post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-5644,single-format-standard,stockholm-core-1.2.1,select-theme-ver-9.6,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,menu-animation-underline,,qode_menu_,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-7.0,vc_responsive

Iceland Hiking Trip

When did we go….

  • Jul 28 – Aug 5, 2023



Why did we go…

  • I had intended to hike in Patagonia in Chile in 2020 for my 60th birthday, but the world situation at the time delayed that, and we ended up picking Iceland for a unique hiking experience
  • my buddy Zac from Kelowna organized the trip and another buddy Jimmy from Calgary joined us



How did we get there…

  • 4-hour flight to Montreal and then 5 hours to Reykjavik and the same on the return flight
  • 30-minute taxi to Reykjavik from the Kevlavik airport
  • 4-hour bus ride from Reykjavik to Landmannalugar for the start of the hike
  • 4-hour return bus ride from Porsmork to Reykjavik
  • our return flight from Reykjavik to Montreal was delayed by 1.5 hours and then our Montreal to Calgary flight was cancelled so they routed us through Toronto (it took 22 hours door to door for me and Jimmy and 26 hours for Zac to get to Kelowna)



Where did we stay…

  • in Reykjavik, we stayed at the  Center Hotel Laugavegur for two nights before the hike and one night after the hike
  • it was well located at the far end of the main strip of shops, bars and restaurants but far enough away from the late night club noise
  • we had a nice balcony view over the main street on the front end of our stay
  • on the hike, we stayed at huts that had very tight sleeping quarters and initially caught most of us off guard (the snoring stories were legendary)
  • the huts had other groups staying in other rooms and sometimes sharing with us
  • they all had shower facilities and decent washroom facilities in out buildings



Where did we eat…

  • Icelandic Street Food (lunch, very nice quick and casual meal where we sat outside enjoying our first meal in the midday sun)
  • Grillmaster (dinner, amazing food as the bread was ‘to live for’, I had been here in 2014 and it didn’t disappoint once again)
  • Apotek (dinner, exceptional ambiance including one of the coolest wine cellar and washroom facilities in the basement, amazing food but very pricey)
  • all the meals on the hike were food provided at the huts that we cooked ourselves (the food was decent and we made our own ‘to go’ lunches each day (no more white bread ever again please!), the lamb at the last supper was outstanding and carried over for our lunch meat the next day)



What did we do…

  • in Reykjavik, we went to the Sky Lagoon, which is a new hydrotherapy spa located 10 minutes from downtown Reykjavik (a beautiful facility overlooking the ocean with a 7 step circuit, a great way to unwind after 14 hours of door to door travel)
  • we walked around town checking out the historic buildings
  • we hung out on a beautiful afternoon/evening at an outdoor table at Egir on the main street
  • on our second day, we went on a bus tour with Your Day Tour of the coastline north of Reykjavik (our 25 year old guide Rebecca was from Bologna, Italy and was a rugby player and M&A fighter and was a ton of fun, we saw waterfalls, glaciers, sheep, historic properties and farms, beautiful mountains, scenic coastlines, caves, lava fields, seals, and a few species of birds)



  • on day three, we started on six days of hiking with Arctic Adventures, who provided transportation to and from the trail, luggage transportation between huts, and all the food and some non alcoholic beverages
  • our guide was a 21 year old Icelandic chap named Hakon (he was a laid back, quieter chap from the north central coastline of Iceland, he is studying to be a guide through a Canadian organization and was headed to Kamloops for his next stint of training)
  • the rest of our group was comprised of myself and my buddies Zac and Jimmy along with Lidy from Belgium, Finn and Nanna (father/daughter) from Denmark and the U.S. contingent of Michelle, Jennifer, Kris, Erica, Maggie, Yalina, Jessica and John
  • it was a diverse group of people that all got along well and were fun to be around



  • day 1 (we did a day hike from our first accommodation at Landmannaluauger, 9.5 km, 3.5 hours, 470 meters, highlights – Stori Hver hot spring at our hut, Mount Brennisteinsalda, Hrafntinnusker)
  • day 2 (Landmannaluauger to Alftavatn, 24 km, 8 hours, 925 meters, highlights – volcanic steam springs, Mount Reykjafjoll, Jokultungur area, Fjallabak, Alftavatn Lake)
  • day 3 (Alftavatn for Emstrur, 20 km, 6 hours, 250 meters, highlights – black sand deserts, volcano views, Eyjafjallaajokull and Myrdalsjokull glacier views, Markarfljotsgljufur canyon – most amazing piece of scenery for me on the hike and thanks to Maggie and Yalina for letting me tag along after the afternoon rain had subsided)



  • day 4 (Emstrur to Porsmork, 18 km, 6 hours, 175 meters, highlights – Mount Einhyrningur, Porsmork Valley, glacier views)
  • day 5 (hike from Porsmork to Rjupnafell mountain, where we got most of the way to the top, 15 km, 6 hours, 1000 meters, hiked in a smaller group of 6 which was fun to move at a steady pace, highlights – Fimmvorduhals, famous volcano eruption site of 2010)
  • day 6 (hiked up to a viewpoint above our hut, 6 km, 3 hours, 400 meters, highlights – Mt. Utgonguhofdi, Husadalur Valley, Langidalur Valley, singing cave, enjoyed beverages at the Volcano huts village)
  • total hike (92.5 km, 32.5 hours,  3220 meters)




  • Iceland, a Nordic island nation, is defined by its dramatic landscape with volcanoes, geysers, hot springs and lava fields
  • every town in Iceland has a pool, sauna and steam
  • winds can get up to 100 km/hour
  • massive glaciers are protected in Vatnajökull and Snæfellsjökull national parks
  • most of the population lives in the capital, Reykjavik, which runs on geothermal power and is home to the National and Saga museums, tracing Iceland’s Viking history
  • the island has a population of 375,000 people, with 140,000 living in Reykjavik
  • the country is also known for a vibrant music scene



What did we not do that is on the agenda for next time:

  • tour around the Island, exploring other hikes and amazing scenery



Final thoughts:

  • we had a small earthquake on the first day of the hike while we were in our hut that shook things for a few seconds but didn’t do any damage
  • it was fun being with two buddies and meeting fellow hikers from around the world who shared stories of where they lived and other hikes they had done
  • the hikes had a few challenging areas but, in general, were not difficult other than long days on the trail but very worthwhile with the amazing unique landscapes
  • the weather was between 5 to 15 degrees and mostly sunny which made for pleasant hiking (hiked in shorts and short sleeves most of the time)
  • we did get rain in the afternoon on our 2nd and 3rd day of hiking and it was tough to dry out our shoes and clothes at the huts