Not that there is a scarcity of place to experience and witness the wonderful natural phenomenon, athletic activities like hiking, visiting glaciers and volcanoes, knowing some interesting bits of mythology or taking a dip in the hot spring but you will probably have to travel to multiple different places in order to enjoy them all. Þórsmörk or Thorsmork is one of the very few places in Iceland where you can find all these activities without having to move in all four different directions at once.
Also known as the valley of Thor, this little place is situated in highlands between 3 glaciers and to the north of the very playful river Krossá. This is a place straight out of panoramic scenery with bright green mountains, long braided rivers, countless geothermal areas, volcanoes hiding under the glaciers, the raw dose of nature, and the thought-provoking mythologies. Thorsmork is the final stop of the Laugavegur hike so if you have not already added this to your must-visit list of places then you can definitely see it when you take one of the must-do hikes in Iceland.
What to Do in Thorsmork
There are several short as well as long hikes available to do in Thorsmork ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 hours for the short ones and about 6 hours for the long ones. Each hike has its perks and beautiful sceneries waiting for you at the end of the trail. Depending on the amount of time you have on your hands, you can choose any from the available options. Following are some great hikes you can consider to take when in Thorsmork:
- Valahnukur: A short 1.5 – 2 hours long hike which starts from the volcano huts and ends at volcano hut as well. You will be able to feast your eyes upon extremely beautiful views of the Thorsmork valley from the above.
- Tindfjöll Circle: This is one of the longest short hikes of Iceland and it starts in canyon valley, circles around Tindfjöll gorge and ridge, Slyppugil Valley, Tröllakirkja and will end with a Christmas postcard-worthy view of Thor’s Valley in front of you. It is a great option to consider if you want to get close to the glaciers.
- Laugavegur and Fimmvörduháls: The Laugavegur hike starts in the north at Landmannalaugar and ends at Thorsmork while the Fimmvörduháls hike starts in Skógafoss and ends in Thorsmork. Laugavegur hike is a long hike and takes about 3-4 days for completion and Fimmvörduháls hike takes about a day or two depending on your speed. You will get to experience nature in its crude form on both these hikes along with beautiful landscapes and two of the most famous glaciers – Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull as well as Katla volcano.
Roam Around, Relax and Eat
The hub for two of the most famous hikes of the country, Thorsmork has beautiful small restaurants that serve amazing food and get many tourists along the day who have just finished their hike. You can relax and eat after a long day of sightseeing whilst enjoying the view and even mingle around with fellow tourists.
Take a Dip in the Hot Springs
Þórsmörk is filled with geothermal areas and there is no way that you should be missing out of this experience. Because what is better than a soothing hot bath after you return from a long hike and sight-seeing expedition, right?
Go Horse Riding
Valley of Thor is one of the top places in Iceland to go horse riding. Although the trails are very challenging so most rides are open only for experienced riders. It is an activity you should try out when you visit Thorsmork.
How to Get to Thorsmork
There are many ways to get to Thorsmork including self-driving tours, hired Super Jeeps, hiking trails, and bus rides from Reykjavik. You can rent a 4×4 vehicle from an agency and ride the F-roads by yourself along with your accompanying tourist or book a driver with a super jeep. The most popular way to get to Þórsmörk is by hiking which starts from Landmannalaugar. If you simply want to visit the place and decide on hiking later than you can book a bus from the capital city or hire a personal vehicle.
Note that you have to cross rivers on the way to Thorsmork, so if you are not comfortable with that we recommend that you book the bus or a Super Jeep. The roads are closed during the wintertime unless you are driving a specially modified truck.