The Complete Guide to the Laugavegur Trail | Map, Routes, and Itineraries

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The Laugavegur Trail offers the best of Icelandic trekking. Stunning waterfalls, brooding volcanoes, geothermal hot springs, powerful rivers, and deep canyons are just a few of the wonders you’ll discover on this hike. Traversing this spectacular region by foot is one of the best ways to experience the incredible diversity of landscapes that define Iceland. 

This beauty combined with easy accessibility make the Laugavegur Trail one of the most popular hiking destinations in Iceland. Read on to learn how to plan for this epic trek!

This Laugavegur guide is designed to be the perfect planning companion for your own adventure. We’ve included everything you need to know to have a spectacular trip in one place, so you can be sure you’ve thought of everything.

Read it through in a single go or jump to a specific section below, but rest assured knowing you’ve found the best resource on the internet for planning your Laugavegur trek.

Let’s get started!

Tents in Landmannalaugar, Iceland

Laugavegur Trail: Must Know

The Laugavegur Trail connects the Landmannalaugar hot springs to the Þórsmörk (pronounced Thorsmork) river valley. Landmannalaugar is located in the heart of the Fjallabak Nature Reserve and surrounded by stunning rhyolite mountains.

The 55-kilometer (34-mile) Laugavegur trail crosses a wide diversity of landscapes, from rugged, volcanic peaks to vast black sand deserts to dayglow green hillsides.

Many hikers opt to extend their hike by taking the Fimmvörðuháls Trail, which connects Þórsmörk and Skogar via a very difficult 15-mile trek. While the two trails are technically separate, they can be easily combined into a longer, 48-mile hike.

To get an overview of both the Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls Trail check out our virtual fly-through video below:

Now that you’ve gotten a video overview of the Laugavegur & Fimmvörðuháls trail, check out the map below to get a sense of the two hikes:

Map of the Laugavegur and Fimmvorduhals Trail
Map of the Laugavegur and Fimmvorduhals Trails. Click to enlarge.

The Laugavegur is traditionally completed in the southbound direction, but it is very possible to walk in the opposite direction. There is a network of mountain huts along the trail that provide walkers with stopping points at regular intervals. Camping is also permitted outside every hut along the Laugavegur. 

A hiker near a steam vent on Iceland's Laugavegur Trail
You’ll encounter otherworldly landscapes on the Laugavegur Trail.

How long is the Laugavegur Trail?

The short answer is that the Laugavegur Trail is 34 miles or 55-kilometers long as it makes its way across Iceland’s Highlands. However, trekkers should plan on walking a bit further than that on their own trip as you’re sure to take a few side trips to nearby mountains, explore small alternate route, and other detours that are sure to add a few miles to your trek.

Most hikers will cover the Laugavegur’s 34 miles  in 2-4 days for an average of between 8.5 – 17 miles per day. Be sure to check out our itinerary section below to help plan your own Laugavegur itinerary.

Laugavegur Trail Elevation Profile
The Laugavegur Trail is approximately 34 miles long. Add on the Fimmvorduhals Trail for another ~14 miles.

How long does it take to hike the Laugavegur Trail?

The Laugavegur Trail can be walked in 2 – 4 days depending on your hiking ability, pace preferences, and weather conditions. If you’re interested in adding on the Fimmvörðuháls Trail, plan on an additional 1 – 2 days of walking, plus an extra 978 meters of elevation gain (3,209 feet) and 24 kilometers (15 miles) of distance.

If you want more detailed itineraries, check out our Guide to Trekking the Laugavegur Trail which contains 3 unique itineraries for the route.

Hikers enjoying the view on the Laugavegur Trail
Enjoying the spectacular views on the Laugavegur Trail.

When to hike the Laugavegur Trail

The weather in Iceland can be extremely harsh. No matter when you go, expect cold, wet, and windy conditions for a least some parts of your trek and pack accordingly.

We hiked in early July and had great weather throughout, although it was still very cold at times. Even though it was peak season, it wasn’t overly crowded on the trail if we got an early start. 

With the right gear (check out our Laugavegur packing list for more on this topic), hikers can typically complete the walk from mid-June through early September. Make sure to always check with the hut wardens for the latest conditions and never attempt to hike through unsafe weather. 

  • June: This is considered “early summer” in Iceland, meaning there will typically be a significant amount of snow remaining on the trail. It will still be quite cold, especially in the first part of the month. If you plan on hiking in June, be sure to check with the huts in advance, as some don’t open until the end of the month. Also be prepared to pack crampons and know how to use them. 
  • July: This is peak season for the Laugavegur. Hikers will enjoy nearly 24 hours of daylight, and relatively milder weather (although snowstorms and bitter cold are possible any time of year). Expect more crowds on the trail, and be sure to reserve in advance if you plan on staying in huts. 
  • August: The first half of the month sees continued mild conditions and busy trails. During this time, the trail will be at its clearest in terms of snow, although large patches remain throughout the year. As the month wears on, the days get shorter and colder. The huts typically close for the season by the second week of September. 
A hiker walks through a large snow field on the Laugavegur Trail
You can still expect to encounter lots of snow on the Laugavegur in July!

Let us help plan your Laugavegur Trek

We’re here to help! We offer comprehensive Laugavegur Trail planning support so you can plan your perfect trip!

We offer the following Laugavegur trip planning services:

Guide to Trekking the Laugavegur


In-depth trip planning resource

GPS files for three Laugavegur itineraries

Everything you need to plan your perfect trip

GPS Digital Download


GPS files for the entire Laugavegur Trail

Navigate with confidence on the trail

Works with all GPS navigation apps

Custom GPS File


Custom GPS file created for your unique itinerary

Includes all of your huts/accommodation

Confidently navigate using a GPS file designed just for you

Why work with us?

As passionate hikers, we’ve made it our goal to empower you with all of the information you need to have your best Laugavegur Trail experience. 

We’ve helped over 2,500 hikers prepare for their trips, navigate on the trail, and simplify the planning process.

How difficult is the Laugavegur Trail?

As far as long-distance hiking trails go, the Laugavegur is very approachable in terms of difficulty. There are several factors that impact the challenge of this hike, including the distance covered in each day (see our itineraries for more on this), the weight of your backpack (it will be much larger if you choose to camp), the direction you hike in (there is significantly more uphill walking if you trek from south to north), and the weather and trail conditions.

Therefore, someone carrying camping gear and hiking northbound in two days will have a much different experience than someone staying in huts, heading southbound, and completing their trek in four days. Most reasonably fit hikers with some trekking experience will have no problem completing the Laugavegur in three days. 

River Crossings on the Laugavegur

You will encounter several river crossings along the Laugavegur Trail. These can very in depth from ankle deep all the way up to your waist depending on the time of year, recent rainfall, and weather conditions.

We can’t stress enough that you need to check with the wardens at each hut about the current condition of the rivers, and always cross in the designated areas. Also, you’ll want to bring a pair of sturdy sandals or other water shoes to make these crossing. Flip-flops will be pulled right off your feet by the swift currents and walking across barefoot is a dangerous endeavor.

A river crossing near the Alftavatn Hut.
River crossing after Álftavatn. Be prepared for lots of these!

Planning your perfect Laugavegur Trail trek

Now that you have a bit of background on the Laugavegur let’s get into the heart of what this guide is all about: helping you plan your perfect trek!

We’re of course a bit biased, but we think that our Guide to Trekking the Laugavegur Trail eGuide and Planning Portal is the most useful resource for planning your own trip.

A hut on the Laugavegur
A little planning goes a long way to ensuring you have a great Laugavegur!

Accommodation on the Laugavegur Trail

The Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls Trails feature an excellent system of mountain huts and campsites along the routes. Most of these are run by Ferðafélag Íslands (FI), which is the Icelandic Touring Association. Additionally, there are private campgrounds and huts located at Þórsmörk and the Fimmvörðuskáli Hut (along the Fimmvörðuháls Trail), as well as a privately-run hotel located at Skogar. Unfortunately, the former hostel at Skogar has permanently closed.

The following huts are located along the Laugavegur Trail:

The mountain huts along the Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls Trails provide basic communal sleeping quarters (bring your own sleeping bag), cooking facilities (you’ll need to bring your own food), bathrooms and showers (with the exception of Hrafntinnusker, which does not have showers) and are staffed by very knowledgeable wardens.

Additionally, the huts have small shops carrying some basic food items and trekking essentials. If you’re planning to stay in the huts along the Laugavegur Trail advance bookings are essential as the huts fill up quickly!

You can make your reservations here: Laugavegur Trail Hut Reservations.

All of the huts along the Laugavegur Trail cost 13000 ISK per night, while the Fimmvörðuháls / Baldvinsskáli hut costs 12500 ISK per night.

Ferðafélag Íslands publishes a very helpful Frequently Asked Questions page on the Laugavegur Trail huts here.

Hrafntinnusker Hut
Looking down on the hut at Hrafntinnusker along the Laugavegur Trail.

Camping on the Laugavegur Trail

In addition to the excellent hut system, camping is allowed at all the huts along the Laugavegur Trail. The campsites do not require any advance reservations and cost 2,300 ISK per night.

We always recommend camping as it provides an added layer of flexibility and an escape from the sometimes crowded huts! For an in-depth guide on camping check out our Guide to Camping on the Laugavegur Trail.

Please note that you must camp in the designated campsites! Wild camping is not permitted in Iceland.

Camping at Álftavatn on the Laugavegur Trail
Camping at Álftavatn on the Laugavegur.

Laugavegur Trail Itineraries

Now that you have a sense of which direction you’ll plan to hike in as well as which month you’ll embark of your trip it’s time to start thinking about your specific Laugavegur Trail itinerary!

As we’ve mentioned, the Laugavegur Trail can be walked in 2 – 4 days depending on your hiking ability, pace preferences, and weather conditions. If you’re interested in adding on the Fimmvörðuháls Trail, plan on an additional 1 – 2 days of walking.

The following itineraries give you an overview of what’s possible. Even if you don’t want to add on the Fimmvörðuháls section, you can still use the first part of each itinerary to customize your hike for your desired time frame.  Also, be sure to check out our interactive map and elevation profile for the route to get a comprehensive understanding of all of  your options!

These descriptions are just the starting point. If you want more detailed descriptions including custom GPS files for each itinerary, the check out our Guide to Trekking the Laugavegur Trail eGuide & Planning Portal.

Click on the interactive map above to learn more about each of the stops on the trail!

Laugavegur Trail Elevation Profile

2-day Laugavegur Trail + 1-day Fimmvörðuháls Trail

Completing the Laugavegur Trail in 2-days with the option of adding the Fimmvörðuháls Trail on the third day is the fastest way to complete the walk. This is the itinerary we chose and found it to be quite enjoyable; there were certainly long days of walking, but still plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and sights.

2-day Laugavegur Trail itinerary
  • Day 1: Landmannalaugar to Hvangill (15.5 miles)

Starting your trek early from Landmannalaugar, you’ll climb steadily along the well-marked trail through the Laugahraun lava field and eventually reach the first hut along the walk at Hrafntinnusker. Enjoy the spectacular view from the hut and be glad you’re not camping in this harsh location!

Continuing on from Hrafntinnusker you’ll enjoy a gentle downhill leading to a short but steep climb before a long descent to the hut and campground at Álftavatn, approximately 13-miles into your walk.

While it may be tempting to stop here, we highly recommend continuing on for another 2.5 miles to Hvangill to shorten your day tomorrow as well an enjoy the smaller and quieter hut at Hvangill.

Day 2: Hvangill to Þórsmörk (17.5 miles)

Get up early and prepare for a long, but lovely day on the trail! Leaving Hvangill, you’ll walk on an undulating trail before making the largest river-crossing of the Laugavegur Trail at Bláfjallakvísl. Take great care here, as the current moves fast and can water levels can typically reach thigh-high depths!

After crossing the Bláfjallakvísl River, the trail flattens out and you’ll walk through what seems like an endless black sand desert before reaching the hut and campground at Emstrur. Upon leaving Emstrur, you’ll soon come to a spectacular bridge over the Syðri-Emstruá River before winding your way along the Markarfljótsgljúfur Canyon – take a moment to enjoy the incredible views!

From here, you’ll continue down the trail to a final river crossing before reaching the well-maintained hut and campground at Þórsmörk and the end of the Laugavegur Trail!

Optional Day 3: Fimmvörðuháls Trail to Skogar (15 miles)

Those who wish to add on the Fimmvörðuháls Trail to Skogar will want to get another early start for this epic walk!

Plan on 10-12 hours of walking to complete the Fimmvörðuháls Trail in a single day, and be sure to reward yourself with a beer once you reach Skogar! Climbing steeply out of Þórsmörk, the trail winds steadily uphill before passing between the two glaciers- Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull.

You’ll also witness firsthand the volcanic remnants of the 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano and the youngest mountains in the world. The juxtaposition of jet black ash beneath blindingly white snow are simply magnificent.

As you start your descent, keep your eyes peeled for glimpses of the Atlantic Ocean on the horizon. You’ll then begin the long trail down, descending past dozens of beautiful, glacially-fed waterfalls. The trail finishes at the spectacular Skogafoss Waterfall – an apt finale to a wonderful walk!

Hvanngil Hut along the Laugavegur Trail.
The Hvanngil hut and campground, a perfect stop for those completing the Laugavegur in 2 days.

3-day Laugavegur Trail + 1-2 day Fimmvörðuháls Trail

Adding an extra day to complete the Laugavegur Trail will make for a gentler pace and ample opportunities to enjoy some of the great side trips along the route. This moderately paced itinerary will be best for the majority of walkers. You’ll have the option of completing the Fimmvörðuháls Trail in a single day, or overnighting at one of the huts along the trail.

Day 1: Landmannalaugar to Álftavatn (13 miles)

Starting from Landmannalaugar you’ll climb steadily along the well-marked trail past the Hrafntinnusker hut and campground. Continue on, enjoying the spectacular views on the trail before beginning the long-descent to Álftavatn.

You’ll be able to see the large lake at Álftavatn well before arriving. Just before reaching Álftavatn you’ll cross the  Grashagakvísl River, which does not have a bridge (requiring you to walk through it). Finally, you’ll arrive at the excellent facilities at Álftavatn – be sure to enjoy a cold beer at the bar/restaurant!

Day 2: Álftavatn to Emstrur (10 miles)

Leaving Álftavatn, you’ll soon cross another river (no bridge) before reaching the Hvanngil hut and campground. Continue on, soon after arriving at the Bláfjallakvísl River, which requires great care to cross safely.

From here you’ll walk through a flat, desert-like landscape before reaching the Emstrur Hut and Campground with its spectacular views.

Day 3: Emstrur to Þórsmörk(10 miles)

Leaving Emstrur, you’ll cross the spectacular gorge formed by the Syðri-Emstruá River. Continuing on you’ll soon have the option for a short detour off the trail to view the confluence of the Markarfljót and Syðri-Emstruá Rivers – we highly recommend checking them out!

Finally, you’ll continue down the trail to a final river crossing before reaching the well-maintained hut and campground at Þórsmörk and the end of the Laugavegur Trail!

Optional Day 4 and 5: Fimmvörðuháls Trail to Skogar (15 miles)

We highly recommend adding on the Fimmvörðuháls Trail to your Laugavegur adventure. This 15-mile trail can be tackled in a single, long day or broken up into two days with a stay at either the Baldvinsskáli Hut owned by Ferðafélag Íslands (7,000 ISK per night) or the Fimmvörðuskáli Hut owned by Útivist (also 7,000 ISK per night).

The huts are located approximately 7.5 miles from the start of the trek, a nice halfway point if you decide to stop. Be sure to take your own hiking abilities into consideration before deciding whether to tackle the Fimmvörðuháls Trail in one or two days.

Emstrur hut looking out over a large expanse.
The hut and campground at Emstrur offer exceptional views!

4-day Laugavegur Trail + 2 day Fimmvörðuháls Trail

The most leisurely-paced way to walk the Laugavegur Trail is to take 4-days, with no single day requiring more than 10 miles of walking. This itinerary is best for less confident walkers or those who wish to take their time and enjoy all the sights along the way.

For trekkers utilizing this itinerary who also wish to add on the Fimmvörðuháls Trail, we recommend completing it in an additional 2-days with an overnight at the Baldvinsskáli Hut.

Day 1: Landmannalaugar to Hrafntinnusker (6 miles)

The six-mile walk from Landmannalaugar to Hrafntinnusker is one of the more physically demanding sections of the trail. You’ll gain approximately 1,500 feet of elevation over six-miles before reaching the Hrafntinnusker Hut and Campground. We don’t recommend camping here as the conditions can be quite rough.

Day 2: Hrafntinnusker to Álftavatn (8 miles)

Leaving Hrafntinnusker you’ll enjoy a gentle downhill trail before a short-climb leads to excellent views. From here you’ll embark on a long and steep downhill to the Álftavatn Hut and campground with spectacular views of its namesake lake!

Day 3: Álftavatn to Emstrur (10 miles)

Walking out of Álftavatn, you’ll cross the Bratthálskvísl river (no bridge) before reaching the Hvanngil hut and campground. Continuing on, you will soon arrive at the most difficult river crossing of the walk at the Bláfjallakvísl River.

From here you’ll walk through a flat, desert like landscape before reaching the Emstrur Hut and Campground with its spectacular views.

Day 4: Emstrur to Þórsmörk(10 miles)

Leaving Emstrur, you’ll enjoy a nice trail with a spectacular crossing of the Syðri-Emstruá River gorge. Continuing on you’ll soon have the option for a short detour off the trail to view the confluence of the Markarfljót and Syðri-Emstruá Rivers – we highly recommend checking them out!

As you make your way further down the trail you’ll have a final river crossing before reaching the well-maintained hut and campground at Þórsmörk and the end of the Laugavegur Trail!

Optional Day 5: Þórsmörk to Baldvinsskáli Hut (7.5 miles)

Walking the Fimmvörðuháls Trail in two days will give hikers a chance to fully enjoy every moment of this spectacular hike. Leaving Þórsmörk, you’ll hike steeply uphill while taking in beautiful views of the surrounding glaciers. After crossing a very exposed section you’ll climb an extremely steep (but short) section of trail to reach the high point between the Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull Glaciers before overnighting at the Baldvinsskáli Hut.

Optional Day 6: Baldvinsskáli Hut to Skogar

Leaving the Baldvinsskáli Hut you’ll have a steady downhill walk all the way to Skogar. With the most difficult sections of the Fimmvörðuháls Trail out of the way you’ll be able to enjoy the dozens of spectacular waterfalls along the route. Take your time and enjoy the steadily changing landscape before reaching the end of the Fimmvörðuháls Trail at the awe inspiring Skogafoss Waterfall!

Hiker walking on the Fimmvorduhals Trail.
Otherworldly landscapes near the top of the Fimmvörðuháls Trail.

Walking the Laugavegur South to North

If you’re interested in walking the Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls Trail from south to north, the following is a basic 4-day itinerary. Be sure to take a look at the elevation profile to get a sense of how much climbing each day will entail, as it will be significantly more than if you walk the route from north to south!

Laugavegur Trail Elevation Profile
Be sure to study the elevation profile before deciding to walk from south to north!

Day 1: Fimmvörðuháls Trail: Skogar to Þórsmörk (15 miles)

Walking the two trails from south to north means your first day will be by far your most difficult. You’ll begin your walk on the Fimmvörðuháls Trail in Skogar and climb steadily past a beautiful landscape of waterfalls and rushing rivers.

You’ll continue upwards and the landscape will begin to change from the lush green hills to a barren, volcanic landscape. At around the half-way point you’ll arrive at the Baldvinsskáli Hut, where you can stay if you’d like to break the Fimmvörðuháls into two days.

From here you’ll continue uphill until reaching the high-point between the Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull Glaciers before starting a long, steep, and at times exposed descent towards Þórsmörk. Take your time here and enjoy the beauty surrounding you! From the high point of the trail it’s about 7 miles down to Þórsmörk, where you’ll undoubtedly need to treat yourself to a beer!

Day 2: Þórsmörk to Emstrur (10 miles)

Upon leaving Þórsmörk you’ll quickly have a river-crossing to navigate. Once across, you’ll wind your way up steadily with plenty of excellent views. As you near Emstrur you’ll have the option to take a quick loop trail to view the beautiful canyon formed at the confluence of the Markarfljót and Syðri-Emstruá Rivers – a highly recommended detour! From here you’ll have a short walk before reaching the hut and campground at Emstrur.

Day 3: Emstrur to Álftavatn (10 miles)

Continuing on the Laugavegur from Emstrur, you’ll enjoy a relatively flat day en route to the lakeside hut and campground at Álftavatn. Soon after leaving Emstrur you’ll traverse a large, black sand desert before coming to the major river crossing at Bratthálskvísl. Take extra care here as this is the most difficult crossing of the walk. Once past the river, you’ll come to the hut and campground at Hvangill before tackling one more smaller river crossing just before reaching Álftavatn.

Day 4: Álftavatn to Landmannalaugar (13 miles)

Your final day will be one of your toughest, with a steep uphill section starting just after leaving Álftavatn. There is another river crossing at this point, so be prepared to get your feet wet. Once you’ve finished your climb out of Álftavatn you’ll soon come to the hut and campground at Hrafntinnusker.

It’s all downhill from here! After leaving the hut you’ll enjoy tremendous views on the steep descent into Landmannalaugar and the finish of the Laugavegur Trail. Be sure to commemorate your accomplishment with a soak in the natural hot springs!

Hikers soaking in the hot springs at Landmannalaugar.
A soak in the hot springs at Landmannalaugar is a must!

Laugavegur Trail Logistics

The Laugavegur Trail is relatively well connected and easy to access from other parts of Iceland. However, there are a few key pieces of information outlined in the following sections that you should keep in mind when planning your trek.

Getting to and from the Laugavegur Trail

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 first option is to use the Reykjavik Excursions Highland Bus. The bus provides walkers with transportation to the start of the Laugavegur trail as well as back to Reykjavik from the finish. The bus picks up walkers at the Reykjavik Campsite as well as the BSI bus terminal near central Reykjavik. Note that if returning to Reykjavik from Skogar, the Highland Bus has a 6 hour layover in Hvolsvöllur before continuing on to Reykjavik. As such, we recommend taking the Straeto public bus described below to avoid this long layover.

Trex also offers a Hiker Pass that provides transportation to and from the trail in one package deal..You can take as much time as you need to complete the hike and can be picked up from any of the three main access points on the Laugavegur: Landmannalaugar, Þórsmörk, and Skogar (for those also completing the Fimmvörðuháls). However, keep in mind that the Trex Bus also makes the 6 hour layover on the way from Skógar back to Reykjavik and tends to be a bit more expensive than the other options.  

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. We recommend this option to avoid the long layover that the Trex and Highland buses make. 

For in-depth information on transportation, lodging, luggage storage, and other essentials be sure to check out our Laugavegur Trail Logistics article.

Reykjavik Excursions bus
Reykjavik Excursions provides easy access to and from the Laugavegur Trail.

Food and Drink on the Laugavegur

With the exception of the restaurants at Alftavatn and Thorsmork (at the hut operated by Volcano Huts), there is nowhere to get a hot meal along the Laugavegur trail.

You’ll find only a very limited and very expensive inventory of supplies for sale at some of the huts along the trail. The provisions vary from hut to hut, but typically include candy bars, beer and soda, chips, and sometimes instant noodles. Most hikers will find it unnecessary to carry a camp stove and cooking equipment, as all of the huts have cooking facilities. You should plan on stocking up on food, stove fuel, and provisions for your entire trek before leaving Reykjavik.

There is clean drinking water available at all of the huts along the Laugavegur. We recommend filling up for the entire day before setting out, as water sources along the trail can be unreliable and/or unsafe. 

Laugavegur Trail Maps & Guidebooks

The Laugavegur Trail is relatively well-marked. Trail signs are located at all major junctions and intervals, with distances to the next hut provided in kilometers. In clear conditions, it is easy to navigate along the trail. However, storms, snow cover, fog, and other issues can make it frighteningly easy to lose your way. It is essential to carry a good map.

Many maps for the route are available locally in Iceland, although you can purchase an excellent map for the route here or below:

Laugavegur Trail & Fimmvörðuháls Trail Map

This is our recommend trail map for the Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls trails. Printed at a helpful 1:40,000 scale, you'll have enough detail to help plan your trip and also navigate while on the hike.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
05/21/2024 01:53 am GMT

Even with a paper map, we highly recommend utilizing an offline GPS navigation application like Gaia GPS or on your smartphone. This will allow you to see your precise location, as well as the overall trail map, next stopping point, and more, all without using cell service. This post explains how to set your phone up to work as a GPS for the Laugavegur Trail. 

If you’re interested in getting a custom GPS file that you can use to navigate on the Laugavegur Trail, we offer a complete GPS file for the Laugavegur & Fimmvörðuháls trails, check it out below:

A trail sign on the Fimmvörðuháls Trail.
A helpful trail sign near a difficult section of the Fimmvörðuháls.

Laugavegur Trail Weather

If it hasn’t become clear from the previous sections of this post, Icelandic weather should not be taken lightly.  Whiteout snow storms can occur any time of the year on the Laugavegur, as can gale force winds and freezing temperatures.

It is imperative that hikers check the weather conditions before setting out. The easiest way to stay up to date on the weather is to talk to the wardens at the huts. Weather updates are usually posted outside, but you can also ask the warden for more information. If they advise you not to hike in the conditions, be sure to listen to them! Additionally, the Icelandic Met Office’s website provides quality forecasts for wind, precipitation, and temperature in specific areas. 

Read more: Check out our Trip Report to get the full scoop on what the Laugavegur was really like!

Budgeting and Money on the Laugavegur

There’s no way around it- Iceland is an extremely expensive country. While you will be able to mitigate a ton of travel expenses by hiking (free entertainment), camping or staying in huts (cheaper than a hotel), and bringing your own food, you can still expect high prices for all of the necessary aspects of your Laugavegur trek. The mountain huts typically don’t accept credit cards and there are no ATM’s along the route, so plan on bringing enough cash to cover all of your expenses for the entirety of your trek. 

Some people (us included!) purchase food supplies at home and bring them to Iceland to avoid having to pay for expensive items at the grocery store on arrival. Specific rules may vary depending on your country of origin, but visitors are typically allowed to bring in small quantities of sealed, packaged foods such as trail mix, instant noodles, energy bars, and coffee packets. 

To get a better idea of what everything costs in Iceland, from snacks at the huts to groceries in Reykjavik to your transportation to the trail, check out this comprehensive budgeting post. 

Snow covered mountains on the Laugavegur Trail
Sunshine and snow in the same day? Typical Iceland!

What to pack for the Laugavegur Trail

For anyone walking the Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls Trails there are some essential items you’ll want to be sure to pack.

For the complete list of what to pack for the Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls Trails be sure to check out our full packing/kit list here.

Good rain gear

Hiking in the freezing, blowing rain (commonplace on the Laugavegur) can be downright miserable if you’re not prepared. Furthermore, if things get soaked in a heavy rain (such as base layers or your sleeping bag), it will be hard to get them dry again for the remainder of your trek.

Good quality waterproof items will keep you comfortable and warm, while also protecting the items in your backpack so you can put on a cozy, dry change of clothes when you’re done hiking for the day.

We absolutely love these packable, effective, super lightweight Outdoor Research jackets. For a great pair of rain pants (that are also excellent for wearing around camp), we recommend Marmot’s comfortable, flexible Precip pant.

Finally, don’t even consider hiking the Laugavegur without a reliable pack cover. Many newer packs come with one built in, but if your doesn’t, check out this Sea to Summit one. These pack covers have extra strong elastic and a well-designed strap to keep them in place (and your stuff dry), even in high winds and heavy downpours. 

Warm clothes

No matter the time of year that you hike the Laugavegur, it is very likely that you’ll be wearing a jacket and long pants for the majority of your trek. Therefore, you’re going to want warm layers that are comfortable and lightweight. This Patagonia jacket is unbeatable when it comes to warmth, packability, and weight. It’s one of our all-time favorite pieces of backpacking gear. Additionally, if you’re looking for a great pair of quick-drying, flexible, and stylish hiking pants, check out Prana’s Brion.

Eye mask and ear plugs

If you plan on sleeping in the huts, you’ll want to be prepared for the cramped cozy sleeping arrangements that are common on the Laugavegur. Even if you’re camping, you might end up close enough to hear your neighbor’s thundering snores or late-night pillow talk. Good quality sleep can be hard to come by on the trail, especially with 24 hours of daylight, but it is vital for ensuring your body recovers after long days of trekking. We have found that these two small things make a huge difference when it comes to getting a good night’s rest.

We love this silky, adjustable eye mask because it does a great job blocking out light while still being super comfortable. In terms of ear plugs, we swear by these Mack’s silicone ones. They are way more effective than the foam kind, and they also stay in place much better. Add in these two things and we promise you’ll sleep much more soundly! 

Good Sleeping Bag

Another thing that can derail your rest and recovery on the Laugavegur? Being too cold to sleep.

If you’ve never experienced this phenomenon while camping, count yourself lucky (or maybe just smart and well-prepared). Even though the sun stays up all night in the peak summer season, the temperature still drops significantly at night.

If you are camping, make sure you pack a sleeping bag that is rated to 15° Fahrenheit or less. We used the Marmot Trestles 15 and stayed cozy and warm every night. If you’re sleeping in the huts (which are heated), you can bring a lighter bag (30°F), but you’ll still need to bring your own bag as there is no bedding provided. 

Shoes for river crossings (sturdy sandals or other water shoes work best)

You’ll need to complete several major river crossings while hiking the Laugavegur. Depending on the time of year, the water levels can range from waist deep to knee deep. Regardless, expect the water to be shockingly cold and very fast-moving. You absolutely need to wear sturdy shoes when crossing- no flip flops or bare feet!

Without sturdy footwear, you will greatly increase your chances of losing your balance and putting yourself in a situation that is unpleasant at best and very dangerous at worst. While you can cross in your hiking shoes, most walkers prefer to use water shoes so they don’t have to wear cold, wet shoes for the remainder of the day. We are huge fans of Chaco sandals for their comfort and support, and they work great for river crossings. Plus, strap them on the outside of your pack afterwards and they’ll be dry in no time!

For the complete list of what to pack for the Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls Trails be sure to check out our full packing/kit list here.


Whether you are camping or staying in the huts, you will not be able to charge your electronics at any point along the Laugavegur Trail until you reach Thorsmork.

Only two of the three lodging options in Thorsmork provide electronics charging (Volcano Huts and Utivist Basar).

Those continuing on the Fimmvorduhals Trail will also be able to charge at the Skogar campground or hostel. It’s a good idea to bring along a portable battery pack or solar panel to ensure you can use your phone for photos and GPS purposes throughout your trek. You can check out our recommended power bank for the Laugavegur Trail below:

Our Recommended Power Bank
BioLite Charge 80 PD Power Bank

The BioLite Charge 80 is our favorite power bank for hiking. It will charge your phone up to five times and won't weigh down your pack!

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
05/21/2024 12:09 am GMT

Cell Phone Service

The Laugavegur Trail is one of the rare, wonderful places in the world where it’s still very difficult to get cell phone service. You may be able to pick up some reception at a few points along the trail, but don’t rely on it being available. 


With the exception of the Volcano Hut at Thorsmork and the hostel at Skogar, you will not have access to WiFi anywhere on the Laugavegur. Get ready to spend your downtime taking in the views and enjoying a good book! 

More information: Be sure to read our Laugavegur Trail Logistics article to prepare for all of the practical aspects of your trek!

Hvanngill Hut Laugavegur Trail
No outlets to be found here (just amazing views)!

Let Us Make Your Laugavegur Trek a Success

We’ve channeled our experience, research, and passion into effective and trail-tested resources to help all Laugavegur & Fimmvörðuháls trail hikers. If you’re planning to trek without the support of a tour company, you’ll benefit from a little help working out some of the tricky logistics that go into preparing for the trip of a lifetime.

  • Guide to Trekking the Laugavegur Trail (Best Seller): Our digital guide provides the most comprehensive way to plan your trek. You’ll find a wealth of information including accommodation recommendations, itineraries, and video fly-throughs. The eGuide is available for download in PDF format for easy offline access. 
  • Laugavegur Trail GPS Files: Navigate the Laugavegur & Fimmvörðuháls trails like a pro with our custom GPS files. These are compatible with all GPS devices and cover the entire trek, including common alternate routes.
  • Custom GPS Files: For a truly personalized experience, we can create a GPS file tailored to your specific itinerary, including your accommodations and route preferences.

We believe that a great adventure begins with thorough preparation. Our products and services are crafted to provide you with detailed, up-to-date and easy-to-use information. This not only helps you plan effectively but also allows you to embark on your trek with confidence.

We’ve helped over 2,500+ hikers plan their trips, navigate on the trail, and simplify the planning process. We’re confident that our services will enhance your Laugavegur trekking experience. Choose our services for a memorable, stress-free, and enriching trekking adventure.

What’s Next?

Be sure to read our entire series on the Laugavegur Trail to learn everything you’ll need to know to prepare for your trip!

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