One of the most beautiful areas in central Iceland is undoubtedly the Landmannalaugar Colored Mountains. The name “the ponds of the people” is probably the most popular destination in Iceland’s mountainous center and is considered by many to be the crown of the crown.
The Landmannalaugar area is located in the south-center of the island, not far from the Hekla volcano among impressive mountains and combines Iceland’s most spectacular sights. The area is fascinating and rich in contrast, mountain ridges made of riolite (volcanic rock resembling granite) are carved with black stripes of volcanic ash, colorful peaks of red, green, orange and yellow, wide lava fields and steam jets bursting with cracks in the ground.
The geothermal pool in Landmannalaugar
Near the visitor center there is a geothermal pool which has been popular with locals for many years and in recent years also by many tourists visiting the place. The pool is just steps away from the visitor center at the end of the Laugahraun lava field. The natural pool is fed by warm, cold streams that flow beneath the lava layers and mix in the pool. The water temperature is very pleasant for bathing and there are neat wardrobes instead. Travelers make sure to bring swimsuits and towels and change clothes if needed.
How to get to?
Landmannalaugar is a very popular area for travelers arriving in the summer between June and September, after which the access road to the area is closed. There are three ways to get to Landmannalaugar: The easiest way is to get on the F208 road north from the power station, this way there is no river crossing, but the road is a bit bouncy. The second difficulty road is F225 west (close to Relief Mountain) and the third is F208 from the south. It is important to ascertain in advance the weather forecast before departure, the water level in the rivers can change from day to day.
Bus trip to the Landmannalaugar Reserve
If you are not traveling in a 4X4 vehicle, you can visit the Landmannalaugar Reserve on a bus adapted for mountainous dirt roads. For details and registration click here.
Weather in the area
The mountainous roads that reach the Landmannalaugar Reserve only open towards the end of June to mid-September. Only in the summer season between July and September the temperature reaches 5 to 14 degrees.
Fjallabak and Eldgjá Canyon
The road that connects the Landmannalaugar Reserve to Highway 1 in the south is called Fjallabak. The road is considered one of the most beautiful in Iceland. One of the most interesting sights in this part of the country is the Eldgjá Canyon. Instead, nature created a unique split in the mountains during which a huge 30 km long incision was created in the soil, in some places reaching up to 600 meters wide and 200 meters deep. The volcanic crack is considered to be the largest of its kind in the world. Further down the valley a footpath leads to the Ófærufoss waterfall, considered one of the most beautiful in the country, the waterfall was formerly framed by a natural bridge that collapsed a few years ago.
Ljótipollur Lakes Crater
Ljótipollur is a crater in which a lake is adjacent to the Landmannalaugar Reserve, in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve. The meaning of the name from Icelandic is the “ugly puddle”, despite the fact that it is an incredibly beautiful site. The crater is easily accessible for a 4 hour walk from Landmannalaugar and back. You can also reach a large jeep near the crater.
The lakeside crater is easily accessible from the Fjallabak Nyrðri F208 mountain road just a few miles from Landmannalaugar and only accessible during the summer. One of the advantages of driving a short distance from F208 to the edge of Ljótipollur is the scenery. The crater’s height from the road is a little less than 100 meters and about 1.5 km long, with a fairly high margin. The view from the top of the crater is spectacular and well worth the effort.