I was off grid in digital life for a period of time on my Iceland trip, and why? I was taking in the 55 km Laugavegur Hiking Trail . I can truly say it was one of the most memorable and exhilarating three days I have had. Wildness, beauty and extreme landscapes all around, non stop. Variety cannot be understated. I would normally pick out a few of the photos for here from my treks but this is one of those occasions I cannot do any justice without showing more. Here is a short video slideshow that will give you some idea of the wow factor on this trek.
The trail starts at Landmannalaugar, not only famous as the starting point but also for its hot springs. What a refreshing way to relax before your start. Getting into a river in the highlands that have a very warm temperature indeed 🙂
Day 1 – Landmannalaugar to Alftavatn Hut (24/25 km)
Big day, big sights. Straight into and through an old lava field you go and onwards and upwards. The array of colours you see in the mountains is wonderful to see and the scale of it. Upwards and over you go, crossing ash covered snow and volcanic sand to name just a couple of experiences. On this treks first day the wind and cloud came in fast but the guide was absolutely terrific and navigated us with ease. Towards the end of the day we dropped down towards our destination and came upon the first of the many river crossings. Boots off, trousers rolled up you cross through the rivers. Freezing cold? Maybe. But a giggle and great way to refresh the feet after 20 odd km? Woot!
Day 2 – Alftavatn Hut to Emstrur (15 km)
A new day to hit on the trail and after the climbs and distance of yesterday this is a great stroll. The sun greeted us too. A climb up then flatter but stunning views await you. Lots of sand underfoot, great mountains rising up from the ground surrounding and glaciers to bee seen on high. Can see for miles and miles then as you aproach camp the surroundings of Alftavatn made my jaw drop! As an excursion in the evening a 20 min walk will take you too the deep and beautiful Markarfljótsgljúfur canyon.
Day 3 – Emstrur – Thorsmörk or properly spellt Þórsmörk (15 km)
Within an hour or so of walking a canyon can be seen going all across the valley before you. Climbing down to the bridge and crossing over gives a feeling of how the wild can make us feel small. Then throughout the day you sense you are gradually decreasing in altitude and all becomes greener and lusher. Very noticeable after all you have seen in the volcanic heights. The biggest river crossing awaits you and with the strongest current. A great little adventure to take on after all before 🙂 Then suddenly you are amongst, flowers and grass! A sureal Icelandic oasis, as you make your way to the final camp. It is here then you suddenly see rising up before you the famous volcano of Eyjafjallajökull. The starting scene of the flight chaos surrounding ash clouds last year. A magical place to camp at its feet and look ahead to that extra treat tomorrow to climb up to its eruption site.
This trek and all else you have seen me do around it has been quite unbelievable. An experience of a lifetime in a spectacular country. I’m on my way again as soon as I can 😀