Many of the small details of planning your Laugavegur Trail trek can end up being the biggest challenges. You probably know that the river crossing will be difficult, but you might not be thinking as much about how you’ll get from the Keflavik Airport to your hotel in Reykjavik and then on to the start of the Laugavegur trail in Landmannalaugar. We’ve put together the following post to help you tackle all of those tricky logistical items that are sure to arise when you’re planning your own Laugavegur trail adventure.
Keflavik Airport (KEF) to Reykjavik
Most, if not all, walkers will arrive in Iceland at the Keflavik Airport (KEF), which is about 50km from the center of Reykjavik. If you are flying from the United States, your flight will likely arrive early in the morning, leaving you plenty of time to get settled in your accommodation in Reykjavik before starting your walk the next day. Here are your best options for getting from Keflavik to central Reykjavik:
- Public Bus (Straeto): By far the most economical way to get from the airport to Reykjavik is the public bus. Straeto, Iceland’s public transportation company, runs an efficient airport bus (Route number 55) that picks up from the airport and makes several stops en route to central Reykjavik. The bus runs hourly during peak times, and as of 2019 the cost for a one-way fare to Reykjavik is 1,880 ISK. Tickets can be purchased from the bus driver upon boarding. Straeto has a very helpful smartphone app that allows you to plan your journey as well as pay for tickets, and we highly recommend travelers with phone access make use of it.
- FlyBus: FlyBus, operated by Reykjavik Excursions, is your best bet for private transfers from the airport to central Reykjavik. The bus picks up travelers from the airport and drops them off at either the central bus station (BSI Terminal) or at selected hotels throughout the city. The FlyBus can be booked in advance through the Reykjavik Excursions website and costs 3,449 ISK as of 2019.
Where to Stay in Reykjavik
Lodging (and everything, really) is expensive in Reykjavik. Luckily, there are several good options to suit all budgets for staying in Reykjavik both before and after walking the Laugavegur Trail. Here are your best bets:
- Reykjavik Campsite: The most economical option in town is to simply camp at the lovely Reykjavik Campsite. Located approximately 20-30 minutes by walking from central Reykjavik, the campground provides great facilities at a fraction of the cost of a hotel room. As a bonus, the bus to Landmannalaugar picks up directly from the campsite.
- Reykjavik City Hi Hostel: The most convenient hostel for those planning to walk the Laugavegur, the City Hi Hostel is located adjacent to the campsite as well as the bus pick-up location for getting to Landmannalaugar.
- Hilton Reykjavik Nordica: For those looking for a more traditional hotel, we would highly recommend the Hilton Reykjavik Nordica. Located on the edge of central Reykjavik, the hotel offers nice rooms, a fantastic breakfast, and is just a short walk from the campsite for catching the bus to Landmannalaugar.
You can check out all the options in and around Reykjavik here:
Getting to/from the Laugavegur from Reykjavik
For those hiking the Laugavegur Trail from north to south, you’ll start in Landmannalaugar. There is no public bus service to Landmannalaugar so you’ll need to arrange private transportation. The best option in our opinion is the Reykjavik Excursions Iceland on Your Own Hiker Pass. The hiker pass provides walkers with transportation to the start of the Laugavegur trail as well as back to Reykjavik from the finish. You can take as much time as you need to complete the hike and can be picked from any of the three main access points on the Laugavegur: Landmannalaugar, Þórsmörk, and Skogar (for those also completing the Fimmvörðuháls). The cost as of 2019 is 14,000 ISK and the bus picks up walkers at the campsite as well as the BSI bus terminal. If you choose to complete the Fimmvörðuháls and finish in Skogar, Straeto (the public bus company) picks up here via Route 51. Check Straeto’s website for more details and timetables.
For those hiking the trail from south to north and starting in Þórsmörk, you’ll need to use the Reykjavik Excursions service described above as there is no public bus to Þórsmörk. If you are starting your Laugavegur hike by first completing the Fimmvörðuháls, then you will also have the option of utilizing Straeto’s Route 51 described above.
Keep in mind that all routes between Reykjavik and any of the three main access points for the Laugavegur take several hours. The journey between Reykjavik and Landmannalaugar takes about 4.5 hours, Reykjavik to/from Þórsmörk takes about 4 hours, and Reykjavik to/from Skogar takes about 3.5 hours. Therefore, you’ll want to plan the start and end of your hike accordingly to allow for enough time to complete each segment and also catch your return bus.
There are no ATMs along the Laugavegur Trail, so you’ll need to be prepared to pay for all of your expenses with cash you’ve brought along or with a credit card. All of the huts/campsites give you the option to pay for your accommodation and anything additional you may purchase with a credit card, although savvy travelers will want to bring at least some cash as it’s possible that the credit card machines may not be working due to limited solar power.
Many walkers will be traveling with more luggage than they might like to carry while hiking the Laugavegur Trail. If that’s the case for you, you’ll find several options for luggage storage in Reykjavik. Luggage Lockers Iceland has several options throughout Reykjavik, with the most convenient locations for Laugavegur walkers being the Laugardalslaug Swimming Pool (adjacent to the campsite) and the BSI Bus Station, as both are pick-up and drop-off points for the bus to/from the Laugavegur. Note that the maximum luggage storage time at the BSI Bus Station is 5 days, while the Laugardalslaug Swimming Pool will allow you to store your luggage for up to 30 days. Both locations have several locker sizes as well as easy to use self-service kiosks. You can check locker sizes, prices, and opening hours for all of their locations here.
Alternatively, many hotels in Reykjavik will gladly store your extra luggage if you are staying with them both before and after your Laugavegur Trail. The best option of course is to only pack what you need and avoid having to store any extra luggage at all!
But wait…there’s more!
Be sure to check out our entire series on the Laugavegur Trail get the all the information you need to prepare for this incredible adventure!
- Guide to Camping on the Laugavegur Trail
- Laugavegur Trail Packing List – Be sure you’ve got everything you need!