schedule: Hike in the Highlands & Tour around Iceland

Day 1: Arrival

Pick up at KEF airport  

  • Accomodation: Reykjavik

Day 2: The Golden Circle and Reykjavik

The golden circle is one of the most famous routes in Iceland. Where you can see the wonders of mother nature in Iceland. 
We will visit waterfalls, geothermal arias, an energy plant, volcanic crater and much more. We will visit the classic destinations for any visitor to our island. After the Golden circle we will go to Landmannalaugar in the highlands

  • Accommodation: Landmannalaugar in tents

Day 3: Landmannalaugar – short hikes and preparation for the next days

Landmannalaugar is primarily known for its natural geothermal baths, hence its name “The People’s Pools”. For centuries, Landmannalaugar has served as an area of shelter and respite for weary travellers who use these soothing springs as a means to relax after tiring excursions.

We will go for shorts hikes to the colorful mountains, take a bath in the natural springs and prepare for the upcoming four days hike to Þórsmörk.

The hiking trail between Landmannalaugar and Þórsmörk is one of the most popular hiking trails in Iceland. National Geographic listed it as one of the most beautiful trails in the world.

  • Accommodation: Landmannalaugar in tents

Day 4: Hike from Landmannalaugar to Hrafntinnusker (12 km, 5 hours, ascent 470m)

This first part of the route is the shortest in kilometers, but as the accumulated elevation is close to 500m and this is the first day of the hike, many people find this part a little strenuous.

The first part leads up to the lava field of Laugahraun, crosses it, then heads downhill before heading up again to the plateau, just below Brennisteinsalda. The trail then continues further up on to the plateau, where small ravines cut into the landscape as the rivers shape the soft mountain. The next destination is Stórihver, a beautiful vegetation spot right next to a whizzing geyser where you can stop, rest your legs and get a bite from the provision box. It is approximately an hour walk from here, up to the hut Höskuldsskáli at Hrafntinnusker.

  • Accommodation: Hrafntinnusker in tents 

Day 5: Hike from Hrafntinnusker to Alftavatn (12 km, 5 hours, Descend 490m)

The path from Hrafntinnusker runs along the slopes of Reykjafjöll. Next, the direction is taken to the west of Kaldaklofsfjöll and up to the spine between them and Jökulgil. If weather and visibility is good, it is recommended to take the extra hike up to Háskerðingur, the highest mountain in the area, 1281m. The hike takes about 1-1,5 hours.

The trail now goes up and down through few ravines until it reaches the edge of Jökultungur, with incomparable views over the whole trail and the three glaciers Tindfjallajökull, Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull.

At the bottom of Jökultungur the Grashagakvísl river awaits and can in some cases be crossed on a snow bridge. From there is an easy route southwest to the hut in Álftavatn lake.

  • Accommodation: Alftavatn in tents 

Day 6: Hike from Alftavatn to Emstrur (16 km, 7 hours, Descend 40m)

From Álftavatn, the trail goes in an easterly direction over Brattháls and continues east to Hvanngil.

From Hvanngil, there is a short walk to the river Kaldaklofskvísl, which can be crossed on a footbridge. Just south, is another river, Bláfjallakvísl without a bridge. Now the route lies mostly on the main road until the river Innri Emstruá is reached. Just south of it, the trail turns from the main road to the left and south to Emstrur, where the land is practically without vegetation. If the weather is dry, with strong wind, especially from north, the sand can drift. The trail lies between two mountains called Útigönguhöfðar and in about an hour the Botnar huts in Emstrur is reached.

  • Accommodation: Emstrur in tents 

Day 7: Hike from Emstrur to Þorsmörk (15 km, 7 hours, Descend 300m)

The trail heads towards the east from the huts in Botnar. Shortly, the bridge over the river Syðri-Emstruá is reached. From there, the path lies along Langháls and towards the junction of the rivers Markarfljót and Syðri-Emstruá. It is recommended to walk to the edge of the gorge where the rivers meet, before hiking south through Almenningar.

Soon the trail runs through two small ravines, Slyppugil and Bjórgil. After hiking up from the latter ravine, Bjórgil, the trail leads to Fauskatorfur and gradually to an area with more vegetation. It is called Úthólmar. The hill upwards from the river Ljósá is called Kápa or Coat and is the last steep on the trail.

When the trails come down from Kápa, hikers have to ford the river Þröngá which in most cases is not difficult but can be quite rocky. The river marks the boundary of Þórsmörk and now there is only a bit more than half an hour hike through the pleasant woodland Hamraskógar until you arrive at the Skagfjörðsskáli cabin and camping area in Langidalur, Þórsmörk.

  • Accommodation: Þórsmörk in tents 

Day 8: Relaxing in Þórsmörk

Þórsmörk is a veritable hikers paradise with great many beautiful hikes, both long and short. It is also good to relax after the hike in the last days.  

Day 9: Vestmannaeyjar – the Pompeii of the North

We will leave the highlands and take the bus to the seaside where we will take the ferry to The Westman Islands, or Vestmannaeyjar which are without a doupt among the most beautyful places in Iceland, they consists of a group of fifteen amazing islands which are situated at a short distance off the south coast of Iceland.

All of the islands are the result of submarine volcanic eruptions during comparatively recent geological time. Heimaey is the largest and only inhabited island in the group, and is Iceland´s largest offshore island, with an area of 13,4 sq. km. Between the colorful town, the beautiful cliffs full of birdlife, and the fresh lava and volcano, the landscape gives the islands a scenic interest as varied in character as any in the country. 

We will also visit the volcano exhibition www.eldheimar.is and go to the swimming pool in the island.

  • Accommodation Aska hostel

Day 10: The magical south coast of Iceland and glacier lagoon

Today you will explore Iceland’s incredible South Coast.

This stretch of Iceland is renowned for its vast diversity of landmarks and landscapes, all visible from the Ring-Road you will be travelling on. You’ll drive through verdant fields and across deserts of black sand, amazing waterfalls, all in the shadows of massive volcanoes and glaciers.

The day has more surprises to come following this adventure. You will travel in the shadow of the largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull, to reach the Jökulsárlon glacier lagoon, which many consider to be Iceland’s most beautiful spot. After the glacier lagoon we will head for the Eastern fjords.

  • Accommodation Stodvarfjordur

Day 11: Mývatn and the village near to the Arctic circle

Today we will leave East Iceland for the beautiful North, by crossing the magnificent Highlands. You will stop at Europe’s most powerful waterfall, the awe-inspiring Dettifoss and feel its roaring powers beneath your feet.

The highlight of this day, however, is the Lake Mývatn area. This incredible place has more than just serene stretches of water; expect to see fascinating geothermal areas, impressive lava formations, and a huge wealth of unique birdlife.

You will fit a lot of sightseeing into this day. You will visit the dark rocky fortress of Dimmuborgir, with its stunning geology; a hot spring cave called Grjótagjá, an ancient bathing spot; the power plant Krafla and the Hverir geothermal area. After all the activity, you will likely be seeking relaxation, so you will treat yourself by visiting the Mývatn Nature Baths for a rejuvenating soak by the end of the day.

You will spend the night in the Northern most village of Iceland called Raufarhofn.

  • Accommodation Raufarhofn North Iceland

Day 12: Whale watching in Húsavík

Today you will better explore the incredible beauty of North Iceland. After a scenic drive along the coast, you will reach the beautiful fishing village Húsavík, where you will do a whale watching adventure.

Húsavík is known as Europe’s whale-watching capital for a reason. On your three-hour boat tour, you can expect to see mighty, acrobatic humpback whales and many other species that are known to frequent the area. Between whale sightings, it is incredible to admire the nature around you; the serene fjord is surrounded by stunning mountains.

  • Accommodation Raufarhofn North Iceland

Day 13: Going through the North to Reykjavik

We will leave the village of the arctic circle and head direction Reykjavik. We will make a stop at one of the country’s most powerful, beautiful, and historical waterfalls, Goðafoss, which translates to ‘the Waterfall of the Gods’ and also in Akureyri the capital of the North. In the west we will do our last hike to a small crater called Grabrók.

  • Accommodation: Reykjavik

Day 14: Departure

Drop off at KEF Airport  

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