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Laugavegur Trail - General Information

Daily scheduled busses drive between Reykjavík and the starting and end points of the trail; to Landmannalaugar and Þórsmörk. Highland bus tickets to the start of the trail and back to Reykjavik from the end of the trail in Þórsmörk or Skógar are included in the standard Laugavegur trail offer. 

Busses leave every day during the season for Landmannalaugar and Þórsmörk from the BSI Bus Terminal in Reykjavík at 8:00 and 16:00.
Busses leave Þórsmörk every day during the season at 8:15 and 16:00 for Reykjavik.
Busses can be boarded at Skógar if you intend to hike over the Fimmvörðuháls pass.

Food, water and services

A new restaurant is now open by the Álftavatn camp on the Laugavegur Hiking Trail. The restaurant is located in the second camp on the trail about 24 kilometres from Landmannalaugar, 12 kilometres from the Hrafntinnusker hut. 

The Álftavatn Restaurant is open daily from 7 am - 11 pm and serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and drinks at the bar. 

The next restaurant is at the Volcano Huts in Þórsmörk at the end of the trail. It is open between 7:00 and 23:00 and offers breakfast, lunch, dinners, lunch packs, coffee & tea, snacks, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks at the bar.

A small shop is also located at the Volcano Huts in Þórsmörk which sells candy, pasta, rice, dry foods, home made bread, sanitary products and other necessities.

Hikers will have to carry their food along the way.

Cold running water is available at all stops. Any water in rivers, streams, pools and snowmelt is good for drinking. Even though the water carries a little bit of silt or soil it is safe to drink.

When to go

Huts and camping sites along the Laugavegur trail are usually open from the end of June until the end of August, depending on snow and trail conditions.

The Volcano Huts in Þórsmörk open in the beginning of May and stay open through October.

In the springtime, some parts of the Laugavegur Hiking Trail can be covered in snow while other parts might be wet and muddy, as the ground starts to thaw. Markings and waypoints might be under snow or may have washed away in floods during the spring melt.

During the summer you are most likely to have good weather conditions and you will experience 24 hours of daylight. During the period between the second weekend of July and the second weekend of August you will have most traffic on the trail.

In the fall the huts along the trail are not serviced but camping is permitted. In good conditions the fall is a very nice time to do the Laugavegur trek with fewer people on the trail. Dusk starts to creep in around midnight in the second half of July and by September the nights are pitch black and no lights in sight in the highlands so you might want to bring some lights with you. The climate starts to get cold by the end of August and you may experience frosty conditions.

Weather in the Icelandic highlands can be unpredictable. Very strong winds with heavy rain, hail and even snow can occur with little warning. Always check the weather forecast and make sure your equipment and clothes stay dry in your pack.

Weather and terrain

The Laugavegur Hiking Trail has a variety of different landscapes along the way. Every day has different views with beautiful scenery of pristine nature with volcanic mountains, lava fields, glaciers, natural hot springs, black arctic deserts and lush forested valleys.

The trail is suitable for most hikers but the terrain can be demanding in some areas with steep hills, unbridged rivers and snowy conditions. During high season many people start the trek every day and help is usually not far away on the trail. During other seasons there might be days before someone wanders past your area.

Camping sites offer little shelter and in some areas there is little or no hold for tent pegs to secure your tent.

The trail starts/ends at 600 meters above sea level in Landmannalaugar and reaches up to 1.100 meters on the first/last day. The trail ends/starts in Þórsmörk, at about 200 meters above sea level.

Weather in the Icelandic highlands can be very unpredictable. Very strong winds with heavy rain, hail, fog and even snow can occur with little warning. Always check the weather forecast and make sure that you stay warm and that your equipment and clothes stay dry in your pack.

Icelandic Met Office
Safetravel.is

Clothing and gear

Your clothing and equipment can make or break your trek along the Laugavegur Hiking Trail. Do it correctly and you will ensure your safety and maximize your comfort, but get it wrong you make the trek much harder and may even endanger yourself and others.

Dressing in layers means you can peal off or put on more layers to control your temperature.
Inner layer: Wear wool or other insulating materials next to your body – underwear and bras included. This keeps you warm and removes moisture away from your body.
Second layer: Fleece or other lightweight materials
Outer layer: Wind and waterproof with some breathing or ventilation – Gore-Tex or similar

Bring one set of clothes to walk in and another dry set to change into at night. It is not always possible to dry clothes in the huts.

Do not wear cotton clothing such as jeans, cotton T-shirts, cotton socks and sweatshirts. Cotton absorbs moisture and sticks to your body, which keeps you wet and cold.

Following is a list of things to bring along. How much of everything is up to you. Some may want to travel light while others are comfortable with carrying heavier packs.

Must have

  • Hiking boots
  • Warm hiking socks 2 pairs
  • Woolen or thermal underwear 2 pairs
  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Hiking pants
  • Wind and waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Waterproof inner layer inside backpack
  • Fleece or wool sweater
  • Light weight shirt or sweater
  • T-shirts
  • Sunglasses
  • Light shoes or sandals to wade rivers and wear if hiking boots get wet
  • Sleeping bag good for – 10°C
  • Swimwear and/or shorts
  • First aid kit with blister kits, pain relief medicine, bandages
  • Survival kit with survival blanket, whistle, knife, matches, shoe laces, tape
  • Sunscreen
  • Drinking bottle 1 L
  • Drinking cup
  • Compass & map, GPS – learn how to use it!
  • Food for required number of days
  • Campers need to carry tents
  • Campers need to carry cooking equipment and fuel

Nice to have:

  • Hiking poles
  • Mobile phone
  • Diary & pen
  • Earplugs
  • Eye shades for sleeping / 24 hours of daylight
  • Camera
  • Napkins or toilet paper / toilet paper is provided at huts
  • Share your tips and tricks with other travellers on our Facbook site

Risks and safety

The Laugavegur Hiking Trail is truly a rewarding trek in good conditions but keep in mind that weather, bad luck and insufficient preparation can change your journey into a bad experience. Mobile service is available on some parts of the trail but very limited in others. Electricity to charge mobile phones is not available, except at the Volcano Huts in Þórsmörk.

Weather is a deciding factor and can change very quickly. Very strong winds with heavy rain, hail, fog and even snow can occur with little warning. Sudden change in weather may cause a severe drop or rise in temperature. Always check the weather forecast and make sure that you stay warm, and that your equipment and clothes stay dry in your pack.

Most outdoor related fatalities in Iceland are related to cold and bad weather, resulting in hypothermia.

Sudden rain or rise in temperature may cause flash floods in streams and rivers. Wait for other travellers to come by if you are unsure about crossing a river. Learn how to cross rivers before you go. Google it, then practice!

Wandering away from the trail can be rewarding in some places but be sure to find your way back to the marked trail. Make sure someone knows about your travel plans and stick to the plan, or inform someone about changes to your plan.

We strongly advise all travellers to list their travel plans online with Safetravel.is and even download the Icelandic emergency App 112 for smart phones.

You can also sign your name at a safety list in all the huts along the trail but listing with Safetravel.is is a far better way to ensure your safety.

Follow these steps and ensure your safety

  • Leave your travel plan online with Safetravel.is
  • Stay warm and stay dry
  • Keep your clothes and equipment dry in your pack
  • Cross rivers where they are wide and with great caution
  • Do not cross rivers if unsure and alone – wait for others to come by
  • Carry a first aid kit and practice first aid procedures
  • Carry a map & compass and/or a GPS – know how to use it!
  • Share your safety tips & stories with other travellers on our Facebook page

Leave no trace

Because of the unique nature of the Laugavegur Hiking Trail, thousands of hikers from all over the world come to experience its wonders. We all want to experience it in its most natural and unspoilt condition, so lets all try to make as little impact on its nature as possible. The soil and vegetation in the Icelandic highlands is especially fragile and any damage to it can cause massive erosion and take years to heal.

Tread lightly and stay on the path, don’t litter and respect the land. Simple as that!

Share your tips, tricks and stories about how to minimize impact on nature on our Facebook page.

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