2017 Laugevegur Trail and Fimmvorduhals Trail - Iceland
What is it:
The Laugevegur Trail is one of the most popular hikes in Iceland. The Fimmvorduhals Trail extends the hike
an extra day or so, and you definitely should do it. Both trails together are
around 48 miles (77 km), and there are also optional side trails. The route
traverses Iceland's rugged, barren, and beautiful landscape, passing by ice
caves, glaciers, hot springs, steam vents, and volcanoes. If that isn't enough
for you there are 26 pretty spectacular waterfalls in the last day.
There are daily shuttle busses to and from the trail starting late spring from
We hiked from June 15th to June 20th 2017. The busses had just started running a
few days prior to our arrival and the snow pack was still very deep up high.
There are huts that you can reserve, or camp at, but they are only open when the
busses are running. I am glad that we hiked early in the year because the snow
pack added to the stunning landscape. We did have to spend a couple days walking
on top of packed, slushy snow and that did add to the challenge. The lower
elevation areas were free of snow. The weather was cool during the day and
stayed above freezing at night. We had a mix of drizzle, clouds, rain, wind, and
sunshine. Overall the weather was pretty decent.
In Iceland in June the sun barely sets. In the middle of the night the sky is as
bright as an overcast day. You could hike at any time of day if you want, and
sleeping can be hard. At camp, there were people up and about most of the night
which was kind of weird. A sleep mask is helpful.
We flew in and out of Reykjavik. There is a shuttle bus that runs from the
airport to a station outside Reykjavik, and then there is another daily shuttle
bus from there a few hours to Landmannalaugar, which is the start of the hike.
The bus station has a small outdoor store right in it where you can buy fuel
canisters and a variety of gear items that you might have forgotten. There is
also a restaurant in the station, and a gas station-convenience store next door
with limited re-supply. There was a Subway restaurant at the gas station. We
flew with some of our dried food items, and supplemented from the convenience
Landmannalaugar (where the bus drops you off) is a just a "base camp" with
camping, and bunks that you can reserve. There is a small camp store run out of
a converted bus that had pre-made sandwiches, snacks, coffee, and odds and ends
that hikers might need. You might miss the bus-store if you aren't looking for
it because it just looks like a parked bus in the parking lot.
Everything is expensive in Iceland. Whatever you think something would cost in
the US, double it or more. The currency is the Icelandic Króna, which is
currently about 1:1 with the USD. Want a beer? $12. Camping is about $20 per
person, per night and is only allowed outside the huts. You can reserve a bunk
for more, however we stayed outside every night. If you want to go inside a hut
to warm up or get out of the wind or rain, that will be $5 for an hour, if there
The huts are relatively small. They have bunks and you can cook inside but they
don't serve meals. Some sell candy bars or sodas. For the most part you will
need to carry your food for the whole trip.
There is one restaurant on route at Volcano Hut in Thórsmörk. It is maybe a mile
off the main route, but totally worth it if you are hungry and willing to spend
an exorbitant amount of money on a hot meal after a few days of walking. You can
reconnect with the route without backtracking much.
There is also a restaurant and hotel at the end at Skogar. The shuttle busses
pick hikers up daily from Thórsmörk (by Volcano Hut), or Skogar. You can book
round-trip in advance.
The trail was pretty easy to follow, and the cross-country snow sections had
plenty of footsteps to follow. This hike had a few climbs but most of it wasn't
that steep or strenuous. The hardest part was slogging through melting snow pack
for the better part of a couple days. It is like hiking in beach sand. We didn't
post-hole and we didn't need snow shoes or anything it just added some effort.
There are a couple knee to thigh deep river fords, which were not bad.
2017 Laugevegur Trail - Iceland Gear List:
This is the same gear list I would carry on any 3 season backpacking trip to
pretty much any destination.