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Everything You Should Know About Landmannalaugar in Iceland

Landmannalaugar can be found in the Highlands of Iceland and is an area that’s known for its incredible landscapes of various colors and some breathtaking views. And with a wide variety of things to do and see here, many visitors add Landmannalaugar to their Iceland trip itinerary.


Perhaps you’re planning a trip to the island, or maybe you’ve never heard of Landmannalaugar and would like to learn more about this unusual and beautiful place. Either way, this article is for you. We give you the lowdown on Landmannalaugar and what you can expect from a visit there.


Landmannalaugar

Facts about Landmannalaugar


Below are a few interesting facts and titbits you need to know about Landmannalaugar:

  • When we say Landmannalaugar’s incredible mountains and lava fields were created a long time ago, we mean it – they were the result of thousands of years of volcanic activity that already started with a major eruption in 1477!

  • The type of volcanic rock that Landmannalaugar is made of is Rhyolite.

  • Landmannalaugar is famous for its colorful landscape, and the mountains are literally 5 different colors; green, red, yellow, pink, and blue. This is also why they are sometimes referred to as the rainbow mountains of Iceland.

  • The lava field at Landmannalaugar is called Laugahraun.

  • Landmannalaugar is a geothermal area due to the ongoing volcanic activity underneath the ground that heats up the underground water supply.


How to Get to Landmannalaugar


There are essentially 3 ways to get to Landmannalaugar


Driving to Landmannalaugar


We will always recommend driving yourself to Landmannalaugar. It truly is the best way to explore the island, and this way you’ll remain in full control of your time and trip itinerary. Just keep in mind that you are not legally allowed to drive the F-roads in Iceland if you don’t have a 4x4 vehicle. Driving from the capital city of Reykjavik will be the fastest, and you can choose between 3 routes:

  • The Northern Route via the Ring Road/Golden Circle and then Route F26 onwards. Although the majority of this route is paved, the last 26 kilometers is an unpaved road and can get pretty rough.

  • The Hekla Volcano Route via Route 26 and then F225 onwards. Although this route is a bit more challenging, many choose to drive to Landmannalaugar this way since they can stop at Hekla Volcano.

  • The Southern Route via the Ring Road and then F208 onwards. This is an incredibly scenic route, but you’ll need to be prepared for a few rough sections on the roads, and river crossings.


Driving to Landmannalaugar

Bus to Landmannalaugar


There are numerous buses that one can take to Landmannalaugar from the capital city of Reykjavik and the trip only takes a couple of hours. Just keep in mind that, most of these, only run from June to early September.


Landmannalaugar Tours


There are many guided day tours to Landmannalaugar from Reykjavik. You can also choose a multi-day guided holiday tour that includes Landmannalaugar as a stop.


Although these Landmannalaugar tours can be great fun and you learn a lot about the area, these tours can take a toll on your budget and it can become annoying not to stop or go when you want to, waiting on people, or have other people waiting on you, etc.


When to Go to Landmannalaugar


Visiting Landmannalaugar is considered to be a seasonal activity here on the island, and most will tell you to plan your trip for the Iceland summer months between June and September. This is because of a variety of reasons:

  • As a place that offers a variety of outdoor activities, you want to do these during the warmer months and when all the snow has melted.

  • Landmannalaugar is in the Highlands of Iceland and has many F-roads to get there. The majority of the region and the road/routes (especially the F-roads) are kept closed throughout the colder months of the year since they just become undrivable due to weather conditions.


When to Go to Landmannalaugar

If you intend to travel to Landmannalaugar during the summertime, you’ll also need to keep in mind that it’s our peak season here on the island. So you’ll be contending with the rest of the peak season crowds who all want to go to Landmannalaugar.


This is why we recommend that you get a head start and go as early as you can to try and avoid the masses as much as possible. If you’re planning on going hiking, you’ll also need to get an early start to your day to comfortably (it can get pretty hot later in the day) complete the trail without feeling like it’s a constant race against time.


Hiking in Landmannalaugar


With a landscape this beautiful, it should come as no surprise that hiking is a much-loved activity at Landmannalaugar. In fact, you will find one of our most famous hiking trails here; the Laugavegur Trail.

This trail is not for the faint of heart, and we suggest that only avid hikers take this one on. It is a multi-day trek that covers 55 kilometers from Landmannalaugar to Thorsmork. If you’re a beginner or simply don’t feel like you’re at a multi-day-challenging-trail-skill level yet, you can simply opt for the various shorter day trails that can be found in the area.


Hiking in Landmannalaugar

Best Things to Do in Landmannalaugar


You will find plenty of things to do in Landmannalaugar and the surroundings, so make sure that you give yourself enough time in the area to really enjoy all it has to offer. The following are a few things that you can consider adding to your trip itinerary:


Taking a Dip at the People’s Pool


The People’s Pool can be found next to the Laughraun Lava Field in Landmannalaugar. This is one of the island’s natural hot springs that is still in its original form and is open to the public. The Landmannalaugar hot spring’s temperature is always between 36 and 40 degrees Celsius, irrespective of the season.


Summiting a Few Mountains


No, don’t worry – you don’t need to become a mountaineer to enjoy this activity. You will find various hiking trails at Landmannalaugar all across the mountain range that allow you to summit to the top and take in the incredible views across the Landmannalaugar landscape.

So, if you are in the mood for a Landmannalaugar day hike, these are some of the trails you can take on:

  • Mt. Blahnukur (a challenging 6.1-kilometer Landmannalaugar hike),

  • Sudurnamur (a tough 8.5-kilometer Landmannalaugar hike)

  • Mt. Brennisteinsalda (a challenging 6.5-kilometer Landmannalaugar hike)


Landmannalaugar landscape

Traversing a Lava Field


Another interesting activity at Landmannalaugar is hiking the Laugahraun Lava Field. This trail is just 4.3 kilometers long and is such an easy walk that it’s suitable for all ages. This makes it an especially popular activity amongst families.


Visiting Haifoss Waterfall


Haifoss loosely translates to “high waterfall”. This is because, when the waterfall was discovered in the early 20th century, it was believed to be the highest waterfall in Iceland. Although this is not really the case today, it definitely counts as one of the tallest waterfalls in Iceland, clocking in at a staggering 122 meters.


Checking Out Sigöldugljufur Canyon

Sigöldugljufur is so much more than just a canyon – it looks like the scene out of your favorite adventure movie with one side a desolate canyon as most have come to know them, but then the opposite side is lush and green with walls of various waterfalls gushing down the cliffs.


Since you drive past Sigöldugljufur Canyon on your way to Landmannalaugar, there really is no excuse why you can’t stop and admire this magnificent piece of art created by nature.


Sigöldugljufur Canyon

Where to Stay in Landmannalaugar


As in most parts of the island, you’ll have your pick of places to stay when visiting Landmannalaugar. There are various hotels, guesthouses, and Airbnbs in the surrounding area, such as Hotel Katla, and holiday cottages.


If you want the ultimate sense of convenience (and at extremely affordable rates), then you need to opt for the campgrounds in Landmannalaugar. It’s the easiest way to truly immerse yourself in the Landmannalaugar landscape, and you’ll save a ton on accommodation costs.

You can even increase those savings further by buying a Camping Card for just €179. This card grants access for a family of 2 adults and up to 4 kids to stay at various campsites across the country for 28 nights. When one takes into account that the average cost for camping in Landmannalaugar is around $20 per person per night, the Camping Card can result in massive savings.


Landmannalaugar 1-Day Itinerary


Below is an example of a 1-day trip itinerary you can follow:

  • Drive from Reykjavik to Landmannalaugar.

  • Stop at Hekla (if you’ve chosen the Hekla route).

  • Take a short hike at Statur volcanic crater (this is an easy 30-minute walk).

  • Take on one more quick hike of your choosing, but ensure that you’re done by no later than 16:00.

  • Take a recuperating and relaxing soak in the People’s Pool.

  • After your dip, you can choose between visiting Haifoss Waterfall or Sigöldugljufur Canyon.


Landmannalaugar 1-Day Itinerary

Landmannalaugar FAQs


Below you will find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Landmannalaugar:


Is There an Entrance Fee to Landmannalaugar?


No. Entry to Landmannalaugar is completely free of charge.


Do I Need a 4x4 to Visit Landmannalaugar?


Yes, a 4x4 is a non-negotiable when it comes to Landmannalaugar. Firstly, it is illegal to drive on the F-roads (the only way to get to Landmannalaugar) without a 4x4 vehicle. And, secondly, the roads are unpaved and so rough that it’s doubtful that a 2-wheel drive will get very far on these roads.


When Can you Go to Landmannalaugar?


Technically, you can go to Landmannalaugar all year round, although, as we’ve already discussed, Landmannalaugar in winter is generally not a great place to be (if you are able to get there in the first place due to all the road closures). The general consensus is to keep a visit to Landmannaluagar reserved for the warm summer months between June and September.


How Much Time Do You Need at Landmannalaugar?


Even though you can do Landmannalaugar as a day trip, we highly recommend that you sleep over at least one night in order to truly see and do everything the area and its surroundings have to offer.


Can I Go on a Self-drive Tour in Landmannalaugar?


Yes, but you’ll need to be prepared for the road ahead and plan your trip accordingly, since a kilometer on an unpaved F-road takes much longer than a kilometer on one of our paved and well-maintained main roads in Iceland.



Landmannalaugar Nature Reserve; a Kaleidoscope of Colors


We honestly can’t decide what makes Landmannalaugar more impressive; the majestic landscape with its kaleidoscope of colors, the fact that this was all caused by the volcanic activity here on the island or all the various things there are to see and do at Landmannalaugar and its surroundings.


Either way, a Landmannalaugar day trip or having it as a stop on your Iceland road trip is well worth it. So, what are you waiting for? Plan that trip, book that flight, rent a car in Iceland, and head out for the adventure of a lifetime in Landmannalaugar!

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