Landmannalaugar is by far one of my favorite places in Iceland. Not just because of the mysterious rhyolite mountains, but also because of the desolate feeling that this settlement in the deep interior calls for. I have visited Landmannalaugar three times and during each visit I was amazed by the beauty of the landscape and the purity of nature. In this article you can read my top 5 Landmannalaugar hikes. Enjoy reading!
Table of Contents | Inhoudsopgave
A day trip to Hrafntinnusker
As part of the world famous Laugavegur Trail, the most scenic hike in Landmannalaugar is definitely the one to Hrafntinnusker – and back. Hrafntinnusker is a mountain hut and camp at over 1,100 meters above sea level and only accessible on foot for hikers. It’s also the first overnight stop for hikers on the Laugavegur hike, at least those who walk from north to south. The hike takes a good four hours one way, maybe a little shorter if you are fit and have little snow on the way. I hiked with a full pack because I did the entire trail and was therefore a bit slower. Please note: there is snow in some places until well into the summer and with bad weather it is not a good idea to take this hike.
Distance: 12 kilometers
Duration: 4 hours one way / 8 hours return
The Laugahraun hike is a short walk and suitable for anyone without mobility issues. If you are taking a day trip to Landmannalaugar from Reykjavík and have some free time, this hike is a great choice. From Landmannalaugar you hike into the area behind the campsite. This Laugahraun (= lava field) consists of wonderful shapes and colors and contains a lot of the rare obsidian, a black glass-like rock that is also called volcanic glass.
Distance: 4.5 kilometers
Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours
If you have a little more time to spend and you like a steep climb, do the Brennisteinsalda walk. This ‘red mountain’ is located right behind the lava field Laugahraun and can therefore also be done in combination with the Laugahraun walk. The mountain has countless colors and is therefore also called the most colorful mountain in Iceland. The ascent is not very difficult, but only suitable for sure-footed people because of the boulders on the descent. From the top of the 855 meter high Brennisteinsalda you have a beautiful panoramic view of Landmannalaugar and the surrounding area.
Distance: 6.5 kilometer
Duration: 2-3 uur
I did this trail twice and it offers you magnificent views over Landmannalaugar from the west side. The Suðurnánmur hike in Landmannalagayr will take you a lot of time and energy, but it is more than worth it. You first return to the river that you switch on arrival in Landmannalaugar, from where a steep climb follows. Once ‘up’ you are on the Suðurnánmur mountains and you always have beautiful views. You end the walk in the Vondugil valley, where you have to cross a few rivers and walk back via Laugahraun. As an extra excursion you can climb Brennisteinsalda. However, the distance and times below are based on the standard lap as advised by FI.
Distance: 8.5 kilometers
Duration: 4-5 hours
The last hike on the list of most beautiful hikes in Landmannalaugar is the one to Ljótipollur. This crater lake is located north of Landmannalaugar and is surrounded by red rock. Ljótipollur, which means ‘ugly pool’ in Icelandic, is only accessible on foot and a top hike for anyone looking to have a nice day on the road.
Distance: 13.5 kilometers
Duration: 4-6 hours
Other Landmannalaugar hiking trails
Other Landmannalaugar hikes that I didn’t do until now because the weather was either too bad or I ran out of time are the ascent of Blánúhkur (blue mountain), which is a lot more difficult than Brennisteinsalda. I also never did Háalda (9 hours, hard) and Skallí (8.5 hours, hard) before. You can really only do these last two hikes if you are in a good condition, have good knowledge of navigation and are prepared for all weather conditions.
What else …
If you want to know more about Landmannalaugar, such as how to get there and where to stay, read my extensive article about Landmannalaugar, full of useful tips and facts about this special area. If you want to go well prepared, check here my packing list for your hiking holiday and a suggestion for your packing list in Iceland. You can buy a hiking map at the FI hut, although it is more of an artistic drawing than a real hiking map. However, you can easily make the mentioned hikes without it, as they are also well marked in the landscape.
Book your trip to Iceland
I advise you to book everything (well) in advance since many accommodations are already fully booked in time. In this article you can read my accommodation tips for Reykjavík. I always make reservations at Booking.com – they usually have the cheapest rates and a wide range. Tip: choose the option where you can cancel free of charge until shortly before departure. You can arrange a rental car via Rental Cars and book your flights through Skyscanner for the best price.
If you want to make a day trip from Reykjavík to Landmannalaugar, your best options can be found below:
Conclusion and disclaimer
Hopefully you found this article helpful. If anything is unclear, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment below. This article contains affiliate links. Should you make a purchase or make a reservation through such a link, we may receive a modest commission at no additional cost to you. Want to read more about Iceland? Then check out the Iceland homepage!