Landmannalaugar (What To See - Highlands)

Landmannalaugar (What To See - Highlands)
The breathtaking scenery in Landmannlaugar is a mixture of the colourful Rhyolite mountains, black lava fields, yellow and green moss, and hot springs. One of Icelands most famous natural pools is located in Landmannalaugar, ideal for a relaxing bath after hiking and exploring this highland pearl. The area is an absolute paradise for hikers and nature lovers. Icelandĺs most popular hiking trail, Laugavegur, leads between ١rsm÷rk and the Landmannalaugar Oasis, offering scenic views of the unspoiled nature of the highlands.



The Laugavegur Hiking Trail



The Laugavegur trail is one of the most beautiful treks in all of Iceland. The trail is about 54 kilometers one way and is usually copleted in two to four days and there are several mouintain cabins along the route where it is possible to stay overnight. There are cabins at Hrafntinnusker, ┴lftavatn, Emstrur and at Hvanngil. The route is well marked by wooden poles that are easy to follow. However, the trail is only safe to travel from late June until early September.



Fjallabak Nature Reserve



Landmannlaugar is located in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve, about 600 meters above sea level and is the second largest geothermal area in Iceland. The mountains and lava fields in the area are a result of volcanic activity. Some are quite recent, for example the Laugahraun lava field was formed in an eruption in 1477. Most of the mountains are colorful Rhyloite mountains but Rhyloite is rich in silica and quartz as well as Sulphur.



Access to Landmannalaugar



There are not any paved roads to Landmannalaugar and the so called F roads are gravel roads are usually quite rough and in order to drive them a 4x4 is needed. Most visitors arrive by car or by highland bus during the summer, but in the spring, the roads are closed and impassable due to spring thaw and usually do not open until around mid-June or sometimes even later. To get to Landmannalaugar by bus from ReykjavÝk, it takes usually a little more than 4 hours. In winter, Landmannlaugar is only accessible by specially modified super jeeps or snowmobiles.



Hiking Trails



There are numerous hiking trails in the vicinity of Landmannalaugar. These are the most popular hikes: Hike through Laugahraun Lava field: Distance about 4,3 km and takes about 2 hours. Hike to Mt. Blßhn˙kur: Distance about 6 km and takes 2,5 to 3,5 hours. Hike to Mt. Brennisteinsalda: Distace about 6,5 km and takes 2 to 3 hours. Hike the loop Blßhn˙kur and Brennisteinsalda: Distance about 10 km and takes about 4 to 6 hours. Hike to Ljˇtipollur: Distance about 13 km and takes 4 to 6 hours. Most of these hiking trails are quite steep.



The Hot Pool



There is a hot pool at Landmannalaugar, popular for bathing. Hot water springs from beneath the lava field mix together with a cold stream, creating a warm river that flows into a small, natural pool. With a temperature of around 36-40 degrees Celsius makes it a perfect pool for bathing all year around, even in winter. The geothermal pool is open to the public, free of charge. Showers and changing rooms are available near the lodge just a minutes walk from the pool. Be sure to to shower carefully using soap before entering the hot pool.



Accommodations



There is a mountain lodge in Landmannalaugar, owned by a touring club and you can either stay there or camp in the camping grounds. Near the camping and the lodge, located at the edge of Laugahraun lava field, there are restrooms and showers. To use these facilities you need to pay a fee to the warden at the lodge and camping is only allowed in the designated camping areas. In order to get all the way to the lodge and camping grounds by car, you need to cross an unbridged river but if you prefer not to ford the river, you can park before crossing the river and walk across a small walking bridge about 500 meters from the lodge and camping site.

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