Landmannalaugur to Þórsmörk 

So, the hike. The pictures are going to paint this much better than my words can, so I’ll be brief. Whilst six of us set out, we were joined by two Aussies and became eight. We had been warned on arriving at Landmannalaugur that it would be best to wait until the following day to start our trek, but with huts and return buses booked we started out knowing that we would have a stretch with poor visibility to contend with. The headline picture shows the view we had of the first hut, on approach we were reliant on compass bearings as the trail posts were either buried beneath the snow or invisible in the thick mist.

The intrepid hikers were:

  • Me
  • Ande (my sister)
  • Pals: Isy, Bonita, Ana and Chris
  • Plus our new Aussie friends Claire and Cooper

We covered about 55 km in 4 days (I say about because distances varied depending on which warden, signpost, map, guide, you referred to).

The guidance from Ferðafélag Íslands says Hikers can expect: 

  • To carry a pack weighing up to 20 kg for up to 16 km each day
  • A 10km climb up to 1000m on the first day to Hrafntinnusker
  • Steep declines
  • Rough, rocky and slippery surfaces
  • At least one day of rain while on the track
  • Non-bridged river crossings of icy glacial rivers through water up to a metre deep
  • Beautiful views and high temperatures when the weather is good, no views at all, horizontal rain and freezing temperatures when the weather is bad

Day 1 Landmannalaugur to Hrafntinnusker

Day 2 Hrafntinnusker to Hvanngil 

Day 3 Hvanngil to Botnar

Day 4 Botnar to Þórsmörk 

We saw amazing landscapes, hiked through all sorts of weather, trudged through snow, volcanic sands, obsidian scree, palagonite gravels, through gorges, ravines, rivers, over passes, ridges and river plains and even, at the end, through a birch wood. One of the best experiences of my life.


Ande with rhyolite mountains in the background, day 1
Ana n Chris by one of the many thermal springs on the trail

day 1, lots of snow
Isy n Bonita chatting in the hut
blue skies on day 2, Ande, Ana n Chris camped here!
Hrafntinnusker hut
day 2, Ande in the mountains
day 2 lunch break (the only day where weather permitted this luxury)
looking down upon middle earth
trudging through clay
acid green moss
Isy still in river sandals after a crossing, hiking in the snow

day 3 started out wet
hiking through the rain
crossing a river on a wet day is no fun
Ande looking towards the blue skies
the gang under a rainbow
day 3 weather turned out nice
hut and campsite at Botnar

day 4 started with a hike into a ravine

moss covered volcanic landscape
beautiful basalt columns
day 4 turned out nice as we hiked into a grassy river valley
the final river crossing

Claire and Coop make it to the other side!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s