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“One of the best hikes in the world”
Review of Laugavegur

Laugavegur
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US$1,817.09*
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Landmannalaugar and Hekla Volcano Private Guided Day Tour from Reykjavik
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US$201.90*
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Landmannalaugar Hiking Tour from Reykjavik
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US$411.27*
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Landmannalaugar and Hekla Volcano Guided Day Tour from Reykjavik
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Reviewed 27 February 2013

This hike has it all, glaciers, geothermal springs, lakes, mountains. The colors in the landscape at Landmannalaugar will leave you breathless. Good facilities in Landmannalaugar but more primitive as you go along. Demanding hike and be prepered for the weather changing very rapidly.

4  Thank bingibjorg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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123 - 127 of 233 reviews

Reviewed 29 January 2013

We traveled to much of Iceland, including the many peninsulas and all of Ring Road. Landmannalaugar was the stand-out best day of our trip (though Jokulsarlon/glacial hiking was a close second!). We went in October so considering it was technically closed, we took a tour with Iceland South Coast Travel (isct.is) which was absolutely fantastic and unforgettable. The actual drive to Laugavegur was just as enchanting as when we actually got there (I'm posting pictures of the whole day). We took a 2 hour short hike into the mountains which gave us stunning scenery and views that are unmatched by anything I've ever seen. It was fascinating to see the geothermal activity (hot springs, steam vents, etc.) and the colorful mountains. I really can't say enough things about this amazing place. I wish I could have spent more time there for sure!

Please visit here. It's worth the trouble, even if it's quite the trek from Reykjavik. Bring your lunch/snacks for the day and prepare to only have bathroom facilities at the visitor center. Take a tour if it's off season and you're not an experienced off-road driver!

3  Thank MrsSmarts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2012

We walked the "LAUGAVEGURINN" in the opposite direction than most people do (i .e. we started in Thorsmörk and ended in Landmannalaugar.

The wardens in most of the huts where very friendly and helpful. In Þórsmörk the lady I suppose was the manager was very friendly but many of the younger people working there seemed quite lazy and uninterested to help out mostly sitting there own "wardens hut" instead of helping arriving guests find their way around. It is also worth noting that in Þórsmörk there exists an alternative accommodation to the Langidalur huts (think it was the Volcano Huts) that is of higher standard (with a nice restaurant) that you may also consider (we wished we had booked it when we saw it!). Not all the busses in the schedule go all the way to Langidalur huts or take a long detour before going there (our stopped at the other huts and we had to walk the last bit - not far but a lot of up-hill so it probably took a good 25 minutes!).

Since we had quit heavy gear (tents, cooking equipment etc) we divided the walk over four days:

The first day we walked Þórsmörk to Emstrur. We had like 20 minutes of rain at the start but after that ended the rest of the trip was very nice. The view over Þórsmörk was fantastic.There was one part that was kind of difficult where we had to take off our heavy backpacks in order to scale up a quite steap and muddy cliff using a permanently mounted rope. If you are afraid of heights there is also a section just before the rope that may cause some concern where you need to hold on to a permanently mounted chain in the cliff wall while walking on a quite narrow ledge to avoid a long (probably deadly) drop into an river below to your right.

The second day we walked from Emstrur to Álftavatn with no rain (so nice!). The only real challenge with this walk is the river crossings but if you have some good Sandal to walk in and walking sticks they are not hard - just annoying to have to take your pants off and change shoes several times as it slows you down. The walk is over quite varied landscape with a good part covered in volcanic dust.

The third day we walked from Álftavatn to Hrafntinnusker with no rain (almost unbelievable!). The climb up from Álftavatn was quite demanding but the view is fantastic (see attached picture). This was all in all the most interesting day of walking in my opinion because of the fantastic views and varied nature. One also see a lot of small volcanic pools and cracks releasing steam. The Hrafntinnusker huts are small and I guess you need to book VERY long in advance to get in there. We had to camp and the camping site is not very nice. The high location makes the grounds very windy and cold (even when it is not rain or bad weather) and the facilities (a single toilet for all the campers, an outdoor table to wash (no showers) was primitive to say the least. The ground was very hard making it somewhat difficult to set up the tent in the wind. Walking sticks are really helpful for this leg as there are plenty of ups and downs that are slippery and otherwise slows you down.

The forth and last day we walked Hrafntinnusker to Landmannalaugar. Half the day was nice but then we encountered Islands (according to what I heard from other travelers) more typical weather - rain and wind. The views of the first part are very beautiful and the volcanic formations near Landmannalaugar very interesting. Once again walking sticks are very much recommended to allow you to keep a good pace. The huts in Landmannalaugar holds a lot of people but it seems to be one of the most popular places to stay so book far in advance! We had to camp. The camp grounds are quite ok. You can even buy some food and snacks in an old military buss turned into a shop. The thermal pools are really nice to bath in and nobody in our company suffered any effects of the water parasites they warned about.

In summary - the views on several of the legs during this walk was really fantastic (in particular the view over Álftavatn from the trail versus Hrafntinnusker was one of the most fantastic I have ever seen and I have traveled/walked a lot all over the world) and all in all it is a very nice experience not to be missed.

There are some things that you should be aware of:

1. The experience is much nicer if you manage to book lodging at all the huts so you can avoid carrying tents and other heavy camping gear (make sure you book at least 6 months in advance if you will travel there during high season). We had rather heavy tents etc and with this weight the route was much more demanding than we had expected due to all the up & down hill (do not get fooled by the relatively little "net height difference" of each leg - there is PLENTY of ups & downs that even each other out).
2. Bring walking sticks - many of the ups and downs are covered in snow/ice, small stones and volcanic dust that is "slippery" if you have no stick and this slows you down.
3. Bring good sandals to use when crossing rivers - trying bare foot is NOT recommended (we saw some people trying to cross in just socks and that was not easy)
4. We very VERY lucky with the weather and only saw rain the last hours of the four day walk (!!!!!)- most people will however see a lot of rain so bring good rain gear you will most likely use it a lot!
5. The quick weather changes along this route is not to be underestimated. Be well equipped with warm cloth, make sure you have maps and compass (in good weather it is easy mostly easy to follow the marked trail but in fog / heavy rain etc this may not be the case)

25  Thank MagnusTheTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2012

We walked the "LAUGAVEGURINN" in the opposite direction than most people do (i .e. we started in Thorsmörk and ended in Landmannalaugar. The views on several of the legs was really fantastic (in particular the view over Álftavatn from the trail versus Hrafntinnusker was one of the most fantastic I have ever seen) and all in all it is a very nice experience not to be missed BUT there are some things that you should be aware of:

1. The experience is much nicer if you manage to book lodging at all the huts so you can avoid carrying tents and other heavy camping gear (make sure you book at least 6 months in advance if you will travel there during high season). We had rather heavy tents etc and with this weight the route was much more demanding than we had expected due to all the up & down hill (do not get fooled by the relatively little "net height difference" of each leg - there is PLENTY of ups & downs that even each other out).
2. Bring walking sticks - many of the ups and downs are covered in snow/ice, small stones and volcanic dust that is "slippery" if you have no stick and this slows you down.
3. Bring good sandals to use when crossing rivers - trying bare foot is NOT recommended (we saw some people trying to cross in just socks and that was not easy)
4. We very VERY lucky with the weather and only saw rain the last hours of the four day walk (!!!!!)- most people will however see a lot of rain so bring good rain gear you will most likely use it a lot!

8  Thank MagnusTheTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2012

We did this four-day trek in August, with our 10-year-old daughter and it's a truly fantastic trek. We were camping, and most hut wardens allowed to pay a user fee to cook quickly, and at non-busy times, in the kitchens of the mountain huts, but it's better to bring cooking equipment. The first night's camping out of Landmanalaugar was unbelievably windy (you camp inside stone wall circular shelters but it's still a battle to get any tent up), but it was very memorable (toilets there are, however, truly gut-wrenching, and are best avoided if possible).
The four days were all memorable with fantastic scenery, and it's true you can get away from the crowds -- though there is also comfort in this desolate landscape from seeing people once in a while. It was only the jeeps at the mountain huts that we didn't like, though we felt superior having walked and carried our gear throughout.
One serious word, though, about the river crossings. We had checked wtih the mountain rescue team in Landmanalaugar about taking a 10-year-old and were told the trek was fine for a 5-year-old. In the direction we walked, the first river crossing is on the first day. This was narrow but deep, but everyone was helping each other and so it could be done safely. The two crossings on the third day are wider but less deep (when we did them), and with sensible shoes (not flip flops that can be torn off by the current) were fine. BUT, on the final day, just before Porsmork there is by far the most dangerous and challening crossing - one which did not even merit a mention in the description of the route at the mountain hut the night before. Perhaps because it was the end of a sunny day, though people coming the other way who had crossed in the morning also said it was deep then as well, this is a very dangerous crossing. We followed a crossing route taken by the trekkers before us, as there were some vague sticks in the banks (there are two or three separate stages to the wide crossing). A professional guide came after us and found a better crossing, but it was still wide, fairly deep and wth a strong current. We were helped to get our daughter across by two very kind, safety conscious Americans and could not have crossed without their help. So if you are not very confident about wading thigh deep in strong currents then you should stick with other groups for this crossing.
Finally we arrived at the gorgeous Porsmork (we went to the middle of the three hamlets).
The next day was a rest day so we thought we would go upstream to investigate the start of the optional fifth day of the trek, over the pass to the south. This river was so high that the usual bridge on wheels had been removed. Instead, the man who ran the small hut shop was driving people across the river in a jeep or in a trailer on the back of his tractor. (This is to get to the other side of the river by the Porsmork mountain hut, and is not necessary to reach the hut.) We went over by jeep at lunchtime which seemed just about OK, and arranged that we would need a lift back about 5pm. This time he came for us by tractor and the river seemed very deep after a sunny day. He said it was OK so we three got into the trailer. We had asked if our daughter should go in the tractor cab with him, but he said no. This crossing was undoubtedly the most dangerous experience in four months of travelling, including 7 weeks in the wilds and heights of Nepal. I do not believe that the mountain hut organisation would sanction this service if they knew of the conditions in which these crossings were being made. The sides of the trailer were only inches above the water level at times and it felt very unstable. Had our daughter been tipped in she would have drowned, and I'm not sure an adult would survive either.
To continue on to the optional fifth day of the trek, over the pass to the south, it is necessary to make this river crossing. We discovered afterwards that one option is to walk to the main bus point downstream and pay just to cross the river in the public bus. One can then get out on the other side and walk up the track to the start of the path up to the pass. Had we known, this is what we would have done. Of course the conditions are clearly not always as they were when we were there (indeed, that was why there was no usual bridge), but we hope this Trip Advisor helps to stop others having the same very dangerous experience.

21  Thank Trekkers999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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