Y ou would be forgiven for not understanding why there seem to be two Laugavegur roads in Iceland. Usually Icelanders are imaginative enough to give places different names but in the case of Laugavegur there is a story to tell.
In daily conversations among locals Laugavegur usually always means Laugavegur shopping street in downtown Reykjavik city. This particular street was the very first street in the city mostly taken up by stores of various kinds some decades ago. It pretty much remains the city´s only real shopping street although now there are more options nowadays.
Laugavegur shopping street was, not surprisingly, popular for walks weather permitting, and on sunny days pretty much the only street in the whole of the country alive with people. It still is although these days foreign tourist overwhelm locals.
Icelanders, being on the whole a herd-like population, never did do too much hiking or trekking in this fabulous country of ours. Some weirdos did gain notoriety for walking all across the country at all times for fun and special articles were written about those strange men and women spending their time thus. For a long long time trekking was nothing to boast of.
Until the outdoors suddenly was the thing to do in our neighboring countries did Icelanders overnight develop a craving for walking in the wild. But while they wanted to see the country they didn´t want to make it too difficult either. This is why the trail from Landmannalaugar in the highlands to Thorsmork glacier valley became popular. Landmannalaugar was easy to get to and the trail is more or less downhill over a very beautiful landscape. Not easy, mind you, but at least downhill.
Fast forward a few years and by now this trail from Landmannalaugar and Thorsmork became so crowded and popular that it became synonymous with the crowds at Laugavegur shopping street.
Today, it is blatantly overcrowded and getting more crowded each year. True, the beauty here is unrivaled and the trek is wonderful but there are so many other places equally as nice and a few even more so. But then again, they are not as easy to get to.
FAQ about Laugavegur trek »
- The trek takes between two and five days depending on the tour
- Accommodation on the way are basic
- Pack sleeping bag and very warm clothes since weather in the highlands is notoriously changeable
- Plenty of food is recommended
- For organized tours you need to book months in advance
- Contact team Total Iceland for info on equally stunning places to trek should crowds not make your day
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