The Laugavegurinn Trail - Icelandic Glory

One third of the way up the ascent from Landmannalaugar to Hrafntinnusker on the first day of the Laugavegur trail. Shot by James Monk  

One third of the way up the ascent from Landmannalaugar to Hrafntinnusker on the first day of the Laugavegur trail. Shot by James Monk

 

Surfacing over the Internet; Dreamy photos of Icelandic backcountry. Most of the jaw-dropping photos had us second guessing if they were in fact photos or very convincing watercolour depictions. Iceland's most popular hiking trail - Laugavegurinn Trail - offers an endless variety of this pristine, surreal landscape: mountains in every colour of the rainbow, challenging your perception of what's real in front of your very eyes. On top of that, the landscape is dotted with endless glaciers, roaring hot springs, turquoise rivers and winding lakes. 

Misty mountains by Steve Lagreca

Misty mountains by Steve Lagreca

On average the hike lasts four days, spanning just over 53km with the starting point at Landmannalaugar. Limited accommodations are offered in huts along the track (reservations are necessary) or on the campsites located at the huts. Wild camping is not allowed within the nature reserves and not recommended in the surrounding areas. Though 53km sounds daunting, it is a popular trail for many different fitness levels. 

That being said, the route is not for the faint hearted. The trek is, at points, physically demanding; the overall difficulty depending greatly on the weather conditions. Due to its location in the southern highlands, Laugavegurinn is serviced only a few months a year. The huts usually open around June 25th and close in the beginning of September. Weather and snow melt can change these tentative dates.  

The base camp has a hot spring river you could soak in, and the view isn't half bad. If a rugged backcountry trek isn't your thing, you will find about 6 huts along the trail, equipped with beds, full service bathrooms (including showers), running water and kitchen facilities. These 53km definitely make the bucket list.