In the short Icelandic summer, this path is gone by many people. In the small huts it can be pretty cramped in the evenings. Though you should make reservations in advance. With an own tent you are much more independent and there will always be a place to camp around the cabins.
The Laugavegur and the way across the Fimmvörðuháls are well marked with wooden stakes and is easy to recognize. Nevertheless, each hiker must be proficient with map, compass and GPS, because bad weather conditions (snow, storms, fog) can complicate the orientation. This is particularly true on the section across Fimmvörðuháls and on Hrafntinnusker due to the altitude (1000 m above sea level.)
The technically most difficult part of the tour is the descent from the Fimmvörðuháls down to Þórsmörk. The path on the Heljarkambur (Hell Ridge) leading to the plateau of Mórinsheiði is very exposed. There is also a rope at this point. Farther down follows the Kattahryggur (cat's arched back). The few meters of this exposed ridge must be overcome without any ropes.
In both places caution is highly recommended especially in strong winds because you can quickly get out of balance with heavy luggage!
During the course of the tour, there are several rivers that must be waded, because there are often no bridges. However, the fords along the way are relatively moderate and not particularly deep nor particularly fast flowing. For Iceland newcomers with little trekking experience the fords are still a challenge. And of course the water level of inconspicuous rivers can rise quickly in heavy rain and thaw. In such circumstances some fords on Laugavegur can be dangerous (for example the river Þröngá approx. 1 hour north of Þórsmörk).
Safety informationOn Iceland the time for hiking tours is only the short summer season.
You have to be equipped for the typical Icelandic weather conditions. Especially severe storms, wet weather and cold temperatures have to be expected. Due to very bad weather conditions the daily progress can be prevented. Thus, you should prepare for at least one additonal day.
In spite of the good infrastructure (by Icelandic standards) with signposts and huts the tour can not be underestimated in any case. Every year tourists need to be brought to safety by rescue teams because of inadequate equipment and insufficient experience.
Tips, hints and linksInteresting Content about hiking in Iceland (german):
Skógar is located at the ring road and can be easily reached by car from Reykjavik as well as from Egilstaðir.
Parking at Skógafoss.
Book recommendation by the author
Author’s map recommendations
Book recommendations for this region:
EquipmentTypical trekking gear for multi-day tours in Northern Ireland.
Of particular importance are:
- absolutely storm proof tent
- warm and waterproof clothing from head to toe
- navigation tools (map, GPS, compass)