along and after a climb up the small pass of Brattháls we see lake Álftavatn “Swan lake”. Here you get picked up by our driver who will take you back to your accommodation in Reykjavík. Estimated arrival in Reykjavík is around 19:00 in the evening.
Distance: 5 - 7 km (3 - 4 mi)
Walking time: 3 - 4 hrs
Ascent/Descent: 300 m (984 ft)

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
Click to activate the map

Practical Information

You can shower in the huts that have showers available, some huts do not have any shower facilities. Where showers are available there is a small fee to use them.


Some huts have flushable toilets others have outhouses.  

There will be running cold water in all the huts. You will need to heat water to get hot water.

The mountain huts have no private rooms available, all rooms are dormitories.

No, the huts have a fully equipped kitchen.

We recommend bringing a power bank to charge your electronic devices. The huts do not have electricity. There is a slight chance the wardens will be able to charge for you for a fee of ISK 500. 

Vegan meal plan can be ordered upon booking the tour for a small additional fee. We don't offer gluten free supplements so we advice participants to bring their own gluten free items if needed. 

If a date is not available it either fully booked or not offered on that date. You are welcome to contact us for a private tour if you cannot join on an available date. Please email [email protected] to request a private tour.

You can find all our terms of payments for day or multi-day tours here.