Enduring the Laugavegur Trail in Iceland

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I always wanted to do a hut trip in Iceland. So, back in August of 2016, we signed up for a 4 day Trek on the world famous Laugavegur Trail. At one point, National Geographic labeled this hike as one of the 20 best hikes in the world. I would have to agree – the hike itself was pretty spectacular – when we could actually see the trail!! A crazy storm hit and we ended up hiking in wind, rain and sleet for at least 2 days while we were there.

We used Trek Iceland to guide us through the 35 mile adventure. I would rate this outfit pretty low – only because our guide was not very effective – we always felt we were an imposition every time we asked a question. He also could not handle our group of close to 20 – too many people for one person to handle for sure. I really cannot fault him for that – chalk that up to a poor business model. He had no clue how to cook so we ended up cooking all of our own meals (well, I don’t cook, but our travel friends helped a ton!). To top if off, his girlfriend was guiding the camping group so we would bump into them in their single sleeping bag at night. That was fun.

In the huts, we essentially slept RIGHT NEXT to one another. As my friend Nick described it, “Think of Orange is the New Black for personal space.” I would not have minded any of this, except for the fact we paid a lot of money for the trip. If I had to do it all again, I would stay in a tent!!

Here’s the thing…I am whining about the experience, but in the end, we talk about this trip ALL THE TIME and laugh about the situation. For that I am grateful. Also, our trip mates were INCREDIBLE people and of course, we keep in touch with several of them via Facebook.

You can see from the images below, the scenery, when it was visible, was truly magical. We hiked through verdant green valleys; crossed rivers (several times); passed by geo-thermal activity; peered over deep canyons; endured rain, sleet, and snow and saw the beauty of rainbows after the storm.

And of course, it was fun to hike over hills covered with Obsidian and to reference our favorite show, Game of Thrones!

Enjoy!

PS. All images are mine, with the exception of the cool shot with the line of people in the steam from the thermal activity – this is Nick’s :-).

54 comments

  1. Wow – these photos are spectacular! And what an experience! I always used to tell my middle school students, “Without conflict, there is no story,” so it goes to say that our best/funniest/most dramatic stories (memories) come from times that mix the uncomfortable with the warm and fuzzy. Sounds like this is one of those for you!

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  2. Brilliant photos Pam, looks and sounds like a fabulous trip. Sometimes having a poor guide or having little things go wrong is what makes a trip memorable and different. We’d love to go to Iceland someday.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Did not know you did this whole thing! My son and I did the hike that connects with the Laugavegur trek; ours was over the Fimmvörðuháls pass between Thorsmork and Skogar. We ended up with similar weather, and as I wrote in my post about that hike, we thought we might actually die at a couple of points! Traumatizing hike for sure, but like yours, one of our favorite memories.

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  4. Amazing landscapes!! Sometimes you can’t get the best of an adventure without remembering the worse LOL Never been to Iceland, but I do hope in a couple of years to do the Ring road.
    Happy Monday🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Looks nice… but cold… and wet. I’ve never taken a guided group hike that was longer than an afternoon. I’m not sure how I’d feel about that. So much is wrapped up in the personalities of the others in the group. Hit or miss.

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  6. I would LOVE to hike in Iceland. Great pictures, and it looks like quite the adventure. I’ve not used a guide, except when I climbed Kilimanjaro with my Dad and brothers. Would the trek be “doable” without a guide? Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you can do this without a guide. He only came in handy when we were in the storm and couldn’t see where we were going! The weather can be dicey. Definitely some good backpacking opps on this trail and in other areas of Iceland.

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  7. Wow Pam. You really do take amazing trips – even if it isn’t exactly what you signed up for!! I have a belief that today’s disaster is tomorrow’s great story. This sounds like one of those 🙂
    Your pictures are (as always) gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Portugal itself is lovely. This trip however was a farce of multi-layered misadventure. I’m now back home and glad to be here … hoping that the bad luck hasn’t followed us here and nothing new will go wrong,

        I’m still a long way from resuming blogging. I’m just trying to pop in when I can on my favourite bloggers – like you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Awww thanks. 😊 I wish I lived closer to grab a coffee (or martini) with you to hear the story. I’m still sick to my stomach for you. If that luck followed you through the trip, UGH. Makes you just want to sit indoors for a while and let the black clouds pass right? Hang in there, wonderful days are on the horizon. Besides, the thought of a new camera and computer are kind of exciting 😬.

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  8. Beautiful! I can’t decide if Iceland interests me or not, but pictures like this make it rise on the list. Too bad about the storm. We are all at the mercy of the weather, I guess. Funny how there are so many complaints but in the end you can still love it. That’s travel for ya! Thanks for sharing your trip!

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    1. The cool thing about Iceland is the scenery and all the exploring to be had. I loved Reykjavik ALOT. But, the weather was disheartening and harsh and it’s VERY expensive.

      I would say, it would be a fun little stopover on the way to Europe if u can swing it. May give you a taste of the place to see if it’s worth going back to dig a little deeper. I do want to travel the Ring Road some time. I think that would be a kick.

      Travel definitely has its ups and downs!! Like when I mentioned to you, I got sick in Laos. Ugh. Haha. Oh well, life can’t be too perfect can it?? Have a great day!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Absolutely beautiful photos. The one with the rainbow took my breath away. When I travel I don’t long for nightclubs or fancy alcoholic drinks (although one at the end of a long cold day hits the spot); instead give me Nature, outdoors and hiking. I appreciate your honesty about the lack of professionalism of your tour company and guide! You paid good money and deserved better; however there was a big silver lining to it all – you got some good memories, some good laughs and met some good people . And you got a good blog out of it! Touché!

    Susan Grace

    Liked by 1 person

  10. We are going to Iceland this summer! I would love to hike, but sleeping in huts – not for me! 🙂 I love the outdoors, but am not a camper. I am going to bookmark this page. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. I’d love to go to Iceland and I have a friend there who has offered to show me round but, whilst I can get a cheap flight there from UK, everything else is so expensive as you mentioned. I am afraid that it is just not possible on my budget. I shall have to win the lottery although I suppose that means I will have to start buying lottery tickets!

    This is a great post and the images are stunning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you Fergy! I would like to go back and drive the Ring Road. Though I’d like to figure out how to make it less expensive. We did bring some of our own snacks and such, but it STILL seemed to be outrageous. If you have a friend there to help with the transportation and lodging, that would save heaps of cash.

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  12. Those are some gorgeous shots, Pam! I’ve only seen Iceland from the plane and airport windows. 🙂 Quite often it’s the things that “didn’t go so great” that make the best tales later. Usually, they’re good for lots of laughs. We have a few of those. lol.

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