hidden europe 66

Hiking the Laugavegur

by hidden europe

Picture above: The Laugavegur trail in Iceland’s Rhyolite Mountains, part of the Fjallabak nature reserve (photo © Steve Lagreca / dreamstime.com).


For many young Icelanders, the four-day trek along the Laugvegur is a rite of passage that in summer affords a relatively safe encounter with ‘untouched nature’. It takes in terrain that has helped shape Icelandic culture, memory and identity.

Just as every Slovene aspires to climb Triglav once in their life, and every Swede wants to walk at least a small part of the Kungsleden, so the hike that fires the Icelandic imagination is the Laugavegur. It is typically undertaken as a four-day trek from north to south, starting at Landmannalaugar and ending at Þórsmörk. The hut at Hrafntinnusker is the usual overnight stop at the end of the first day’s hike from Landmannalaugar.

The very idea of the Icelandic nation is deeply rooted in wilderness. As the singer Björk put it: “Iceland and its pure, untouched nature are synonymous. If that is lost, then our uniqueness is lost.” For many young Icelanders, the four-day Laugavegur trek is a rite of passage that affords a relatively safe encounter with that ‘untouched nature’.

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