Trekking in Iceland
Iceland is one of those rare places on Earth that feels more science-fiction than fact, even when you’re actually there. Gushing geysers, bubbling hot springs, mammoth volcanoes, and acres of polar ice lend this laidback island nation a palpable otherworldly allure. Any adventure will bring you into close contact with the land, hiking glaciers, scaling volcanic craters, and learning the colourful lore from your expert guides. There’s no spacesuit required for this out-of-this-world experience; just healthy legs and a wide-open heart.
South Iceland trekking. Mountain camping and hiking along the Laugavagur Trail. Glacier walking. Golden Circle visit including Thingvellir National Park and Gullfoss Waterfall. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Explore the ever-changing geographical wonderland of Iceland, trek along the sides of volcanoes and across a frozen glacier, camp behind the mountains amongst a secluded campsite along the Laugavagur Trail
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1. It is important to note that in Europe, all guiding is based around local guides all of whom are licensed to work only in a particular city. As such, our leaders are able to provide orientation walks which will show you the layout of each town and city as well as the location of local services such as post offices and laundromats, but are unable to legally share historical facts and figures in public places.
2. In Europe it is very rare to find elevators in train stations, hotels or other public places. We use public transport on this trip, which means you will need to carry your luggage from platform to platform, in and out of trains and buses etc. and also possibly up several flights of stairs. You will also need to be able to stow your luggage safely on trains and buses. It is therefore essential that you pack light and bring luggage which is compact and lightweight, and which you can easily transport.
Group Leader Description
This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.
Group Size Notes
Max 14, Avg 10
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Local bus, private minivan, walking
About our Transportation
While trekking the majority of your luggage will be transported via vehicle to your next destination.
If required all local flights are included in the cost of your tours unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hostels (2 nts, multi-share), participation camping (5 nts)
Camping in Iceland is truly an adventure, taking you off the beaten track to get a first-hand experience of the beautiful wilderness and nature. While camping, we stay at designated campsites along the trek route. There are generally small restaurants and/or bars, washing facilities and occasionally telephones available. The campsites have basic facilities such as toilets, showers, and drinking water. For the group, there is a big dining tent and sometimes an extra cooking tent. On the first day, you will be guided through setting up your personal tents, which should be easy to manage for the rest of the nights. As part of the experience, you may be required to help with cooking dinner/washing up.
If you intend to use the showers or charge your electronics you will need to bring some coins with you. There are showers at all the campsites, however they cost 500 ISK for 5 minutes, payable only in coins. Bear in mind that early and late season tours may not have the luxury of showers or flush-toilets due to ground frost. The wardens can often charge some of your electronics for a fee of 500 ISK (The electrical current is 220V AC 50Hz. Most plugs are of the European two-pin type).
All of the campsites we use are equipped with western flush-toilets. Along the trail, we pass through two other campsites with similar toilet facilities, on the first and second days. During the early and late season trips, these plumbing facilities may be out of order due to ground frost, in which case, the replacement will be to use outhouses. Between campsites, the “call of nature” can be answered according to the leave-no-trace rules of wilderness travel. Toilet paper must be buried, burned, or carried out.
Hlemmur Square Hostel
+354 415 1600
Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day. Upon arrival to Reykjavik on day 1, please be sure to make your way to the starting point office at the address below:
Address: Laugavegur 11, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Phone: +354 562 7000
The office hours are 8am – 10pm. Once there, you can discuss trip details and itinerary as well as book optional activities with our local G Adventures Representatives. After you have stopped by the local office, you can then proceed to your hotel.
GETTING TO Hlemmur Square Hostel:
From Keflavík International Airport:
Upon exiting the airport, there are shuttle bus services such as the Flybus which cost around 2500ISK. The bus will drop you off anywhere in Reykjavik. A shuttle or a taxi can also be arranged prior to your visit by letting the booking department know of your needs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Operator (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office, London, UK
After hours emergency number: +44 7817 262559
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
Finishing Point Instructions
Reykjavik airport is well connected to major international airports around the world.
What to Take
Our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We highly recommend using a backpack, sports bag or soft compact suitcase, whichever you find easiest to carry, plus a small daypack.
The landscape of Iceland is unique and unlike most things you’ve seen. So is the weather. It is unpredictable and changeable, so be prepared to experience a variety of conditions during your time in Iceland. It’s not uncommon to experience rain, sun wind and snow all in the same visit, so please pack accordingly. An Icelandic summer is also not what most people consider as summer temperature and in the highlands it can get quite cold. Warm clothes and a warm sleeping bag are essential. When packing your gear, the best clothing for trekking is either wool or synthetic materials, as this is quick-drying and can keep heat in better. The optimum clothing for trekking is layering, as it allows for easy temperature regulation as you ascend or descend. We suggest a base-layer, then a mid-layer such as a sweater, followed by a fleece jacket or similar, then a windproof and waterproof jacket. For your bottom half, thermal underwear, hiking pants then windproof and waterproof layers are recommended.
Pocket hand warmers (for winters)
Hand sanitizing lotion
First-aid kit (should contain Blister plasters/ prevention, lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking).
wet wipes for cleaning can be purchased in Reykjavik.
Protein bars, chocolate, dried fruits, candies and snack foods.
Travel documents: passport, visa, travel insurance, air tickets, voucher
Health requirements arranged
Money: cash/credit card
Swiss army knife
Whistle to attract attention in the event of an emergency.
Spare Boot Laces
Sleeping Bag/Sleep sheet – Four season bag/below zero is recommended
Day pack to carry your personal needs during the day
Alarm clock and torch/flashlight – headlamp style is ideal
Insect repellent, sunscreen and lip balm
Ear plugs & eye mask can assist light sleepers
Refillable water bottle – Min 1 Litre Aluminium or Nalgene polypropylene are best
Hat – Beanie with ear flaps.
Cap- peaked ‘French Legionnnaires’ style that will keep neck protected.
Gloves – wool or fleece and gore tex
Bag Liners or dry bags to waterproof your bags
Wind/waterproof/ Breathable Jacket & Pants – essential.
Waterproof hiking boots (worn frequently prior to departure to ensure comfort. Waterproof for river crossings)
Hiking poles (optional, but highly recommended)
Socks: thick wool blend and thin socks to be worn in combination – ensure boots fit such combination.
River Crossing Shoes- Tevas, Running shoes.
Wool jumper / sweater / fleece.
T Shirts 2 or 3 (wool or synthetic. Cotton takes longer to dry and is less practical)
Shirt – Long Sleeved
Pants – lightweight long trousers (wool or synthetic. Jeans are unsuitable for hiking)
Thermals upper and lower (wool or synthetic)
Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.
All visitors to the EU (European Union) and EEC (European Economic Community) countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand passport holders do not need a visa to visit the Schengen area (see below), however they may not stay longer than three months in any 6-month period.
For other nationalities, travelling in Europe has been simplified with the introduction of the Schengen visa. As a visitor to the Schengen area (Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Portugal, Finland, Italy, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland) you will enjoy the many advantages of this unified visa system. Generally speaking with a Schengen visa, you may enter one Schengen country and travel freely throughout the Schengen region during the validity of your visa. There are limited border controls at Schengen borders, if any at all.
Please note that the UK and Ireland are NOT part of the Schengen agreement.
A Schengen visa is applied for at the Embassy or Consulate of the Schengen country in which you will be spending the most nights on your trip to the Schengen space. If you are only visiting one country on your trip then you apply for your visa at the Consulate of this Schengen country.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The unit of currency in Iceland is the Krona.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. Visa cards are the most widely accepted credit cards. While ATMs are commonly available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Iceland – check with your bank. You should be aware when purchasing products or services on a credit card, that a fee usually applies.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of Krona and cards is best.
Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Tipping in Iceland is not customary. In many cases, a service charge is added to the bill which means that it is not necessary to add a tip. That being said, if you wish to express your satisfaction with the service in a bar or restaurant, then a gratuity of 10% or to round up the amount of the bill is perfectly acceptable. Tipping is not considered to be rude, it’s simply not all that common.
Tipping during the tour program is similarly not expected, but it can be a way to express satisfaction with the persons who have assisted on your tour. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from the equivalent of €3-5 per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline the equivalent of €20-25 per person, per week can be used.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings in this dossier for trip specific information. For travellers over 70 years a completed Medical Form is required. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org
Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our G Adventures for Good projects.
To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)
Travel Forum - The Watering Hole
Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you’re interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.
Max 14, avg 12
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local glacier guide/driver.
Allow USD130-170 for meals not included.
7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners
PRODUCT_LINE: ELST, ID: 23683
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.
Day 1 Reykjavík
Arrive at any time.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Reykjavík/Landmannalaugar (1B, 1L, 1D)
Transfer from Reykjavik east along the tabletop mountains of the Esja and down to Lake Thingvallavatn. Here stop to visit the National Park Thingvellir to see one of only two tectonic rift valleys in the worlds, created as the continental plates of America and Europe slowly drift apart.
From Thingvellir, head over Geysir hot springs. Just 10km up the road is Gullfoss waterfall where the group will stop to view the spectacular 32 meter high cascade. Grab some lunch at the local cafe before saying goodbye to civilization and heading into the highlands.
The route through the highlands is a remote road that passes by Mt. Hekla. Often shrouded in cloud, this volcano was once believed to be the entrance to hell by early Icelanders. The road gets progressively more rocky as it climbs up to Landmannalaugar, the campsite for the night. At Landmannalaugar, there are hot springs and bathroom facilities to make the camping experience more comfortable. As this is the first night of camping, you will get a lesson in how to put up your tent as practise for the rest of the week.
Thingvellir National Park Visit
Gullfoss Waterfall Visit
Day 3 Landmannalaugar/Álftavatn (1B, 1L, 1D)
Pass rivers and streams while hiking from Landmannalaugar through the mountains to Lake Alftavatn. Follow the Laugavegur Trail, one of Iceland’s most famous hiking routes.
Laugavegur Trail Trek
Day 4 Álftavatn/Emstrur (1B, 1L, 1D)
Continue to follow the route of the Laugavagur Trail, hiking from Alftavatn to Emstrur.
Laugavegur Trail Trek
Day 5 Emstrur/Þórsmörk (1B, 1L, 1D)
Trek from Emstrur to Þórsmörk, crossing rivers and fields of flowers.
Laugavegur Trail Trek
Day 6 Þórsmörk (1B, 1L, 1D)
Spend the day around the campsite at Þórsmörk. There are a variety of hikes available here, including the chance to hike through volcano alley, that winds through the mountains with spectacular views across the glaciers. Depending on the feelings of the group, alternatives could include Mt. Valahnúkur, right at the heart of the Þórsmörk valley. Depending on the conditions at the time and what the group wants to do, this can be decided at the time.
Þórsmörk Volcano Alley Hike
Day 7 Þórsmörk/Reykjavík (1B, 1L)
Visit the frozen glacial tongue of Sólheimajökull. Along the way the group will find an ice wall on the glacier and try climbing.
Sólheimajökull Glacier Ice Hiking
Skógafoss Waterfall Visit
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s), 160km)
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s), 59km)
Day 8 Reykjavík (1B)
Depart at any time.