Take this journey in an SUV to Landmannalaugar, the area with mind-blowing multicolored mountains. Soothing hot springs, rambling lava flows, and clear blue lakes make Landmannalaugar one of Iceland’s most unique destinations and a must-see the places for explorers in the interior.
Part of Fjallabak Nature Reserve, Landmannalaugar (600m. above sea level) includes one of the largest geothermal fields in Iceland. Its multihued peaks are made of rhyolite, mineral-filled lava, that cooled unusually slowly, causing those amazing colors. The area is a starting point for the famous Laugavegur hike and many other trails suitable for excellent day hiking as well. Next to all this splendor of nature is the volcano Hekla, which has erupted more than 20 times during the last thousand years. Hekla is considered the most active volcano in Iceland.
We start the tour from Reykjavik heading east to the Thjorsardalur valley wich has many wonderful attractions in its vicinity. Our first stop will be at Hjalparfoss, the pair of waterfalls, where rivers Fossa and Thjorsa meet together and their cascades merge as they tumble into a serene pool.
When we get close to highlands, we stop at another waterfall, Sigoldufoss, one of the beauties in the surrounding area. After the hydropower plant was built here, a part of glacial water from previously powerful river Tungna had redirected into a power plant tunnel, and only a part of the former river remained as a beautiful green-blue water stream forming the waterfall.
Then we drive on the rocky road through lava fields and mysterious looking valleys, we stop at Frostastadavatn lake in breathtaking nature, surrounded by black lava fields and colorful rhyolite mountains. Like other lakes in the area, it is rich in trout and therefore popular with fishers and hikers.
Finally, we arrive at our main destination, the tourist camp at Landmannlaugar. There are six marked hiking trails prepared here for tourists. To more or less get acquainted with the colored mountains of Landmannalaugar, we recommend you follow route 1 (4 km. 1,5-2 hours) through Laugahraun lava field and Graenagil canyon along the Blauhnjukkur volcano; or route 2 (5,7 km. 2,5-3,5 hours) extending the first route with hiking over the mighty Mt. Brennisteinsalda (Sulphur Wave). And, of course, we plan to relax and bask in the natural hot springs near the camping site.
After hiking and/or soaking at Landmannalaugar, we drive back and get closer to Hekla, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. It has been the inspiration for many myths and legends and has produced more lava fields than you will find anywhere else. Despite erupting as recently as the year 2000, thankfully, the volcano now lies dormant and is regularly monitored by scientists for any volcanic activity. From Hekla, we drive over the Domadalur valley and return to Reykjavik.
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Most travelers can participate
Infant seats available
Operates in most weather conditions, please dress appropriately