Starting at the Skogafoss waterfall, the Fimm courses between the Eyjafjallajokull and Mýrdalsjokull glaciers in southwestern Iceland. Roughly 15 miles (25 kilometers) long and extending 3,200 feet (1,000 meters) in elevation, the pass is accessible between mid-June and early September. It takes most trekkers between 8 and 12 hours to complete, though many purposefully take longer to enjoy the spectacular scenery.
The on-route Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted in 2010—the hike winds past infant lava fields from this eruption (and two 6-year-old mountains) on the way to Thorsmork, the terminus of the trail. Though about an hour’s drive from the Ring Road, river crossings mean only 4WD buses should travel this route.
Things to know before you go
- Two mountain huts sit on the trail. Though nice, they fit 16-20 hikers and don’t offer water—reservations are required.
- To get back to Skogar, you’ll need to arrange travel—probably by 4x4 bus. Do not attempt to drive into and out of Thorsmork with your vehicle.
- This is a long hike—you’ll want to start well before 9am. Consider the bus schedule as well.
- At more than 4,500 feet of elevation gain (1,500 meters), this hike, though well-marked, is not easy.
How to get there
If you have two cars, you can create your own shuttle service. Either way, park your car at one of the Thorsmark bus stops. From there, take your second vehicle or book a taxi to Skogafoss. After your hike, you can take the 4x4 Thorsmark bus back to your car. That said, eye the bus schedule—that’ll tell you when you have to finish your hike.
When to get there
By and large, this hike is only safe from June–September. Otherwise, it’ll likely be wet and covered in snow. Of course, even in that summer window, bad weather can happen. Keep an eye on the forecast, and be smart: If bad weather is rolling in, change your itinerary. Largely without shade or cover, certain sections are steep, include stairs and chains, and will be difficult in inclement weather.
Choose your own adventure
Of course, you don’t have to hike the whole Fimm Trail. Some travelers will wander from the Skogafoss waterfall to the bridge over the Skoga River and back—it sits at roughly the 5-mile (8-kilometer ) mark, meaning 10 miles (16 kilometers) round-trip. Of course, if you’re looking for an even longer route, know that the Fimm Trail is technically part of the Laugavegur Trail, a 34-mile (54-kilometer) trek through even more of Iceland’s spectacular landscapes.
- Thors Wald (Thórsmörk)
- Eyjafjallajökull Vulkan
- Skogar Museum
- Geheime Lagune (Gamla Laugin)
- Gullfoss Wasserfall (Golden Falls)
- Goldener Kreis (Gullni Hringurinn)
- Großer Geysir
- Thermalfluss der heißen Quelle von Reykjadalur
- Thingvellir Nationalpark