NatGeo honours Icelandic hiking trail


Landmannalaugar. Photo: Brynjar Gauti

Charles Gittins
Charles Gittins

The Laugarvegur/Fimmvörðuháls hiking trail in South Iceland is one of the world’s Top 20 hikes, according to National Geographic .

The Icelandic trail is just one of two European hikes to make it into the Top 20 list of ‘dream trails’. Half of the Top 20 are in Canada or the US, with the other half shared more or less equally between Africa, Asia, Australasia, Central & South America, and Europe.


Þórsmörk. Photo: Ragnar Axelsson

The Laugarvegur trail takes hikers from inland Landmannalaugar south to Þórsmörk, believed to be the inspiration for J.R.R Tolkien’s descriptions of Middle Earth.

From there, the Fimmvörðuháls trail leads between the Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull ice caps all the way south to the Skógafoss waterfall.

The famous Eyjafjallajökull eruption began as as eruption in Fimmvörðuháls.

The famous Eyjafjallajökull eruption began as as eruption in Fimmvörðuháls. Photo: Ragnar Axelsson

National Geographic reviewer Jennifer Pharr Davis describes the trail as “stunning in every respect” and as offering “more variety in 50 miles than most trails offer in 500”.

“Few hikes offer the pure wilderness experience of Laugavegurinn, which wanders through otherworldly volcanic landscapes, paired with stays at comfy huts each night,” writes Pharr Davis. “In between, there are steaming fumaroles, expanses of lichen-covered volcanic rocks, and stunning views of copper-colored rhyolite peaks.”


Skógafoss. Photo: Ómar Óskarsson


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