Jul 17, 20197 min
Updated: Oct 11, 2019
Landmannalaugar is a fascinating place located in the Icelandic highlands, most specifically on the Fjallabak Nature Reserve. Thousand of visitors every year attracted by its colorful rhyolite mountains, mixed vegetation, and the warm hot springs. Landmannalaugar is known for being the starting point of the famous Laugavegur trail, a 4-day exciting adventure leading to Thorsmork. Always keep in mind that how long it will take to complete this trail will solely depend on your fitness level and the weather conditions. If you are thinking to embark on this adventure, there is a mountain hut and camping ground network along the trek. There are also popular day-hikes for single-day visitors such as Laugahringur, Brennisteinsalda, and Bláhnjúkur, to name a few. Prepare to be impressed by a very particular landscape, that includes canyons, lava rock formations, volcanoes and more.
Landmannalaugar is one of the most magical and beautiful places in Iceland.
Don’t let the first impression of the harsh surroundings fool you, there is so much more to see, especially as the summertime arrives. The incipient green patches begin to cover the valleys, welcoming tourists with stunning scenery. Landmannalaugar is a rather remote location in Iceland, so it has special opening times for visitors. (early July to late September). Getting here is not an easy task due to its tricky roads, limited to 4x4 vehicles only. You could get a bus tour to Landmannalaugar during the summer if you do not plan on driving. This is a very wise choice since most car rentals will void the insurance if the vehicle gets damaged on mountain roads.
If you are planning to visit the area in winter, you must book a Super Jeep tour to Landmannalaugar. Local guides have plenty of experience on these slippery roads so you are welcome to let go and enjoy the ride. Expect large amounts of snow from late September onward, so hiking and skiing are usually the most recommended ways to explore this iconic landscape. This is definitely a true winter wonderland experience that only takes place in Icelandic highlands. Landmannalaugar is a place like no other, enjoy its incredible scenic lava fields, colorful mountain views, and the popular steaming hot springs. This area holds some of Iceland’s most iconic natural treasures. Not by chance, Landmannalaugar is known as “The Pearl of The Highlands”
If you are thinking of visiting Landmannalaugar by car, you should know that access is limited to 4x4 vehicles. Two roads lead the way to the area, Fjallabaksleið nyrðri (F208) or Dómadalsleið (F225). Since the weather conditions are hard to predict, you must check with the Icelandic road authority before heading out. They provide important information about the road conditions, warnings, and opening dates. Generally, it is safe to drive here between late June to mid-September each year.
If you wish to explore Landmannalaugar during the winter season, consider a snowmobile or a Super jeep tour as the roads are impassable then. Standard 4x4 rental vehicles are not to enter these roads in early/late winter months. Contribute to preserve this fragile environment for future generations. Please avoid damaging the flora when the snow is not covering the roads.
Make sure to visit The Iceland Touring Association’s facebook page to find updated information about camping and huts in Landmannalaugar and other regions in Iceland.
The Iceland Touring Association (FÍ in Icelandic) offers visitors a comfortable hut for those planning to stay comfortably in Landmannalaugar. This hut has a total capacity to fit up to 78 people on a two-story cozy building. There is no need to bring extra equipment as the kitchen includes everything you need. You will find gas stoves, kitchenware, pans & pots, dish soap and more. There is also cold and hot running water in the huts, this water is safe to drink. If you wish to share a barbecue with your friends, there is a large charcoal grill outside the hut.
As mentioned earlier, there is an extensive mountain hut and camping network along the popular Laugavegur hike. If you are planning to venture on that trek, you may find similar amenities along the way. Some of the huts are more rustic than others depending on their location but you will be safe as they are fully equipped for Icelandic weather conditions. Most of the mountain huts are open during summer but these will remain closed in winter months. In some special cases, huts may be reserved in winter upon Fí's confirmation.
Don’t forget to bring your sleeping bag (and extra bedding if needed) as only a standard mattress will be provided at the hut. There are different rooms with either bunk-beds, single and double beds available. No breakfast or meal service will be included with the fee, so you must bring all the necessary supplies before heading to Landmannalaugar. There is a small shop in the area in the summertime where you could buy groceries or extra camping items. It is always best to buy everything you need for your stay in advance as it is more convenient for you.
If you are planning to camp in a tent, you could do so by paying an admission fee that will give you access to the showers and toilets. Right next to the hut you will find the service cabin that houses these services for all visitors. You should know that the ground is rough and mostly uneven, so try to find a spot previously occupied by someone else. Trying to pin down the tent pegs is an arduous task. It is always best to pin your tent along with flat, big and heavy rocks too as the wind may be really strong sometimes.
The service center located in the middle of Landmannalaugar's meeting area should be your initial stop, especially you are visiting the park for the first time. Speak to the wardens about the conditions of the hiking trails, weather warnings, and check-in before setting up your tent in the designated camping spots. Always make sure to follow their advice since they have more experience in the area.
Find further information on the "Landmannalaugar Hiking Map” available for purchase at The Iceland Touring Association website or directly at the hut. This map contains useful guidance for tourists exploring Landmannalaugar for a day but also for those who are planning to stay overnight, for a few days or a week. No matter if you are camping or to sleep at the mountain huts. You will find information about distance, location and how to access the different hikes, campsites and mountain huts in Landmannalaugar and its surrounding area.
Due to the increasingly high number of tourists each year, booking a spot in the mountain hut in advance has become mandatory. Bear in mind that even if you plan to camp on a tent or camper you must pay the service fee. This fee will give you access to the bathrooms and drinking water during your stay. Currently, there is no need to book in advance for camping in the area. Make sure to bring all your equipment for eating and cooking as the hut facilities are off-limits for those staying in tents.
Always be mindful of the environment and contribute to carrying all your trash with you. Place it in the appropriate bins or take it outside Landmannalaugar to help to keep the area clean. By paying the fees, you will be contributing to this organization as they are responsible for the conservation and all the services provided in Landmannalaugar. Make sure to get in touch with The Iceland Touring Association for bookings and inquiries.
There are a few basic services available for travelers visiting Landmannalaugar:
Showers ISK 500 for 5 minutes (all visitors).
Landmannalaugar hut ISK 9,000 per person (night).
Landmannalaugar camping ISK 2,000 per person (night).
Landmannalaugar Hiking Map ISK 300.
Facility fee (use of toilets/grill but not overnight stay) ISK 500 per person.
Toilet paper and soap are provided in the huts.
There are some useful tips you should take into consideration if you wish to have an unforgettable camping experience in Landmannalaugar. Know that all guidelines are given only as a reference, make sure to assess all the conditions before setting up your tent. Regardless if you are thinking to stay at the huts or camping outdoors, make sure to bring everything you need.
Camping anywhere is not allowed, camp in designated areas only.
Bring a tent with you as no tent rental services are available in the area.
Weather conditions may change very quickly, so always carry a change of clothes.
Drink a lot of water and fresh food before and during your stay to avoid dehydration.
Bring enough cash for your stay as sometimes credit card payments may be unavailable due to connectivity issues, especially on high season periods.
Take your trash with you or put it away where is indicated.
A reliable, strong and water, wind, dust-proof tent suitable for Icelandic weather.
Check that the sleeping bag you are bringing is properly insulated as some nights may reach below-zero temperatures.
A camping/yoga mat/sleeping pad + backpacking pillow.
Plastic or paper bags to store wet/dry clothes during your stay.
Pack your cooking equipment: camping stove + gas cylinder, lighter, bowls, cups, spork (spoon+fork) and everything you may need.
Waterproof mountain backpack or a cover suitable for outdoor activities.
A water bottle.
GPS, map and or compass.
World-phone or local sim card for emergencies.
Flashlight or headlamp.
Power bank or extra battery pack.
If you are planning to stay at any of the mountain huts in Iceland, you must follow some important rules that will allow you and others, have a wonderful stay:
Always check in with the warden in charge as they will indicate the assigned bed or room according to your booking.
Respect the quiet hours inside the hut (midnight to seven a.m.).
Smoking is strictly forbidden.
Keep the cooking areas clean after use.
Leave your boots, shoes and all footwear in the entrance, these are not allowed inside the hut.