Europe,  Iceland

Landmannalaugar Travel Guide – The highlands of Iceland

When we were planning for Iceland, we knew we have to visit the Highlands of Iceland even if it was just for a day. After researching about the Highlands, we decided to visit LANDMANNALAUGAR (I know its hard to prononuce! ) It is one of the most popular regions of Iceland and there is a reason for that. 

Landmannalaugar is situated in the southern part of the Iceland, nestled beside the black dark lava field known as Laugahraun which was originally formed in an eruption in 1477. 

Here are few things which will help you to plan your next trip to Landmannalaugar

Landmannalaugar
Landmannalaugar

How to reach?

Landmannalaugar is situated in a remote part of Iceland and can be reached only via 4X4 vehicle through F Roads. If you are wondering, what are F Roads?  Well, F Roads are unpaved mountain roads that you will find in wild parts of the country’s interior and these roads usually contain loose gravel and some roads even require you to cross rivers which makes F – Roads quite challenging and dangerous.

There are few options to reach Landmannalaugar – 

(1) Self Drive yourself. As we mentioned above, this place is only accessible by 4X4 vehicle through F Roads. So, if you want to drive yourself you should rent a 4X4 vehicle. or

(2) Book a hiker bus to explore the area: We booked a round trip hiker bus from Hella with TrexWe were picked up at 7.45 am from Hella and were back by 6 PM bus from Landmannalaugar.  or 

(3) Book a Tour: If you don’t want to drive yourself or book a bus, you can still visit the place by booking a tour. 

Pro tip

1. If you are also planning to book a bus, book well in advance as it sells out fast. 

2. If you are planning to drive, note that (a) There are no gas stations in Landmannalaugar so fill up the gas tank before starting for the highlands. (b) Based on the route you choose to drive there can be a river crossing, so plan accordingly.

What to do?

There are several hikes in the area and we hiked Mt Blahnukur, which is about 6 kms and took us around 4 hours.  Here are the details of other hikes you may want to check out, if you have extra time.

Also, there is a hot spring in the area called People’s pool. So, don’t forget to carry your swim suit and enjoy taking a dip in the hot spring after a tiring hike 🙂

When to visit?

The F – Roads to Landmannalaugar is open from late – June to early – September (weather permitting). So, if you are planning to drive yourself or take a bus, June to September is the best time. If you are looking to visit between October and May, you may want to check out super jeep tour.

Where to stay?

In case you are planning to do multiple hikes and are looking for place to stay overnight – There two options. (1) Book a hut – It sell out fast so book in advance or (2) Camp at Landmannalaugar.  

There are no restaurants at the base camp, but there is a small grocery shop where you will find limited things essential for camping life. Bathroom and shower facilities are available. For using the facilities, you have to pay one time fee at the information center (if you are camping, it is already included in the camping fee)

Note :- Incase you are planning to take a hiker bus or go on tours, you can either stay at Reykjavik or Hella

What else to keep in mind?

The weather in Iceland is very unpredictable. Do check the weather at Vedur.is and road conditions at Safetravel.isThere are usually no gas stations available on F- Roads, so make sure you have a full tank before starting for Highlands of Iceland’s Adventure. 

About the Mt Blahnukur Hike

As we mentioned earlier in the blog, we hiked Mt Blahnukur which is around 6 kms ( ~4 miles) and took us about 4 hours (with lots of photos & rest stops). We would rate the hike as moderate to difficult. There are parts which are straight uphill with loose gravel that makes the hike a little strenuous. 

If you are planning to stay overnight and do more hikes, here is the list. Also, there is a natural hot spring in the near the base camp of Landmannalaugar, in case you want to take a dip!

Landmannalaugar
Landmannalaugar

What to pack?

Iceland is not that hot in summers in general and Highlands are colder than other parts of Iceland. Here are few things we would like to recommend.

1. Wear layers – We have been using SmartWool thermals Top & Bottom (Women) & Top & Bottom (Men) for quite sometime now and it has helped us to stay warm 

2. You should carry a good rain jacket as weather here is unpredictable. We have been using the rain jackets from Columbia which has been keeping us dry in rainy days 🙂 

3. You should wear good hiking shoes. Go for the ones with high traction like this one here 

4. Carry all the warm accessories with you – GlovesBennies and extra socks

5. You should have a good hiking backpack to carry all the necessary things. Just make sure it’s not too heavy to carry. If you are looking for a good camera backpack, you can checkout this one!

6. Also, carry snacks and a reusable water bottle for the hike. This water bottle is insulated so can also be used to carry warmer drinks. And, it goes without saying carry a camera so that you can capture all the memories to bring back home.

7. In case you want to take a dip in a natural hot spring, carry a swimsuit.

We had an amazing time hiking around this beautiful landscape and would definitely recommend to anyone who loves to explore the wild. Pin it or bookmark the post, if you have plans to visit the highland of Iceland

Also, do let us know in the comment section, if you find this blog helpful for planning your trip, we would love to know! You can also connect us on Instagram for some travel inspiration. 

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2 Comments

  • Allison Renna

    Hi! Are you familiar if there are river crossings if driving from Hella? We have a 4×4 vehicle so feel fine with driving but not river crossings. Did you drive and how long was your drive and from here? I think we would leave Vik early AM and like to head to Landmannlaugar not from the unsafe southern route. Plus we stay in Selfoss that night so departing from Selfoss or Hella is ideal.

    • mrnmrstraveler

      Hi! We booked a bus from Hella to Landmannalaugar and it took us around 2.30 hrs. Yes, there was a river crossing on the route near the campsite. If anyone do not want to cross the river there is a parking just before the river crossing.

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