Hike Iceland's colorful rhyolite mountains to the icebergs and waterfalls of its quintessential southern edge—only with MTS!
To visit Iceland is a witness nature in its rawest form. Our hiking adventure follows the Víknaslódir trail, one of National Geographic Adventure’s “25 Most Beautiful Treks in the World.” Along the way, you’ll hike in the foothills of volcanic mountains, see lively lava fields and boulder fields, walk along gigantic glaciers, cruise among black and blue icebergs, take a scenic flight over the highlands, and experience the wildlife of verdant fjords. With a two free afternoons in Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik, you’ll get a complete picture of this magical land. Unwind in both simple, mountain huts and in comfortable modern hotels, and we’ll make sure you board the plane home totally relaxed with a soak in geothermal hot springs!
Includes 5 full days moderate to strenuous hiking, 3 days easier touring and short day hikes
- The only North American operator to trek in the eastern fjords--raw, remote, remarkable
- Hike the famed Víknaslódir trail where you’ll be overwhelmed by the raw beauty of mountains, lava fields, glaciers, icebergs, and magnificent waterfalls
- Contemplate black sand beaches, soak in sublime geothermal hot springs,and luxuriate in the famed Blue Lagoon
Duration: 10 days Start Location: Reykjavík End Location: ReykjavíkDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrival in Iceland
Arrive in Reykjavík’s Keflavik International Airport (KEF) between 6:00 – 6:30 a.m. Your trip leader will meet you outside of the customs and immigration area at the airport, and transfer with you to your hotel in Reykjavik. The rest of the day is yours to relax and explore the charming village of Reykjavik. Tonight there will be a welcome dinner with the rest of the group.
Day 2 : Reykjavík – Egilsstadir – Lodmundarfjördur
After breakfast, we’ll transfer to the Reykjavik Domestic Airport (RKV) for an awe-inspiring flight over the Icelandic highlands to Egilsstadir in eastern Iceland, departing at 9:15 a.m.
Our 60-minute flight includes spectacular views of Mount Hekla, the Vatnajökull ice cap, and Mount Askja. From Egilsstadir we’ll drive to the deep fjord harboring the coastal village of Seydisfjördur, where we begin our hike. We’ll hike over impressive green mountains and plateaus down to Lodmundarfjördur, which was, for many years, one of the most isolated and inaccessible communities in Iceland (it’s now uninhabited). Our luggage will be delivered here for us by four-wheel-drive vehicle. (5 – 6 hours hiking ~ 8 miles ~ 1,800' elevation gain/loss)
Tonight’s accommodations are in the Loðmundarfjörður Mountain Hut. At this hut there are 33 sleeping spaces in bunk beds. There will be some participation requested, setting tables and rinsing dishes. You should bring your own sleeping bag for this night. It will be transported for you each day. (Sleeping bags can also be rented from our partners in Iceland on request. Please make this request in advance.)
A note about the accommodations on these first three nights: Most people enjoy the experience of Icelandic huts. However, Iceland’s wilderness huts are basic and communal, and we might share the hut with other hikers. The huts are also well known for being clean and comfortable, and rather charming. The huts are heated with wood burning stoves. Comforts include a gas stove for cooking, modern flush toilets, and a shower (your guides will pay the small fee for you). If shared sleeping quarters are not your thing, you do have the option to camp nearby if you prefer. We’ll supply tents and comfortable Thermorest sleeping pads. As we do not have porters on this trip, campers must set up and take down their own tents, and also assist with setting tables and rinsing dishes.
Day 3 : Lodmundarfjördur – Húsavík
We’ll take a morning walk to the old chapel at the foot of the beautiful fjord, then along the north seashore of Lodmundarfjördur and down to Húsavík (House Bay). Loðmundarfjorður fjord is an impressive valley that was once home to a hundred people at the turn of the 20th century, thanks to rich farmlands and accessible fishing grounds. The surrounding mountains add a unique magnificence to the scene. Our hike leads us through the massive Loðmundarskriður, formed thousands of years ago when the adjacent mountain literally burst forth. (4 – 5 hours hiking ~ 8.5 miles ~ 1,400' elevation gain/loss)
Tonight’s accommodations are in the Húsavík Mountain Hut. At this hut, there are 33 twin mattresses in bunk beds, and a coin operated shower.
Day 4 : Húsavík – Breidavík
We’ll walk from Húsavík to Breidavík over an impressive pass at the foot of 1,200-foot Mount Hvitserkur—an odd formation of white rhyolite with basalt intrusions. We’ll descend toward Breidavík (Wide Bay), a wonderful place with coastal marsh, black sandy beaches, and scattered Siberian driftwood. Curious seals often come around to observe us!
Tonight’s accommodations are in the Breidavík Mountain Hut. At this hut there are 33 twin mattresses in bunk beds, and no showers. (4 – 5 hours hiking ~ 8.5 miles ~ 2 passes of 1,000' and 1,500' each)
Day 5 : Breidavík – Bakkagerdi
From Breidavík we’ll continue our hike across the massive pastel rhyolite mountains that, depending on the way the sun catches them, turn from pink to blue to ochre. We’ll continue, via Brúnavík (Brown Bay), downhill to Borgarfjördur Eystri, a small picturesque inlet that faces the open sea. Its shores are dotted with charming, small houses.
Tonight’s accommodations are at a simple, friendly little guesthouse, with 6 guestrooms, each housing 2-6 bunk beds. There are shared bathroom facilities. You will need your sleeping bag on this night. (6 hours hiking, 8-10 miles, 2 passes of 1,000', 1 pass of 1,300')
Day 6 : Dyrfjöll Mountains – Lake Lagarfljót
Today we’ll hike in the Dyrfjöll Mountains, a nice complement to the Borgarfjördur fjord. We’ll have a short transfer to our trailhead just below the majestic faces of the Dyrfjöll cliffs, reaching the Stórud (Big Rocky Ground), an enormous chaos of large boulders intersected by a glacial river. Between the gloomy rocks rest calm, turquoise basins of icy water surrounded by vivid green grasses. After enjoying the wonders of this spectacular setting, we’ll continue our hike along the foothills of the mountains, meeting up with our bus that will take us to Lake Lagarfljót and to the Hotel Hallormsstadur for our overnight.
Tonight’s accommodations are at the modern Hotel Hallormsstadur. Here you will have private guestrooms and bathroom facilities, as well as WiFi internet access! You will not need your sleeping bag on this night. (6 hours hiking ~ 8.5 miles ~ 2 passes of 300' and 1,000' each)
Day 7 : Lake Lagarfljót – Djúpivogur – and Beyond
From Lake Lagarfljót we’ll have a short transfer to the Hengifoss Waterfall, where we'll enjoy a short walk and picnic lunch before continuing south again.
From Hérað we drive over the Öxi pass down to Berufjörður fjord stopping shortly at the village of Djúpivogur for a short walk along this picturesque harbor before continuing west past the wide bays of Hamarsfjörður and Álftafjörður and the Lónsvík lagoon. The Lónsvík Lagoon is a gathering place for thousands of wild immature swans. Just 540 miles west of Scotland, the lagoon is a destination for many migratory birds.
After our walk, we'll continue on past the Lon Bays to our country inn. Today’s drive passes the Cape of Whales and the imposing glacial masses as the Vatnajökull ice cap flows down from the mountains. (2 hours hiking ~ 3 miles ~ 100’ ascent.)
Day 8 : Jökulsárlón Lagoon – Skaftafell National Park (aka Vatnajökull National Park)
Today we’ll drive along the south coast enjoying views of the immense Öræfajökull glacier as it crawls across black sand, dominating the Jökulsárlón lagoon, where a multitude of black and blue icebergs float. We’ll enjoy a 30-minute cruise out among the icebergs. Continuing westward, we’ll round the Öræfajökull glacier where the corner of the Ingófshöfði headlands is visible as it rises from the uncertain edge of sand and sea like a fata morgana. We’ll arrive in the Skaftafell National Park and the location of our walk today. Our short hike takes us to Svartifoss (The Black Waterfall), one of the most renowned waterfalls of Iceland, despite its small volume of water. The narrow strand of water framed with dark and long basaltic columns in the horse shoe shaped gorge is very impressive. Continuing west again, we’ll come to the endless Eldhraun lava field, covered with thick carpets of silvery moss. We’ll finish at our accommodation just outside of Vik. (1 hour easy hiking)
NOTE: Hikes may vary on this day, depending on weather, and the desires of the group. There are many options for very memorable hikes on this day!
Day 9 : Vik – Museum – Reykjavik
We’ll begin the day with a walk along the black sand beaches of Vik, then continue our journey northwest. We'll stop to visit the impressive 190-foot Skógafoss waterfall and the fascinating Skógar Museum, with its collections of handicrafts and on-site historical buildings. We’ll arrive in Reykjavik by the mid afternoon, giving you time to explore the city on your own before our farewell dinner in town. (1 hour walking ~ 1 – 2 miles ~ 500' elevation gain/loss ~ 3.5 hours driving)
Day 10 : Blue Lagoon – Departure
After breakfast, we’ll have time to do a little more shopping or exploring in Reykjavik. We’ll then depart Reykjavik together at 11:00 a.m., transferring 45 minutes south to the famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. Located in a lava field, the lagoon holds six million liters of geothermal seawater, which is renewed every 40 hours. Here, we’ll soak in the steamy mineral waters, or get a natural massage under the powerful waterfalls, before showering up and transferring back to the Keflavik International Airport (KEF) for our departure flights home. We’ll arrive at the airport at 3:00 p.m. Departure flights should be scheduled no earlier than 5:00 p.m. this evening.
DATES: Best time to go: June - August Departures: Jun 27, 2015 - Jul 6, 2015 Jul 11 - 20, 2015 Aug 1 - 10, 2015
Center Hotels PlazaReykjavik
The 180 well-appointed bedrooms are newly renovated and boast a bright modern décor with contemporary oak furnishings. Each room has its own free high speed internet connection, TV, shower, hairdryer, Tea & Coffee making facilities and much more. Situated in the city center of Reykjavik the Plaza creates the perfect setting for your stay in Iceland.
At this hut, there are 38 sleeping spaces in side-by-side bunk-style beds. There is a wood stove for heating, a gas stove for cooking, a flush toilet and token-operated shower, plus the option to camp. There is no telephone. The hut provides sleeping pads, but you should bring your own sleeping bag for this night. It will be transported for you each day. (Sleeping bags can also be rented from our partners in Iceland on request. Please make this request in advance.)
Húsavík Mountain HutHúsavík (House Bay)
At this hut, there are 33 sleeping spaces in side-by-side bunk-style beds. There is a wood stove for heating, a gas stove for cooking, a flush toilet and token-operated shower, plus the option to camp. There is no telephone. The hut provides sleeping pads, but you should bring your own sleeping bag for this night. It will be transported for you each day. (Sleeping bags can also be rented from our partners in Iceland on request. Please make this request in advance.)
Breiðavík HutBreidavík (Wide Bay)
At this hut, there are 33 sleeping spaces in side-by-side bunk-style beds. There is a wood stove for heating, a gas stove for cooking, a flush toilet (but no shower), plus the option to camp. There is no telephone. The hut provides sleeping pads, but you should bring your own sleeping bag for this night. It will be transported for you each day. (Sleeping bags can also be rented from our partners in Iceland on request. Please make this request in advance.)
Tonight’s accommodations are at a simple, friendly little guesthouse, with 4 guestrooms, each housing a bunk with upper twin and lower single, or double beds. There are shared bathroom facilities (1 WC and 2 showers). Beds are equipped with a blanket and pillows, so you do not need your sleeping bag on this night.
This hotel has 35 double bedrooms all with private bathroom.
Private guestrooms with private bathroom facilities. Internet access in lobby.
Hotel HöfðabrekkaRoad 1, East of Vík í Mýrdal
This hotel offers accommodation with 62 double rooms. All have private bathrooms and TV.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.
Pronounced “Danny,” Dagný is native to Iceland, and has been an active hiking guide for local Icelandic clubs and tour operators for many years, and has just recently started guiding for Mountain Travel Sobek. Dagný is a proud member of Icelandic Mountain Guides Association, a guiding organization with 15 years of experience in educating, entertaining and assuring the safety of travelers from the Greenland Icecap, to the summit of Antarctica and everywhere in between. With Dagný, you are not only in good hands, we believe you are in the best of hands. Not only does Dagný know a lot about Iceland, but she can tell you all about the elves that inhabit the very woods in which you will hike – ask her!
Helga Maria Heidarsdottir
Helga María has been an active guide in Iceland for local Icelandic clubs and tour operators, including the the Mountain Women of Iceland and 66°North. She is not the Head Guide for our partners in Iceland, the Icelandic Mountainguides. Helga María has just finished her first degree in Geography at the University of Iceland. Mother Nature is Helga María´s major inspiration. When she is not doing research out in the wild, she is either hiking, skiing, or running.