Trekking in Landmannalaugar. Laugavegurinn, 4 shocking days


Iceland it's the hiker's paradise being the Trekking in Landmannalaugar - Þórsmörk or route Laugavegurinn, a worldwide reference and that we should not miss if we want to enjoy impressive lakes, waterfalls, mountains of colors, canyons and active volcanoes while we walk. Simply a top in Iceland that you should not miss if trekking is your great passion.

Trekking in Landmannalaugar - Posmork. Laugavegurinn

The Landmannalaugar crossing (Laugavegurinn)

If we have hiking in Iceland in mind, the Trekking in Landmannalaugar It is your biggest reference. A hiking route of 4 or 5 days, which we could do even in less, always depending on the state of our legs and that the unkind Icelandic weather allows.

A relatively comfortable route, with mountain shelters at each end of the stage being some of them really comfortable. Its slopes are relatively simple, especially when its profile is mainly downhill and whose greatest impediment is having to cross barefoot rivers at extremely low temperatures.

Trekking in Landmannalaugar - Posmork. Laugavegurinn

Landmannalaugar It is known primarily for colors The Icelandic volcanoes have forged. Very bright colors and we can only enjoy for 4 months a year since the rest of the time they are hidden under a thick blanket of snow. Not in vain to reach the starting point of the route is already an adventure and on many occasions it will be necessary to have a large 4 × 4, having to leave our vehicle without any contemplation.

Landmannalaugar (Laugavegurinn), organized or free?

Let's start from the base that can be done in organized mode or on your own The first has the advantage of having places in insured shelters and that food is included. The rest of the material is carried by you, including sleeping bag, crampons if necessary (rarely), flip flops to cross the rivers and your backpack. So much weight is carried and even more when you have to distribute the food among all the members of the group. Also as you go with a guide you will know your surroundings better and you can make friends in the shelters. An agency that works very well specialized in trips to Iceland.

If we choose go to our air We may not have accommodation, simply because they are blocked by agencies and therefore the bivouac or tent will be our only option. If time does not whip us it is a really interesting option. Of course, we will have to carry all our food and water since most of the shelters do not have these services.

Trekking in Landmannalaugar - Posmork. Laugavegurinn

We must also try to bring everything necessary because there are no places to buy almost anything, such as much food (scarce) or camping tools in the shelters.

Finally, and as time does not play in our favor, many hikers make the route in one day less. This leads to a little less enjoyment of the environment but at least time is gained in seeing other areas of Iceland.

How many days do you need?

Here we will be honest. If we go on our own, it can be done in just 3 days Without any doubt. It is advisable to do it in 4 days and to have additional time to take pictures quietly and opt for one of the small optional routes that depart from each of the end of stage shelters. We also have to take into account the meteorology which can delay us and make us need one more day. Let's not forget that it is one of the best trekkings in Iceland and we should not waste it.

The route data is as follows:

  • Coordinates: N63 59.436 W19 03.681
  • Difficulty: Half
  • Distance: 67km Possibly if we do not opt ​​for extra routes, it is less than 55km.
  • Total ascent : 2580m (This really is less since this calculation is adding extra routes. It is estimated that the average is 1300m)
  • Total descent : 2890m (same for the previous point)
  • Maximum altitude : 1065m

Transportation at the beginning and end

At the beginning of the route in Landmannalaugar It is necessary a special transport that takes us to the base camp due to the bad conditions of the land, normal buses are unable to reach this place, at least until well into the month of July via public transport. Sometimes, in the month of August, normal vehicles whose owners do not have much appreciation are able to arrive.

Trekking in Landmannalaugar - Posmork. Laugavegurinn

At the end of the route, in Posmork, there is a regular bus service that takes us to the terminal BSI from Reykjavik. Around 3 buses depart daily and it is recommended to make a previous reservation. The company is Reykjavik Excursions.

Shelters or free camping?

Pillar a place in a shelter seems complicated unless you go with a guide or be among the first to arrive. Booking is complicated because most of them do not have telephone coverage so it is almost a lottery. In addition they are not shelters to the use where you arrive, they give you a bed and a warm soup. Not everyone has food and much less be able to buy it, so it is recommended to bring everything you need.

In any case, sleeping in the bed sometimes does not have so many advantages if one does not carry caps. You know that many people when they arrive tired give him snoring without stopping.

Trekking in Landmannalaugar - Posmork. Laugavegurinn

Camping has its advantages. The first you put your store wherever you want. The second that does not force you to stop at a particular site. The third that if you go without a reservation you don't lose money. And the fourth is because the feeling of freedom is unparalleled and you don't depend on someone to instruct you at all times.

What can we find?

The route between Landmannalaugar - Posmork (Laugavegurinn) is an atypical, unusual journey, similar to what we find inKristinartindar. How it happens in these latitudes time plays its trick creating glaciers and winter landscapes beyond the month of June. From July to October many summits are no longer snowy, but what stands out most on this route are aspects very related to geothermal, volcanoes:

  • Mountains less than 1,200m
  • Volcanoes and fumaroles
  • Boiling rivers
  • Constant rise and fall, but of little slope and little difficulty
  • Landscapes taken from Mars or the North Pole, live the contrasts
  • Cannons taken from a science fiction movie
  • Lakes in places where man has barely set foot
  • Snow
  • Wood bridges
  • Waterfalls

Risks and precautions

It is a very safe route, to which we only have to put a little common sense. Things like getting into rivers of boiling water, approaching the fumaroles, blocks of ice or snow with the face of few friends, crossing runaway rivers, ..., etc., we must avoid at all costs.

The stages of Landmannalaugar (Laugavegurinn)

This is the Map With the route we made, with a small variant given that every day when we arrived at the shelter on duty we tried to make an additional route through the area. It runs from north to south, trying to have the lowest level of climb possible.

Map Landmannalaugar

Stage 1. Landmannalaugar - Hrafntinnusker

Trekking in Landmannalaugar - Posmork. Laugavegurinn

We begin what is considered the best route of Iceland hiking from a place of mountains with colors of various shades and that has made this area famous, Landmannalaugar. From here we have approximately 12 kilometers + optional excursions and less than 500m of slope until Hrafntinnusker, the first shelter where we can spend the night and which is attached to a smoking crater. As it is possible to arrive very soon, there are several routes that can be done from here, such as an ice cave that currently has the roof completely detached.

Click here if you want to see the first complete stage of Laugavegurinn.

Stage 2. Hrafntinnusker - Álftavatn

Trekking in Landmannalaugar - Posmork. Laugavegurinn

Curiously, this stage has almost the same route (12 kilometers + optional excursions) and difficulty as the previous one. In fact, when there is no snow on the road the stage could be perfectly performed from Landmannalaugar until Álftavatn without problems and taking advantage of the days that are eternal.

We will draw several smoking rivers, craters, lakes until we reach Jökultungur, an impressive valley and where it ends in a large lake where our next refuge sits. If you want more, there is a very nice peak on the left side of the lake that we recommend climbing.

Click here if you want to see the second complete stage of Laugavegurinn.

Stage 3. Álftavatn - Emstrur (Botnar)


Simple stage of 15 kilometers + optional excursions and almost all of it in downhill. What else can we ask for !!! The bad thing that we will have no choice but to cross several rivers and take off our boots. The cold waters of Iceland left us a great memory ... Once in the shelters of Emstrur, which by the way these are very well conditioned and with comfortable showers ..., we have the option, although rather it is an obligation, to visit the canyon of Markarfljótsgljúfur.

Click here if you want to see the third full stage of Laugavegurinn.

Stage 4. Emstrur (Botnar) - Þórsmörk

Trekking in Landmannalaugar - Posmork. Laugavegurinn

Last stage of another 15 kilometers + optional excursions and continue on downhill direction Þórsmörk, civilization and end of the Laugavegurinn. We will pass through another slope of the canyon of Markarfljótsgljúfur and little by little we will fall in love with the views of Iceland's most famous volcano, the Eyjafjallajökull. The one that left half of European planes without flying a few years ago.

Once here, we will not be able to stay in a fairly comfortable shelter where there is even a supermarket and where buses arrive !!!

Click here if you want to see the fourth complete stage of Laugavegurinn.

Final Recommendations

How is Trekking indicated in Landmannalaugar?

Bring a map and GPS, the route is not very well indicated and if you find snow the roads simply do not show. Occasionally there are well marked posts, but you can go several kilometers without seeing them and that can be confusing.

Trekking in Landmannalaugar - Posmork. Laugavegurinn

What is the best time to do the crossing?

July and August. In June the route can still be found with a lot of snow and in September it can start to snow. However, when the snow has not left yet, you will hardly see people during the crossing and that is appreciated.

What should we take to the Landmannalaugar?

  • Warm clothes as if we were in winter
  • Waterproof, to be able to be membraneGore Tex or similar
  • Windbreaker in jacket and pants.
  • Gloves and hat.
  • Flashlight or frontal. The Black Diamond for example are excellent.
  • Flip flops to cross the rivers. It can be done barefoot but it is a martyrdom ...
  • Underwear thermal
  • Leggings if there is snow. Here is a good example of Leggings and eye with size.
  • Trekking sticks
  • Several pairs of socks
  • Backpack of at least 30l and if we go on our own 55l or higher
  • Sleeping bag. The type will depend if we sleep in shelter or in a tent
  • Optional tent
  • Map/GPS. Without this, don't even show up. As GPS our recommendation is the Garmin GPSMAP 64
  • Batteries to spare. There are no plugs in the shelters
  • Food for 4 days. He Water can be taken from streams as long as it doesn't come hot
  • Stove for those who go free
  • Some ibuprofenos never go wrong….
  • Cream and Sunglasses
  • Food and Water for several days. Water is usually drinkable, but be careful where it contains sulfur. If you don't trust, there are Purifiers very useful for hiking
  • Newspapers to dry the boots every day. Do not wear sneakers

We leave you a link to the article on how to choose good mountain boots.

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