Hiking tours in Iceland’s highlands are becoming more popular every year and the most popular tour is Laugavegur, the route that leads from Landmannalaugar to Thórsmörk in the southern highlands and takes three to four days to cross.
Páll Gudmundsson, managing director of the Icelandic Touring Association (FÍ), told Morgunbladid that people are increasingly booking hiking tours organized by FÍ.
Many tours are fully booked, Gudmundsson said, and all available beds in the cabins along Laugavegur have been reserved throughout July. A new cabin is being constructed to cope with increased demand.
Other popular hiking tours include Fimmvörduháls in south Iceland, which also ends in Thórsmörk, Sprengisandur and Kjölur in the northwestern highlands (which are especially popular among foreign tourists) and Hornstrandir in the West Fjords (which Icelanders seem to prefer).
Skúli H. Skúlason, managing director of Útivist travel association, said that he had also received many bookings this summer.
The most popular hiking tours organized by Útivist are Strútsstígur, which leads from Eldgjá volcanic canyon to Hvannagil canyon in the southern highlands, and the Sveinstindur – Skaelingar route which leads past Langisjór lake near Vatnajökull glacier.
Skúlason added that Laugavegur is as popular as ever.
There is also a Laugavegur in Reykjavík, which is the capital’s main shopping street. “Laug” means pool or hot spring and “vegur” means road.
The Reykjavík Laugavegur leads to Laugardalur valley where women used to do their laundry in the hot springs and the highland Laugavegur also leads to hot springs where hikers like to bathe.