Fimmvörðuháls Hike: Cherish The Enchanting Mountains
4 minute read30 Apr 2019
Even if you are an ardent hiker who has seen many gorgeous hiking trails before, Fimmvörðuháls will be one of the closest to your heart for the raw beauty and the unique experience it gives you. It is a mountain pass between two glaciers in the South of Iceland called Mýrdalsjökull Glacier and Eyjafjallajökull Glacier that erupted in 2010, forming new craters. Taking a hiking trip over this pass has gained quite a bit of popularity over the years. Hiking over the pass has been popular for years. The reason why this hiking trail is so famous despite the high level of difficulty is the magnificent vistas that surround it all the way. There are many waterfalls, green fields of moss, lava fields, glaciers, mountains, lush valleys and interesting flora and fauna that will keep you hooked all along the trail.
The trail stretches across 22 kilometres with a total elevation of about 3000 feet. You have the choice of either doing the entire trail in one day or splitting it into two and staying overnight in a lodge midway. Next, you have to decide on the trail you want to take. You can either start from Skógar near the South Coast and finish in Þórsmörk or do it the other way round.
If you are a fan of waterfalls, then the first part of the trail along the Skógá river is going to wow you. There are as many as twenty-six waterfalls of all sizes dotted in the area. Even the popular Skógafoss waterfall runs from the river. You can then move on from there to a more desolated area that will take you to the pass between the two glaciers. Here is where you can spot the new craters Magni (Magnificent) and Móði (Steamy) and lava created in the Eyjafjallajökull eruption. The heat from the lava and the steam is quite evident even now. Along the way, you come across rocky landscape, lava-filled terrains, steep hills and the best that nature has to offer. Once you reach the highest point of the hike, the scenery is out of the world and panoramic. It will leave you flabbergasted and in a complete trance with nothing but admiration for the might of mother nature.
What to carry?
Always be very wise and vigilant when you are packing for the Fimmvörðuháls hike. Do not be fooled by the season during which you are visiting, that is in the middle of summer. The weather in Iceland is totally different when you are high up in the mountains. In June, you can expect knee-high snow on this trail, forcing even the experienced hikers to give up. Having said that, the other side of the trail is quite a fun challenge. You should always wear warm clothes as the temperature in the interiors is much lower than in the cities. Bring sets of layered clothing with you along with some woolen inners and a fleece mid-layer. We cannot emphasize enough on the importance of a windproof jacket. The cold in Iceland is nothing like the cold in rest of the countries and it gets worse in the interiors so don’t underestimate its weather. Also take along a good pair of gloves and some shawls. They won’t take up much space or add too much weight to your baggage.
You can bring a hiking stick and a good-quality backpack, one that supports your back as well as an ankle-length hiking shoes to ensure that your feet do not strain themselves too much from the excessive walking. You will not find any food in this trail so be sure to pack some eatables and snacks in case you get hungry along the way. Carry a reusable water bottle that you can refill along the way. It is best to stock up on provisions in Reykjavik.
Another very important thing to remember is that you can get lost in the trail and you need to find your way back. To do so, download the app called Pocket Earth that helps access your GPS on your phone even when you are offline. Additionally, also get the 112 Emergency App to call for help in case of an emergency.
Best time to visit:
Fimmvörðuháls is only open in the summer months, from late-June to mid-September. The winters are very extreme and harsh, posing many dangers to hikers. Hence, it remains closed. The temperatures in the beginning of your trek can be quite warm as you are closer to the sea level but as you go deep into the hiking trail, the temperature even in summer will be around 5°C.
Why Iceland by Bus?
With Iceland by Bus, you can plan a self-guided tour to one of the most challenging hiking trails in Iceland. When you get a bus passport from IBB, you can get a bus transfer from Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík to one of two the hiking bases, Skógar or Þórmörk. The perks of having an IBB bus passport is that you can take as much time as you like to hike along the trail within the bus operation time from June 15th to September 15th. Once you are done with your hike, you can take the bus back from the end of your hike to Reykjavik. Fimmvörðuháls is a hike that you must definitely not miss as an ardent hiker and it opens to the public in just a couple of months! So, get ready to experience Iceland in its purest form and we’ll help you get to the base with our bus passports. You can even consider spending a few extra days in Þórmörk to appreciate the beautiful region. Get yours here NOW and get ready to have the ultimate hike of your life!