The hiking route between Landmannalaugar and Þórsmörk is possibly the most popular in Iceland. The variety and exuberance of its landscape makes it unique. The hiker passes through colorful rhyolite mountains, black obsidian lava, black sand desert, hot springs, clear lakes, and ends in a lush forested area. From Þórsmörk, you can also lengthen the walk and link to the Fimmvörðuháls route and finish in Skógar.
Accommodation: Along the way there are six huts and camping grounds, all owned by Ferðafélag Íslands (Icelandic Tourism Association, FÍ). Due to the high demand, it is important to reserve accommodation in the huts. Please note that pitching a tent outside of designated areas within the Nature Reserve is prohibited. There are authorized camping areas around the huts along the way.
When?: The dates of access to Landmannalaugar and the passage through the trail vary from year to year depending on the weather and snow conditions. The Icelandic Roads Authority decides when to open roads and access (F208 / F225 / F210). Approximately opens on June 25 through September 15.
How?: To get to Landmannalaugar can be done in different ways:
-Drive 4x4 jeep to Landmannalaugar on the roads Fjallabaksleið nyrðri (F208) or Domadadalsleið (F225).
-Some bus companies offer regular bus fares to Landmannalaugar during the summer and offer “Hikers' bus pass/passport” that are valid for a single transfer from Reykjavik to the starting point for the hike, and back to Reykjavik from the point of arrival.
The Hike: The trail is divided into four days of walking, but the travel schedule depends on what suits hikers, being advisable to do it with plenty of time, and that everyone has enough time to enjoy the experience.
12 km. 4-5 hrs. Ascent 470m
12 km. 4-5 hrs. Descend 490m
16 km. 6-7 hrs. Descend 40m
15 km. 6-7 hrs. Descend 300m
The popular hike route has a distance of 24 km, with an estimated time of 9 hours, although this depends on what suits hikers best. The Trail crosses 2 glaciers, Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull, and connects Skógar to Þórsmörk. A characteristic of this hike is the rapid changes in weather that can occur, especially in the upper part of the trail, above 1000 m in altitude. It is not unusual for snowstorms, strong winds, rain or fog to break out at the peak. That is why it is necessary for hikers to go prepared with extra warm clothing and rain gear.
The route is marked with stakes, although at the top it is covered with snow and can be unclear and cause confusion, so hikers should be equipped with a good map and GPS.
Accommodation: During the route there are 2 huts, one is Baldvinsskáli, at the top of the main trail, it is owned by Ferðafélag Íslands (Iceland Touring Association, FÍ). The other hut is Fimmvörðuskáli, sits north-west of the main route and it is owned by the Útivist touring club.
When arriving at Þórsmörk there are 2 huts, the hut in Langidalur, belonging to Ferðafélag Íslands. And the hut that belongs to the Útivist touring club Booths in Goðaland.
How?: This route can be done in both directions, but it is more popular to do it from Skógar to Þórsmörk. Depending on the direction that is chosen, you will get some views or others and the experience will be different. It is said that the path from Skógar is easier, because the ascent is more gradual, in this direction all the beautiful waterfalls of the Skógá river are in front of the hiker during the hike, and when you start going downhill and see the Þórsmörk valley for the first time , everyone qualifies it as indescribable. When you reach the lower area, in Strákagil you head to Goðaland, where the Touring Club Útivist has a cabin. To get to the hut in Langidalur, belonging to Ferðafélag Íslands, it is necessary to walk two kilometers further down and cross a hiking bridge over the Krossá river.