Outdoor Hiking Challenge
Imagine hiking in the stunning landscapes of South Iceland, the culmination of your efforts to prepare for a personal or charity challenge. Amongst ancient volcanoes, across lava fields and between steaming and gurgling geothermal pools and streams, it’s a unique experience.
Perfect if you would like to join a small group of like minded people to immerse yourself in Icelandic nature, geothermal earth-cooking and bathing and sleeping under the night sky. At this time of the year, the colours of the Icelandic autumn are beautiful, and there’s also the chance that the Aurora will be there for us too.
6 days/5 nights
Iceland Outdoor Hiking Challenge 2021
Arrival in Iceland: 7 September 2021
Our first Zoom info session was November 26 2020, register here to join another
We did it in 2018 and we are doing it again! Read more here
After all that’s happened in 2020, why not plan to end end the summer of 2021 by completing this early autumn hiking challenge with us? Choose to make the hike either a personal goal achieved for you, or raise some funds for a charity of your choice.
Join Iceland Traveller’s owner, Julia, and her exceptional team in Iceland for an unforgettable experience in amongst lava hills and hot streams under huge skies with only the sounds of nature around you.
What to expect
Designed to be an experience above and beyond the walking or hiking you might normally undertake, the daily distances are not huge but the terrain is harder going and even though the temperatures in September are not particularly low, the elements could also be a factor. We’ll be accompanied by professional Icelandic guides, and the luggage will be moved for us each day so we hike with day packs only. Overnight stays will be spent in bunkhouses or under canvas and at the end of the trail, in a countryside hotel. We’ll eat well, see beautiful scenery and enjoy great Icelandic hospitality. September is Northern lights season, so with dark skies and without light pollution, sightings of this magnificent spectacle may be possible.
6 days in Iceland
This 6-day trip (which includes the 4 day hike) begins and ends in Reykjavik with all of the arrangements in Iceland taken care of by us. The holiday can easily be extended to allow time to see more of Iceland before you leave for home, perhaps to see the rest of the famous Golden Circle or to spend some time in Reykjavik, Iceland’s charming capital city. The group will be a maximum of 20 people, so do join us with a group of friends, as a couple or as a solo traveller, you’ll be very welcome. To join the hike, you will need to be in Reykjavik on September 7 2021, and depart on or after September 12 2021. For an ATOL protected package, we will arrange flights from the UK, or you can make your own flight arrangements and provide us with the details so that we can arrange transfers to and from the farm. Prices are based on full board, including equipment and sharing a twin/double room (in hotel accommodation). Our guides will be Icelandic, there will be plenty of good wholesome food and we’ll be well looked after.
Where do we hike?
Iceland Traveller’s hiking challenge is a 4-day guided expedition in South Iceland in one of the most important historical and geological locations in the country and covering approximately 50 km around, through and over beautiful and rugged volcanic and lakeside landscapes with breath-taking views and scenery. The walking paths will vary from gravel tracks, rough lava terrain to mountain paths and grass tracks. The walking area lies around the Hengill volcano geothermal area and within the Thingvellir National Park to combine ascents, descents and low land walking from close to sea level to about 600m. Landscape features include the Mid Atlantic ridge and rift between the continental plates, lake Thingvellir and the river Sog that flows from it, together with the geothermal hot springs and rivers of the Hengill area.
Full details of the kit list will be provided for everyone joining the trip, but expect to bring sturdy hiking boots with ankle support (that you have already worn in), waterproof and breathable hiking clothing including hat and gloves and a waterproof day pack. Sleeping bags, camping equipment (for the time under canvas) and utensils to eat with are provided by the guides, though you will need to bring a flask for drinks. Equipment can be hired if required.
The colours of Autumn are likely to be on display, as the shrubby bushes and low trees turn red, orange and brown. It’s reasonable to expect temperatures in the range of 11°C to 6°C during the day, making snowfall unlikely. Night time temperatures could dip to 0°C. As always in Iceland, sun, rain and wind is likely, and the Icelandic weather is famous for being fickle, so you should always expect rain, regardless of the season and really every season in a day. Sunrise is at about 06:30 and sunset at about 20:00 at this time of the year, and clear skies will be starry and with luck we’ll see the Aurora too.
Food in Iceland
Icelandic food is tasty, wholesome and there is plenty of it. Lamb and fish are regularly offered, and although there aren’t many root vegetables, there is plenty of salad. Cakes and sweet foods are popular and coffee, tea, and the best fresh water anywhere are always readily available. On hiking days, we will have a packed lunch that will usually contain breads, meats, egg, cheeses and salads, with cake, biscuits, fruit and Skyr (Iceland’s equivalent to yoghurt/fromage frais). On our last trek, the homemade trail mix was a huge hit with everyone, and like all the meals, tailored to dietary needs. Icelanders are very good at catering for dairy free, gluten free, vegetarian and vegan diets, please let us know about any requirements that you have.
Our commitment to you
Customer service and satisfaction is very important in Iceland, and we want you to have a great experience (and a challenge) so please read carefully the information that we have provided and let us know about any questions that you have as you book and certainly before we go! If you walk regularly and are prepared for rough terrain rather than steep ascents, have the stamina to walk all day even if the weather isn’t great, then this could well be for you. This will be a sociable event led by professional, friendly and encouraging guides. It’s also a personal challenge and not a competition, but equally everyone needs to be prepared. We are running local walks (including camping skills) starting early in 2021 (within COVID regulations). Join our facebook group here, or contact us for the dates and information.
There is no requirement to make fundraising part of this adventure. On our last hike some of the group chose to make it a personal challenge, while others picked causes that were dear to them. We raised over £5000 for a local charity, Richmond Talking Newspapers and for Alzheimers.
For the 2021 challenge, some members of the group are raising money for Child Bereavement UK and in particular in memory of Jessica. You can read more Carolyn and Paul here.
Find the itinerary here.
Our 2018 trip remembered..
“The Iceland Outdoor Hiking Challenge was a fantastic experience. The scenery was breath-taking and the walking was wonderful. Iceland Traveller and our guides were attentive to everyone’s experience and fitness levels and adopted our plans accordingly. We were never rushed but instead were able to really relax into the days without having to think about any logistics – the Iceland Traveller team took care of all of that. The “extraordinary camping experience” is an understated description of the night we spent in a super-secret camping spot, reached after a lovely full day of walking with incredible views around every corner. There is nothing better than a hot river bath to soothe the muscles followed by a naturally cooked meal out under the stars. Each day was well thought out and full of laughter. It was an experience I will never forget.”