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Iceland's Laugavegur Trail Small Group Guided Walking Tour
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Highlights

  • Walking through raw volcanic deserts of ash and bubbling mud pools
  • Exploring the world’s most northerly capital, Reykjavik
  • Taking a dip in a steaming geothermally heated natural pool at Landmannalaugar
  • Picking your way across a frigid (yet exhilarating!) glacial stream
  • Catching sight of the infamous Eyjafjallajokull volcano
  • Wandering trails through lush vegetation at Thorsmork Valley
  • Finding out the trail’s hidden secrets and hearing fascinating personal insights from an expert Icelandic guide

Follow in the footsteps of enthusiastic walker and TV presenter Julia Bradbury, as seen on the BBC’s ‘Julia Bradbury’s Icelandic Walk’. On the Laugavegur Trail you will encounter volcanoes, lava fields, hot springs, mud pools, waterfalls, mountain lakes, canyons and wooded valleys.

Explore the world’s most northerly capital, Reykjavik, a small yet lively city with a welcoming café culture. Set off on the trail from the highland region of Landmannalaugar with its colourful rhyolite peaks and pass by deep gorges and yellow mountain ridges before you arrive at the first of four remote mountain huts.

Spot hundreds of steaming hot springs and mud pools, and enjoy outstanding views across to the glaciers of Myrdalsjokull and Eyjafjallajokull (the latter made famous thanks to the volcano’s mischievous ash cloud of 2010).

Heading south, encounter the surprising black deserts of Maelifellssandur and walk alongside the Markarfjlot canyon which plunges to a depth of 200m at the foot of Hattfell volcano. This iconic walk ends at the wooded valley of the Norse God of thunder; ‘Thorsmork’. Return to Reykjavik where you’ll spend a further two nights, with the chance to explore the Golden Circle or take a whale watching trip out into the bay.

You will be walking in a small group of between 6 and 16 people and will be accompanied by a fully qualified expert local guide. Your guide will really help to bring the area to life through their expert knowledge on this fascinating country and its amazing geology!

You can read about our Laugavegur Trail in February 2015's Issue of Country Walking Magazine: "Once we gained height, I looked back to see a lava field I hadn’t realised was there, even though I had walked through it just half an hour earlier. And round the corner there was always an entirely new set of wonders to deal with..."

DAY 1: Arrive in Reykjavik


Flying into Keflavik International Airport, you can immediately recognise that you are about to arrive in Iceland, with views of craters and lava fields. There are regular international flights operating to Iceland from Europe and North America.



Upon arrival at Keflavik, hop on a shuttle bus for the transfer into Reykjavik city centre (payable locally). A popular choice is to transfer via the Blue Lagoon en route, for a welcoming dip!



Reykjavik is a vibrant yet small city, and is easily explored on foot. Wander along the main shopping street and browse handicraft shops or stop in one of the many cafés to watch the world go by.



Reykjavik boasts some truly excellent restaurants, with the freshest possible fish and succulent lamb on the menu.


Overnight: 3* Hotel Fron, Reykjavik


Hotel Fron is a friendly and stylish property located on Laugavegur, in the heart of downtown Reykjavik, close to all the main shops, restaurants, cafes, galleries and museums.


DAY 2: Bus to Landmannalaugar, walk to Hrafntinnusker

Pick up from your hotel and transfer to the Concert Hall in the centre of Reykjavik, where you will board a regular mountain bus for the transfer into Iceland’s wilds, passing by Hekla volcano, which erupted as recently as the year 2000. Arrive at the popular highland location of Landmannalaugar in time for lunch, surrounded by colourful rhyolite mountains.


Lace up your boots for the walk to Hrafntinnusker mountain hut, passing by small gorges, steaming hot springs and yellow mountain ridges. By the time you reach tonight’s mountain hut accommodation in the late afternoon, you will have fallen for this harsh yet beautiful volcanic landscape.


Overnight: Mountain hut at Hrafntinnusker



On this trail you will stay in mountain huts. Some have electricity and some have hot water, all have heating. Cooking equipment and facilities are provided at each hut. Please note that the bunk rooms are mixed sex.


Walk: 12km, 4-5 hrs Ascent: 470m


DAY 3: Walk to Alftavatn

Iceland sits astride the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, and this morning you’ll note just how fragile the earth’s crust is here. Hundreds of steaming hot springs and mud pools stretch across this lunar-like terrain; this could only be Iceland.



Ahead, sight the Myrdalsjokull and Eyjafjallajokull glaciers which sit atop slumbering volcanoes; the latter’s ash cloud being infamous for causing havoc to airspace in May 2010! Arrive at the Alftavatn (translates as ‘Swan Lake’) hut in the afternoon, for an overnight stay.


Walk: 12km, 4-5 hrs Descent: 490m


Overnight: Mountain hut at Alftavatn


DAY 4: Walk to Emstrur

Pass by the foot of Storasula, a green cone volcano, then the trail enters the black ash deserts of Maelifellssandur. Another ancient volcano, Hattfell, rises up to greet you as you cross the pastures of the Emstrur region; farmers used to graze their sheep here in summer.



Visit the remarkable Markarfljot canyon, which plunges almost 200m down into the rocks south of Hattfell. Overnight at the Botnar hut.


Walk: 15km, 6-7 hrs Descent: 40m


Overnight: Mountain hut at Botnar


DAY 5: Walk to Thorsmork Valley

Start the morning with an undulating walk through the small valleys and gullies of the Ermstrur region. Here, the great Myrdalsjokull glacier feels almost within touching distance, although it is a few kilometres from the track.



As you head south the vegetation starts to grow thicker and higher, as you approach the Thorsmork Valley. This lush protected valley is filled with arctic birch forests and in high summer is dotted with colourful flowers. Spend the night at one of the huts in Thorsmork.


Walk: 15km, 6-7 hrs Descent: 300m


Overnight: Mountain hut at Thorsmork


DAY 6: Walk at Thorsmork, travel to Reykjavik

This morning, choose from one of the numerous trails which lead out from Thorsmork. This afternoon, take the highland bus back to the capital city of Reykjavik in the evening.



Transfer to your accommodation.


Walk: 2-3 hrs (choice of walks)


Overnight: 3* Hotel Fron, Reykjavik


DAY 7: Free in Reykjavik

Today is at leisure. Perhaps spend time exploring Reykjavik itself, or join an optional excursion into the countryside; the ‘Golden Circle’ route is a popular choice, visiting the trio of two-tiered Gullfoss waterfall, UNESCO World Heritage Site Thingvellir National Park, and Geysir hot springs area.


Overnight: 3* Hotel Fron, Reykjavik


DAY 8: Onward Travel

Return to Keflavik International Airport by shuttle bus (payable locally) for your return flight home.

Accommodation

Your trip includes 3 nights at a 3* Hotel in Reykjavik with private facilities (one night before and two nights after your walking tour), 4 nights in simple mountain huts. All huts are heated, some have electricity and some have hot water. Mountain huts in Iceland are very different to Alpine huts, which many
people are more familiar with. Eating and sleeping is often done in the
same room, with the bunks around the edge of the room and a big table in
the middle. Showers are available (at additional cost—payable locally in cash only) at the huts at Alftavatn, Emstrur and Thorsmork. Bunk rooms are mixed sex and have single and twin beds; participants should be prepared to share with other travellers. Sleeping bags may be rented at additional cost (please contact us to pre-arrange). As the huts are heated, a standard sleeping bag is sufficient.


Please note that due to the busy summer period, it may be necessary to provide you with alternative accommodation in Reykjavik to that listed.


Solo Walkers


This trip is available to solo walkers and is ideal for those travelling
on their own who are looking to join a small group walking holiday. A
single supplement is payable for the single occupancy of accommodation
in Reykjavik only, and single rooms are not available whilst on the
trail due to the configuration and nature of the mountain huts.


Meals

Your accommodation is on a bed and breakfast basis whilst in Reykjavik.  Your time on the trail itself is on a full board basis, and includes lunch from Day 2 to lunch on Day 6. Food is simple yet filling and although not compulsory, your guide will always welcome a helping hand with the cooking and cleaning up from any willing members of the group!  Cooking equipment is provided at each hut and food is transported between huts together with main luggage. 


Dietary Requirements

An additional charge is payable for
gluten free, vegetarian and vegan meals due to the nature of the tour.
Please contact for us for more information.

Availability

The Laugavegur Trail has set departure dates for small group trips of between 6 and 16 people. Departures operate during Iceland's summer months, from June to September.


If we are unable to accommodate your on your confirmed dates/tour or an alternative of your choice your deposit is fully refunded.


Grade & Terrain

This trip is graded moderate to strenuous and daily walks are between 4-7 hours in length (up to 15km per day). The trail is tough underfoot in places with changing terrain. This tour is suitable for experienced walkers looking for a challenge.


Luggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred between mountain huts as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.


Guide

You will be accompanied by an English-speaking expert walking guide whilst on the trail during this small group trip.  They will help bring the incredible scenery to life with personal observations and information that you would only find out from a local!


Equipment

Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, lightweight clothes, waterproofs and a day pack.


Solo Walkers

This trip is available to solo walkers and is ideal for those travelling on their own who are looking to join a small group walking holiday. A single supplement is payable for the single occupancy of accommodation in Reykjavik only, and single rooms are not available whilst on the trail due to the configuration and nature of the mountain huts.


Travel Insurance

class="MsoNormal">It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information:

The distances and ascent/descets are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, (for example, proper rain gear jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking/cycling gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes or the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Getting to/from Iceland:

Reykjavik is Iceland’s capital city and located in the south west of the country.


Air - Fly into Keflavik International Airport, which is served by numerous airlines from UK, European and International destinations. Keflavik is just a 3 hour flight from the UK and just a 5 hour flight from Boston, with Icelandair offering many direct flights from various US airports.


Bus - From Keflavik Airport there are regular and reliable transfer services into Reykjavik itself (and vice-versa). Transfers which allow you stop off for a bathe in the geothermal Blue Lagoon (which is just 15 mins from the airport) are very popular and may also be pre-booked. Reykjavik Excursions/FlyBus and Airport Express/Iceland Excursions offer transfer services. Keflavik is approx. 90 mins (standard transfer) from Reykjavik.

Getting to/from Iceland:

Reykjavik is Iceland’s capital city and located in the south west of the country.


Air - Fly into Keflavik International Airport, which is served by numerous airlines from UK, European and International destinations. Keflavik is just a 3 hour flight from the UK and just a 5 hour flight from Boston, with Icelandair offering many direct flights from various US airports.


Bus - From Keflavik Airport there are regular and reliable transfer services into Reykjavik itself (and vice-versa). Transfers which allow you stop off for a bathe in the geothermal Blue Lagoon (which is just 15 mins from the airport) are very popular and may also be pre-booked. Reykjavik Excursions/FlyBus and Airport Express/Iceland Excursions offer transfer services. Keflavik is approx. 90 mins (standard transfer) from Reykjavik.



 

Included

  • 3 Nights at a 3* Hotel in Reykjavik
  • 4 Nights in mountain huts
  • 7 Breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Bag transfers of one bag of up to 20kg per person between mountain huts
  • Map of Iceland
  • Detailed pre-departure information pack
  • Transfers between Reykjavik accommodation and start / end of walk
  • 24-hour emergency assistance
  • Services of an expert English-speaking Icelandic walking guide whilst on the trail

Excluded

  • Flights and transfers to / from Reykjavik
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc
  • Any items not specifically mentioned in the program

Extras

  • Sleeping bag hire
  • Additional nights in Reykjavik
  • Any optional excursions

How many people will be in the group?

Groups are international, and consist of between 6-16 participants.

How fit do I need to be?

This trip is graded moderate to strenuous and daily walks are between 4-7 hours in length (up to 15km per day). The trail is tough underfoot in places with changing terrain. This tour is suitable for experienced walkers looking for a challenge.

Which is the best airport to fly to?

Reykjavik is Iceland’s capital city and located in the south west of the country.

Air - Fly into Keflavik International Airport, which is served by numerous airlines from UK, European and International destinations. Keflavik is just a 3 hour flight from the UK and just a 5 hour flight from Boston, with Icelandair offering many direct flights from various US airports.

Bus -  From Keflavik Airport there are regular and reliable transfer services into Reykjavik itself (and vice-versa).  Transfers which allow you stop off for a bathe in the geothermal Blue Lagoon (which is just 15 mins from the airport) are very popular and may also be pre-booked.  Both Reykjavik Excursions/FlyBus and Airport Express/Iceland Excursions offer transfer services. Keflavik is approx. 45 mins by car from downtown Reykjavik (bus transfers will take longer due to stops on the way to drop off at accommodations). Please note that a taxi from the airport into Reykjavik will be VERY expensive.

Can you accommodate specific dietary requirements?

It is possible to accommodate vegetarians without any problem. If you require vegan or gluten-free meals then a supplement is payable (arrangements must be made in advenace).   As all food is transferred between huts each day and brought in, may not be possible to accommodate very specific dietary requirements, but please check with us in advance to confirm this.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots, comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack, warm clothing and a standard sleeping bag (it is possible to hire sleeping bags at additional cost - please check with our team). We supply a detailed packing list with your information pack.


REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
macs adventureLaugavegur Highland Walking Trail (Group)
 
4.8

(based on 8 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well organised (7)
  • Fun (6)
  • Once in a lifetime experience (5)
  • Great accommodations (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Holiday (4)
  • Trying something new (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Avid adventurer (5), Occasional traveller (3), World traveller (3)

Reviewed by 8 customers

Displaying reviews 1-8

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4.0

amazing trek

By Evelyn the hiker

from new jersey, uss

About Me Avid Adventurer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Once in a Lifetime Experience
  • Well Organised

Cons

  • Poor Accommodations

Best Uses

  • adventure trekking

Comments about macs adventure Laugavegur Highland Walking Trail (Group):

our guide from Iceland mountain guides was excellent, the scenery unreal, so many different topographies, challenging but not difficult, the group of 16 was too big. the huts are noisy with zero privacy, like a sleep over when you were 12. 1st but has no running water, so the toilets are latrines which were awfully gross. after that flush toilets and for 5,000 kroner you can get a 5 min hot shower! be prepared to cook and clean up, dishes get washed in ice cold water, until the last night.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

I would definitely recommend this hike to anyone.

By dave

from Columbus, Ohio USA

About Me Avid Adventurer, Occasional Traveller, World Traveller

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Fun
  • Great Accommodations
  • Once in a Lifetime Experience
  • Well Organised

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Thrill Seeking
    • Trying Something New

    Comments about macs adventure Laugavegur Highland Walking Trail (Group):

    The hike was very well organized and the meals were great. Staying in mountain huts is far from being luxurious, but it is a challenge and adds to the hike. The terrain that we hiked through was amazing and it is the only way to experience Iceland The guide for the hike was great and his knowledge about the history, geology, etc enhanced the experience.

     
    5.0

    Adventure of a Lifetime

    By Canadian Trekker

    from Toronto, Canada

    Comments about macs adventure Laugavegur Highland Walking Trail (Group):

    The Laugavegur Trail is a once in a lifetime experience. You feel like you're walking through the earth's most amazing artwork - even when it snows o rains or sleets! The mountain huts are basic but warm and that's all you need at the end of the day. Our guide from Icelandic Mountain Guides was one of the company's best. He offered loads of information about the geography, volcanos, and about Iceland. My only advice if you do this trail - bring proper rain gear and waterproof boots. Can't stress that enough. Getting to spend a couple days in Reykjavik was also just enough time to explore a fantastic city. What a beautiful country! I want to go back!

    (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Amazing trip

    By Domi The Volcano Surfer

    from Dublin, Ireland

    About Me Avid Adventurer

    Pros

    • Fun
    • Great Accommodations
    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
    • Well Organised

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Holiday
      • Relaxation

      Comments about macs adventure Laugavegur Highland Walking Trail (Group):

      First time I've gone trekking with a local guide and this was the best idea ever, a star! The diversity of the group was a big plus as well, great memories from them all. Stunning country and scenery.

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Loved the Laugavegur:

      By Old & Slow

      from michigan USA

      About Me Avid Adventurer, World Traveller

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Fun
      • Great Accommodations
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Well Organised

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about macs adventure Laugavegur Highland Walking Trail (Group):

          We have hiked all over the world (Nepal, Peru, Grand Canyon, etc ) and this was our most beautiful, fun trip of all. Truly a world class walk!

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great hike

          By Gord

          from Ontario Canada

          About Me Occasional Traveller

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Fun
          • Well Organised

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Holiday
            • Trying Something New

            Comments about macs adventure Laugavegur Highland Walking Trail (Group):

            Stunning scenery. Our guide, Marta from Icelandic Mountain Guides, was amazing. She made sure everyone was comfortable and having fun. The huts on the trail were comfortable and the food was great. The hotel in Reykjavik was well located and comfortable.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Great experience

            By Aussie travellers

            from Perth, Australia

            About Me Occasional Traveller

            Pros

            • Fun
            • Well Organised

            Cons

            • Poor After Trek Accommoda
            • Poor Fore Trek Accommodat

            Best Uses

            • Holiday
            • Trying Something New

            Comments about macs adventure Laugavegur Highland Walking Trail (Group):

            The accommodation in Reykjavik was good, the trek itself was a great adventure and scenery that wouldn't be seen any other way was experienced. The accommodation while on the trek was an experience to say the least, I suggest an open mind is required and an acceptance of the whole experience is needed.

            The only disappointing thing was the after trek accommodation, after being in the mountains for 4 nights all you want is some space and a lovely shower sadly the accommodation provided had a very small bathroom that was frustrating after sharing facilities with 16 people for 5 days!

            All in all the guide was fantastic and I would highly recommend the experience.

            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            An Adventure

            By Adventurous Kathleen

            from Edmonton, Canada

            About Me Avid Adventurer, World Traveller

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Fun
            • Once in a Lifetime Experience
            • Well Organised

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Holiday
              • Thrill Seeking
              • Trying Something New

              Comments about macs adventure Laugavegur Highland Walking Trail (Group):

              If you want an adventure try this trail. Steep climbs, careful descents, hot springs, lava fields, snow, ash deserts, and incredible scenery. Lots of good food and an expert guide made this a once in a life time experience.

              Displaying reviews 1-8

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