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Popular Hiking Trails in Landmannalaugar - Ultimate Guide

Updated: Feb 11, 2020

Landmannalaugar is one of the most beautiful places in the world. What makes it so special? The colorful rhyolite mountains alternating with black lava. The wide range of colors stretch along the entire length of the hiking trails in Landmannalaugar. All of this and its little vegetation covering the rocks makes it all look like it’s from a magical world. If you happen to come to Iceland during summer the months, it is highly recommended to come to hike in Landmannalaugar.

Tourist admiring beautiful landscapes from the popular hiking trail in Landmannalaugar

Landmannalaugar is located in a remote area called the Icelandic Highlands where you can only get to when the F-roads are open. It is part of Fjallabak Nature Reserve. So if you plan to visit Landmannalaugar on your road trip around Iceland, check that the roads are already open and accessible. It is only possible to use these roads with a 4x4 car with enough clearance. There is a small river crossing at the very end of the trip which should not cause much trouble though. Make sure you have a look at our previous post to know how to get to Landmannalaugar and check out some of the advice.

Laugahringur hiking trail

This is one of the easiest trails and it is very accessible so all the tourists can take it. It is a circle around the Laugahraun lava field. It was created in 1477 as a result of the eruption of the Brennisteinsalda volcano. It is the most beautiful and interesting lava field in Iceland. It’s starting point is the service center in the Ferdafelag islands (Ferðafélag islands ). Straight when you enter the path, the view is spectacular. The mountains which surround the valley are colourful and make it a look like a postcard.

Laugavegur hiking trail - Landmannalaugar to Thorsmork

The Laugavegur Trail is the most famous of all the trails in Iceland. It is around 55 kilometers long which makes it a long-distance trekking route in southern Iceland. It connects Landmannalaugar with Thorsmork valley. The Laugavegur trek is one of the best activities you can do in Iceland as it is said to be the most beautiful trail. The biggest travel magazines and guides recommend it to all trekking fans. It is not a day trip though which makes it much more challenging than other shorter trails.

The whole trail takes around 4- 5 days so you need to divide its whole length. Most of the people divide it into 4 days:

Dramatic view on the Thorsmork valley from on of the most popular hiking trail in Landmannalaugar

- is Landmannalaugar to Hrafntinnusker - 12km

- Hrafntinnusker to Alftavatn - 14 km

- Alftavatn to Emstrur - 16 km

- Emstrut to Þórsmörk  - 16 km

It is recommended that you stay the first night in Landmannalaugar so you can hit the trail early in the morning. Remember to take your own sleeping bag if you are planning to sleep in the mountain huts here. There are more experienced tourists who join two parts of the trail so they can get to Thorsmork in two days rather than 4.

The trail from Landmannalaugar to Thorsmork is a very popular route on which there are many natural hot springs which you should not miss. Hot water in Icelandic hot pools can even reach 40 degrees so it’s really nice to take a dip while it is 5 degrees outside.

The Laugavegur trail is very attractive in terms of landscape and its geomorphology. It is really diverse. You start with the picturesque rhyolite Landmannalaugar mountains through the lunar volcanic land until you get to the green valley in Thorsmork.

Signs on the hiking trail in Landmannalaugar

Landmannalaugar to Skogar hike

This hiking trail is called Fimmvorduhals ( Fimmvörðuháls ). It’s quite a difficul name but you will have time to learn the pronunciation by the time you get to your final destination as it is around 25 kilometres long. It starts in Thorsmork and ends in Skogar. The views are spectacular right from the beginning. You need to be careful though as after the rain the path can be slippery and dangerous.

The exact translation of the trail’s name is five cairn pass which is reflected in the landscapes. Five hills protect the access to the narrow pass at over 1,100 meters above sea level. Hopefully you will reach there on a sunny day so you can admire the breathtaking view.

On the farther part of the path you will be able to watch over 30 small waterfalls on the river Skoga with the most famous one Skogafoss which is a must see in Iceland.

Landmannalaugar trails for beginners

If you are not very experienced hiker but you would really like to see the beauty of this region, we have something for you. There are private tours with a Super Jeep which will get you to the most beautiful places on the trails. The good news is that those are even organised during the winter months so you could admire the winter wonderland in Landmannalaugar with the snow covering the mountains. There are usually few stops on the route so you have time to observe the landscapes and take a photo. You should not forget your swimming suit as the tours usually end in the natural hot spring in Landmannalaugar.

There are also tours with no guide which offer transport from Reykjavik to Landmannalaugar. This is a perfect option for those who are not planning to rent a 4x4 vehicle for their trip or are simply afraid of driving F-roads and those who are not willing to do the whole Laugavegur trail. The bus has few stops on the way to Landmannalaugar so this is also convenient for those who are already outside Reykjavik. It usually gets to the destination early in the morning and leaves in the afternoon which gives you plenty of time to do some trekking, small walks around the mountains, have a lunch in the mountain hut and a swim in a hot spring. Those tours are also much cheaper than the Super Jeep VIP tours so this is also a great news for those who still wish to save a bit of money on their trip.

Popular Hiking Trails in Landmannalaugar - Ultimate Guide

Tourists trekking on one of the best hiking trails in Landmannalaugar

Landmannalaugar is a place where you can be calm and completely reset. Being there it seems like there is only you and nature and this is the best way to relax. All the other problems just dissapear. It is a magical place. There are many compliments you could say about the rainbow mountains but its beauty can defend itself. You will understand better when you see it on your own and visit Landmannalaugar at least once in your lifetime.

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