Iceland is the country of many extremes. Here, water, fire and wind are combined and sculptured the shape of the scenery as coming out of mythical pages. Every destination in Iceland is a wonder of nature. But if I wanted to tell a story about somewhere in this country, I’d write about the highlands Landmannalaugar.
Read more: Top Attractions in Iceland
The introduction of Landmannalaugar
Landmannalaugar in Icelandic means “mineral stream of Landmanna”, often referred to as Laugar. Landmannalaugar belongs to the Landmannalaugar natural conservation area of Fjallabak, located at the southern edge of the central plateau. There are not many people there, this is the first point of the most famous Icelandic trekking, Laugavegur about 55 km long, connecting Landmannalaugar to the Þórsmörk.
I started the trip to Iceland as the other tourists usually do: visit Golden Circle, the familiar gold route that anyone who comes to Iceland must visit. From there, we follow the main road to get closer to Laugar. We stopped at Hekla Mountain. Hekla is one of Iceland’s most powerful active volcanoes, for about ten years it will wake up once. Hekla is a mysterious and intense place, in the Middle Ages, the Icelandic used to consider this is a way leading to the hell.
Because it is formed by geological and volcanic activities, the country is small but possesses a natural treasure that is extremely varied and transformed continuously. The magnificent landscape of panorama is constantly surfing through the car’s door. All of them are breathtaking scenery. Just in a moment, I run into the lichen-covered lava fields, and visited hundreds of small waterfalls, through the glaciers, to the muddy-water puddles. There are many paths to the Landmannalaugar plateau, but all are small trails, only for 4 × 4 vehicles, which are open from May 6 to September 9 annually.
Crossing the river in LandmannalaugarLandmannalaugar camping site is vast and surrounded by high multicolor hills. This is one of the largest campgrounds in Iceland but also lacks convenience.
Even in summer, the Iceland highlands are still very cold. Daytime temperatures rarely go to 10 °c and the night drops to near zero. Landmannalaugar’s cold, moist, it was extremely cold, after setting up the tent, we cooked with a tiny gas stove with two fingers, sitting together and trembling. The flickering of green gas and some nearly-lit candle pieces left by someone on the camping table were not enough to warm up our hands that were slowly becoming cold.
It rained that night. I could clearly feel a thin stream of water starting to murmur beneath my tent. So every few hours, I opened my eyes and tried to look out to see if my tent was drifting down the stream. Fortunately, the next morning, our tent was still in the same position. And the morning sun was clear and the sky was so high. The weather was so amazing!
Because I do not have enough health and time to go off the roads for four days in Laugarvegur, I chose the shorter road trek, radiating away from the campsite. This trek lasted few hours long enough for one day. They winding between mountains of Landmannalaugar, allowing us to get a panoramic view from above.
Under the sun in the morning, the landscape of the plains and mountains surrounding Landmannalaugar was dyed with colorful tones. As soon as I got out of the campsite, I immediately lost in a jungle of coal. Giant, sparkling, chunks of coal lay on the lava fields of a volcanic eruption.
Following the lava flows is a vast plateau covered with soft grass and incredible blue neon. The beautiful grass flowers, mixing with a little white on the green background.
All of the sheep in Iceland live a free life. They are so lucky to breathe fresh air every day. On the island, sheep are released from June to Sep. They can go wherever they want to go. Therefore, they enjoy endless life throughout the summer. In the spring, newborn lambs will be taken around the island by their mothers, drinking cool spring water, eating fresh green grass and becoming fat. In early October, the people here organized a réttir, a gathering of sheep, with the participation of both local people and tourists.
The scenery in Landmannalaugar is changeable. If on the left side of the mountain is still white grass, white flowers, then right on the other side of the mountain, just after a bend, was the cold lake reflecting clouds. The scenery changes from a green field to a gray desert in a blink of an eye.
True to the name mineral stream of Landmanna, Landmannalaugar is also known for the natural mineral pools that are heated by volcanic energy. For those who like adventure travel. This is a great chance after a long day of hard work on the trekking. Relaxing in the warm in early summer is a wonderful experience.
Iceland Schedule and Experience
You can refer some information about schedule, transportation, accommodation, camping, preparation at the following link: Iceland dust travel – Schedule and experience
How to get to Landmannalaugar?
There are three main entrance roads to access Landmannalaugar, two roads are from the west F208 and F225 from Gjains, and another road from the East – road F208 from Vik
Take the Bus
Some of Iceland’s major cities such as Reykjavik, Selfoss, Hella, and Skaftafell National Park, there is a bus to Landmannalaugar, a bus from Reykjavik to Landmannalaugar takes 4 hours and 15 minutes and costs 8500 ISK (about 80 USD) one way.
In Iceland, you can buy the same tickets for a variety of bus routes, called passports. These passports allow you to go as many times as possible within a certain period of time, depending on the type of ticket.
Map of the Landmannalaugar trekking road