The mountains encircling the area are remarkably multicoloured since they are mostly made from sour magma that was cooked in the magna chamber of a volcano located by Torfajokull glacier south of Landmannalaugar. The Torfajokull-area is richer in rhyolite than any other region in Iceland and is the country´s second largest high temperature geothermal area next to Grimsvotn in the Vatnajokull glacier. The sour-magma and the geothermal heat is located within a huge chamber – the biggest of its kind in Iceland.
The rich colours of the mountains surrounding this area and the outstanding contrasts appearing in the raven-black and glittering riolit-lava fields, are truly amazing. The neighbouring Hrafntinnuhraun lava field, which is pitch-black, was created in a volcanic eruption in the year 872 but the sour lava fields closer to Landmannalaugar, the Namshraun and Laugahraun lava fields, were all created in an eruption in 1480, or just over 500 years ago.
From the edge of Laugahraun lava field several hot water streams and hot springs spring up as well as sources of cold water which mix together in a little warm river. The natural warm water pool there is quite unique and an ideal bathing place all year around – with temperature of around 36-40 degrees centigrade even in the midst of a snowy winter. The Landmannalaugar area is located on the spit of land between the Jokulgilskvisl and Namskvisl rivers.
South of Landmannalaugar lies a spectacular canyon, Jokulgil, reaching around 13 kilometres south to Torfajokull glacier. A truly breath-taking hiking trail runs along the entire canyon. Phenomenal hiking tours are also to be found in the surrounding hills and the lava fields of Blahjukur, Brennisteinsalda, Barmur and Laugahraun.
Tourist facilities in Landmannalaugar are fairly impressive
A big lodge, owned by Ferdafelag Islands, is located in the centre of this area, built in the year 1969. It is a two-floor building; downstairs there is a spacious sleeping cabin, kitchen, large hall and a storage room. Upstairs there are three separate sleeping cabins and a small attic. There is room for 75 guests in beds and on floor mattresses. The lodge is heated with geothermal heat and the kitchen is equipped with gas. Pots and pans are available, as well as all other equipment for eating and preparing meals. The lodge is heated up and kept warm all year around and is specially inviting for visitors on cold winter days.
The warm bathing pool is situated just outside the lodge. Sanitary facilities are excellent but the camping site is troublesome and stony – it is hard to pin down tents.
Landmannalaugar is also the starting point for the highly popular hiking route "Laugavegur" south to the forested valley of Thorsmork. This much favoured hiking route is about 53 kilometres long and commonly it takes hikers 3 – 5 days to reach their destination in the Thorsmork valley.
Extreme Iceland offers tours to Mount Hekla and Landmannalaugar all year a round. Day tours, two day tours, weekend tours, and longer trips – all designed to meet the needs and wishes of every single tourist. The Landmannalaugar area is just as amazing and inviting in winter as it is in summer. We offer adventurous trips to Landmannalaugar all winter – weather is never an obstacle: Welcome to the only warm ice in the world.