The Laugavegur Trail in Iceland is the most popular multi-day trail attracting hikers from around the globe. It is truely a magnificent trail which passing alpine mountain snow, river crossings with alien-like landscape.
The official start (Landmannalaugar) and end (Þórsmörk) is 53km in distance and it is recommended to be completed in 4 days. You are also able to continue on the trail after Þórsmörk and onto Skogar.
Day 1: Reyjavik -> Landmanlauguer Hut
We booked our transport with Reyjavick Excursions who are located at the BSI terminal in Reyjavik. It is about 10-15 min walk to the bus terminal from the city centre.
There are a few lockers available to hire (Locker.is) at the terminal, or in the city centre. It is a pit pricey (~$10 AUD) a day, but it was essential for us to leave our luggage there as we had packed for a 5 week holiday. Overall this had cost us $30-40 in total to hire.
The bus trip took a total of 2.5hrs and there are stops on the journey for bathroom, and food supplies. The drive into the mountain in the trail gets a bit bumpy, but the view of the alien-like scenery makes up for it.
We got set up in our Hut by midday and decided on a quick side-trip to pass the time as we were staying in this hut for the night.
Along the trail we found our first “mini” river crossing and being amateurs, we made the unfortunate decision thinking we could cross it in our goretex lined boots. It flooded our boots and that was it – headed back in the hut and allowed everything to dry as we officially start the trail the next day.
Given we had plenty of time – we spent it wisely by snacking, packing, people watching and then finally cooking dinner. Being in the Hut meant that stoves, and pots were provided.
We spoke to fellow travellers Jeremy and Nish who are doctors that studied in Sweden. We noticed most hikers were doctors, engineers or retirees.
Day 2: Landmanlauguer Hut -> Hrafntinnusker Hut
It is very windy in Iceland and the wet weather made the situation worse as we began our trek up the alpine environment. We were challenged with snow for about 70% of the journey and our gear (or lack of) really started to show. Although we had packed water proof jackets and boots, our trousers really started to soak even though it was “water resistant”. There was just too much rain being blown into us. Our trusty Icebreaker gloves had kept us warm on the way up, however once wet – it was just as cold as having none at all.
We had definitely underestimated the climate. But we will have learnt a lesson from this. Must have waterproof pants, and gloves in addition to boots, jacket and bag cover.
The trail itself was not too difficult, however the unpredictable weather can make it dangerous. There was a section in the trail where we were horizon to horizon with snow, with low visibility so couldn’t see the markers. We followed the footsteps in the snow until we reached the next visible marker.
We got to our destination (Hrafntinnusker) early, and rested well. We had shared a room with a tour group for the night and found out that the guides provide food, and transportation of their luggage.
Day 3: Hrafntinnusker Hut -> Alfravatn Hut
We began the day early – leaving the snow behind, we ventured into along mountain tops where we could see a valley of different coloured mountain scenery. It was a picturesque moment.
We arrived at our next hut (Alfravatn) which was beside a lake in the valley. It was very windy down here and there was a lot of campsites that were setup with the magnificent view of the lake.
This is a hut where they operate a shower for (500 ISK) for 5 minutes. However as a couple, and many before us, we shared those 5 minutes for a quick wash down and refresh.
Day 4: Alfravatn Hut -> Emstrur Hut
We were told to expect river crossings in this section, and were met by our first encounter within 30minutes of the trail. We took our boots and socks off, rolled up out pants and clipped the boots onto our bag with S biners. The water was icy cold and almost unbearable. We met a fellow South Australian on the trail and was more than happy to take some snaps of us. The next time we met along the trail was next river crossing. The water level was high, the current strong. We had to take our trousers off as well, as they would’ve gotten wet.
This was the most difficult and scary moment for us as anything could’ve happened. (I almost lost my thong due to the current). With our pride intact safety across the river with some help of others. We waited a bit until a few more go across.
Day 5: Emstrur Hut -> Þórsmörk -> Reyjavick City
The day began with a valley crossing, with a connecting suspension bridge – the weather was temperamental as we kept changing the layers of our clothes, and rain protection. We were glad this was the final day of the walk as we had been out of contact for a few days. The section included only one small river crossing close to the end at Porsmork.
We had scheduled a pick to pick us up from Porsmork but was left confused as to which route to take. The signs did not help a great deal, and many fellow walkers were staying at the Hut in the intersection before Porsmork.
We ran into a guide who had been on our tail and he suggested the sign to the next hut would pass through Porsmork – where the Bus pick-up is also.
We got there in time for a 2PM pickup. The ride out felt tiring and bumpy, and we had to change buses halfway through.