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Getting to Know Thorsmork Valley

Updated: 2 days ago

Iceland is a real paradise for trekking lovers. It is a great destination for those who are into hiking in amazing scenery. The Icelandic Highlands are a hidden pearl when talking about trekking in Iceland. Landmannalaugar is the place where you can find the most popular hiking trails. You will find many trails of different difficulty levels here. Everyone will find something that will suit them. There are trails you can do in one day and some longer ones, which take around 4 days. The Laugavegur trek is the most popular one of them. Its final destination is Thórsmörk in South Iceland.

Tourists hiking in the Thorsmork valley covered with fog which makes it kind of magical

Probably not many of you have heard of this place. We’ve decided to make some suggestions and advice on how to spend a day in Thorsmork and what to do, what to see, and how to fully enjoy your trekking day.

Thorsmork, Iceland

Thórsmörk is a mountain ridge in South Iceland near Eyjafjallajokull volcano. Does that name ring a bell? This is probably because this volcano became very famous after its last eruption in 2010. The volcanic ashes were spread across the European continent, causing a bit of chaos in aviation. Flights were canceled and many people got stuck at the airports. Volcanic craters are really cool to watch and admire but you only feel how powerful they are, when they actually erupt.

Let’s go back to our main subject though! Thorsmork is quite popular among hiking enthusiasts. Although this is the name of the mountain ridge itself, nowadays people use it to define the valley area between Eyjafjallajokull and the Tindfjallajokull glacier. The valley stretches for about 150 km between three glaciers. It is a beautiful and very powerful place. As this is a valley, the climate is warmer there than in the rest of the southwestern part of Iceland. It thus makes it a better place for vegetation to grow. Its name comes from the thunder god of ancient Norse mythology: Thor. That is why for some of you it is also called the Valley of Thor. This is a volcanic area that shaped the forces of nature a long time ago. At the end of the canyon, you will be able to admire a beautiful waterfall.

To get to Thorsmork you will need to take F-roads, which means that it is only accessible during specific times of the year. You can drive there on your own, so a 4x4 vehicle will be necessary.

From May to October, you can also rent a tour with a bus or a Super Jeep. The tours usually start in Reykjavik and have some stops in other towns along the road. If you are a fan of winter scenery and you want to fill like you are in a winter wonderland, we have good news. You can rent a Super Jeep guided tour of Thorsmork. You will be impressed with its genuine beauty. If the weather is favorable, you will also be able to see the Stakkholtsaja canyon. Can you imagine watching the Northern Lights over the glacial valley? This is an experience you will never forget!

There are a few options you have to stay there for the night. You can stay in a mountain hut in Husadalur valley, rent a room in Langidaur valley or have your base in the campground in Thorsmork. If you decide to book a room or a hut, remember it has to be done in advance as the space is quite limited especially during the high peak season. It is a good idea to stay where it is you wish to start your trekking early in the morning.

Hikers seating at the edge looking over the Thorsmork in Iceland

Best hikes in Thorsmork

Summer in Thorsmork is a chance to hike and trek to be able to see its unique nature closer. Exploring the valley will be one of the best experiences you will enjoy in Iceland. There are two long-distance trekking trails which we do recommend to all the experienced hikers and people in a good fit condition. One has its end in Laugavegur and the other in Fimmvodruhals.

It begins at Skogafoss waterfall. It is 22 kilometers (14 miles) long. It is actually a park of a Laugavegur trek however it can also be done independently in one day. So this is a perfect choice for one-day hiking trips. On its route you will find some extreme crosses with steep ascents, thus it is recommended for those in shape. Trekking poles are highly recommended. Inexperienced hikers should probably not do this trail without a guide. The view from the trail is really breathtaking. You will be able to admire the valley and also some waterfalls on the Fossa river. When you reach the Morinsheidi plateau, you will have a perfect view of the Myrdalsjokull cap where the most dangerous volcano in Iceland is hidden - Katla.

The Laugavegur trekking trail is one of the best known in Iceland and maybe even in Europe. It takes a few days to get from Landmannalaugar to Thorsmork. It is located in the hot springs area of Landmannalaugar. It is 55 kilometers ( 34 miles) long which is usually divided into 2 or 4 days’ trekking distances. It is also possible to combine this trail with the Fimmvörðuháls route as well if you still have not enough of the Icelandic nature.

A beautiful view on a Thorsmork in Iceland in a summer day

Before entering any of those trails, you need to check the weather conditions and the forecast for all the days of trekking. The weather in Iceland can be unpredictable and can change any minute. Good preparation for hiking in Iceland is crucial. Also if it goes about the equipment and clothes. Remember to pack adequate clothes, proper hiking boots and some food when you become hungry on the trail. Check out our article on all the essentials for a hike in Landmannalaugar.


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