The Laugavegur trail is the most popular hiking trail in Iceland for a reason. The landscapes surrounding this magical hike are different and astonishing every day. The trail starts in Landmannalaugar and ends in Húsadalur which is 51km long.
The best way of getting to the starting point is by bus. We took the bus from Reykjavík, a trip of 4 hours. Make sure to reserve a spot in advance, especially in the summer.
After putting up our tent on the campsite, we went for a first hike through the colorful environment of Landmannalaugar. A hike of 9km passing the mountain tops of Bláhnjúkur and Brennisteinsalda. We had to cross a river but the bridge was gone. So, for the first time in the next couple of days, we had to put on our water shoes and wade through the river. An extra pair of shoes is essential if you want to follow the Laugavegur trail.
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We chose water shoes, which are light to carry because they’re made from rubber. Walking sticks can be useful to keep your balance but when the water goes fast, they float on the water and are more of a burden. Before going into the ice-cold water, you should loosen the bands from your backpack around your hip and chest. In case you fall into the water, it’s easier to quickly take off your heavy backpack.
In my book with the description of the trail, the hike was divided into 4 days, the first 2 days of both 10km, but we decided to combine the first two days and made it 3 days hiking in the Laugavegur trail. After 3 hours we arrived at the first manned cabin. Luckily, we planned not to camp there because the campsite was covered in a thick layer of snow and it was impossible to put up a tent. We walked this trail at the end of June and there was still a lot of snow in the area. We had to walk more than 5km over snowy fields. Finally, we got a view of the hut at the lake, where we would spend the night. About 7 hours after our start in Landmannalaugar we arrived at the campsite of Alftavatn.
At the beginning of the second day of the trail (16,5km), we soon had to cross several rivers. There are no bridges, so you have to find the best spot to wade through the river. After crossing the rivers, we were walking through a sandy plain with loose sand and plenty of stones. Not easy to walk through. There was no real path but this part of the trail was quite flat. We could only see the next cabin at Botnar in the last few hundred meters, after 5 hours of walking. After some warm soup, we crawled into our tent to get some sleep. Just in time because a few minutes later it started to rain.
The path of our last day (15km) went over some hills. Again, we had to cross a river. This one was very wide, but luckily the water didn’t rise to our knees as it had at the previous rivers. Beware that the water may be higher later in the year, during the summer. The end of the trail brought us through a little forest with small trees. The cabin at the end of the trail at Húsadalur also has a restaurant and a bar. After finishing our journey, we enjoyed a well-deserved beer, before taking the bus back to Reykjavik.
Important to know if you want to hike this trail, is that you’re not allowed to go wild camping in this part of Iceland. But there’s plenty of room on the campsites for a tent and a reservation is not necessary.
Are you hesitating to hike the Laugavegur trail because it’s the most popular trail in Iceland? Don’t and just book your bus trip! We did it in June, and it wasn’t crowded. And there’s a reason why it’s so popular: the magnificent views which are completely different every day, the colorful mountains, glacier rivers, the magical landscapes, etc…