Landmannalaugar hot springs

 

Landmannalaugar

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.

Directions

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.

Viti in Askja

 

Viti

Somewhere in the mountainous area of Iceland, just north of Vatnajökull Glacier, there is a special place where real astronauts once practiced landing on the moon. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, the Apollo 11 team that first landed on the moon. A place in Iceland where ordinary humans can follow giants.




Due to the region’s typical lunar landscape, the area served as a temporary base for NASA’s Apollo space program. When NASA sought a place to train their astronauts, the Askja area was chosen as the ideal location. In a remote spot in the middle of the mountainous region of Iceland, away from any settlement, there is a unique and unparalleled landscape in the world.

Askja is a caldera, which means a huge muzzle of a volcano that collapsed into the core of the magma beneath it. The height of the mountain is 1510 m and its area is 50 km. Askja is located just north of Vatnajökull Glacier and is a testament to Mother Nature’s strength. The eruption that created the original muzzle occurred in 1875, when stones were thrown from the mountain and reached as far as continental Europe more than 1000 km! The volcanic activity lasted thirty years, culminating in another massive collapse of the top of the mountain. The resulting pharynx was filled with water, becoming the deepest lake in Iceland 217 m deep, colored sapphire blue and frozen most of the year. In the younger crater near Askja north of Askjavatn lake is the small Víti muzzle, which contains a thermal lake. The place is considered a popular tourist attraction, although it is only accessible during the summer months and in a 4WD car.




How to get there?

Two main roads come to Askja from the north. Via F88 and F910. Both are mountainous dirt roads that cross several streams, all roads leading to Askja require a 4WD vehicle. Another option to visit Askja volcano is to take a daily hike in a special vehicle / bus with a guide. The road takes around three hours in each direction and it is important to fill the vehicle’s fuel tank before leaving.

Directions

Hveravellir geothermal pool

 

In the central highlands of Iceland, you will find a beautiful geothermal area, called Hveravellir or the Hot Spring Fields. It is one of the pearls of Iceland, a nature reserve 650 meters above sea-level. After driving through the vast, barren highlands it is absolutely refreshing to encounter such an oasis.




Hveravellir is a unique nature reserve situated on the Kjolur route in the middle of the west highlands between the glaciers Langjökull and Hofsjökull. Hveravellir is one of the most beautiful geothermal areas in the world with smoking fumarolees and beautifully shaped with sky blue, boiling water. It is a special experience to have a look around, whether it is in the summer or winter. Hveravellir is located on the Kjolur route (number F35), which runs across the middle highlands from Gullfoss in the south to Blondudal in the north. The length of the route is 200 km. The distance from Gullfoss to Hveravellir is about 90 km but the distance to Blöndudal is about 110 km. Hveravellir lies about halfway between Reykjavik and Akureyri, but there are about 200 km in either direction. We can drive you to Hveravellir almost every day of the year.

Directions

To reach Hveravellir one has to continue on road no 35, Kjalvegur road, and pass Iceland’s most famous waterfall, Gullfoss in the south of Iceland. This road will then take you for some 168 km across Iceland to Blöndudalur in North-Iceland, where you will then merge with ring road 1. It is a shorter route to the north on an unpaved road through some rugged landscape – an alternative to driving on the paved ring road 1. This road is a highland road and it is a very bumpy gravel road so a 4×4 is preferred, but it can be done with a 2WD, but not the smallest of cars, as after rain the potholes are very big. This area can onlybe accessed in the summertime.Halfway through, or ca 90 km away from Gullfoss, you will encounter Hveravellir, which makes driving through this rugged landscape so worthwhile.

The geothermal pool at Hveravellir is unique and breathtaking . Both hot and cold water flows to the pool, which makes it easy to regulate the temperature of the water in the pool. The water flows quickly, which means that the water is clean at all times and the medicinal qualities of the water are scientifically proven. Over 20 people can comfortably bathe in the pool at the same time.

The pool and its entire surroundings are magnificent, offering a beautiful view of the geothermal area, Kjalhraun lava field and Langjökull. There feeling of sitting in this hot pool in the wilderness of Iceland, in between two of Iceland’s glaciers, Langjökull and Hofsjökull glaciers is very serene and relaxing .The hot pool at Hveravellir is located in a warm stream and the temperature varies from 18,6-39,3 degrees C. The water in the intake pipe is much hotter though 80-90 degrees C, so caution is advised .It is therapeutic sitting in this hot pool after a long hike in the area, unfortunately there are no changing facilities in this area.

Close to the hot pool, a beautiful geothermal area with multi-coloured boiling mud pools, huffing and puffing fumaroles and beautiful azure hot springs will take your breath away. There is such beautiful geyserite, which has accumulated around some of the hot springs. It is such a delight walking around this beautiful geothermal area, looking at the various hot springs. The water in the hot springs is very hot, 70-100 degrees C, so be careful, especially if you are visiting with young children. This beautiful geothermal area has been protected since 1960.




Hveravellir is located on the edge of the 8000-year-old Kjalhraun lava field and taking a walk through the lava field is amazing, as the lava takes on all kinds of form and structures. In places, it looks like the earth has just cracked and opened up. And there is steam coming through fissures in the ground. Tourists can also visit Kjalhraun is an enormous lava field (10–12 cubic kilometers) not far from Hveravellir. The lava reaches the geothermal area. It covers a total of 180 square kilometers through which one can find many fascinating walking routes as for example to the circular crater which measures 900 meters in diameter. Kjalhraun was formed in a gigantic eruption around 8000 years ago. There was an old route through this area, which is referred to in the Viking Sagas with the first references being from around year 900. This road is called Kjalvegur road. The geothermal area here has been called the most beautiful geothermal area in Iceland.