Day 1: Golden Circle – Thorsmork
On day one we head off to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site, and then continue on the Golden Circle. In the Geyser area, we will see Strokkur, a geyser which spouts every 5-10 minutes and further along the road we have Gullfoss, one of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls, falls 32 meters into a deep canyon. Here we stop at the Gullfoss Café Restaurant for lunch and enjoy a delicious Icelandic Lamb Soup.
We will head into to the highlands. after our Golden Circle exploration, to the astounding Thorsmork valley. Here we will be spending the next three nights in a cozy hut. On the way to Þorsmörk we drive across unabridged glacial rivers that can be crisscrossed only by specialized vehicles or 4×4. In the evening, after dinner, we will hunt for northern lights that might show up if the sky is clear. If they do not it is still spectacular to be able to marvel at the sparkling sky and appreciate the most intense lights of shining stars far away from sources of light pollution.
When we arrive at the mountain hut we will quickly heat it up and go get some fresh water from the river that flows very close by. These remote settings add to the rural charm of Icelandic highlands and the hut makes for a cozy and specially inviting atmosphere on cold winter days. On its two floors, there are spacious sleeping areas with bunk beds in shared rooms, a large and spacious kitchen, a cozy sitting area, mud room and upstairs separate sleeping areas. The lavatories are situated in a small outhouse located next to the main house.
Driving: 4,5 hrs. total Walking time: 0 hrs.
Overnight: Hut in Thorsmork
Day 2: Fimmvörðuháls – Eyjafjallajökull Glacier
After breakfast, we will set on the must trek for the hiker and nature lover to Fimmvörðuháls. This trail is one of Iceland’s most famous offering spectacular sights that you are sure never to forget. We hike between two glaciers, Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull, to the new volcano where we explore the warm lava from 2010.
On our way, we will be simply amazed by the immense beauty of truly unique valley of Þórsmörk with its rugged nature. For thousands of years glaciers and glacial rivers have carved out this valley, creating a very dramatic landscape of sandstone sculptures, deep canyons and sharp ridges. We will take off on our 6-8 hour hike. The ascend is between 700-800 meters and the trail of 16 km, through Iceland’s varied landscape, encompassing views of glaciers, snow-capped mountains, new brand craters and lava, volcanoes and the most surreal beauty.
In the afternoon, we walk back into the Thorsmork valley, where we will stay overnight in our charming little lodge. After we have relaxed having a great dinner we will go out to hunt for northern lights.
* In winter departures the trail across Fimmvörðuháls can be impassable due to deep snow, in that case, we will discover an alternative passable trail in the area.
Distance: 16km (10 mi) Walking time: 7-8 hrs.Ascent: 1000 m (3280 ‘).
Overnight: Logde in Thorsmork Valley
* In winter departures the trail across Fimmvörðuháls can be impassable due to deep snow in that case we will discover an alternative passable trail in the area or try snowshoeing.
Day 3: Laugavegur Trail
This day’s schedule is a bit flexible due to the weather factor. Our options can be, Stakkholtsgjá, a ca 2 km and 100-meter deep ravine filled with waterfalls and small rivers. This is one of the places in Iceland where you feel like you have left earth and gone to heaven. We could visit Mt. Rettarfell (530m) or the green hills of Votupallar getting a breathtaking view over Hvannárgil canyon. Close to Rettarfell we have the famous elf church, a beautiful cliff that has a cave opening towards Langidalur (“The Long Valley”). Another option would be to hike to gorgeous Mt. Valahnukur. The view from the top is a 360-degree view of volcanoes, glaciers, mountains and Icelandic nature as far as the eye can see.
Any of these options will invite you upon a great discovery of the Iceland’s true nature highlights and will leave you with visual memories to last a lifetime. In the evening we will invite you for the last Aurora Borealis hunting.
Distance: About 12 km (7,5 mi). Walking time: About 4-5 hrs.
Overnight: Lodge in Thorsmork Valley
Day 4: Seljalandsfoss – Solheimajokull Glacier – Reykjavik
Today we will head back to Reykjavik. On the way, we will stop at Gígjökull glacier. Gígjökull drains north from the Eyjafjallajökull Icecap and is a 7.5-kilometer long glacier that empties out of the summit crater area at 1600 meters. Before the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in 2010, there was a glacial lagoon filling up the valley next to the glacier, but when the eruption started a massive flood of meltwater and small icebergs from the volcanic crater ripped the glacier to shreds and flooded the area completely.
Next, we will stop briefly next to Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which cascades from ancient sea cliffs down over 60 meters to a shallow pool. It is possible to take a walk behind the waterfall and enjoy the beautiful scenery from there. We will continue towards Solheimajökull Glacier and ice hike with crampons and all necessary ice gear. Solheimajokull is a spectacular tongue of ice that flows down from Myrdalsjokull, the fourth largest glacier in Iceland. Your experienced glacier guide will teach you how to use the crampons we provide and then take you for a 2-hour walk around the glacier. As you safely explore the ice formations, ridges and crevasses the guide will tell you all about the history of the glacier, the effects of global warming and how the glacier was formed.
We will return to Reykjavik around 18:00 o’clock.
Walking time: 2,5 hrs. total Driving time: 3,5 hrs. total.
Drop off: Your hotel / guesthouse in Reykjavik