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Volcanic Trails 2: The Wilderness of Strútur Trail

Duration5 days

Follow the feeling of fire as you journey across volcanic landscapes that will ignite your sense of passion for outdoor adventure .

What to expect?

The Wilderness of Strútur trail takes us to the south side of the very colorful Torfajökull rhyolite massif where the colors yellow, orange, red and even blue green, make a refreshing contrast to the black sands and bright green mountains. The trail goes along to Álftavötn lakes, passing Strútur mountain into the black desert Mælifellssandur, dominated by the vast glacier of Mýrdalsjökull. The trek ends at Hvanngil hut, and after a morning walk the next day those who finish here, get on a bus that takes them back to Reykjavík. We bath in the Strútslaug natural pool and enjoy crystal clear waterfalls, cross rivers on a natural stone bridge and enjoy the silence of the highlands. This is by far one of the most dramatic parts of the Fjallabak are where you will feel the vastness of the land as well as the immense solitude, there are but few who venture into this area.

Day 1: Reykjavík - Landmannalaugar - Eldgjá - Hólaskjól

Meeting point at 7:15 at BSÍ bus terminal in Reykjavík. Today you leave on the morning bus to Landmannalaugar. On arrival in this magnificent rhyolite area you have a chance to dip into the natural pool on the premises or simply admire the beauty of this astounding place during the 2,5 hour stop. You get onto the bus leaving Landmannalaugar in the afternoon for Skaftafell, getting off at Hólaskjól after approximately 3 hour´s drive with a stop at the canyon Eldgjá. At Hólaskjól you meet the guide and join the ongoing Volcanic Trails trek. Night in a comfortable hut, WC and showers available.

Day 2: Hólaskjól - Álftavötn

After breakfast we set out for the trek to the lakes of Álftavötn. We follow the river Syðri Ófæra that drains from the glacier Torfajökull through rolling green hills. Torfajökull is not only a glacier but one of the bigger geothermal areas in Iceland. Depending on weather the river can be high or low but we will most certainly be able to cross it over to the lakes Álftavötn on a natural bridge. There is a traditional hut close to the lakes where we spend the night. The tranquility of this magical place is amazing and this is really a great spot to recharge. Rustic hut, outhouse, no showers.

Distance: 7- 10 km (4-6 mi) Ascent/descent: 150 m Walking time : 5 - 6 hrs

Day 3: Álftavötn - Strútur

Today we continue along the river Syðri Ófæra crossing once again the Canyon of Fire, Eldgjá and can wonder at the immensity of the natural forces at play when it was created. The landscape changes from green meadows to black sands with screaming green streaks of moss that almost blow our minds. After rounding the massif of Svartahnjúksfjöll we come to the river Hólmsá and its lagoon. We need to cross the river and even though it may feel cold we can warm ourselves in the natural pool Strútslaug, on the other side. After a relaxing soak in the pool we conclude the day´s march walking to the hut at Strútur where we spend the night. Comfortable hut, WC and showers available.

Distance: 24 km (15 mi) Ascent/descent : 300 m Walking time: 7 – 8 hrs

Day 4: Strútur - Hvanngil

Leaving the comfortable hut we set out for the day´s trek along the Mýrdalssandur, the black volcanic sand plain, hemmed in by the icecap of Mýrdalsjökull glacier to the south and the Torfajökull rhyolite massif to the north. We need to cross some of the rivers and better have our river crossing shoes ready. The mystical palagonite landscape of Hvanngil valley greets us and we are yet amazed at the wonders of the Icelandic landscape. At the mouth of the valley a hut awaits for the night. Comfortable hut, WC and showers available.

Distance : 14-18 km (9-11 mi) Ascent/descent: 150 m Walking time: 5 - 6 hrs

Day 5: Hvanngil (Álftavatn) – Reykjavík

After breakfast we pack our things and get ready for the day´s hike exploring the side trails of the Laugavegur hiking trail. We proceed along the river Kaldaklofskvísl, admiring the eerie green Stórasúla mountain on the other side, which summit only the birds seem able to visit. The river winds along and soon we climb the small pass of Brattháls from where we can enjoy the views to lake Álftavatn “Swan lake” before continuing to the huts on the northern shore of the lake. Here we get onto the bus for Reykjavík, taking leave of our guide and the hikers continuing on the Volcanic Trails for the last section. Arrival in Reykjavík at 19:35 where the tour ends at the Reykjavík Bus Terminal.

Distance: 5 – 6 km (3-4 mi) Ascent/descent: 300 m Walking time : 3 – 4 hrs

What is included?

Guide during the trek (until noon on day 5)

Food for 5 days (from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 5)

Sleeping bag accommodation in mountain huts

Bus from Reykjavík to Hólaskjól via Landmannalaugar and from Hvanngil (Álftavatn) to Reykjavík

Cooking gearTransfer of luggage.

What do I need to bring?

Boots and Clothing:

  • Sturdy Hiking Boots – waterproof with good ankle support.
  • Long sleeve shirt (thermal underwear) – Wool or synthetic.
  • T-shirt (thermal underwear) – Wool or synthetic.
  • Light wool or fleece sweater (2nd layer).
  • Trousers – Strong and light material that dries quickly e.g. soft-shell.
  • Jacket with a good hood – windproof, waterproof and breathable, e.g. Gore-Tex or comparable.
  • Rain trousers – windproof, waterproof and breathable. Please note that full raingear is mandatory in Iceland.
  • Gloves – Wool or synthetic 2 pairs of different thickness.
  • Socks – Wool or synthetic. Two or three pairs.
  • Warm hat – Wool or synthetic.

Other gear:

  • A duffel bag for the transport of your overnight gear between huts. Please avoid bringing a suitcase!
  • Backpack for extra clothes and food during the day. 25 – 40L (1500 – 2500 cu in)
  • River shoes – Walking sandals or old running shoes with a good grip are a good choice, along with a pair of warm socks or neoprene socks. Open sandals or flip-flops will not do the job.
  • Light Sleeping bag
  • Towel – light weight and packable.
  • Sunglasses & sun protection.
  • Water container – thermos flask or water bottle 0,5 – 1L.
  • Headlamp for reading and getting around the hut.
  • Casual clothes / change of clothes for wearing in the hut.
  • Personal first aid kit – including blister care.
  • Prescription medication and other personal health items.
  • Toiletries; Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap etc.
  • Earplugs

Optional gear:

  • Walking pole(s).
  • Gaiters
  • Neoprene socks – highly recommended for river crossings.
  • Pen knife.
  • Sun/rain Hat or a Cap. Shorts
  • Thermal mat (for lunch breaks).
  • Puffy jacket (e.g. Primaloft or down)
  • Camera, spare batteries and a memory card or films.
  • Dry-bags for electronics and extra clothing.
  • Slippers for indoor use.
  • Aperitif or other heart-warming spirits.

Additional Information

  • Voucher: You will receive a secure voucher to either print out or present on your mobile phone.
  • Cancellation Policy: Fee of 15% if cancelled 280 days before event or less.
  • Quality Assurance: Travelade only works with selected local partners we trust to provide high quality service.

Meeting Point

  • Meeting point at 7:15 at BSÍ bus terminal in Reykjavík

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