Hidden Trails is a journey through forgotten places in the Icelandic Highlands. Far from the crowds and common routes, we’ll explore over 150km (+93 mi) of offbeat trails that connect every corner of the landscape. As we move unencumbered through secret valleys, in addition to crossing black lava fields, and traversing multi-colored rhyolite mountains, the world utterly changes with each passing mile. Moreover, we’ll venture beside glacial-fed rivers that snake along underground highways of natural hot springs. Join a small group with one of our specialized guides to discover the most remote areas of Iceland & the unknown trails hidden for the regular tourists.
This 12 day trek will lead you through a deeper, more profound experience of the Highlands. Moreover, you’ll witness a kaleidoscope of colors you’d never dream exist in the natural world. Additionally, you’ll encounter geological wonders that challenge your perception of reality. Furthermore, we’ll finish the trip with the most beautiful section of the famous Laugavegur Trail—all while staying in remote mountain huts.
Beyond the iconic Laugavegurinn lies a realm of untamed beauty waiting to be discovered. Furthermore, as adventurous souls venture further into the Icelandic wilderness, they are rewarded with breathtaking vistas of rugged volcanic cliffs, raw mossy fields, and pristine secluded lakes.
Where vast expanses of untouched landscapes beckon intrepid hikers to forge their own path.
Make Lifelong Connections
Join a group of 7-12 adventure seekers with whom you will share a trip of a lifetime.
In the untamed expanse of the Icelandic Highlands during summer, backpackers face challenging weather conditions that demand resilience. Additionally, as you navigate treacherous paths, ford glacial rivers, shelter from the elements, and share moments of endurance and triumph, the shared
experience bonds teammates together, creating an unbreakable connection that lasts far beyond the journey’s end.
Embark on an adventure through black sand deserts, traverse majestic rhyolite mountains, and indulge in the bliss of natural hot springs.
SECLUDED MOUNTAIN HUTS
During the initial night, the group will be accommodated in 4-6 people rooms with bunk beds. Throughout the following days in the Highlands, we will be staying in mountain huts, where basic accommodations with spacious bedrooms will be shared among all guests. Moreover, during our stay, our guide will take charge of cooking and preparing breakfast and dinner each day.
In the evenings, we will gather around the stove for engaging night briefings, captivating storytelling sessions, and enjoyable games. Within this setting, it will be a cozy and communal atmosphere where we can come together and make lasting memories.
We begin our journey in Reykjavík—Iceland’s capital and largest city. Your guides will meet you and the rest of the group at BSÍ, Reykjavík’s Central Bus Station with transportation to our first accommodation in the south coast of Iceland.
We’ll set out with our 4×4 modified vehicle into the heart of the Icelandic Highlands, beginning our journey in Landmannalaugar. We’ll spend 2 days unlocking the secrets of these mountains. At the end of each day, soak in the mineral therapy of a natural hot spring.
Transfer from Landmannalaugar to Langisjór on our 4WD vehicle. Here we’ll spend the day hiking the Fögrufjöll mountains to Langisjór Lake. Langisjór is one of the largest natural lakes in Iceland, and yet remained a mystery until the mid-19th century as people rarely traveled this far inland until more recent years. We’ll hike along rarely-used footpaths trailing a great length of “the long sea”.
Poised on the banks of the Skaftá river, Skælingar is a place that will challenge your imagination. We’ll make our way through the narrow Hvanngil canyon, along a black-ish stream tainted with volcanic sediment, until we reach the base of the impressive three-peaked mountain. Continue through a volcanic canyon before reaching the hills that will lead the group to tonight’s hut.
After breakfast, we’ll begin our hike to Eldgjá—the “Fire Canyon”. Spanning a whooping 75km stretch of the country, Eldgjá is the largest volcanic canyon in the world. Here, you’ll discover the magnificent Ófærufoss—a massive, multi- tiered waterfall cascading from the top of the tephra cliffs to the canyon floor.
We’ll wind through a lava field maze enveloped in thick moss, more dense than anywhere else in the highlands, with mossy formations towering over us like giants. Between the Syðri Ófæra river and lake, surrounded by a range of trickling streams, we’ll reach our mountain hut for the night. Today is a bit of a rest day as we prepare to cover our longest distance in one day tomorrow.
Today is our longest day of the trip. We’ll set out in the early morning along the Syðri Ófæra river, where we’ll cross the frigid waters to get to our new staging ground. We’ll enter a valley riddled with thousands of streams running down from the nearby Törfajökull glacier, pouring into the pristine turquoise waters of Hólmsárlón lake.
We’ll aim to reach a remote hot spring along the way before getting to the mountain hut.
We’ll leave the comfort of our hut in the early morning and set out on an unknown path into the mountains towards Álftavatn. We’ll cross a brown glacial valley to a refuge of green meadows, through a black desert with views of rhyolite mountains, and eventually round the Hvanngilshausar mountains. Here, we’ll end the ‘secret’ portion of the trek as we intersect with the famous Laugavegur trail. Depending on the weather, we may take alternate routes to avoid the crowds.
After crossing a pahoehoe lava field, through rivers and verdant meadows, we’ll eventually reach the edge of the famous Black Desert. Deeply veined with cooled magma and glacial melt water, this alluvial fan is crisscrossed with complex river networks we will need to cross by foot. The stunning array of pink and white desert flowers against the backdrop of black rock is breathtaking. The mighty Mýrdalsjökull ice field is just a few kilometers away from tonight’s mountain hut.
Sheltered by a ring of three glaciers—the Eyjafjallajökull, Mýrdalsjökull and Tindafjallajökull—a unique microclimate resides here that’s warmer and greener than the rest of south Iceland. After crossing a footbridge over the impressive Markarfljótsgljúfur canyon and hiking through the vast colorful plains, we’ll reach our last hut in Thórsmörk. If weather permits, we’ll enjoy a barbecue of local Icelandic ingredients to celebrate the last night and completion of our trip.
We’ll depart Thórsmörk in our 4×4 vehicle, taking one last drive through the dreamlike landscape fragmented with waterfalls. Once back on paved roads, you’ll truly appreciate the many miles of hidden trails we covered—all of the Icelandic Highlands best kept secrets now yours.
Your guides will take you back to Reykjavík where our journey finally ends.
- Local certified guide from Amarok Adventures.
- 1 experienced & licensed driver
- 1 private 4×4 vehicle for the group for getting into the Highlands and returning from Thórsmörk.
- Vehicle fuel
- Accommodation in mountain huts in multiple rooms.
- Accommodation in quadruple rooms in hostel in the South Coast with breakfast.
- Every meal during the hiking days
- All the cooking equipment.
- Agency support 24/7.
- International flights & transfers from/ to the airport.
- Accommodation in Reykjavík.
- Any meals in Reykjavík and 1st dinner with the group in the accommodation.
- Showers on the mountain huts.
- Lockers in Reykjavík in case of leaving the remain luggage that is not going to be used during the trip.
- Sleeping bag & personal hiking gear.
- Luggage transportation while hiking.
- Trip insurance.
- Everything not specified in “Included”.