Combination Trek: Landmannalaugar-Skógar
*Seven day vehicle assisted trek from hut to hut*
By combining two of Iceland’s best known hikes you get an unbelievable seven day trek through incredibly diverse landscape. From the famous geothermal area of Landmannalaugar to Skógar, this path takes you over multicolored hills and black sands, along small gullies and great canyons, through verdurous valleys, between glaciers, and past waterfalls. This is a memorable hike full of contrasts which gives you a chance to absorb the spirit of this remarkable country. Accommodation in comfortable mountain huts.
Day 1: Reykjavík-Landmannalaugar-Hrafntinnusker
We take the regular bus that during the summer months drives the mountain tracks that lead to Landmannalaugar, passing by the Hekla volcano and other volcanoes in the Dómadalur area. Arriving in Landmannalaugar at noon, we have a lunch and then head south into the mountains. The trail takes us past small gorges, steaming hot springs and yellow mountain ridges. We will arrive in the late afternoon at Hrafntinnusker mountain hut, where we will stay the night.
Distance: 12km (7.5 mi) Walking time: 4-5 hrs Ascent: 470 m (1540 ')
Day 2: Hrafntinnusker-Álftavatn
From Hrafntinnusker we descend down in the gullies of Jökultungur with hundreds of steaming hot springs and mud pools. Fascinating views to the south to the Álftavatn area (Swan Lake), and the Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers. In the afternoon we arrive at Álftavatn hut where we stay the night.
Distance: 12km (7.5 mi) Walking time: 4-5 hrs Descent: 490 m (1610 ')
Day 3: Álftavatn-Emstur
We pass at the foot of the green conic volcano of Stórasúla before entering the black deserts of Mælifellssandur. Heading towards another ancient and verdurous volcano, the Hattfell, we enter the Emstrur region where farmers used to graze their sheep in summer. Before arriving at the Botnar hut where we stay the night, we visit the magnificent Markarfljót canyon cut almost 200 m down into the rocks south of Hattfell.
Distance: 16km (10 mi) Walking time: 6-7 hrs Descent: 40 m (130 ')
Day 4: Emstur-Þórsmörk
We continue up and down through the small valleys and gullies of Emstrur, where the great Mýrdalsjökull glacier rises only a couple of kilometers away. At the end of the day the vegetation starts to grow thicker and higher as we descend in to Þórsmörk's (the woods of Thor) green valleys filled with arctic birch forests and colorful flowers. We spend the night in one of the huts in Þórsmörk.
Distance: 17km (10.5 mi) Walking time: 6-7 hrs Descent: 300 m (985 ')
Day 5: Þórsmörk Valley
We spend the day in Þórsmörk where we have an abundance of choice between various paths. For example, we can visit to the Sönghellir cave (“Song cave”), climb up the small mountain of Valahnúkur from where magnificent view can be enjoyed, or hike into the beautifully carved canyon Stakkholtsgjá. This oasis between the mountains also an ideal place to relax and just enjoy nature. We spend the night in one of the huts in Þórsmörk.
Distance: 5-10 km (3-6 mi) Walking time: 2-5 hrs Ascent/Descent: NA
Day 6: Þórsmörk-Fimmvörðuháls
Leaving Þórsmörk we cross the river Krossá on a footbridge entering the magic landscapes of Goðalönd – the abode of the Gods. Nesting at the foot of two glaciers this is a wonderland of ridges and cliffs covered by a multitude of flowers and grasses, certainly fit for gods and humans alike. Even the elves have made themselves at home here. We continue up the hills leading to the pass of Fimmvörðuháls, walking along the Kattarhryggir ridges with views to the impressive mountain of Útigönguhöfði up to Morinsheiði heath. A the end of the Morinsheiði plateu we enjoy the view of the lava stream that flowed down from the Fimmvörðuháls volcano in March and early April 2010. The lava is all set with different outlets of fuming steam and decorated with green and yellow sulphur. As we gain height above Morinsheiði we come again to the lava and then to the two craters Magni and Móði that erupted prior to the main Eyjafjallajökull crater. We cross the brand new lava just at the foot of the magnificent red craters, through places were the lava is almost glowing warm inside the fissures and cracks on its surface. After crossing safely the lava we get a view to the lava and the craters from a hill on the other side, before crossing the néves of the high pass of Fimmvörðuháls, to get to the hut between the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull, where we set up for the night.
Note: Because of difficult access to the hut for vehicles, we will send our extra luggage back to Reykjavik. Food and sleeping bags/blankets have been stored in the Fimmvörðuháls hut so we only need to carry our sleeping bag liner and toiletries for the night and a little bit of fresh food.
Distance: 12-14 km (7-9 mi) Walking time: 6-7 hrs Ascent: 900 m (2953’)
Day 7: Fimmvörðuháls- Skógar-Reykjavík
After a night between the two glaciers we head down to Skógar. At the beginning, the path takes us over a desolate heath past an old hut that does not offer much shelter any more. We come to the Skógaá River and follow the river exploring its many hidden gorges, and waterfalls all the way to the famous Skógafoss waterfall. The river and its surroundings offer great scenery. The coast seems to be within arm´s reach and you can almost feel the surf on your cheeks. Arriving at Skógafoss, we hop on the scheduled bus to Reykjavík. Arrival at Reykjavik Harpa Concert Hall at 6:10 pm, where the trip ends. We will be reunited with our luggage at the bus station.
Distance: 12-13km (7-8 mi) Walking time: 6-7 hrs Descent: 1000 m (3280’)
*All of the mountain huts are heated, some have electricity and some have hot water. There are bunk rooms with single and twin beds, participants have to be prepared to share a bed with a stranger.