The southwest of Iceland offers an interesting hiking route of 54 km, called the Laugavegur Trail, which can be completed in 4 to 8 days, depending on weather conditions and your general fitness. It starts from the geothermal springs of Landmannalaugar and extends to the Þórsmörk Nature Reserve at the foot of the active volcano Eyjafjallajökull.
The Laugavegur trail passes by gorges, glaciers, and cascading multi-colored rhyolite mountains, through black obsidian lava fields and bright vegetation. Its highest point is Hrafntinnusker, 1050 m.
It is along this trail that the country shows visitors why Iceland is considered one of the most wonderful parts of the world. It is the most popular hiking trail in the country and was included in National Geographic’s list of the top 20 “Dream Trails” in the world. Those wishing to see an extraordinary beauty are many, but the time to do so is very limited – only three months of the year from mid-June to mid-September. In late August-September, and with a bit of luck, the Northern Lights can be seen. The usual route is from Landmannalaugar to Þórsmörk or from north to south and is traversed in most cases in 4 days.
The first trek is from Landmannalaugar to Hrafntinnusker and is about 12 km long. Landmannalaugar immediately amazes with its colorful mountains and the clouds of vapor present all around the area. Enveloping the entire landscape occupied by the edge of the Eldhraun lava field, the hot springs beckon, hidden under a wall of lava.
The next lava field along the way is Laugahraun and it stretches across multi-colored rhyolite mountains before reaching another hot spring with surprisingly bright foliage beside it. The ground is covered with black sand, which leads you to your overnight accommodation, the Höskuldsskáli hut.
Further on you continue to Álftavatn for another 12 km. The area is geothermally active and is framed by the red and yellow ridges and canyons of the Reykjafjöll mountains. Álftavatn also has a nice hut with quite a few facilities, and a good camping area is set up next to the lake’s shore.
Follow the trail from Álftavatn to Emstrur. The difficulty here is crossing several rivers – on bridges, but also on foot. Several huts are available along the route, and the views are again unique. The last two destinations are from Emstrur to Þórsmörk and – for those with additional walking intentions – the 16-18 km hike from Þórsmörk to Fimmvörðuháls. Rivers, forests, mountain slopes, passes and glaciers, volcano craters, and pleasant huts follow your journey every step of the way.