Fimmvörðuháls - a humbling hike

 

A hike of Fimmvörðuháls, the area between the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull in southern Iceland into to the green and lush Goðaland and Thórsmörk, the land of the god and Thórsmörk, the Valley of Thor.

It is an exiting, challenging and strenuous long day walk. The view is often boundless and breathtaking. You get acquainted with the forces that created and shaped Iceland: Fire and ice.

Expect to feel humbled by grandiose landscape. And still, at the same time you may feel invigorated and powerful to have made it, over a harsh mountain pass, along deep canyons into the lush Thórsmörk.


The Fimmvörðuháls trail takes you through some of the most dramatic scenery Iceland has to offer; from a series of canyon waterfalls to a volcanic moonscape between two glaciers that cover some vicious volcanos, namely Katla in the east and and Eyjafjallajökull in the west. It takes you into the green and birch covered land of the gods (Godaland), ending in Básar, which is adjacent to Thórsmörk.

Thórsmörk is a surprisingly green and fertile valley which is named after the Norse god of thunder Thor. It is nestled at the foot of the glacier Eyjafjallajokull which became world known in 2010 when it erupted, stopping almost all air traffic to and from Europe.

The hiking route between Skógar and Thórsmörk goes through the pass call Fimmvörduháls, that can be translated as “the mountain pass of the five trail signs”. It is one of the most popular mountain trails in Iceland. It is about 22 kilometers long and involves a 1,000 meter climb (change in altitude). You will ascend past 26 waterfalls, known as ‘Waterfall Way’ and stand atop a mountain that was created in the 2010 eruption.

My uncle is prepared to guide you through a great one-day hike that combines the best of Iceland into a single trek. He will make the tour a save and exciting adventure where you can learn about the creation of Iceland and the forces that are still active in forming his country. It is a popular route so you will not be away from the beaten tracks, as in my uncles’ other tours. But we will leave early so there will not be so many people on the trail at the beginning.

You can expect that this hike will take up to 12 hours (minimum 8). We leave early in the morning at the side of the most famous waterfall in Iceland, Skógarfoss.

You need to dress properly for strong winds, low temperatures (as low as 4 degrees on Celsius) and rain, and be in good physical condition. You need to prepare energy rich food for the day. There are two huts close to the pass that can be used in case of bad weather and emergency.

To be sure to reach the bus that leaves Thórsmörk daily at 18:00 (6:00 PM), we have to start the hike at Skógarfoss at 06:00 (6:00 AM).


Packing List

Preparation/clothing:

  • Hiking boots - good sturdy boots with ankle support, robust sole and waterproof

  • Thermal underwear (long sleeve top and bottom) made of wool or synthetics (not cotton)

  • Wool or fleece thermal mid layer

  • Hiking pants (we don't recommend cottons as they take long to dry if wet)

  • Hiking socks made of wool or synthetic (bring one extra pair)

  • Waterproof and breathable (fabric such as Gore-Tex or similar) both pants and jacket (preferably with a hood)

  • Gloves and mittens - wool or synthetic (waterproof over gloves/mitts recommended)

  • Warm hat and/or balaclava

  • Any health supplies and/or prescription medicine you might need

  • Day backpack about 25-40 L for extra pullover and food for the day

  • Sunglasses/sunscreen

  • 1-2 L Water bottle /and a hot water bottle if you have it

  • Energy rich food for the day

  • Hiking poles (if available)

  • Gaiters (if available)


Details:

Meeting point: To be agree with the participants - a place that fits best with their travel plans (options are Farmhouse Lodge in Mýrdal, the waterfalls Skógarfoss or Seljarlandsfoss or the village Hella on the south plains).

Duration: 13 hours (12 hours walk and one-hour transportation)

Price: 23.000 IKR / 170 Euro, including transportation from Thórsmörk to Seljarlandsfoss or Hella.

Max. participants: 8, minimum 4 full paying adults

The Fimmvörðuháls tours are booked according to demand.


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