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Volcanic Rift Trek

Highlights

  • Guides Choice trekking trip in Iceland
  • Similar to Laugavegur but much quieter
  • Wonderful Iceland wilderness and solitude
  • Hiking game trails & off trail
  • 100% authentic wilderness adventure
  • Glaciers, lakes, rivers, waterfalls & more
  • Iceland's profound geology
  • Dry, cozy mountain huts

Description

If your idea of trekking in Iceland is off the beaten path, look no further! Our Volcanic Rift Trek was voted the Guides Choice Trip in Iceland due to its stunning scenery, solitude, authentic wildness, waterfalls, views, and hot springs. Similar to the iconic Laugavegur Trek but with far more solitude, this Iceland hiking tour takes us through untouched wilderness deep into an obscure part of the same region as the Laugavegur Trail!
Most of this hike is either off trail or on game trails with limited signs of civilization. We will be sleeping in communal, rustic mountain huts that provide wondeful refuge from the weather when its stormy. The highlights of this trek are hiking for days through deep Icelandic wilderness and the stunning mountain scenery. We will visit the pristine Langisjor Lake and the majestic Sveinstindur Mountain, both outstanding backcountry features. Furthermore, we will make our way to the explosive waterfall at Eldgja Chasm, onwards toward the Maelifellssandur black sand desert, and to spectacular views of Iceland’s largest glacier, Myrdalsjokull. Soaking in the Strutslaug Hot Spring is a must stop and is a highlight for many guests!

Don't miss this unbelievable opportunity to have an adventurous, extremely scenic, and pristine experience of Iceland's wilderness - give us a call at 888-966-TREK (8735) to learn more or book your spot today!
Click here to have a detailed PDF information packet emailed to you, or request a reservation today. You can also call us at 888-966-TREK.

 

Photos of this Trip

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

On this Iceland hiking tour, we provide you with a shuttle voucher to get from Keflavik International airport in Reykjavik, Iceland to tonight's hotel. After checking into your hotel room (included), you are free to explore the capital city on your own. Reykjavik’s city center is small and you can travel everywhere on foot. Your guides will designate a time to conduct the pre-trip orientation meeting. The orientation meeting is time to ask questions, meet other expedition members, check over gear, and review the itinerary. Icelandic weather can be cold and rainy so be sure to follow the gear list closely! After the orientation meeting, your guide will make suggestions for fantastic dinner spots in Reykjavik, as dinner is on your own this evening.

NOTE: If your flight lands in the morning, your hotel room will not be ready; however, you will be able to store your luggage and start your city exploration.


Day 2

Hiking Mileage: 2-4 miles
Elevation Gain: 1600 feet
Trekking Duration: 5-6 hours


This morning your guide will pick you up at your hotel and transport the group to the Icelandic highlands. We will drive through the volcanic rift and south shore countryside, before hitting Iceland’s trekking paradise, the Fjallabak region! We will take a few breaks along the way to admire the scenery and have lunch before arriving near Langisjor lake at the base of Mt. Sweinstindur. After we drop off our gear in the local hut, we will go for our first day hike where we will have an introduction to the mossy grasslands, old volcanic ridges and the tumultuous Skafta River. Welcome to one of Icelands sweet and remote highland secrets.


Day 3

Hiking Mileage: 8 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 800-1000 feet
Trekking Duration: 6-8 hours


Today we hike along the roaring Skafta glacial River, towards the stunning Uxadindur Peak. Before reaching the peak, we will come to the edge of the Hvanngil gorge, descend to the river and climb back out, while traversing around Uxadindur peak and eventually heading to the Skaelingar valley. We finally reach our rustic hut for the night and you will have some free time while your guide prepares dinner.


Day 4

Hiking Mileage: 10-12 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1000-1800 feet
Trekking Duration: 8 hours


After breakfast, we will begin hiking uphill toward the Eldgja chasm. Depending on the weather, we may have the opportunity to ascend Gjatindur peak (2,415 ft.) After Gjatindur, we will be able to explore the fire chasm, shaped by one of the most dramatic eruptions in the history of Iceland. This chasm is about 20 miles long and we will descend into it to explore. We will see the Ofaerufoss Waterfall and then hike west to the best kept secret of the Chasm! (What is the best kept secret?) Eventually, we will descend to our hut for the night in Alftavatnskrokur. Nested in a meadow with a peaceful stream, lake and overlooking a waterfall, this hut offers the best view.


Day 5

Hiking Mileage: 10-12 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1000-1200 feet
Trekking Duration: 8 hours


Today after breakfast, we begin to hike across a vast plain, between marshlands and moss-covered reliefs. We will then cross a small river to reach another small section of the Eldgja chasm. We will be walking along the base of the Black Mountains before reaching the marshy areas of Holmsarlon. After Holmsarlon, we reach the hot thermal waters of Strutslaug, where we will have a nice soak. After relaxing in the hot water, we will continue to walk another hour until we reach our mountain hut for the night.


Day 6

Hiking Mileage: 8-10 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1000 feet
Trekking Duration: 8 hours


This morning after breakfast, we will begin to traverse a black sand desert, cross a few streams, all while having views of the Myrdalsjokull glacier. As we continue to walk, we will break for lunch and then keep walking until we reach Hvanngil. From Hvanngil, we will get on our scheduled bus back to Reykjavik. The journey isn’t over yet, as we will traverse some beautiful landscapes before getting back to the paved road. Once back in Reykjavik we will check into our hotel rooms (included) and your guide will make dining suggestions, as dinner is on your own this evening.


Day 7

Today is the final day of the Wildland Trekking, Iceland Volcanic Rift trek. We will ensure you get on the proper Flybus Shuttle for departure to Keflavik International Airport. If you are remaining in Iceland, please let us know. We can arrange extra activities in Iceland. Thanks for choosing Wildland Trekking!


Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however occasionally trips are subject to itinerary changes based on a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to: extreme weather, political or bureacratic obstacles, earthquakes, fires, flooding and more.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • A detailed trip packet that takes the guesswork out of your travel, training, packing, and preparing for the trip
  • Access to our Adventure Consultant team 7 days a week
  • Transportation for the duration of the tour starting on Day 1 and ending on the day you depart
  • Lodging before and after the trekking portion of the trip
  • Mountain hut reservations and accommodations (rustic, communal accommodations)
  • Sleeping pads and sleeping bags
  • 4×4 vehicle service for transportation of luggage and supplies between huts
  • Use of a day pack and trekking poles
  • All meals from breakfast on Day 2 through lunch on the last day of the trekking portion of the trip
  • Professional, knowledgeable, certified Iceland hiking guides (U.S.-based guides)
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Transportation to Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Dinners in Reykjavik
  • Trip insurance that includes medical coverage and at least $200,000 in evacuation and repatriation coverage (strongly encouraged)
  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-15% of trip cost)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

This Iceland hiking tour features a combination of in-town meals and meals prepared by your guide. Most meals are prepared on the trail by your guides.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables. In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We can often accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee, and in some countries may be more difficult to accommodate than others. Please inquire with us for more information about the specific trip you're interested in.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Backpacks
  • Trekking poles
  • Sleeping bags, sleeping pads
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? Simply click here and complete the form to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 48 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!


Where Do We Meet?

We will meet you at Keflavik International Airport (in Reykjavik) on Day 1 and transport you to the first night's hotel (included), where we'll conduct an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the first evening (your flight needs to arrive before 3PM). Your guide will be in contact approximately 4 weeks before your trip to coordinate your rendezvous and answer any last-minute questions you have.


Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. This trek is led by professional hiking guides (U.S.-based) along with additional support staff. All of our guides are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and all tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-888-966-TREK (8735) for more information.

In the interest of your safety, it's important to refer to the Center for Disease Control website for up-to-date recommendations on immunizations before your trip.


Guides

Your tour will be led by trained, experienced professionals (U.S.-based, click here to learn more) with solid guiding backgrounds, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on this hiking tour is 10 guests and 2-3 guides, with a minimum of 4 guests and 1 guide. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 888-966-TREK (8735) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis


Weather in Iceland

The weather in Iceland is generally cool, and the country has what is considered a temperate climate. The relatively warm North Atlantic Current makes Iceland's temperatures more temperate than many places of similar latitude. It can be quite cool, rainy and windy in the summer, so being prepared with the proper rain gear and warmth layers is critical.

The average temperatures and precipitation in Iceland are:

Average Iceland Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
Month Hi Low Wet Days
June 54° F 45° F 15 days
July 60° F 50° F 15 days
August 57° F 48° F 16 days
September 52° F 43° F 18 days