Ready to tackle the most famous trek in Iceland? Here are some pro tips for hiking the Laugavegur Trail sure to enhance your visit to the land of the Vikings!
#1 – Pick the right route for your abilities
You don’t need to be a seasoned trekker to hike Laugavegur, but you do need to be pretty fit. You’ll be traversing volcanic terrain for up to 8 hours a day, often in unforgiving weather conditions, all while carrying a loaded backpack.
If you have any doubts about your fitness levels, choose the southbound route from Landmannalaugar to Thorsmork. It’s a much easier hike with significantly less elevation gain.
Related Read: Essential Tips for Hiking
#2 – Book your huts in advance
The Icelandic wilderness wasn’t made for sleeping outdoors — make sure to secure your spot in the huts as early as possible.
Accommodation options are pretty limited on the trail, which is why you should book your beds in the huts well in advance of the trip. This is especially important during peak season when all the spots are sold out.
Here are some great accommodation options, listed as they appear along the trail.
- Hrafntinnusker – the Hrafntinnusker Mountain Hut
- Lake Alftavatn – Alftavatn Hut
- Emstrur – Emstrur Mountain huts (3 separate huts)
- Thorsmork – Langidalur Hut (if you’re done with your hike) or Basar Hut (if you’re also doing the Fimmvorduhals trail)
#3 – Select your ideal season
When picking the best time to visit Iceland, ask yourself: “What do I dislike more, the rain or the crowds?”
Due to weather and safety, the Laugavegur trail is only accessible between June and mid-September. July is the most stable weather-wise, but it’s also when the trail is the most crowded. If you’d prefer to avoid other people, early September is a great choice.
#4 – Choose your gear wisely
Embarking on a Laugavegur Trail guided hike with inadequate gear means spending every day soaked, cold, blistered, and regretting your life choices. We want to avoid that.
First off, you’ll need sturdy and comfortable hiking boots. Volcanic terrain is very unforgiving on the soles. Also, bring weatherproof outerwear from reputable brands, as well as plenty of spare layers. Layering is key here — Iceland’s weather is dynamic, and you want to adapt on the go. Finally, don’t forget to bring swimwear for the hot springs!
Related Read: Essential Gear For Hiking
#5 – Add an extra hike!
Done with Laugavegur, but do you still need more Iceland in your life? Try the Fimmvorduhals Trail.
Starting right at Thorsmork, the end-point of most Laugavegur treks, Fimmvorduhals winds between two massive glaciers for around 15 miles before reaching Skogafoss, one of the most impressive waterfalls on the island. It’s a small detour that perfectly caps off the big journey.
These are just some of our Laugavegur Trail hiking tips. We could give you about a million more, but it’s best not to overthink it — let the landscapes guide you and enjoy the hike!