From the edge of Laugahraun lava field several hot water streams and hot springs spring up as well as sources of cold water which mix together in a little warm river.
The natural warm water pool there is quite unique and an ideal bathing place all year around – with temperature of around 36-40 degrees centigrade even in the midst of a snowy winter.
The Landmannalaugar area is located on the spit of land between the Jokulgilskvisl and Namskvisl rivers.
South of Landmannalaugar lies a spectacular canyon, Jokulgil, reaching around 13 kilometres south to Torfajokull glacier.
A truly breathtaking hiking trail runs along the entire canyon. Phenomenal hiking tours are also to be found in the surrounding hills and the lava fields of Blahjukur, Brennisteinsalda, Barmur and Laugahraun.
A big lodge, owned by Ferdafelag Islands, is located in the centre of this area, built in the year 1969. It is a two-floor building; downstairs there is a spacious sleeping cabin, kitchen, large hall and a storage room. Upstairs there are three separate sleeping cabins and a small attic. There is room for 75 guests in beds and on floor mattresses. The lodge is heated with geothermal heat and the kitchen is equipped with gas. Pots and pans are available, as well as all other equipment for eating and preparing meals. The lodge is heated up and kept warm all year around and is specially inviting for visitors on cold winter days. The warm bathing pool is situated just outside the lodge.
Sanitary facilities are excellent but the camping site is troublesome and stony – it is hard to pin down tents.Landmannalaugar is also the starting point for the highly popular hiking route “Laugavegur” south to the forested valley of Thorsmork.
This much favoured hiking route is about 53 kilometres long and commonly it takes hikers 3 – 5 days to reach their destination in the Thorsmork valley.
Landmannalaugar is in the highlands of Iceland in Fjallabak nature reserve.
The Fjallabak nature reserve is 470 km2 area around Landmannalaugar. The biggest rhyolite mountain and the most characteristic for Landmannalaugar is Mt. Barmur.
Its highest point is 900 meters above sea level.
Landmannalaugar is a very popular area and can only be reached during the summer months, i.e. late June – September. Outside of these months, the roads to Landmannalaugar are closed.
The bus had to cross a river to get to the main area, and several cars were parked by the river, with people crossing the river on a bridge.There is a very popular hot geothermal spring in Landmannalaugar.
People usually go for a hike and then relax in the warm natural geothermal water in Landmannalaugar.
There are showers where one can shower and change clothes before bathing in the geothermal spring. Then one has to walk, wrapped in a towel, on the timber path leading to the geothermal pool. Or just change on the platform by the pool.
Those dreaded F roads are defined as windy, mountainous, gravel roads with no bridges and river crossings. They are NOT open all year round to the public.
Depending on water levels and snow fall they could be opening slightly later or earlier but in an average year the F208, opens in the middle of June. Just remember to check before you start driving.
Road.is provides information about current road conditions in the Icelandic highlands.
If self-driving through rough roads doesn’t sound appealing to you, or if renting a 4×4 is not really your idea of budget travel in Iceland, there are several bus transfer options to Landmannalaugar. You can book return ticket from Reykjavik and stay at the campsite or in the huts for a night.
I would highly recommend staying at least one night in Landmannalaugar to get a taste of the surroundings and to do at least one hike in the area.
A bus company called Trex covers all these options. As everything in Iceland, bus transfers aren’t cheap. A return journey will set you back ISK16400 (ca. $150 USD).
If your time in Iceland is limited, but you don’t want to miss out on the highlands, you can also book a day trip from Reykjavik either on the first or last day of your stay in Iceland.
The downside of the day tour though is that it won’t give you much time in Landmannalaugar, but again it’s a great option for someone who doesn’t have much time in Iceland.