Price: $2,990 USD per person
August 2 – 8, 2016
Starting and ending in the capitol city of Reykjavik, this eight-day running vacation in Iceland takes you to Iceland’s most powerful waterfalls, pristine black-sand landscapes, energy-charged glaciers, steaming hot springs and iconic fishing villages.
Included in your package is pick up in Reykjavík on the 2nd of August, sleeping-bag accommodation in mountain huts, a local running guide, transportation during these 7 days of travel in Iceland, full board (except breakfast on day 1 and dinner on day 7) including introduction to local food, entrance to a swimming pool, drop off in Reykjavík at your hotel or guesthouse on the 8th of August.
Accommodation in mountain huts and visiting a local geothermal swimming pool relaxing every muscle after 7 days running around variable trails in Iceland.
Our adventure begins in the northern territory of Vatnajökull National Park, home to Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, and Ásbyrgi, a horseshoe-shaped canyon filled with birch and willow woodlands.
We’ll run around Landmannalaugar’s colorful mountains, explore the geological wonders by Lake Mývatn take a dip in natural hot springs. Then it’s off to Snæfellsjökull National Park, which was formed around a volcano hidden under a glacier in the esoteric peninsula in the West.
You need only carry your water and food for each run, as your driver will transport your personal belongings to the next mountain hut or hostel each evening, where we’ll bond over jointly preparing and serving the groups’ hot meals.
Every day we drive to a new area, taking several stops on the way to visit places of interest and the natural environment. Your guide provides information on culture, history, geology and other significant facts along the way.
Pick up at international airport or your hotel/guesthouse in Reykjavík drive to Landmannahellir. A 4 hours drive from the international airport brings us to the roots of the mysterious Mt. Hekla. After a short visit to the volcano we drive towards our mountain hut in the Icelandic highlands, where we will spend the next couple of nights. Running route of the day brings us around the green and black mountains of the area towards the colorful rhyolit mountains of the Landmannalaugar area. After the run the guide cooks dinner with the help of everyone from icelandic food and gives you insight in the scandinavian cuisine. Running: 7 10 miles on soft trail. Accommodation: Mountain hut of Landmannahellir
Landmannalaugar This starts with a short drive to the nearby Landmannalaugar. The area is now a popular destination of hikers because of the unique landscape that can be seen there. The landscape is characterized by colorful rhyolit mountains, as well as black lava from the middle ages with traces of obsidian. At today’s run we come across hot springs and mud pools too hot to bathe in, but very beautiful to look at. Our run starts and ends in Landmannalaugar and includes elevation of 100150 meters. After the run we recommend having a bath in the natural hot bath at Landmannalaugar. After the bath we drive back to our mountain hut for relaxation. Running: 12 16 miles on mostly soft trails. Accommodation: Mountain hut of Landmannahellir
Skaftafell National Park
We start the day by driving to the largest volcanic canyon in the world, Eldgjá. There is a waterfall named Ófærufoss in the bottom of the canyon and both the canyon and the waterfall belong to the Western territory of Vatnajökull National Park. After a visit to Eldgjá we continue to the town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur on the south coast where we have a short stop before continuing further east to the Southern territory of Vatnajökull National Park, called Skaftafell. Skaftafell is unique for many reasons, but known for being vegetated area surrounded by glacial tongues deriving from the biggest glacier in Europe: Vatnajökull. Some refer to the area as the “Icelandic Alps” because here we also find the highest peak of Iceland, called Hvannadalshnúkur (2.110m) and many trails ideal for running in the area. Running: 8 12 miles on trails Accommodation: Hut close to Skaftafell
Glacial lagoon of Jökulsárlón
The day will be spent in close distance to the mighty glacier Vatnajökull. We head to the glacier lake Fjallsárlón, a hidden treasure close to the more famous lagoon Jökulsárlón. Fjallsárlón with Öræfajökull, Icelands tallest volcano, in the background and drifting icebergs in the river is a breathtaking sight. Here we start our run though a phenomenal wasteland at the roots of Vatnajökull to Jökulsárlón lagoon. Jökulsárlón lagoon is one of the naturals wonders of Iceland with icebergs braking of the glacier, drifting in the lagoon and into the Atlantic Ocean. Running: 8 12 miles on trails Accommodation: Hut close to Skaftafell
We start the day by driving along the South Coast of Iceland and we visit the town of Vík, it’s black beach and the then waterfall of Skógafoss. Here is the starting point of one of the best known single tracks in Iceland: Fimmvörðuháls. This is our 15 miles running tour with 1000 m elevation over Fimmvörðuháls pass. The route starts at Skógafoss waterfall and then follows the beautiful river of Skógá where we will be running passed numerous waterfalls along the way all the way up a mountain ridge and between Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers where we explore the new lava from the volcano eruption in 2010. This route ends in the Valley of Thor: Þórsmörk, which is a green oasis hidden behind glacier, sand and a glacial river. At Þórsmörk we arrive to our hut and get settled in after today’s run. At Þórsmörk there is a hot pool and sauna, the possibility of massage and yoga lessons. Running: 1516 miles on trails Accommodation: Hut of Þórsmörk
Þórsmörk In Þórsmörk
we will take a run in the magical landscape. We run a part of the very well known hiking/running path of Laugarvegur to reach a view over the canyon of Markarfljótsgljúfur. We continue to another viewpoint, this time to overview the valley of Þórsmörk. Afterwards we will have an opportunity to practice yoga and relax with a dinner. It is also possible to take a steam bath or/and go to a hot tub. Running: 710 miles run. Accommodation: Hut of Þórsmörk
Þórsmörk is known as the Valley of Thor, a valley that has been carved by the three glaciers surrounding it. It has many mountains that are easy to climb and two big glacial rivers. We will go running up to some of Þórsmörk mountains today before heading back to Reykjavík. On our way to Reykjavík we stop at Seljalandsfoss waterfall and get to Reykjavík in the afternoon. Dinner at a local restaurant in Reykjavík. Running: 10 miles on trails
At the end of Snæfellsnes Peninsula, a national park has been formed around the glacier which rests atop a steep-sided, cone-shaped stratovolcano. We‘ll run run in the National Park of Snæfellsnes and the unique surroundings of the glacier, after which we drive back to Reykjavik.
“Both of my guides were very knowledgable about the geography, history and culture of the region, and both excellent, strong runners. Amenities on the overnight trips were excellent, with carefully chosen campsites, great food and roomy tents. The addition of a driver to haul gear on the longer trip also freed our minds to concentrate on the travelling. Would recommend without hesitation.”
“They were so friendly, knowledgable, and down to earth. Not only did they fill us in on historical information but they also had great recommendations for places to go in town and ultra runs to do in Iceland.”
“My husband and I had tossed around the idea of running on our own, without a guide, but we are so incredibly glad we opted for a guided trip with Arctic Running instead. The guides took us to remote places we never would have seen otherwise, and taught us about the unique geography and local legends. The food was phenomenal and plentiful. I'm sure we gained weight despite the 100 kms of running! I underestimated how much I would appreciate this luxury. I'm used to eating energy bars and trail mix... Ending the run with a bowl of soup (it was chilly), followed by a huge dinner of fresh local seafood, or BBQ'd lamb was amazing (though they can cater to vegetarians as well).”
Inga Fanney, founder and CEO of Thule Trails, is a running, trekking and glacier guide in Iceland. She is a teacher, a guide and a runner. Her interests are running, swimming, fishing, hunting and traveling. With the rest of the team at Thule Trails, she offers running tours that explore Iceland‘s most iconic national parks, majestic natural features like glaciers, volcanoes, black-sand deserts, geysers and geothermal hot springs. With Inga and her team‘s collective experience in the running, guiding, managing, tourism and travel industries, they have designed tours that gives visitors time to run as well as time to appreciate the spectacular natural surroundings.