Located in the Highlands of Iceland, Landmannalaugar is a magical place full of hot springs, lava fields and multicolored mountains. The perfect place to try bathing in a natural hot pool, while indulging in the beautiful landscapes.
Landmannalaugar is not only known for being a geothermal paradise but also a hiking paradise. Full of beautiful hiking trails and amazing scenery to keep you occupied on your hike. In fact, Landmannalaugar is the starting point for the most famous hiking trail in Iceland, the Laugavegur, a must-do for all hiking enthusiasts!
Landmannalaugar is located in the Highlands of South Iceland, in Fjallabak Nature Reserve.
Landmannalaugar (the people’s pools) is a geothermal paradise, replete with rainbow-colored rhyolite mountains and bubbling hot springs, where wispy plumes of steam rise off the volcanically heated waters. It has been a resting place for travelers for many centuries and Icelandic people have traditionally used it as a stop off point when they cross the highlands, which is where its name originates from.
Landmannalaugar is a totally unique area, whose one-of-a-kind geology makes it majestically beautiful. It lies next to the famous Laugahraun lava field a craggy expanse of dried lava, which was crafted by the vicious rage of the Brennisteinsalda Volcano in 1477.
Landmannalaugar’s colorful rhyolite mountains, provide the perfect contrast to the foreboding lava field below. Rhyolite is a unique kind of rock, which changes color as the sun hits it, meaning that the mountains are colored various shades of ruby, emerald, sapphire, and amber. This makes it an absolutely stunning place that will take your breath away.
Landmannalaugar earned its name, ‘The People’s Pools’ from the many geothermal hot springs that populate its slopes.
It was traditionally used as a safe haven for travelers seeking a soothing bath amidst truly spectacular scenery. Today, no visit to the Icelandic Highlands would be complete without taking a dip in these temperate natural spas. All visitors should bring a swimsuit and a towel, in case we come across one of these amazing hot springs during our hike.
Landmannalaugar is famous for being the starting point of the iconic Laugavegur Trek, which was named one of the ’20 Best Hikes in the World’ by National Geographic. There are many other famous trails along it, including the path to the iconic Mt. Brennisteinsalda ("Sulphur Wave"). Alongside the trail up to the Bláhnjúkur ("Blue Peak") volcano, which offers a majestic view of up to five glaciers on a clear day. The Landmannalaugar day hike will take you the classic Landmannalaugar circle, taking you through the Laugahraun Lava Fields, Vondugil Canyon and up the summit of Brennisteinsalda. Then to Graenagil Canyon by Mt. Blahnukur (summiting the mountain if there is time) and ending back in Landmannalaugar for a soak in the natural geothermal hot pool. The three day Landmannalaugar trekking tour will take you even further to Ljotipollur (e. Ugly Puddle), which is definitely the opposite of what its name suggests, Sudurnamur Rhyolite Mountain and up to Mt. Blahnukur for an amazing view of the multicolored mountains of Landmannalaugar.
Landmannalaugar also marks the beginning of several hiking trails, like the three to four-day Hellismannaleið route, which skirts around the base of the capricious Hekla Volcano and the famous Sprengisandur route, which will take you through a foreboding volcanic desert.
Landmannalaugar is situated in Iceland's iconic Highlands, within the borders of the Fjallabak Nature Reserve. It lies around 188 kilometers from Reykjavik and around 144 kilometers from Selfoss. Much of the journey is over mountainous terrain, meaning that visitors should be careful and use an appropriate vehicle, especially in winter.
The roads that lead directly to Landmannalaugar can only be used for a few months each year, generally opening from around the middle of June to the end of September. If you are visiting during the summer then it is possible to reach Landmannalaugar in a 4x4 jeep, using the roads called Fjallabaksleið nyrðri (F208) or Dómadalsleið (F225). Whether the roads are open is entirely under the purview of the Icelandic Road Authority and is heavily weather dependent, however, we generally work under the assumption that they will be open from June 25th until 15th September.
If you do not have access to a 4x4 Jeep, then there are multiple tour operators that run trips during these times, including solely bus fares, super jeep tours and various hiking tours.
It is only possible to access Landmannalaugar via super jeep during the winter and visitors will not be able to access the area using a normal rental car. If you are looking for an excursion to the winter wonderland in Landmannalaugar, have a look at the three days Landmannalaugar in Winter where you get the chance to see amazing northern lights, stay in a remote mountain hut, ride a snowmobile and bathe in the geothermal hot spring.
The Icelandic Touring Association (Ferðafélag Íslands) has several locations within Landmannalaugar, including a small shop, toilet facilities (including showers), three campsites and a mountain hut that can accommodate up to 78 people and is equipped with sleeping bags.
The hut facilities are open throughout the year; however, their remote location means that visitors will usually need specialized equipment and a professional guide to reach them. The huts must be booked in advance on fi.is, especially during the busy summer months, as the popularity of the Landmannalaugar Trek, means that they are usually full. They are situated at the edge of Laugahraun and provide access to several hot springs, meaning that visitors will be able to bathe after their hike.