Iceland Trek with International Mountain Guides
Iceland is a beautiful country and IMG is excited to run this new trek for you in 2019! Leading our Iceland Trek will be IMG Senior Guide Craig John, a veteran of IMG programs all over the world. Craig visited Iceland last year on our reconnaissance trek program, and he is looking forward to returning!
We have designed our program to see the various sights of Reykjavík, as well as 9 days of real hut to hut trekking through some of the world's wildest volcanic landscapes. This trek has everything EXCEPT high altitude! Prepare yourself for a huge variety of terrain and weather.
For each day of the trek, you will only need to carry your day pack, as your duffel bag will be transported ahead to the next hut. The huts are designed for hikers to use their sleeping bags in them and have stoves for heating. It's nice to know that you'll have a nice hut waiting for you each evening to warm up and dry out in, if the event that the weather outside is inclement. July is the best time of the year to visit, but for the Iceland weather, we've come to know that you must hope for the best and plan for the worst!
Please read the rest of the trip information and let us know if you have any questions. We are excited to get to Iceland and look forward to working with you on this great trip next July!
Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland and the world's most northerly capital, is the heart of Iceland's cultural, economic and governmental activity. Established as the first Icelandic settlement in 870 AD, Reykjavík has gone through many changes in its long and storied existence. It's home to the National and Saga museums, tracing Iceland's Viking history. It is also renowned for the late-night clubs and bars in its compact center. The striking concrete Hallgrímskirkja church and rotating Perlan glass dome offer sweeping views of the sea and nearby hills. Harpa, a modern glass honeycomb is worth visiting, it's a concert hall and a conference center and the home to national opera and symphony.
Reykjavík Landmannalaugar Ljótipollur
This morning we get onto a private bus that takes us to the southern highlands and the magical oasis Landmannalaugar. After settling in at the hut we head out for a walk to the Ljótipollur crater in these stunning surroundings.
Today we explore the area further and head out for a walk onto the Suðurnámur. Return to the hut for the night.
After breakfast we set out for the trek south to Skógar. The trail takes us past small gorges, steaming hot springs and yellow mountain ridges.
From Hrafntinnusker we descend down in the gullies of Jökultungur with hundreds of steaming hot springs and mud pools. Up there we enjoy fascinating views to the south to the álftavatn area (Swan Lake), and the Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers. In the afternoon we arrive at Álftavatn hut where we stay the night.
We pass at the foot of the green conic volcano of Stórasúla before entering the black deserts of Mælifellssandur. Heading towards another ancient and verdurous volcano, the Hattfell, we enter the Emstrur region where farmers used to graze their sheep in summer. Before arriving at the Botnar hut where we stay the night, we visit the magnificent Markarfljót canyon cut almost 200m down into the rocks south of Hattfell.
We continue up and down through the small valleys and gullies of Emstrur, where the great Mýrdalsjökull glacier rises only a couple of kilometers away. At the end of the day the vegetation starts to grow thicker and higher as we descend in to Thórsmörk's (the woods of Thor) green valleys filled with arctic birch forests and colorful flowers. Night in one of the huts in Thórsmörk.
Thórsmörk Day Hike
Thórsmörk Glacier Valley is a natural oasis that lies just behind the now famous Eyjafjallajökull volcano. The recent eruptions have altered the appearance of the landscape but at the same time created a unique opportunity to witness how the elements of ice and fire constantly shape and reshape the surface of our planet. Only accessible by 4x4 vehicles, a tour into Thórsmörk is truly an experience of nature. It is a valley, full of geological wonders and unique vistas that Icelandic nature lovers have enjoyed for centuries.
We set out for the pass of Fimmvörðuhál, walking along the Kattarhryggir ridges with views to the impressive mountain of útigönguhöfði up to Morinsheiði heath. At the end of the Morinsheiði plateu we enjoy the view of the lava stream that flowed down from the Fimmvörðuháls volcano in March and early April 2010. The lava is all set with different outlets of fuming steam and decorated with green and yellow sulphur. As we gain height above Morinsheiði we come again to the lava and then to the two craters Magni and Móði that erupted prior to the main Eyjafjallajökull crater. We cross the brand new lava just at the foot of the magnificent red craters, through places where the lava is almost glowing warm inside the fissures and cracks on its surface. After safely crossing the lava, we get a view of the lava and the craters from a hill on the other side, before crossing the néves of the high pass of Fimmvörðuháls, to get to the hut between the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull, where we set up for the night. Transport of luggage to Skógar. Because of difficult access to the hut for vehicles, we will send our extra luggage back to Reykjavik. Food and sleeping bags/blankets have been stored in the Fimmvörðuháls hut so we only need to carry our sleeping bag liner and toiletries for the night and a little bit of fresh food.
Fimmvörðuháls Skógar Reykjavík
After a night between the two glaciers we head down to Skógar. At the beginning, the path takes us over a desolate heath past an old hut that does not offer much shelter any more. We come to the Skógaá River and follow the river exploring its many hidden gorges, and waterfalls all the way to the famous Skógafoss waterfall. The river and its surroundings offer great scenery. The coast seems to be within arm's reach and you can almost feel the surf on your cheeks. Arriving at Skógafoss, we get onto a private bus taking us to Reykjavík.