Iceland is a magical place full of unique wonders of Mother Nature. It is a place where fire and ice meet and colorful lights embellish the evening sky. Iceland is a paradise for lovers of spending their free time outdoors. A land full of waterfalls, lava fields and challenging glacier hiking, where everyone will find something they will enjoy. But you already knew that, you have read all about it in your travel guides right? Many of you though do not know that Iceland also has the most beautiful trekking trails in the world. The region with the most colourful routes and where most of the tourists head to is Landmannalaugar, located in the Icelandic Highlands. Let’s gather more useful information on Landmannalaugar.
Where is Landmannalaugar located?
As mentioned above, Landmannalaugar is located in the Highlands, which is the central region of Iceland. Landmannalaugar is a rhyolite mountain area in South Iceland, east of the Hekla volcano. It’s in a park of the Fjallbak Nature Reserve ( Friðland að Fjallabaki ).
These mountain massifs have different colors where yellow is the dominant one along with orange. There are also some black elements thanks to lava. Colors are a result of the geothermal activity and the ground rich in minerals in this region. At the beginning of the trail, some part of the mountains are covered by moss. The hot fumes and sulfur only adds charm into it. It is well known from the great trails and Laugahraun lava fields which everyone should see when visiting Landmannalaugar.
How to get there - the bus to Landmannalaugar
Landmannalaugar is located in the Highlands, so to get there you will need to use gravel roads known as F-roads. Those are mountain roads which are only open during a few months of the year and this is in summer time. Because of bad weather and roads conditions, F-roads to Landmannalaugar remain closed from mid September till late June or even July. There is no fixed date of the roads opening, this is based on the weather forecast. That is why you should always check the current alerts and if the roads are already open when planning your trip there.
For those who do not feel like planning the trip on their own we do recommend booking a day trip to Landmannalaugar. The starting point is usually Reykjavik and the first part of the route involves driving on the Ring Road, which is a paved road. The bus to Landmannalaugar has several stops in the main cities like Selfoss, Hella and Leirubaki. In Hella you usually change for a special 4x4 bus suitable for F-roads which lead to Landmannalaugar. It is recommended to book the trip in advance to make sure you get the place in the bus for the day you wish.
For those who plan Icelandic touring on their own, we also have few tips on how to get there.
There are several roads leading to Landmannalaugar.
F208 heading from the northwest is the most popular and safest route. You need to take the Ring Road first, then turn onto route 32 or 26. It does not matter which one you decide to take as both will finally meet to continue on F26 which will find the exit on F208. The area you pass through is quite deserted. You will though pass the hydroelectric power station and a Ljótipollur lake known as Ugly Puddle. There is a river you will need to cross on this route but right where the camping starts so at the very end of the drive.
F208 from the southeast is known as one of the most difficult roads. Sometimes this route remains closed even after June. It starts on the Ring Road and the exit to F208 can be found between Vík í Mýrdal and Kirkjubæjarklaustur.
There is also road F225 which is a bit more difficult from the northwest F208 and it’s quite difficult to locate, even on Google maps. The last option is Sprengisandur Route which is the only road leading to Landmannalaugar from the North. If you are planning to use this one, you need to plan a whole day for the drive.
Landmamnnalaugar winter access
Can you imagine all of these beautiful mountains covered in snow? We have already mentioned that Landmannalaugar is only accessible during the summer months when F-roads are open. The winter view of Landmannalaugar is really impressive and for those who love the winter views like from a fairy tale, there is something special. There are winter tours with a special Super Jeep 4x4 that you can join. Those usually take two days and you are able to do some trekking and even see the Northern Lights at night.
So how should you spend your time in Landmannalaugar? After arriving in Landmannalaugar you can leave the car in the parking lot near the mountain hut. If you are planning to stay the night at the campsites there, remember that you need to bring your own sleeping bag with you.
If you come here it means you come for trekking and hiking. The Laugavegur hiking trail is the most famous trail among all the tourists coming to Landmannalaugar. It is 54 kilometres ( mile czy tam co) and it is a picturesque trail. It is usually divided into 4 days hiking until you get to the final destination, which is Þórsmörk.
If you are only coming to Landmannalaugar for a day hike and you are planning to go back the same day, you will not be able to do the trail. Instead, you can do a little bit of trekking and come back down before the dawn to visit the geothermal pool. It is a natural hot spring where the water is really warm and relaxing after a whole day’s walk. Iceland has many hot pools around the whole island but this one is pretty amazing. You’ll have a swim with a view of colourful rhyolite mountains. Talk about an unforgettable experience!
For one-day hikes, we do recommend Bláhnjúkur mountain, which is translated to Blue Peak Mountain. It is one of the best known landscapes in this area. It is the most difficult trail of all the one day trails in Landmannalaugar. It is quite steep which makes it very challenging. Blue Peak Mountain is the second highest in the area. It is definitely worth the effort though. When you get on the top of Blahnukur mountain, you will get a great view of the Highland’s landscapes.