Iceland's Volcanic Ski Tour

Centre-based ski-touring exploration of Iceland`s Fjallabak




From $2,420 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview


  • Cross country skiing at its best
  • Enjoy the Landmannalaugar hot springs at night
  • For experienced ski tourers and fit beginners
  • A unique winter landscape, perfect for ski touring

Just 3 hours drive from the Icelandic capital, Landmannalaugar lies at the centre of the volcanic wilderness that is the Fjallabak. Rugged peaks, narrow valleys, glaciers and hot springs make this one of Iceland's most fascinating areas and under its pristine winter snow cover it offers endless opportunities for ski touring. We begin this week of non-technical cross-country skiing with a level stage from Sigalda to our comfortable refuge base at Landmannalaugar. For the rest of the week, we will ski loops away from our accommodation, starting with very easy terrain, the level valley runs where everyone can get comfortable with their skis. We will progress to slightly steeper slopes and more exhilarating ski touring on some of the low Fjallabak hills. Returning to Landmannalaugar each evening, we will be in the enviable position of being able to sample some of the world's greatest hot springs - without doubt one of the greatest assets of this holiday. Nighttime in the pool beneath the star-studded sky certainly leaves an everlasting impression. With its generally easy terrain and professional guiding, this is a winter holiday that works for both accomplished cross-country skiers and for fit newcomers with a good level of downhill ski experience. All ski equipment can be hired locally.

explore international

Explore International. This is one of our Explore International holidays. Participants on these trips can book through KE or through one of our international partners. This helps us to gather together sufficient numbers of like-minded adventurers to get your holiday up and running quickly. Led by an English-speaking guide, the cosmopolitan nature of these groups can be an important part of the experience!

Is this holiday for you?

This tour demands a good level of fitness and a willingness to confront the Icelandic weather which can fairly be described as unpredictable. During the course of this ski touring holiday you will cover approximately 115 kilometers. Averaging 20 kilometers per day on each of the 4 longer days with two shorter days in the middle, with slightly more demanding terrain. Our day-tours take us across flat plains, along narrow valleys, up and down gentle slopes with relatively straightforward skiing. Accumulated ascent is never more than 500 metres in one day and the angle of the descents is rarely steep. The area is well travelled in summer, but when winter pulls its white coat over the Fjallabak, access is limited to those who have the right vehicles. So, we might even have this frozen paradise all to ourselves. The guide will carry safety equipment including a snow shovel. Regular cross-country skiers will find this tour enjoyable and quite easy, whilst for those with little cross-country skiing experience, it will be tougher, but very rewarding. If you've not done any cross country skiing, we require that you have a reasonable level of downhill skiing ability - which will mean that you are at least used to the sensation of travelling on skis. Debutants can expect to take a couple of days to get into the cross country rhythm. If the conditions are good on the first day of skiing, there may be the opportunity for the guide to provide some basic instruction.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Arrive Reykjavik
  • Drive to Sigalda and ski to Landmannalaugar
  • Ljotipollur and Kylingar loop
  • Storihver and Hrafntinnusker loop
  • Ski tour via 'Hat' and 'Baldie'
  • Vondugil and Sudur Namur loop
  • Ski to Sigalda, return to Reykjavik
  • Departure day
Sun 12 Feb - Sun 19 Feb Code ICS /01/17/ Adult$2,420 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Iceland's Volcanic Ski Tour
  • The departure reference for this tour is ICS /01/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 12 Feb and departs on Sun 19 Feb
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $100 - Includes 2 nights in Reykjavik guesthouse only
Sun 26 Feb - Sun 05 Mar Code ICS /02/17/ Adult$2,420 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Iceland's Volcanic Ski Tour
  • The departure reference for this tour is ICS /02/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 26 Feb and departs on Sun 05 Mar
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $100 - Includes 2 nights in Reykjavik guesthouse only
Sun 12 Mar - Sun 19 Mar Code ICS /03/17/ Adult$2,420 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Iceland's Volcanic Ski Tour
  • The departure reference for this tour is ICS /03/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 12 Mar and departs on Sun 19 Mar
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $100 - Includes 2 nights in Reykjavik guesthouse only
Sun 02 Apr - Sun 09 Apr Code ICS /04/17/ Adult$2,420 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Iceland's Volcanic Ski Tour
  • The departure reference for this tour is ICS /04/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 02 Apr and departs on Sun 09 Apr
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $100 - Includes 2 nights in Reykjavik guesthouse only
We sell this holiday on a Land Only basis and recommend that you book your flights to Reykjavik (Keflavik) Airport Please refer to Joining Arrangements and Transfers in the Trip Notes for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is shown on our website as either Guaranteed or Limited Availability.

If flying from the UK, there are a number of low cost airlines offering flights to Reykjavik. These include Easyjet, who have flights from Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, Manchester and Edinburgh and WOW Air, who have flights from Gatwick, Bristol and Edinburgh.

Alternatively, you can book a Flight Inclusive package through KE using scheduled airlines from the UK. Please contact our flights department for a quote. Whilst flight prices are likely to be more expensive you will benefit from full financial protection.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

We have undertaken to guarantee that all of our Land Only prices will not change once you have booked your holiday. Unlike some of our competitors we have decided never to surcharge, whether you are booking for this year or the next.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • trip direction
  • trek
  • transfer

Holiday Itinerary

  • Arrive Reykjavik

    Rendezvous at the group's guesthouse accommodation in Reykjavik. KE Land Only package services begin with the overnight at this accommodation. You may have to wait until 2pm before being given access to your rooms. If you arrive significantly earlier than this, you can leave your bags at the guesthouse and do some exploring. Reykjavik is a modern city, home to 190,000 of Iceland's tiny total population of 280,000. Its centre is small and easy to walk around from our accommodation and there are several restaurants within walking distance for the evening meal. There will be an initial meeting with the local guide at the guesthouse at 7 pm. He or she will give a briefing about the trip and advise you on your choice of restaurant for your evening meal.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

  • Drive to Sigalda and ski to Landmannalaugar

    Using a rugged 4WD vehicle, we drive east on the Helisheidi road to Selfoss and then north-east to Sigalda in the Fjallabak region. We follow the only road into this part of the island's interior that is cleared of snow during the winter. Arriving at Sigalda after a 3-hour journey, we leave the vehicle and prepare for the first day's skiing. There is time for some basic instruction from our guide, before we set off on the mostly flat 20 kilometre stage. The route takes us across the lava fields of Bjallahraun and across a low col near to the small peak of Hnausar. We then descend easily to the lake of Frostastadavatn and cross this, heading south, to arrive at our refuge accommodation at Landmannalaugar. Our baggage will already have been dropped off. Close to the hut, 2 geothermally heated streams merge to form one of the world's finest natural hot pools - sheer bliss.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 100m

    • Distance 20km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 100m

    • Time 6 hrs skiing

  • Ljotipollur and Kylingar loop

    After breakfast, we set out for a fun day on our skis. We will explore the area north-east of Landmannalaugar on a mostly flat 16 kilometre route that takes us to the great crater of Ljotipollur, which was created in the 15th century during the course of a destructive series of eruptions. Skiing beneath the red and black cliffs of this impressive crater, we will then loop
    around to the east, crossing the wetland area of Kylingar, which is frozen and snow-covered at this season. The imposing mountain of Kirkjufell looms above us, as we ski back to our accommodation at Landmannalaugar.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 100m

    • Distance 16km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 100m

    • Time 5 hrs skiing

  • Storihver and Hrafntinnusker loop

    Today's 24 kilometre tour takes us into the hills that lie behind our hut, to the south-east. We pass the steam vents on the hill of Brennisteinsalda and cross a ridge to arrive at the hot spring of Storihver, where a plume of vapour issues from a large volcanic cave. If the weather is good, we will continue our tour uphill to the ice caves at Hrafntinnusker and make a loop around the hill of the same name, stopping off at the Hrafntinnusker Refuge at around 1100 metres. From here, it is a pleasant descent back to Landmannalaugar and its amazing hot springs.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 500m

    • Distance 24km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 500m

    • Time 6 hrs skiing

  • Ski tour via 'Hat' and 'Baldie'

    Today, we ski through the great valley of Jokulgil, which runs down to Landmannalaugar from the south-east. Our loop takes us over the low hills of Hattur (The Hat) and Skalli (Baldie). The views from each of these are not to be missed, extending to the distant icecap of Vatnajokull if the weather is clear. We return to Landmannalaugar by mid afternoon.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 500m

    • Distance 15km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 500m

    • Time 5 hrs skiing

  • Vondugil and Sudur Namur loop

    Another great day of skiing, as we head out towards the west into the valley of Vondugil. Our route takes us through a narrow canyon and by way of several hot springs, before we loop back around towards the north and begin the ascent of a ridge-line leading to the top of the hill known as Sudur Namur (873m). The views northwards extend as far as Mount Hekla on a clear day. Returning to Landmannalaugar after our 15 kilometre tour, the hot springs will be hard to resist.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 400m

    • Distance 15km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 400m

    • Time 5 hrs skiing

  • Ski to Sigalda, return to Reykjavik

    On this last day of skiing, we set out northwards on a fairly level 20 kilometre stage via the lava fields of Domadalur and the lake of Eskihlidarvatn. Arriving at Sigalda, we meet our transport which has already picked up our baggage. We then have a 3-hour drive back to Reykjavík. On arrival at our accommodation, we will have plenty of time to get washed and changed and then go out on the town, to celebrate the end of a superb holiday. Saturday night in Reykjavik is quite an experience. Young Icelanders go out late and stay out until morning.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Ascent 100m

    • Distance 20km

    • Meals bl

    • Descent 100m

    • Time 5 hrs skiing

  • Departure day

    KE Land Only package services end with breakfast at the hotel.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • A professional English speaking Icelandic guide
  • All accommodation as detailed in the trip dossier
  • Meals as listed in the Meal Plan
  • Overland transport as appropriate for the itinerary
  • Travel insurance
  • Airport transfers between Keflavik Airport and Reykjavik are not included
  • Some meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • The cost of showers at the mountain huts
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc

All food is purchased in Reykjavik, with the emphasis on fresh produce and easily-prepared meals. The trip leader will prepare the group’s evening meals and will appreciate help from the group. Local specialities predominate, including excellent sea-fish and Icelandic lamb, as well as the chance of fresh Arctic char. Breakfasts will consist of porridge, muesli, porridge, bread, jam, tea and coffee. At breakfast, snack items and sandwich materials will be made available so that group members can make up their own packed lunches.

All meals are included in the trip price, with the exception of lunches and dinners when in Reykjavik.
Transfers between Keflavik Airport and Reykjavik are not provided.

The Flybus provides the best airport transfer service. The Flybus ticket office is situated just inside the terminal and is clearly signposted. When you buy your ticket let them know which hotel you need to be dropped of at. The Flybus leaves the airport following each incoming flight, 30 - 40 minutes after each arrival. The Flybus will take you to the bus station in Reykjavik and you will need to ask the bus driver which bus takes you on to your hotel (the cost of this 'second' bus is included in the Flybus ticket).

For the return journey to the airport, your guesthouse reception will assist with booking your ticket and advising you where you will board the bus,

For more information please visit ( the cost is around £15.00 each way.

In case of any problems on arrival please contact the local agent on the following number - 00 354 660 6592
During this trip you will spend 2 nights in basic hotel or guesthouse accommodation, situated within a short walk of central Reykjavik. The accommodation here will be based on twin (and occasionally triple) room sharing. Some of this accommodation has shared, rather than en-suite facilities. It may also be possible to book a single room at additional cost. We cannot guarantee that group members will all be booked into the same Reykjavik accommodation. We also spend 5 nights at the mountain refuge in Landmannalaugar, where the accommodation is in dormitories with sleeping bags required. Toilets here are located outside the hut and there are no showers although there is a geo-thermal pool close by! Additional hotel nights in Reykjavik are also available. For hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

An experienced English-speaking Icelandic guide will lead the trip.

Clients will pay for their own meals (other than breakfasts) whilst in Reykjavik. You should allow £80 (or the equivalent in US dollars or euros) to comfortably cover the 1 lunch and 2 dinners which you will need to buy whilst in Reykjavik on Day 1 and Day 7. Approximately £150 (or the equivalent in US dollars or euros) should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses, including these meals. We recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of currency rather than travellers cheques, since you will exchange the majority of this on the day of your arrival in Reykjavik. If you are intending to buy expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly (credit cards can be useful in this respect). The Icelandic unit of currency is the Krona (plural. Kronur).

Tipping is not really expected in Iceland, but if your guide has done a good job, it would not be unreasonable for the group to invite him or her to your final meal, pay for their meal and offer a small token of your appreciation.

Your baggage on trek will be transported to and from the hut at Landmannalaugar in the support vehicle. Clients should restrict themselves to a single trek bag. There is no weight limit on this bag other than that imposed by your international carrier. It is possible to leave travel clothes or other items not required on trek at the group hotel in Reykjavik.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Approach shoes / trainers (to travel in)

  • Snow boots and slippers (for use in and around the hut)

  • Thin inner and thick outer walking socks

  • Casual trousers

  • Casual shirt and/or T-shirts

  • Ski or mountaineering salopettes

  • Waterproof overtrousers

  • Long johns (thermal underwear)

  • Baselayer shirts

  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Warm jacket (down)

  • Warm hat

  • Lightweight balaclava or facemask

  • Eyewear- ski goggles and glacier sunglasses

  • Lightweight thermal gloves

  • Waterproof and warm gloves or mittens

  • Daypack 40 to 50 litres capacity

  • Sleeping bag (comfort rated 0°C)

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Water bottle

  • Head-torch and spare batteries

  • Basic First Aid Kit

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Small towel

  • Antibacterial hand wash

Ski Equipment

  • Ski touring boots*

  • Ski-touring skis*

  • Ski-touring boots *

  • Ski poles*

  • Skins*

  • Gaiters

These items are optional:

  • 1 litre Thermos Flask

  • Swimwear (for the hot springs)

  • Extra pair of warm mittens

  • Sleeping bag liner

  • Camera

  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)

Ski Equipment:

*The ideal skis to use for this trip are metal-edged Nordic Touring skis with a minimum width of 50mm, together with ski boots to suit step-in bindings. Strong but lightweight bindings, such as Rottefella (75mm) NNN BC or SNS XADV Raid are recommended. You also need full-length skins to assist with the ascents. You will also need a pair of strong poles with big baskets suitable for soft snow.

Ski Hire / Rental:
Ski Touring Equipment, which includes, skis, boots, poles and skins can be hired through KE, to be picked up (and paid for) on arrival in Reykjavik. The cost is currently (Feb 2016 – subject to change) 16100 Icelandic kronur (approx. GBP 80). You can pay by cash or credit/debit card. You must reserve your ski hire through the KE office and we need at least 4-weeks advance notice of this. To help us get the correct size of boot, please provide your foot size using the European sizing scale and also give us the exact length of your foot. We also need to know your height and your weight. Your guide will bring the hire gear to the initial meeting on Day 1. He or she will bring skis, poles, skins and several pairs of shoes of different sizes to make sure that you get a pair that fits well. Please note that the ski hire shop does not provide insurance for this equipment. If you want cover against loss of, or damage to, your hire equipment you will need to make arrangements with your travel insurer.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa Iceland

UK and USA passport holders do not require a visa for short stays.

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations. UK residents should obtain a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is still vital when travelling overseas.

The unit of currency in Iceland is the Icelandic Krona.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on an active holiday getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. While ski touring is undoubtedly the best preparation for this trip, hiking, especially in hill country, is good for building stamina, and a regular exercise regime (jogging, swimming etc.) is good for developing cardio-vascular fitness.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

The main ski-touring season in Iceland is from late February to mid April. By mid March there is lots of daylight (the sun rises at 0700 and sets at 1700 approx.). The ambient daytime temperatures are still low - around freezing or a little below - although it feels warmer as the air is so dry. Night time temperatures in March and April can be as low as minus 15 degrees centigrade, though minus 10 is more likely. The influence of the Gulf Stream moderates the temperatures somewhat. During the day the sun warms the snow, causing a little softening and then at night it re-freezes to form a crust which is perfect for skiing. Long, sunny days are quite usual in this season, although it is also possible that we might encounter short-lived snow storms and temperatures well below freezing.
  • The Rough Guide to Iceland
  • Lonely Planet. Iceland, Greenland and the Faroes
  • The Insight Guide to Iceland
  • Iceland. Photo Book. Colin Baxter

Mal Og Menning. Fjallabak Hekla - Laki. 1:100,000 Scale

The Icelandic maps published by Mal og Menning are good. There are several series, the best of which is at 1:100,000 scale.

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