The Landmannalaugar is a massif located in the Icelandic highlands. The site is particularly known and renowned for its colors which are due to the volcanism very present in the region but also for its natural hot springs. Departure or arrival of the famous Laugavegur, the Landmannalaugar deserves to stop there to explore and discover it.

Landmannalaugar


Geology

The extraordinary colors of Landmannalaugar are due to the iron contained in the rhyolite, the main rock of the site. Indeed, the lava formed under an ice cap which allowed an interaction between the rock and the melt water. We are talking about rhyolithic tuff here.

You will also come across a lot of obsidian, volcanic glass. This rock is beautiful when wet.

Join the Landmannalaugar

The landmannalaugar is accessible by a good post on which you will still have to cross at least two fords. Access is therefore reserved for the 4×4. To access the site follow the F225 then 224 from Route 26.

The site is also accessible by several bus services. We opted for Reykjavík Excursion because the buses leave from the center of the capital and offer timetables that suit us. If you want more information: https://www.re.is/tour/landmannalaugar-iceland-on-your-own/

This trip is the first we did on an F-road and is really beautiful. Try to take a seat at the front by bus if you want to enjoy the view.

What to do at Landmannalaugar?

The Landmannalaugar is one of the extremities of the famous Laugavegur that we had the chance to visit. But you can also radiate for the day from the camp for beautiful day hikes as we present below.

The Landmannalaugar is also known for its hot springs. It is a mandatory stop if you come here. The source a little behind the tumult of the parking lot is superb. The temperature should be around 40 ° C but is flexible because cold and hot currents meet in the main pool, allowing you to find the location that suits you best. The bottom is in fine gravel which makes the water very clear. A structure allows you to store your belongings while swimming. The only downside and not the least: the world! In the afternoon when the buses arrived, it’s crazy! We therefore advise you to go there in the evening or even better in the morning! We were lucky to be only three in the basin on our way around 9am. Real happiness especially after a cool night.

Practical information

Or sleep ? Many solutions :

  • The refuge of “FI”, the Icelandic hiking association. The night is at 9000ISK. I advise you to book well in advance given the crowds … More info: https://www.fi.is/en/mountain-huts/all-mountain-huts/view/landmannalaugar
  • In a tent: there is a large bivouac area. Do not imagine the beautiful wild and comfortable bivouac: the ground is rocky and the land is located too close to the parking lot. We also found the site noisy even in the middle of the night … It will cost you ISIS 1000 per night per person …

Food

On site you can buy some basic products such as freeze-dried or gas. All at a price of gold, of course, but it remains practical just in case.

Discover the Landmannalaugar - Ascent of Bláhnúkur (945m)


The Landmannalaugar offers many hiking possibilities. We offer here an itinerary accessible to the greatest number which allows you to discover the richness of the site over a short half-day, enough to give you time to enjoy the hot springs afterwards. This takes you to the top of Bláhnúkur at 945m which allows you to admire the surrounding landscape. You will then discover the richness of the colors and structures of the Landmannalaugar before going to a fumarole area. The return is through a petrified lava field. This will give you a complete overview of what the Landmannalaugar can offer you.

ID card :

Distance: 6.5km
Duration: about 3h15min
Positive elevation: 350m

The route is accessible below:

The start of the hike is at the end of the parking lot to the south. In front of you, after a small portion in an old river bed, stands a mountain in greenish rock (the rhyolite) on which you can clearly see a path going up in a zigzag. Continue slightly to the left (100m) to find the start of the path which joins the ridge on the right.

We can see it in the photo below:

You “just” have to follow the path to the summit. Just be careful with the ground which is not always very stable (sand and slag) and which must be slippery if it rains. The climb is quite steep but take your time it is done quickly. The climb offers more and more beautiful views, enough to keep you motivated!

Here you are at the top! The view is breathtaking! When we did it was gray but it does not spoil the colors which remain fantastic.

You can then start the descent following the ridge direction SW.

You will come to a flatter part, here turn right (northbound) in a kind of gorge. The trail is beautiful here as well as the surrounding colors!

Follow the path (be careful, some portions can be slippery). Then join the marked path towards the fumaroles slightly on the heights. From there several solutions: you can descend by Laugavegur, you can also follow the ascent of Brennisteinsalda (881m) or, like us, turn around and continue in the lava fields.

The trail continues along the small Brennisteinsöldukvisl river before returning to the starting level.

You just have to go back to camp before going to relax in the hot springs! We took 3h20min to complete this journey without hurrying and taking a lot of pictures.

There is another route, the “Skalli”, which is 15km long and makes a long loop from the south. This path also offers extraordinary views of rocks with superb hues. Attention the topo indicates that it is a painful path in case of bad weather. To make it go south and follow the chubby hats wearing blue.