Highland Hikers Passport

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Passport Details

The Highland Hikers Passport is ideal for those that plan to hike the Laugavegur or Fimmvörðuháls hike, Iceland’s most popular hiking trails. Here you can find information about the trails, accommodation and necessary equipment.

You get transfers with our scheduled bus from Reykjavik to where you are beginning your hike and back from the end point. You can take all the time you need for your hike as long as you are with in operation period.

Schedules that are relevant to this passport are: South Coast bus, Landmannalaugar Bus and Þórsmörk

The Higland Hikers Passport is valid from June 20th to September 09th for transfer to the beginning of your hike and back from the end point. (2 transfers –  choice between 3 routes). Please note that September 9th is the last day of operations!

Time Table

Hiking in the Icelandic Highlands

The Highland hikers bus pass takes you to the start of Iceland’s most popular hiking trails, the Laugavegur trail and or the Fimmvörðuháls trail. Laugavegur is a 4 to 5 days’ hike through spectacular landscapes. The starting point is usually at Landmannalaugar and the end at Þórsmörk but can also be done vice-versa. Even though the trail is not considered to be too difficult, hikers must be physically fit and have experience in hiking. On the way, hikers must wade several un-bridged rivers and early in the season you can expect some snow on the trail and, when it melts, a mud and water. All destinations offer overnight stay in huts and camping sites but accommodation in huts must always be booked in advance.

Typical itinerary for the classic trails (2 – 5 day hike)

Laugavegur: First day from Reykjavík (or Hella) bus 13 to Landmannalaugar. Arrival in Landmannalaugar around 11:30. You can either spend the day exploring the beautiful landscapes of this area and take a bath in the geothermal river or start your Laugarvegur hike at noon.

Day 1 or 2 Landmannalaugar-Hrafntinnusker or Álftavatn – The distance between Landmannalaugar and Hrafntinnusker is around 12 km or 4 – 5 hours’ hike with elevation increase of 470 meters. The next part of the trail is between Hrafntinnusker and Álftavatn is relatively easy, 12 km long with elevation decrease of nearly 500 m.

 Day 2 or 3 Álftavatn – Emstrur – The distance between Álftavatn and Emstrur is 15 km. This is an easy day with 6-7 hours´ hike with elevation decrease of 40 m.

Day 3 or 4 Emstrur – Þórsmörk – The trail between Emstrur and Þórsmörk is 15 km long with 6-7 hours´ walking time and elevation decrease of 300 m.

Day 4 or 5 Reykjavík or onwards to next hike – From Þórsmörk you can either continue the hike over Fimmvörðuháls or hop on the bus back to Reykjavík or Hella.

Typical itinerary for the Fimmvörðuháls trail (1– 2 day hike)

Fimmvörðuháls is a trail through a mountain pass from Þórmörk to Skógar, or from Skógar to Þórmörk, between the glaciers “Eyjafjallajökull” and “Mýrdalsjökull”. Mid way is a hut where you can stay overnight or head on to Skógar/Þórsmörk.

This trail is more difficult than Laugavegur due to elevation changes. Chances of fog are very high but the trail is marked and we strongly recommend that you follow the marked trail. The hiking period is from the middle of June to end of September. In June and sometimes in the beginning of July you may expect snow.

Accommodation

On the classic hiking trails, such as the Laugarvegur and Fimmvörðuháls trail you can either stay in a hut or in your tent at campsites. The huts only offer dormitories with single and twin bunk beds so you must share a room with other travelers. There are no restaurants or shops in the highlands except in Landmannalaugar and Þórsmörk, so you must bring your own food for the hike. Electricity is limited at the huts since it is located far and away from everything. So, charging phones and other devices costs extra. We recommend that you bring a portable charging device. Showers are provided at all the huts except at Hrafntinnusker on Laugavegur trail.  Fee for facilities is 500 ISK and you need to bring coins (no cards).

Necessary Equipment

  • Sleeping bag & if you are camping, bring a lightweight tent, mattress and a primus
  • GPS device and a torch for safety
  • Warm wool underwear and a fleece jacket
  • Water & wind proof Gore-Tex jacket and trousers
  • Hiking shoes (preferably used) & warm walking socks
  • Gloves & a cap
  • Light shoes/trainers & walking sticks for crossing the rivers
  • Swimsuit and a towel
  • Sunglasses & sun protection
  • Plaster & ointment for blisters

Photos taken on the highland hiking trails