Trekking Iceland – Laugavegur Trail – Landmannalaugar to Hrafntinnusker

I was back on the #11 public bus to Landmannalauger at 8am, less than 12 hours after returning to Reykjavík.  Yes, it was a slightly crazy idea to do the Volcanic Trails trek and then the Laugavegur & Fimmvörðuháls trek (both with Icelandic Mountain Guides) back-to-back, but hey!  I’m making the most of my time in Iceland 🙂

Front of the No 11 bus to Landmannalaugar - Icelandic Highlands

The No. 11 bus to Landmannalaugar

Unlike yesterday and the day I arrived at Landmannalauger for the first time, the weather was actually pretty good!  Well, at least it wasn’t raining … which left plenty of room for our group of 16 and the other group of 16 that was doing the 5-day Laugavegur Trek with Icelandic Mountain Guides to eat our lunch in the communal tent.

Communal tent at Landmannalaugar - Icelandic Highlands

We even had time for a dip in the hot springs, though only a few (not me!) decided to go in.

People soaking in the hot spring at Landmannalaugar - Icelandic Highlands

The hot spring at Landmannalaugar

Then, at 2pm, it was time to shoulder our day-packs (the rest of our luggage would be transferred for us from hut to hut) and head up the hill at the start of the Laugavegur Trail – Iceland’s most famous multi-day hike.

View of Landmannalaugar - Icelandic Highlands

View of Landmannalaugar from the start of the Laugavegur Trail – Icelandic Highlands

The views were immediately stunning as our guide, Sigþór (pronounced more-or-less as sig-thor), led us through the Laugahraun lava field 

Views of the Laugahraun lava field - Laugavegur Trail - Icelandic Highlands

The Laugahraun lava field is amazing to experience

and past the first of many colourful rhyolite hills.

Colorful rhyolite hills that are typical of the start of the Laugavegur Trail - Icelandic Highlands

Rhyolite hills are always so full of colour. Look for the three hikers in the image for scale. Can you see them?

At the top of the first rise, Sigþór stopped and started drawing what seemed to be a very abstract shape in the dirt.  It turned out, it was a map of Iceland with its 3 main glaciers (ahhhhh!) and he used it to explain a little about the geological formation of Iceland and where we would be trekking over the next 7 days.

Sigthor talking about Iceland on the Laugavegur Trail - Icelandic Highlands

Believe it or not, that is a map of Iceland!

With that information under our belts, we continued our journey though this impossibly coloured and beautiful landscape

Trekking through Colorful rhyolite hills - Laugavegur Trail - Icelandic Highlands

Amazing colours!

before arriving at Stórihver with its violently steaming vents 

and hot springs.  

storihver thermal vents - Laugahraun lava field - Laugavegur Trail - Icelandic Highlands

Hiking through the Stórihver thermal region on Day 1 of the Laugavegur Trail

From there, the trail climbed again to a stark plateau with amazing views of a glacier and the coolest patterns ever in the snow

Stark and barren hills - Laugavegur Trail - Icelandic Highlands

I absolutely loved the patterns made between the snow and brown hills. Note the glacier in the background of the top image

before delivering us to our hut for the night at Hrafntinnusker. 

Arriving at Hrafntinnusker Hut - Laugavegur Trail - Icelandic Highlands

Arriving at Hrafntinnusker Hut

Here, we continued to get to know one another by tucking into chocolate, biscuits, tea and coffee while Sigþór and Þorbjörg (my guide from the “In the Shadow of Vatnajökull” trek in East Iceland, and who was leading the group doing the 5-day trek) cooked us a fabulous meal of fish, rice, salad and blue cheese sauce 🤤  The meals on any Icelandic Mountain Guides trek are awesome, and it looks like we have a great fun group for this trek!

Dinner at Hrafntinnusker Hut - Laugavegur Trail - Icelandic Highlands

Serving up a masterpiece at Hrafntinnusker Hut

It was such a relief that the weather today was an infinite improvement over that of yesterday, and that I could actually enjoy this gorgeous start to the Laugavegur Trail rather than ploughing forward into a strong and biting wind with my head down.  What a difference 12 hours makes!

Trekking Information

Distance = 9.77km

Time taken = 3hr 57min

Map

Basic Map of hike from Landmannalaugar to Hrafntinnusker - Laugavegur Fimmvörðuháls Combo Trek - from Strava

Altitude Profile

Altitude profile of hike from Landmannalaugar to Hrafntinnusker - Laugavegur Fimmvörðuháls Combo Trek - from Strava

Read more about hiking the Laugavegur Trail

If this post has piqued your curiosity, read about the rest of the 7-day Laugavegur & Fimmvörðuháls Combo Tour with Icelandic Mountain Guides

Alternatively, check out my other posts about hiking and trekking in Iceland and around the world.