Iceland Hiking Adventure
July 29 — August 6, 2023
Start Location — Rejkyavik.
Dates: July 29 — August 6, 2023
Tuition: $ 3400 per participant (limit: 8 participants + 2 guides).
Instructor: Alex Mironyuk, Elena Kukhareva
Deposit: $ 500 (payments accepted for the remainder of the balance)
Iceland is one of a kind country on this planet. Nature here is unique, picturesque, and colorful. The weather changes there every 15 minutes.
We will go to the wildest part of this fantastic country to the true wilderness with endless hiking possibilities. But given a lack of lodging and restaurants, we won’t be alone — many people from around the world come here in the summertime to soak in this beauty.
Every day we will hike on colorful mountains, deep gorges, on top of a lava field, and around geothermal wonders. At least in two places, we can enjoy unlimited pleasure in the natural hot springs next to our campsites at the end of a long day (or even in the morning).
Physical Difficulty: Moderate. This Tour Involves 3 — 10 miles of hiking daily (1 — 2 hikes per day) with an elevation gain of up to 2500' per hike.
Weather: The weather in Iceland is unpredictable and can be changed every 15 — 30 minutes. Participants must be prepared for a temperature range from 40°F to 70°F. At night the temperature might be dropped to 30 °F. We will probably get several hours of rain during our Tour. Participants must be ready for rainy and windy weather conditions.
Transportation: included in the Tour’s price except for the flights to and from Iceland and transfer to/from the airport. We rented 2 midsize SUVs (for 3 passengers + the driver per car)
Lodging: For three nights, we will stay in hotels (double occupancy). For two nights, we will stay in the glamping (big tent with 2 beds — double occupancy). Three other nights, be ready to spend in the campgrounds and sleep in a backpacking tent (2 people per tent). Each campground will provide shared restrooms and showers. You need to pay a small fee to use the shower in some places.
Meals: are not included. At some campgrounds, we can buy simple food like coffee, soup, and sandwiches, but we can’t rely on these options. We can find some restaurants around our hotels and glamping.
We can get boiling water at any time to prepare meals for ourselves. Every participant must have backpacking food (freeze-dried food) for at least 4 days. We recommend Mountain House Food, but you can find different brands with similar products.
Day 1. July 29. Saturday.
Participants arrive in Iceland and, from the airport, get to our Hotel Viking, Hafnarfjordur. We will try our best to pick everybody up from there, but we can’t make any promises. So participants must be ready to get to the hotel by Uber or taxi.
We will drive to the historical center of Reykjavik for an evening walk and have our first group dinner there.
Night in the hotel.
Day 2. July 30. Sunday.
It will be a hectic day with a tight schedule. We will drive about 4 hours to Kerlingarfjöll, where we will camp. But before we reach that remote place, we will make several stops.
Our first stop will be at the fantastic waterfall — Brúarfoss (hike 4 miles, 1500' elevation gain)
later we will make a quick stop and stretch our legs at the most famous geyser in Iceland — Geysir. Here we can have lunch in a pretty cozy restaurant before we leave paved roads and get to Icelands backcountry.
On our way will make a couple more stops next to two more powerful waterfalls, and later in the afternoon, we will finally get to Kerlingarfjöll, where we will set up our camp.
After that, we will hike for about 25-30 minutes to the natural hot spring, where we can sip a glass of wine at the end of this beautiful day.
Night in the campground (possibly in a hut).
Day 3. July 31. Monday.
After breakfast, we will hike the famous geothermal zone of Hveradalir (8 miles trail, 2000' elevation gain). This is a small valley of red rhyolite mountains, steaming vents, and bubbling rivers. It’s a hiker’s paradise, a photographer’s dream, and an ideal day trip for the mildly adventurous traveler.
As soon as we return, we will break up our camp and drive for 4 hours toward another side of the mountain range — to Landmannalaugar.
Like yesterday, on our way, we will make several stops next to countless Iceland’s waterfalls.
And we must stop and perform a short hike to the real hidden natural gem — Sigöldugljúfur canyon, with a series of waterfalls and clear turquoise water on the bottom. Just take a look at the video!
Fortunately, this place is not well-known, and we do not expect a crowd there.
In the evening, we will set up our camp and… like yesterday, will go to another natural hot-hot-hot spring. And yes, we can get a glass of wine there too!
Night in the campground.
Day 4. August 1. Tuesday.
Today we hike up Bláhnúkur Mountain (meaning blue peak). This is the most challenging Landmannalaugar hike in the area. There’s a steep ascent with a narrow path, precipitous drops on both sides, and a river that we may need to wade across. So what is the reward of this hike? The views from any spot on this trail are simply majestic. We will add an addition to this trail, the Brennisteinsalda extension, that makes this trail a challenging 7 miles route with 2000'+ elevation gain.
And after this hike in the evening, like yesterday and the day before yesterday, we will go to the natural hot spring. And as usual, we can get a glass of wine in this hot pool!
Night in the campground.
Day 5. August 2. Wednesday.
Today we will hike Sudurnamur. This hike leaves the crowds behind and takes us to the summit of Sudurnamur, a fine peak on a ridgeline that runs along the northern edge of the lava field. It’s a challenging half-day hike, but once you are up on the ridge, there are continual views across the lava field, Brennisteinsalda, and Mount Bláhnjúkur (6 miles trail with about 1600' elevation gain).
As soon as we return, we will break up our camp and drive for 3 — 4 hours toward our next destination — Thórsmörk (Þórsmörk). As usual, on our way, we will make several snap-shot stops.
Þórsmörk valley is the ruler of contrasting views and huge, unique vistas with white foamy rivers crossing the black sand desserts creating visuals that can be seen nowhere else in the world.
We can’t just drive there even on our 4×4 SUV — we will leave our car on the parking lot next to a river crossing and hop to a big shuttle bus that brings us to our… Glamping!
For the next two days, we will live in fully furnished and comfortable tents (double occupancy). The spacious tents have twin or double beds, chairs to lounge in, and tables to hold your luggage. Each tent has an electric air-blow heater. Down duvets and soft blankets provide extra warmth and comfort. The restaurant, toilets, and showers are located next to the camp, and the sauna and sitting pool are just a few steps away.
Night in the glamping.
Day 6. August 3. Thursday.
After breakfast, we are going to the Tindfjöll circle trail. This is a wonderful, slightly challenging circuit around some of the best scenery Thórsmörk has to offer. The trial follows the edge of a dramatic and precipitous canyon. The path here is narrow, with steep drops on one side and the towering face of Tindfjöll mountain on the other.
This is a medium to challenging hike (7.5 miles with about 1250' elevation gain).
If time permits and all participants are willing to perform one more hike, we can reach Mount Valahnúkur summit. The 360-degree views capture jagged green mountains and, on a clear day, all three glaciers (1.5-mile trail with 660' elevation gain).
In the evening we can relax in the sitting pool or the sauna.
Night in the glamping.
Day 7. August 4. Friday.
After breakfast, we are going to Thórsmörk Higkights Trail. This lovely circular hike in the Húsadalur Valley ascends to the Slyppugil Ridge for fine views over Slyppugil Canyon (5.25 miles with about 1200' elevation gain).
When we return, we will still have plenty of time to wait for our return bus so that we can rest in the sitting pool.
We will get to our cars by 6.30 PM, and we can start to drive toward our hotel next to the famous Skógafoss Waterfall.
Night in the hotel.
Day 8. August 5. Saturday.
After breakfast, we will check out from our rooms and start one of the most diverse hikes in Iceland — the Fimmvörðuháls hike. 26 waterfalls, 1 volcano, and 2 glaciers are waiting for us! The entire trail length is 16 miles. It starts at the base of the Skógafoss Waterfall (do you remember that our hotel is next to this natural gem!) and ends at..... Thórsmörk! Yeah, we were there just yesterday! But we won’t hike it all. Today we will see the most picturesque part of it along the Skógá River with all these waterfalls and return the way we came (8-10 miles total with an elevation gain of about 2000').
Afternoon we will drive back to Reykjavik to our hotel.
In the evening, we will have our last group dinner, officially ending our trip.
Night in the hotel.
Day 9. August 6. Sunday.
Participants check out from the hotel and go to the airport themselves. We choose our hotel not so far away from the Keflavik Airport. As of February 2023, the hotel offers a complimentary morning shuttle to the airport, which needs to be booked in advance. But it might change in August.
Payment schedule and cancellation policy:
The total tuition for the tour is $ 3400
A deposit of $ 500 is required to reserve a space in this workshop.
Cancellation Policy — If you decide to cancel this trip before 05/29/2023, we will refund you $250 from your $500 deposit. Unfortunately, we couldn’t refund your full deposit due to most bookings in Iceland (camping, bus tickets, and some hotels are not 100% refundable. If you decide to cancel your trip after 05/29/2023, your deposit becomes non-refundable. So we suggest all participants buy separate travel insurance.
The final balance of $ 2900 is due by May 30, 2023. Full tuition is due at this time, and there will be no refunds on the total amount owed if you cancel after the final payment. However, if we find another client to fill your space, you will receive a full refund minus your deposit.
If we cancel this workshop — you will get a full refund.
What is included:
- The hotel lodging (double occupancy) is included on 07/29, 08/04, and 08/05. If you want to upgrade your stay from double occupancy to single occupancy for an extra fee, let us know at least 60 days before the workshop (subject to availability).
- Glamping lodging on 08/02 and 08/03 — fully furnished and comfortable tents (double occupancy). The spacious tents have twin or double beds, chairs to lounge in, and tables to hold your luggage. Each tent has an electric air-blow heater. Down duvets and soft blankets provide extra warmth and comfort. The restaurant, toilets, and showers are located next to the camp, and the sauna and sitting pool are just a few steps away.
- Tent camping (double occupancy per tent) on 07/30 — 08/01. The toilets and showers are located next to the camp.
- Transportation in Iceland except for transfer from/to the airport.
- Expert instructions and guidance to a beautiful variety of locations in Iceland.
- Camping tents.
- Jetboils to boil water at the camping.
- An incredible, unforgettable experience, full of adventure with amazing people and loads of great photos!!!
What is NOT included:
- Meals, snacks, and water.
- Sleeping bags and pads (the night temperature might be as low as 32 °F).
- Medical Insurance & Incidental Costs.
Recommended Camping Equipment and Personal Gear:
- Sleeping bag.
- Sleeping pad.
- Flashlight or headlamp.
- Rain jacket and pants (Gore-Tex technology preferable).
- Fleece jacket.
- Light down jacket.
- Waterproof hiking boots.
- Extra warm clothing for cold weather conditions, including long underwear, hats, and gloves.
- Backpack to carry your gear, water, extra layers, and camera or drone.
- Thermos, camping cutlery, and cups.
- Freeze-dried backpacking food.
Questions? Please get in touch with me at (386) 627-1449 if you have any questions or message me.
A follow-up email will be sent to registered photographers with schedule details, recommended gear, and a liability release.