Trekking and trails in Landmannalaugar rainbow mountains, Iceland

Trekking and trails in Landmannalaugar rainbow mountains in Iceland

Landmannalaugar in Iceland
Landmannalaugar in Iceland

Landmannalaugar called rainbow mountains are considered one of the most beautiful parts of Iceland. A wide range of colors along the entire length of the trails is breathtaking. At the same time, Landmannalaugar arouses great interest among all tourists.

Countless vegetation subtly spreading rock forms makes such views that cannot be forgotten. The variety of colors found in the landscape of the rainbow mountains gives an irresistible impression of being in the wonderland. Just take a look and you will know where the name of the rainbow mountains came from. This is the place where time stops. If you have rainbow mountains in Iceland on your tourist map, read the most important information on how to best prepare for this trip.

Landmannalaugar trekking

Of course, the adventure with trekking should begin with Laugavegur - the first hiking trail. It is considered one of the most beautiful tourist routes around the world, and the largest travel magazines are outdoing in describing and photographing this place.

Landmannalaugar - route

As a rule, this route can be overcome in four days - meaning, of course, the usual tourist pace. On the first day, you take the 12 km route from Landmannalaugar to Hrafntinnusker. Then, on the second day, the next section from Hrafntinnusker to Alftavant has from 12 to 14 kilometers. The third day is the route from Alftavatn to Emstrur. At this stage, a route of 16 kilometers must be overcome.

Trekking in Landmannalaugar
Trekking in Landmannalaugar

At the finish, there are another 16 kilometers to go, which is between Emstrur and Pórsmork. The entire tourist trail has a total of 55-56 kilometers. A very popular route, often chosen by tourists, is the destination from Landmannalaugar to Thorsmork. There are hot springs on its route, which you can use, of you want.

Route difficulty from Landmannalaugar to Þórsmörk

Landmannalaugar is considered the most beautiful place in the world. It is located in the Fjallabak nature reserve. This is where the route of the so-called trekking colloquially called Laugavegur, whose trail after four days ends in Þórsmörk. Before you start, you should know that the most demanding day of this route is the first day, when the trail leads uphill and downhill, which can be very hard for longer walks.

Additionally, it should be taken into account that due to its location - over 1000 meters above sea level - thick fogs and storms can occur between Landmannalaugar and Hrafntinnusker route during your trekking. As you know, sightseeing in such conditions can be quite embarrassing, so be prepared properly. However, the space that nature gives us in the rainbow mountains rewards all that difficulties.

Icelandic rainbow mountains

Landmannalaugar in Iceland is a place where a man can calm down and reset his mind as much as possible. Communing with nature is the best remedy for malaise or chandra. In this place, nothing matters except you and nature. All failures go down into the background, here and now is what matters. Speaking of the Icelandic rainbow mountains, you could use infinitely many compliments, but this landscape does not need such an advertisement. The beauty of Landmannalaugar speaks for itself and can defend itself. Words are unnecessary.

Landmannalaugar rainbow mountains
Landmannalaugar rainbow mountains. Source: Natale Carioni / Wikipedia.

The views we can see while on the Laugavegur trail are variable and it happens quite often. Following this route, you have to be very careful, especially if you come across an overwhelming fog.

Trekking through the hiking trails and the Landmannalaugar rainbow mountains in Iceland, I recommend to anyone who wants to experience the real miracle here on earth. Yes, a miracle, because you can not describe it otherwise. There are no words to express the beauty of Iceland and its rainbow mountains. This place is noteworthy and often appears on the tourist map of travelers. So if you are also wondering where to plan your next vacation, consider this option :-) Landscape sparkling with dozens of colors and unforgettable guaranteed experiences. In addition, a lot of beautiful memories, also immortalized in the pictures. Is it possible to have a better vacation? Probably not :-)

Laugahraun Lava Fields
Laugahraun Lava Fields. Source: Chris 73 / Wikipedia.

Laugahraun lava fields

Traveling through the rainbow mountains in Iceland, we come across many interesting places, where one of them are Laugahraun lava fields. It is a great tourist attraction, where the black lava soil creates amazing views along with the Landmannalaugar mountains in the background.

The Laugahraun lava fields (and the second, called Namshraun) were created during the eruption of the Brennisteinsalda volcano, which took place in the 15th century, around 1477.

Several streams of hot and cold water flow out of Laugahraun lava fields, which combine to form amazing hot springs, ideal for swimming all year round. The water temperature is around 38 degrees, even in winter.

Frozen black lava crosses the trail leading from Landmannalaugar to Þórsmörk (in the valley between the rivers Jokulgilskvisl and Namskvisl), which is one of the most popular tourist routes in Iceland.

Brennisteinsalda volcano

The Brennisteinsalda volcano, also called a burning mountain, is the creator of the above Laugahraun lava fields. It is located on the trekking route through Landmannalaugar, near the other Hekla volcano, and is about 850 meters high.

Brennisteinsalda Volcano in Iceland
Brennisteinsalda Volcano in Iceland. Source: Brennisteinsalda / Wikipedia.

The name of the Brennisteinsalda volcano means in Icelandic the sulfuric wave. It comes from sulfur stains, which have given the volcano slopes such fancy colors and made this tourist attraction so charming. Especially that the characteristic brown-red colors of sulfur and iron are intertwined here with the colors of green mosses and black ash and volcanic lava. The whole thing looks insane.

The Brennisteinsalda volcano is often called the most colorful mountain in Iceland.

The Brennisteinsalda volcano in Iceland is still an active volcano, rich in sulfuric hot springs and numerous smaller streams. It is worth going here, considering that we have another great tourist attraction nearby: Laugahraun lava fields.

Graenagil Canyon and Blahnukur Volcano

Other interesting places that we will find during trekking by Landmannalaugar are the Graenagil canyon and the Blahnukur volcano. Even if we get a little more tired, it's worth to make the way and find a place from which a beautiful view of the canyon will be spread. It is right here that we find the most beautiful colors of the rainbow mountains in Iceland.

Graenagil Canyon and Blahnukur Volcano
Graenagil Canyon and Blahnukur Volcano. Source: Pintafontes Senapeli / Wikipedia.

The Blahnukur volcano has something dangerous and majestic. It is also practically all black and quite steep, although we can easily go on trekking there if only we have more time. To sum up, the Graenagil canyon and the Blahnukur volcano are some of the most beautiful places on the Landmannalaugar hiking trail, so it's worth to mark it on the map and not miss it, otherwise, we can regret this.

Landmannalaugar hiking trails

During the trekking through Landmannalaugar, we will have at our disposal various hiking trails and it is only up to us which we will follow, starting our journey through Iceland. To make your choice a bit easier, below I've described the most popular Landmannalaugar hiking trails and the surrounding area.

Laugavegur Hiking Trail
Laugavegur Hiking Trail. Source: Chmee2/Valtameri / Wikipedia

Laugavegur hiking trail

The vast majority of people who visit Landmannalaugar, take their first steps to the Laugavegur hiking trail. It is not an easy trekking, it takes three to four days to get through this route.

Along the way, we will find several scattered huts in various places, and both ends of the trail are connected by a bus line. Despite these difficulties, the Laugavegur trail is so popular that usually in the season you have to plan your journey and reserve a place online in one of the tourist hostels. Of course, the Laugavegur hiking trail also offers the possibility of pitching the tent along the road, but not everyone wants to take the mat, sleeping bag and tent (and in addition water, food and a hundred other things).

The vast majority of travelers end their route in Þórsmörk (or Thórsmörk), but if we have enough persistence, we can go further, from Laugavegur going to the Fimmvörðuháls hiking trail. Despite a different name, it is actually a continuation of the same route. Thanks to this, we will add another 25 kilometers to our journey, which we will have to spend another day or two to hike. The trail ends in Skógar, known for its very interesting wooden houses with roofs covered with grass.

Along the way, during the journey through the tourist trail Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls, we come across many tourist attractions and interesting places, such as the Myrdalsjokull and Eyjafjallajokull glaciers, or even numerous hot springs! Anyway, Laugavegur is not without reason the most popular hiking trail in the area!

Bláhnjúkur Mountain in Iceland
Bláhnjúkur Mountain in Iceland. Source: Christian Wirth / Wikipedia.

Trail to the Blue Peak

The Blue Peak hiking trail is a short route (we will finish it in two to four hours), which will lead us to the top of the blue and black Bláhnjúkur mountain, called the Blue Peak. Bláhnjúkur is an amazing place, mainly because it is covered with lava and volcanic ash.

From the top of the Blue Peak, if the day is sunny, we can see even five different glaciers. The hiking trail that leads to the top of the Blue Peak is not very difficult, but it is quite steep, so when we go there, we can get a little tired.

From the top of the Blue Peak, we have two further routes - either we will go trekking to the Laugahraun lava field and the Brennisteinsalda volcano, or we will take a trip to the Graenagil canyon and the Blahnukur volcano.

Sprengisandur hiking trail in Iceland
Sprengisandur hiking trail in Iceland. Source: Ilya Sverdlov / Wikipedia.

Sprengisandur hiking trail

The Sprengisandur hiking trail that runs from Landmannalaugar is created for loners. You will not find many hikers here, but you will find a few other things. Difficult route, which will require effort. Crossing the rivers. Difficult living conditions.

If you want to feel like the ancient Vikings and you are fit and enjoy trekking alone, the Sprengisandur hiking trail is there for you.

The entire Sprengisandur trail is over 200 kilometers long, which is why it is intended for experienced trekkers and travelers or for people who have a lot of time and are able to carry a lot of supplies.

Sulphur Wave hiking trail

It is one of the most popular hiking trails coming from Landmannalaugar. The Sulfur Wave Trail will lead us straight to the Brennisteinsalda volcano (also called the most colorful mountain in Iceland), so it is worth going for trekking. The duration of this hike is about two hours.

Hekla Volcano in Iceland
Hekla Volcano in Iceland. Source: adam w / Flickr.

Hellismannaleið hiking trail

The Hellismannaleið trail is, like Laugavegur, another long route that will take 3 to 4 days of hiking. This trek leads from Landmannalaugar to the base of Hekla volcano (one of the active Icelandic volcanoes) and then directs us to the area of solidified lava called Rjúpnavellir.

During the trekking along the Hellismannaleið hiking trail, we will travel through the lava fields and through the green valleys. Along the way, we will also find several warm geothermal springs.

Ugly Puddle hiking trail

The name of the Ugly Puddle hiking trail does not encourage you to go on trekking. However, it is quite confusing, as this route will take us not only to the beautiful deep crater lake, but also provide amazing views of the colorful hills and rainbow mountains in Iceland. The Ugly Puddle trail is about four hours' hike.

Horses in Landmannalaugar
During our trekking, we can meet some new friends. Horses in Landmannalaugar.

Other hiking trails

If you are still not enough, you can also consider the following tourist routes, but some of them are further away from Landmannalaugar (they are equally beautiful though). If you like trekking in the rainbow mountains and you still have some time in Iceland, it is really worth considering them:

  • Solheimajokull Glacier – is a glacial tongue formed in the Mýrdalsjökull glacier. It is located next to the famous Eyjafjallajökull volcano, surrounded by black sand and raw mountains.
  • Fimmvorduhals Hiking Trail - This trail connects Skogar, in the very south of Iceland, with the amazing Thórsmörk valley, which is located a little further to the north, in the interior of the Island. The road crosses the pass separating two powerful volcanoes, which are also covered with glaciers.
  • Heidmork Nature Reserve – a nature reserve, that is very popular among locals, mainly sports enthusiasts, people with children and couples looking for a romantic holiday. It is located 18 kilometers from Rejkiavik.
  • Valagil Waterfall – hiking trail located in the surroundings of Landmannalaugar mountain landscape.
  • Storurd – the most spectacular attraction in the area - a magnificent blue lake covered with huge boulders.
Travelers Backpack
Travelers Backpack

What to take?

As with any major expedition, it is worth taking care of appropriate equipment when choosing Landmannalaugar in Iceland. Despite the beautiful views that the rainbow mountains provide us, it's worth remembering that nature likes to play pranks. We must be prepared for any eventuality.

The basis for a successful trip will certainly be properly selected shoes. Something that seems obvious to us can cause us many problems. It should be taken into account that the Landmannalaugar hiking trails are several kilometers long and are diverse in terms of terrain. Therefore, the shoes that we take with us must be comfortable and resistant to changing weather conditions. It is also worth equipping yourself with quick-drying shoes specially adapted for crossing the rivers. The so-called rubber boots that will stick to the foot will work best.

Tent Camping in Landmannalaugar
Tent Camping in Landmannalaugar

Another top priority during trekking is a solid tent. Waterproof and windproof is the basis for a successful trip to Landmannalaugar in Iceland. It would also be good if it was already checked by us so that we would not have problems with its distribution. Speaking of a tent, it's impossible not to mention the mat. It is mainly useful at night when the temperature drops to around zero degrees. The mat additionally protects us from the stony ground, which may be a problem during sleep.

Another element is a properly selected sleeping bag. When choosing the best model, you should take into account the cold resistance and the ability to combine them in the event of an extremely cold night. The basis of a successful trip is also having a stove, gas and any form of fire - a lighter or matches. All these elements will be necessary for us when we decide to trek with a tent. If we choose the option with accommodation, we will have all of it in the package.

Nevertheless, when going on hiking trails, it is worth to pack up high-energy provisions for your backpack, such as nuts and raisins, or halva, which will quickly give us energy for the next journey. In addition, you can not forget about the right amount of water, which will be enough to satisfy your thirst throughout the day. Due to the fact that the weather is variable,  when choosing Icelandic rainbow mountains we should have a rain jacket or a cape, which will be perfect when it will rain throughout the trekking. Apart from the cape, sunglasses that will protect us from the intense sun, especially in places that are still covered with snow, will also be useful.

Landmannalaugar panorama
Landmannalaugar panorama

If you want to capture these beautiful views that stretch across Landmannalaugar on Iceland, do not forget about the camera or mobile phone charger.

How to get to Landmannalaugar?

How to get to Landmannalaugar? You can get there either by car or by bus. Of course, the most convenient method of transport will be a car, because we will be able to see in a short time more tourist attractions and interesting places in Iceland.

It is worth noting that we will reach Landmannalaugar only during the summer months.

Driving car to Landmannalaugar
Driving car to Landmannalaugar

By car

The best way to travel around Iceland is of course a car. There are several roads to Landmannalaugar:

  • F208 - leading from the north-west is the most popular and most frequently chosen access road to our destination. To get there, first follow the road 32 or 26 between the towns of Sellfoss and Hella. At their heights, there is a road contact, which then goes into the F26 road and successively in F208, which is already the final destination,
  • Driving the F208 road from the south-east, prepare yourself for a hard trip because of the nearby Eldgja volcanic gorge. Note: in June this road may still be impassable,
  • F225 - unfortunately, this road cannot be found in Google Maps. It is called Landmannaleið. It is a bit more difficult than F208 from the north-west side, but it is still considered the most passable,
  • The Sprengisandur Route is a road leading from the north. However, to overcome this entire route, we have to devote one day to this.

If we decide to travel by car, we should have a car with a very high suspension, 4x4. In addition, we should check that the spark plugs and the motor are sufficiently protected against water. One more important thing is to make sure that you can definitely travel on the roads marked with F-roads.

Landmannalaugar by Bus
Getting to Landmannalaugar by Bus

By bus

Landmannalaugar can also be reached by off-road shuttle. TREX has such courses in its offer. They run from Reykjavík, Selfoss, and Hella. Unfortunately, the prices of bus tickets are quite high and range from $65 to even $250.

A trip to the Icelandic rainbow mountains, regardless of whether it takes place by car or by bus, brings about the same amount of experience. With each step, Landmannalaugar discovers its beauty. The countless number of colorful mountains intertwines with those that are still under the covering of white snow. It is impossible to see all these views on photographs. It's best to just go there. What is invisible to the eyes is visible to the soul if we talk about the rainbow mountains. In the end, they are considered one of the most beautiful in the world.

Iceland Northern Lights
Winter is perfect for watching Iceland Northern Lights, but not for trekking.

When to go?

Unfortunately, Landmannalaugar appears in all its glory for a few months. So it's best to choose between June and September. In June, however, we can still meet with snow. The rainbow mountains look most beautiful at the turn of August and September.

It is also known that it is best to go in the summer to explore Iceland. Well, unless we want to admire the northern lights, but trekking through the hiking trails and rainbow mountains Landmannalaugar is a bad idea during the winter because the day lasts just for a few hours. And I advise not to try climbing in Iceland after dark.

Accommodation on the Landmannalaugar trail

On the Landmannalaugar hiking trail, you will not find comfortable hotels or guesthouses. If you plan to stay under the roof, you might want to take interest in mountain cottages (eg Ferðafélag Íslands), however, they are fabulously expensive and you have to book them well in advance, because they are being sold very quickly in the high season.

Mountain cottages in Landmannalaugar do not have their own bedding, so we must bring our own sleeping bag.

In addition, we can find here shower cabins, so in the mountain cottages, we can also take a bath. The Hrauneyjar motel is the only "civilized" place to stay nearby.

With a tent at the campsite in Landmannalaugar

At the outset, it is worth mentioning that in the Fjallabak nature reserve and on the Landmannalaugar trails (as well as in Landmannahellir and Hrafntinnusker) tents can be spread only on campsites and in designated places.

Campground Accommodation in Landmannalaugar
Campground Accommodation in Landmannalaugar

For me, the best place to pitch a tent at the Landmannalaugar campsite were the hot springs in the Fjallabak nature reserve, where you can bathe all year long. At this campsite, we can even come by bus from Reykjavik and unfortunately, the season can be quite crowded here.

Landmannalaugar map

When looking for information about tourist routes, I had a huge problem with finding some more detailed Landmannalaugar maps. To help you with a bit of a task, below I put a few different travel guides that I could find, like Landmannalaugar map or Landmannalaugar hiking trails map.

Landmannalaugar Map
Landmannalaugar Map. Source: iceland24blog.com.

Remember to make sure you print a Landmannalaugar map before you set out on your trekking, you will definitely need it.

Landmannalaugar hiking trails map
Landmannalaugar hiking trails map. Source: landmannalaugar.info.

The above Landmannalaugar hiking trails map is one of the better ones I have found. If you want to print it, its version in PDF along with the legend can be found here: Landmannalaugar hiking trails. It is described as a special map for travelers going to Landmannalaugar for trekking, so it should be good.

Summary

Iceland is ideally suited for the classic road trip. However, it also has places that can not be reached by car. Contact with the nature of this beautiful place is therefore inevitable. The views that can be seen there are so unique that they are always remembered.

Landmannalaugar Hiking Trail
Landmannalaugar Hiking Trail

Landmannalaugar is a place where people who are sensitive to the beauty of the surrounding world meet. The huge number of tourist routes year after year attracts crowds of tourists. No wonder, if a visit to Iceland may turn out to be a journey of life. The sun reflecting on the slopes of the snow encourages you to explore as long as possible. Just look at the pictures so that the views are breathtaking. It looks even more phenomenal live. The fatigue that arises when visiting hiking trails, permeates with the delight that our senses experience. Iceland is such a peaceful country that you can go there alone. The friendliness of the locals is downright frightening.

Iceland, although it is a small country, is also very diverse at the same time. Huge tours around Iceland are therefore very popular, thanks to which you can see the most important places in this country. And hiking trails allow you to reach the most beautiful of its corners. I think that we can confidently define it as such a small paradise on earth, which is really at hand for each of us.

If you liked this travel guide and trekking through the hiking trails and rainbow mountains of Landmannalaugar or simply have any questions about traveling around Iceland, be sure to leave me a comment below - I will be pleased to answer!

Wojciech Kuźma

Hey there! My name is Wojtek and I am very happy that you came to my travel blog. I've been traveling the world for a few good years now and I still want more.

On my website I describe the adventures that have happened to me, you will also find here a collection of valuable tips for tourists and travelers. If you liked this article, be sure to leave a comment and read some more!


4.91 | 11 votes
Comments: 2
  •   30th October 2018, 18:34

    Blown away by the landscape. What an amazing experience.

  •   7th November 2018, 12:08      http://skypartner.com.pl/

    I can't imagine this journey! Need to have a lot of self-denial :) This text was translated automatically. Original text is below: Ja nie wyobrażam sobie takiej podróży! Trzeba mieć sporo samozaparcia :)

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