Visiting Landmannalaugar 10 tips: All info + route
Landmannalaugar is located in the south of Iceland and is mainly known for its colourful mountains. Hot springs, lava fields and unique hiking trails make this an ideal place for adventurous travellers.
Landmannalaugar is one of the most beautiful areas in Southern Iceland. If you like to hike around, you can choose from short, easy hiking trails or challenging heavier climbs. On top of some old volcanoes you can enjoy a panoramic view of the entire region. Are you looking for a multi-day adventure? Then you can hike the famous Laugavegur Trek in Landmannalaugar.
Book your tour or walk in Landmannalaugar online
Landmannalaugar is probably the best place in Iceland to hike. There is no better way to get closer to nature and its unique volcanic structures. Hike to the top of one of the many mountains in the area for the great views. Book your tour or walk with an experienced guide online to make the most of your hike. All possibilities and options can be found below:
Landmannalaugar is located in the Fjallabak nature reserve in the highlands of South Central Iceland. The mountains and lava fields are the result of volcanic eruptions over thousands of years. An eruption in 1477 formed the current Laugahraun lava field consisting of vast erratic black obsidian (glazed rock).
Landmannalaugar is therefore mainly known for its colourful ryolite mountains. Ryolite is a volcanic rock consisting of quartz and silicon. Minerals such as iron and sulphur add extra colour to the mountains. Brennisteinsalda (Icelandic for Sulphur Hill), is a great example of this.
How do I get to Landmannalaugar?
The road to Landmannalaugar is an F-road, which stands for 4x4 vehicle requirement. If you don't have a 4x4, or you don't feel comfortable on rough, unpaved roads? Then you can take the bus or go on a tour.
How do I get to Landmannalaugar?
There are no paved roads to Landmannalaugar. To reach your destination, you drive on rough, unpaved roads (roads whose name starts with an F, called F-roads). Renting a jeep is no superfluous luxury (and actually the only safe way to get there). If you decide to drive in the direction of Landmannalaugar without a 4x4, know that you may have problems with your rental company in case of breakdown or damage.
There are several routes to Landmannalaugar
Start from Route 1 in Southern Iceland or take route F26 along the Golden Circle. Turn right onto the F208 in southern direction and take road F224 to Landmannalaugar. From the hydropower station to Landmannalaugar the 26 km long road is unpaved and very rough.
From road 26 take the F225 (Landmannaleið) and take the route in the direction of F208. Take the right exit to F208 and then take the F224 to Landmannalaugar. This road is a bit rougher. On the way you will see the Hekla volcano.
Map with Landmannalaugar's location
How long does it take to get to Landmannalaugar?
- You're about 3 hours and 15 minutes on the road to Landmannalaugar when you come from Reykjavík.
- So you're in the car for 6 hours and a half to go there and back. This is a trip that you should see as a full day activity, don't plan too many extras on this day, it is definitely worth it.
- Would you rather not drive yourself? Book your tour online from Reykjavík.
Bus to Landmannalaugar
- There are several bus companies with routes between Reykjavík and Landmannalaugar.
- The buses run from mid-June until the beginning of September.
- The bus ride from Reykjavík to Landmannalaugar, takes just over 4 hours (one way).
- You can save some time and money by spending the night in Selfoss or Hella, these places are also on the bus route.
- A single bus ride costs about ISK 10,000 (€70) from Reykjavík to Landmannalaugar. Check out the possibilities online.
The best time to visit Landmannalaugar
The best period to visit Landmannalaugar is between mid-June and early September. During this period the climate is enjoyable, and the F-roads are open. It is and remains nature so of course nothing can be said with 100% guarantee.
However, you can visit Landmannalaugar throughout the year. There are special tours available with snowmobiles or Superjeeps. A Superjeep is a normal jeep with raised suspension and bigger wheels, so it is possible to drive through the white snow landscape (try not to drive through the snow with a normal jeep) (see overview here and book your tour).
Our tip: If you would like to tour Iceland yourself, be sure to download our Iceland tour or take a look in our travel guide Iceland.
What is there to do?
Once you're there, what's there to see? Choose from numerous epic walks, relax in a hot spring, spend the night at the campsite or start your hike along the Laugavegur trail.
The unique landscape
The attraction is the uniquely colored landscape itself of course. The mountains are made of rhyolite and get their beautiful colors through sulfur, iron and moss, creating the different shades of yellow, red, brown and pink.
Visit the lava fields
The most impressive lava field, Laugahraun, and the adjacent fields of Hrafntinnuhraun and Namshraun arose between 870 and 1480. Colourful mountains surround the lava fields that extend over the valleys. According to local folklore, the solidified lava houses hide all kinds of creatures, such as trolls and fairies. When you walk between the strange rock formations, it feels like you are in another world.
If you would like to visit a hot spring, you should definitely take a bath in the People's Pool next to the Laugahraun lava field. The water is between 36 and 40°C all year round, which is ideal for bathing outdoors.
Many different hikes in Landmannalaugar
The best thing you can do in Landmannalaugar is walking around. There is no better way to get closer to nature and its unique volcanic structures. Hike to the top of one of the many mountains in the area for breathtaking views. Book your tour or hike with an experienced guide online, more options can be found below:
- This is the shortest route, ideal if you don't have much time or if you are out with young children. Contains no extreme or big climbs and is perfectly marked, can be hiked by anyone.
- Distance: 4.3 km
- Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours
- Blahnúkúr, also called the Blue Peak, is a dead volcano which you can climb. It's a tough hike, but the view from the top will make you forget that. Many hikers find this the most beautiful hike in all of Iceland.
- Distance: 6,1 km
- Duration: 2.5 to 3.5 hours
- Brennisteinsalda, also known as the sulphur wave, is located next to Blahnúkúr and can also be climbed. The trip is a bit easier than Blahnúkúr, but the view is equally impressive. For the people who like to climb but not as intense, Brennisteinsalda is a good option.
- Distance: 6,5 km
- Duration: 2 to 3 hours
Blahnúkúr Brennisteinsalda Loop
- If you can't choose between Blahnúkúr and Brennisteinsalda, you can combine them both in the Blahnúkúr Brennisteinsalda Loop. Experience the best of Landmannalaugar on this walk. Hike between lava fields, past steaming fumaroles, and reach the top of two peaks for incredible views of the landscape.
Distance: 9.7 km
Duration: 4 to 6 hours
- Ljótipollur, also called the 'ugly puddle', is a popular path where you walk around a volcanic crater. This hike is a short drive from Landmannalaugar campsite.
- Distance: 13,3 km
- Duration: 4 to 6 hours
- Stútur is a very short walk along a volcanic crater. The walk takes about 30 minutes and is located directly on the F208, before you arrive at the Landmannalaugar campsite. The earth is red-brown and covered with bright green moss, which makes the hills look very different from those near the campsite.
- Distance: 0,5 km
- Duration: 30 minutes
- This is another tough hike with a climb to the mountain top. From the top you have a breathtaking view of Landmannalaugar, Brennisteinsalda, the lava field and Blahnúkúr.
- Distance: 8,5 km
- Duration: 3 to 4.5 hours
- This is the longest walk on this list. You leave the hustle and bustle behind as you circle around Blahnúkúr the rusty mountains. On your way back to Landmannalaugar you'll hike along part of the Laugavegur Trail and through the Graenagil Gorge.
- Distance: 15 km
- Duration: 6 to 8 hours
- The Laugavegur Trail is a multi-day hike of 55 km, departing from Landmannalaugar to Thórsmörk. The hike is usually done in 4 days and 3 nights. At night you camp or stay in a mountain hut along the road.
Our tip: Before you enter Landmannalaugar, stop at the information point where you can buy hiking maps and find information about different walks.
Where to stay in Landmannalaugar
- If you plan to spend the night in Landmannalaugar, you can stay in a mountain hut or camp at the campsite.
- There is also a two-storey lodge that was built in 1969 by the Icelandic Touring Association.
- In this lodge there is a kitchen with several bedrooms. It costs ISK 9000 (€65) per person per night to stay here. Book here.
- The lodge is open from 15 June to 15 September. Make sure you book your stay well in advance.
- If you plan to camp in Landmannalaugar, there is a large campsite near the main lodge.
- It costs 2000 ISK (€15) per person per night. The principle here is 'first come, first served', so be on time!
- Another option is to spend the night in "The Highland Center Hrauneyjar" guesthouse. The Hotel Hrauneyjar offers simple accommodation in the Icelandic highlands. The volcano Hekla and the popular hiking trails of Landmannalaugar are just over 30 km away. Access to the sauna is free of charge. Book your room online.
Video: Laugavegur Trail
This video takes you along the 55 kilometer Laugavegur Trail. A 4-day walk to remember a lifetime.
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