Þórsmörk, a unique area nestled between three glaciers, is one of the few places in Iceland with a forest big enough to get lost in. This area is perfect for exploring on foot. Thankfully, even with the high tree canopy, a well-maintained trail network should help keep you on track when you go hiking in Þórsmörk.
Those wishing to explore this area should be well prepared for hiking, wear appropriate hiking clothing, and have the appropriate navigational equipment (map, compass) with good experience on how to use it. If you prefer, you can also explore these trails as part of a guided tour of the area.
Keep on reading if you want to know more about popular hiking routes in Þórsmörk!
Three Different Basecamps and How to Get There
When hiking in Þórsmörk you can choose between three unique basecamps: Langidalur, Húsadalur, and Básar. To get to Langidalur and Húsadalur (Volcano Huts), you have to cross the infamous, and often dangerous, river Krossá. Only experienced drivers on modified jeeps should cross the river. Básar, on the other hand, is easier to get to, although you will require a 4×4 vehicle, as there are several rivers to cross.
If you decide to rent a jeep and drive into the valley of Thor (Þórsmörk), please check the conditions before you leave (e.g. by contacting safetravel.is).
Even though you don’t have a modified jeep to cross the river Krossá, you can still get to Langidalur and Húsadalur by hiking.
If you plan on walking to Langidalur, park the car safely near the sign for Langidalur. Next, cross the bridge that takes you over the river and hike to the hut in Langidalur. From there, you can reach Húsadalur if you feel like hiking further. It takes ca. 35 minutes to walk between the two huts. The path takes you through a birch wood and offers beautiful views of Þórsmörk.
Húsadalur (Volcano Huts)
For Húsadalur, where the so-called Volcano Huts is located, you can park your rental car safely close to the sign for the Volcano Huts and order a pick-up on the 4×4 river bus (contact us for more information).
If you have never driven through rivers or on mountain roads before and you don’t trust yourself to do so, consider taking the bus or a scheduled tour. (Read further for more information).
Note: rental cars are uninsured for water damage.
Hikes starting in Langidalur or Húsadalur
- A moderately easy hike, starting and ending in Langidalur or Húsadalur (Volcano Huts). A popular hike with panoramic views over the whole of Þórsmörk.
- Distance: 2.5km, 230m climb
- Time: approximately 3 hours
- A medium difficulty hike, starting at Langidalur or Volcano Huts.
- Distance: the ring is 8km, 360m climb and similar descent.
- Time: 5-7 hours
- Medium/difficult hike, starting from halfway along the Tindfjöll circle taking you to the peak of Rjúnafell mountain. This is one-way route, so you must return the way you came. Stunning views to Fjallabak to the north over the Laugavegur trail, towards Landmannalaugar.
- Distance (one way): 3km from Tindfjöll trail to peak, 465m climb, 80m descent
- Return time to Tindfjöll circle: 3-4 hours
Hikes starting in Básar
- A moderate hike, starting in Básar with options to reach the peak and return the same way or extend into a circuit. Unbeatable views across to Eyjafjalljökull and over Þórsmörk.
- Distance (circle): 4 km, 270m climb
- Time (circle): 3-4 hours
- A medium-hard hike which leads you up an impressive peak with expansive views over Mýrdalsjökull and Katla. Like Rjupnafell it is best to return the way you came.
- Distance (one way): 5km, 500m climb
- Time (one way): 3-4 hours
Take the Bus to Þórsmörk
It is easy to take the bus to Þórsmörk. Since you have to cross several rivers to get there, it’s actually highly recommended! Every year, people get stuck in the rivers, so if you decide to drive yourself, make sure you have a proper vehicle and know the latest river conditions. You can also book a local guided tour to ensure a safe crossing.
Multi-day Hiking to/from Þórsmörk
For those looking for multiday hikes, then both the Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls trails start/end in Þórsmörk. Langidalur marks the beginning and end of the Laugavegur trail and Fimmvörðuháls begins and ends in Básar or Langidalur.
Without a doubt, the most popular thing to do during summer is to go into the wilderness in the Fjallabak (the Mountain’s back) area. This is a place that has become very popular for hiking because it’s almost completely untouched by the human hand; rough roads run through un-bridged rivers into only a few places, and between them, there are only hiking trails, campsites, mountain huts, and the wild, wild nature.
How Do I Get to the Start of My Hike and Back to Civilisation?
When doing multi-day hiking in Iceland, every hiker should have the Hikers Pass. You simply purchase one pass and with it you get a bus transfer from Reykjavík to the base of the hike and back to Reykjavík from the hike’s end when you are done.
- Reykjavík – Þórsmörk/Þórsmörk – Reykjavík (route operated 15 May – 20 September)
- Reykjavík – Landmannalaugar/Landmannalaugar – Reykjavík (route operated 14 June – 15 September)
- Reykjavík – Skaftafell/Skaftafell – Reykjavík – bus stops at Skógar (route operated 15 June – 31 August)
- Reykjavík – Skógar/Skógar – Reykjavík (route operated 15 June – 31 August)
Read more about the multi-day hikes here: The Most Popular Hiking Trails in Iceland
Contact the What’s On booking centres for more information on guided and self-guided tours in Þórsmörk, including transport options.