Iceland 'Fire & Ice' trek 2017
Two trekkers silhouetted against the double waterfall of Gulfoss
Course overview

Course dates & availability

The memories of a visit to Iceland will stay with your forever; bubbling mud pools, lakes full of icebergs, plunging waterfalls and powerful and wild landscapes. Most of these stunning landscapes are on the edges of the permanent icecaps, such as the Vatnajökull. This trek is designed to show you some of the best landscapes, as well as great trekking.
Our route varies from the thick birch woods of Thorsmörk, to the multi-coloured hills and valleys that surrounds the rhyolitic Landmannalaugar geothermal region, where you can dip in hot pools. Then you continue towards Reykjavik past Geysir and the stunning double pitch waterfall of Gulfoss. This region of south Iceland is called Fjallabak.
Key volcanic highlights are the Eldgja volcanic fissure, where you see craters, lavaflows, and canyons, and also an ascent of Mount Hekla, Iceland's most active volcano. Most of the area that the trek passes through was previously buried under thick sheet ice, so you witness the battle between the volcanic fire and glacial ice that gives this trek its name.
Iceland is situated just to the south of the Arctic Circle, and it straddles the mid-Atlantic tectonic ridge, so geologically is half in Europ and half in North America! Essentially these plates are being torn apart, so the volcanic activity is always present.
For the fact hunters, Iceland is the 18th largest island in the world, and the 2nd biggest in Europe (after the UK). Over 10% of the island is glaciated. The major towns are the capital Reykjavík, Keflavík, where the international airport is situated, and Akureyri. The island of Grímsey on the Arctic Circle contains the northernmost habitation of Iceland.
Dates: These are listed in the column on the right, and they show the live availability from our secure online booking system. When you book online, you receive immediate confirmation, your Alpine Information Booklet, course specific kit list and invoice.
Course Dates
Iceland Fire & Ice
  • No Dates Available
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Price: £1799 Book online now
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Client feedback
Wow, wow, wow, wow! What else can I say about this beautiful country
Robert N , Iceland trekking
Map of Iceland
Regional Details
All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. At the time of writing visas were not required by UK or EU nationals. All other nationalities should check with their embassy.
The weather is massively variable in Iceland, but it is rarely unpleasant. Due to its latitude, Iceland is on the north edge of the temperate zone (the UK is in the middle of the temperate zone), which means mild winters (compared to Arctic zones) and cool summers. Daytime temperatures in the summer months range from 10° to 20°C (but they could drop to freezing). When you are in the mountains, be prepared for strong winds and rain / snow. If you are ready for whatever is thrown at you, then you will definately enjoy your trip more.
An advantage of being so far north in the summer is that there is constant daylight in May, June and July, and only a few hours without the sun in the months of April and August.

Your guarantee of the highest standards
On this course you are led by a British International Mountain Leader (IML). This is the highest qualification for leading trekking groups in the Alps (where it is a legal requirement) and worldwide. To become an IML, it takes several years to train. During the treks their focus is on your comfort, enjoyment, education and safety, all of which are equally important. Being led by an IML to take you on a trek, you are hiring far more than someone to show you the way. You will learn about the environment, flora, fauna, glaciology, geology, and geography of the region. The leader will have a vast local knowledge. In terms of safety an IML can guide you on steep ground, on fixed equipment (ladders, chains, etc), and over snow patches.

Daily Course Itinerary

You fly into Keflavik Airport for a transfer to Reykavik. There is a full briefing, equipment checks and an overview of the itinerary for the week. We spend the night in the comfortable guesthouse.

Sun In the morning you drive east through the farmlands of southern Iceland, towards Mount Mekla, Iceland's most active volcano. The variations in the lava and vegetation shaped by the forces of erosion create a colorful and spectacular scenery. You can drive to the edge of the newest lava field from the year 2000. From here you trek upwards along the volcano's ridge to the summit. Upon returning to the 4x4 you drive on over a really rugged mountain track past lava fields. There is a quick stop at the Torfajökull glacier area, which is the largest high-temparature geothermal area in Iceland. The mountain view is spectacular and at the top you enjoy a panorama of 8 glaciers. Finally you pass the Dómadalur lava fields, the landscape barren from the fallout ash of Hekla's last eruption. Our aim for the day is to reach the huge boiling spring called Hrafntinnusker where we camp for the night. Driving time 4 hours. Walking time 6-8 hours.
Mon Today we start through the canyon of Hrafntinnusker passing more hot springs. We climb the snowfields of the Kaldaklof Mountains and to reach the summit of Mount Haskerdingur 1281m. This is one of Icelands best viewpoints where there are views ranging from dark volcanic deserts to great glacier icecaps. We descend towards the black plains of the beautiful Lake Alftavatn and camp beside the lake. Walking time: 5 hours.
Tue We head towards the huge Myrdalsjokull Ice Cap crossing many rivers to climb to the green lake of Hvanngil. The trek continues beneath the peak of Storasula, crossing desert hills to our campsite at Emstrur. Walking time 6 hours.
Wed Todays trek passes through the impressive Markarfljot Canyon towards the green birch forests of the Porsmork Valley. A day passing through spectacular scenery, but wihout too much strenuous effort to rest you for tomorrows excursions. Walking time: 5 hours.
Thu Today is one of the spectacular hikes in Iceland. We climb up the Fimmvorduhals Pass 1100m into a narrow canyon to the steep ridge of Kattahryggur. Here you are between two glacier covered volcanoes of Myrdalsjokull 1460m and Eyjafjallajokull 1666m. We descend past the 60 metre high Skogarfoss Waterfall. climb 1000 metres and descend 1000 metres during the course of a 22 kilometre walk. We then have a 2 hour drive towards. Night in guesthouse.
Fri If the weather hampered efforts to summit Hekla on the first day, this day gives a second attempt, or it can be used to explore some of the great natural features that make Iceland so famous; the geysirs at Geysir, and the double waterfall of Gullfoss. We return to Reykjavík for sightseeing and celebrations. Night in guesthouse in Reykavik.
Sat The morning is free for you to spend as you wish. Most people opt to explore Reykjavík for local produce and presents. You check out of your accommodation, and can depart from 12:00.
N.B. ITINERARY NOTES: Where possible we follow itineraries. Mountain adventures are weather and conditions dependant, so occasionaly we are forced to alter the plans. If this is the case, suitable alternatives are offered. Please use this outline itinerary as a guide to the types of route / activity that you will attempt.
Course Prices
Standard course
6 days guiding, 8 days holiday in total £1799
Live availability
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Standard Course Inclusions: 1) UIMLA Guide for six days, 2) Chamonix course hosts for logistics & briefings, 3) Accommodation in hotels / guesthouses / camping on a B&B basis, 4) All road transport in Iceland, as per the itinerary, 5) Pre course information booklet, 6) Equipment discount voucher for UK shops, 7) Free 36 page technical Course Instruction Booklet, 8) Airport transfers between Keflavik and Reykjavik.
Exclusions: 1) Flights to and from Iceland, 2) Equipment hire, 3) Personal laundry, telephone calls, lunches, evening meals in valley, & any purchases in mountain huts / hotels / restaurants, 4) Lunches and evening meals, 5) Activities insurance, & excess baggage charges.
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