Landmannalaugar is a very unique and special place located on Iceland’s highlands. Most specifically in the south-central part of the country. A remote and enchanting location found between lava fields and defying mountain ranges. There are plenty of iconic views to gaze at from distance but it is important to know that the weather in the country changes very quickly.
Since Iceland is located near the arctic circle, you can expect sudden changes in temperature. This is mostly due to the mid-Atlantic warm air colliding with the arctic waves of air which results in heavy rains or wind guts. All these climate features are no reason to fear or worry, on the contrary, it makes a perfect adventure.
Always be prepared for the unexpected and pack wisely. This is one of the best pieces of advice from the locals. Remember to check the weather forecast before your trip as it will help you plan the itinerary much better. Prepare for both good and bad conditions but also for dense fog which causes low visibility at times, especially dangerous when driving or hiking.
Most people say that you could expect to have all types of weather in a day in Iceland. This is often true, primarily in the highlands were strong winds and heavy rain may appear on a clear day. This is very common in the Nordic island and locals are used to it so there’s no need to panic if a tour gets canceled because of the weather. You will get a full refund or will be offered to rejoin an upcoming trip in most cases.
Summer in Landmannalaugar
Summertime is the most suggested time to visit Landmannalaugar as the F-roads leading to the hiking trails and the information cabin are open for tourists. You should know that only 4x4 vehicles are suitable to enter these roads. There are also several tours to Landmannalaugar departing from Reykjavik that will take you this incredible place.
Bear in mind that the period between mid-June until Late-July is the busiest time to explore this one of kind area of Iceland. Most people come to visit the island in hopes of finding clear sky views that come handy for those planning on hiking across the many trails. There may be some “queuing” required to enter the showers or even to some of the different trails.
The days are longer in summer so there’s plenty of time to spare if you are thinking of taking a relaxing walk or hike. This phenomenon is known as the midnight sun and it lasts between May 21 until July 30 each year. You can expect about 3 hours of darkness during this period. If you are camping, you should consider putting on an eye mask to avoid direct sunlight while sleeping.
Winter in Landmannalaugar
Opposite to summer, winter is one of the least common periods to visit Iceland. However, some visitors have become more and more attracted to the idyllic winter landscape of the island. There are more hours of darkness which increases the chances to spot the northern lights or aurora borealis. Remote places like Landmannalaugar are perfect to witness this unique phenomenon without the need of special equipment in most cases. If you encounter the least presence of artificial lighting and the right location, then the chances to see them are very high. There are also dedicated tours to catch the northern lights for those avid aurora seekers.
You can also explore the different Landmannalaugar trails and treks during wintertime. This is, of course, a different and mysterious adventure through snowy lava fields and rhyolite mountains tops. The number of visitors is often lower due to the thick snow. That often makes the traverse difficult so having previous hiking experience is a must. It is not unusual to have some light rain or heavy winds as you walk around the area. Always wear proper clothing and footwear to stay warm in adverse weather conditions.
The unpaved roads leading to Landmannalaugar in winter are mostly slippery due to the snow. These remain closed for mass transit as soon as the summer season ends. Please do not attempt an offseason self-drive as it will be extremely. dangerous. If you are thinking to visit this location in winter, consider booking on the specially designed Super Jeeps tours or any certified tour to access these rough paths.
Fall in Landmannalaugar
Another interesting time to visit the pearl of the highlands is during the fall. This period takes place usually between September and October in Iceland. If you are still unsure about whether to visit Landmannalaugar in summer or winter, then, why choose? Come and explore the island’s treasures away from the crowds and the extreme cold. This is the moment when the days start to become shorter and shorter and the unexpected rains are your most loyal friend.
Since the fall is considered a bridge between seasons, you can expect fewer people and clear skies days throughout these months. Imagine having the chance to see how the colors of the fall shine through and the days are still nice out. It is like having all 4 seasons on the same day, that's one way to describe fall in Iceland. And, if you are lucky, you will spot some auroras. You never really know what fall may bring.
What is the temperature like in Landmannalaugar?
Iceland, according to foreign visitors, is perceived as a very cold country. However, the weather conditions are rather similar to North America’s winter. Sometimes it may be warmer depending on the location you are visiting. Landmannalaugar usually has very cold and snowy winters but also milder springs and summers that could reach up to 12ºC or 53ºF. As mentioned earlier, strong wind gusts and chilly winds may indicate that lower temperatures are approaching.
Regardless of the weather, you should know that the hot pool near the Landmannalaugar campsite is available all year round. So if you decide to go for a hike in winter, you could soak in those warm waters for a while and witness the true winter wonderland or the pristine green during fall or summer.
Some recommendations for your Landmannalaugar trip
Pack warm pieces of clothing, waterproof outwear and especial hiking boots. You should bring layered clothing as well, these tend to dry quicker than other materials and they are way more comfortable to wear. The weather could get extremely low no matter the season.
Be wary of the weather conditions online before heading for your trip, https://en.vedur.is/ offers visitors updated information in different parts of the country. There are also weather alerts that will prevent people to visit dangerous areas in Iceland.
Ask the wardens at Landmannalaugar information cabin about the hiking trails' conditions before heading out to your adventure. They offer guidance based on countless hours in the area so you could trust their judgment.
Landmannalaugar is a wonderful place that you could visit all year round. But, what’s the weather like there? In this article, you will find interesting facts about the weather conditions and the best tips on how to be prepared for your visit.