July 30 2013
National Geographic: Laugavegur is One of the World's Best Hiking Trails
“Top 20” trail offers diverse views of volcanic landscape
A recent National Geographic feature ranked Iceland's Laugavegurinn/ Fimmvörðuháls Pass, a 50-mile trail winding through Iceland's southern highlands, among the world's top 20 “dream trails” for its untouched wilderness and remarkable views.
The pass stretches from Landmannalaugar to Thórsmörk and offers views of highland valleys, stunning glaciers, and the notorious Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which temporarily halted air travel between the United States and Iceland in 2010. Travellers who feel inspired by the surreal landscape aren't alone; the region, and the valley of Thórsmörk in particular, are believed to have served as the inspiration behind J.R.R. Tolkien's vision of Middle Earth.
While the traditional Laugavegurinn route is about 34 miles long, the article recommends that hikers begin at the 15-mile Skógar extension to witness an incredible series of waterfalls. Professional distance hiker and National Geographic contributor Jennifer Pharr Davis writes, [this trail] “packs more variety in 50 miles than most trails offer in 500.”
The full 50-mile trail can be completed in four days. Available accommodations include huts or traditional tent camping, though travelers must provide their own tents. Huts are available from late June through early September, and due to popularity, hikers are advised to reserve them in advance.
Read more about the Laugavegurinn/ Fimmvörðuháls Pass and the full version of “World's Best Hikes: 20 Dream Trails” here.