Unforgettable self-guided day trip to Landmannalaugar

Many hikers go to Landmannalaugar to start the more than 50 kilometres long multi-day Laugavegur hiking trail between Landmannalaugar and Þórsmörk. It is one of the most popular hiking trails in Iceland. National Geographic listed it as one of the most beautiful trails in the world. If you are an avid hiker, you are welcome to do that. If you are not ready to spend several days on this not so easy trek, you can still have an idea of what this area looks like taking a day trip, including about 6.5 kilometres hike and soaking in a natural hot pool.24 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P1053930

Why visit Landmannalaugar

The reason I wanted to visit Iceland for the third time was my love of colourful mountains. Since I visited the Rainbow Mountains in China, I fell in love with them. I try to look for more of this kind of Mother Nature creations. Still, there is such a thing as Photoshop invented and because of that, you should be careful when distinguishing the subtle differences between Photoshopped and the real world. Better yet, you have to visit a place yourself to find out how it looks in reality. In my understanding, Landmannalaugar is such a place.
The Landmannalaugar area sits next to a dark-black Laugahraun lava field. The highland mountains at Landmannalaugar are made of volcanic rock rhyolite. These mountains have more than 5 different colours, including red, blue, pink, green, and yellow. Landmannalaugar’s warm geothermal pools are heated by hot lava beneath the Earth’s surface.43 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P1064060

When to go and how to get there

First of all, Landmannalaugar is accessible to travellers from June through late September, when the road to Landmannalaugar is closed for winter. There are several so-called F roads connecting Landmannlaugar to the other places in Iceland. Letter F after the road number means that the road is accessible only in the summertime, and you can drive on it only on a 4x4 vehicle or use services of special mountain buses.53 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P1064143

What to wear and what to bring

The weather in Iceland is unpredictable, and I would not call summers in Iceland warm, maybe except for a few days. So be prepared for day temperatures around plus 10 degrees Celsius, sometimes with wind and rain. So a warm waterproof jacket, hat, gloves and good walking shoes are a must. Pictured me in Lindmannalaugar in the middle of July.23 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P1053919And do not forget a swimming suit and a small towel. As local shopping is limited and not cheap, I advise you to bring your day food supply with you. You will also need a water bottle. Water is available locally.

Planning your day

As I spent a night at Rjupnavellir Cottages, a bit more than 50 kilometres away from Landmannlaugar, I boarded my mountain bus next to my accommodation at 9:15 a.m. 10 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P1053816If you start from Reykjavik Bus Terminal, your trip will begin at 7:00 a.m. Bus travel provided by Reykjavik Excursions was a real experience itself, going on the rugged road and enjoying mountain scenery on the way. 12 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P105382813 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P1053852Arrival at Landmannlaugar was at 11:15 a.m. Return trip from Landmannalaugar departs at 3:45 p.m., so you have 4.5 hours at your disposal to spend wisely. Please check the bus timetable before planning your trip. To keep it safe, in other words, not to miss a bus from Landmannalaugar, I checked what Alltrails website offers and based on this information, I was thinking of doing the 6.6 kilometres long Bláhnjúkur (Bláhnúkur) Mountain trail. When I arrived at Landmannlaugar, I was lucky to meet a ranger who would give me valuable advice. I asked him where this trail is, and he showed me quite an impressive mountain. My second question was what the day visitors usually do there, and he advised me about the Landmannalaugar short loop trail. I must say I was not disappointed.15 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P105386449 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P1064094

Landmannalaugar short loop trail

It is a stunning trail showing all the diversity of Landmannalaugar nature. The path leads through lava fields and past fumaroles as well as along fantastically colourful mountains. 16 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P105387017 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P105387419 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P105388620 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P105389022 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P105390825 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P105393827 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P105395529 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P105396230 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P105397531 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P105397632 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P105398034 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P105399235 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P105399636 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P105400637 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P105401838 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P105402241 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P105403942 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P105404445 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P106407746 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P1064081Tiny flowers blooming next to the trail adds a special feel to it.60 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P1053906 39 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P105402740 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P105402847 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P1064085Part of the trail follows the beginning of the famous Laugavegur trail. 33 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P1053985The original path length is 5 kilometres, but I extended it by another 1.5 kilometres as I was trying to get closer to colourful mountains, which was worth doing. With photo stops and a lunch stop, it took me almost 3 hours.48 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P1064090

Landmannalaugar natural geothermal pool

After returning to the starting point, I used the opportunity to soak in a natural geothermal pool made by a hot river flowing into the cold pool water. Landmannalaugar means People’s Pool in English. It was historically used as a remote geothermal retreat. During periods of travel, settlers visited the Landmannalaugar baths to pause and recharge before continuing their long journey. Now, the area’s long tradition lives on through trekkers who relax at the pools after a day’s hike. 50 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P106410151 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P1064105Be aware that there are no changing rooms at the pool.

Yes, I made it all and returned to the bus stop on time to make my return trip.14 landmannlaugar thesanetravel.com P1053857 It was an incredible day, and I even had some sunshine in the final part of my tour.

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What did you think? Have you visited Landmanalaugar and Iceland? I’d love to hear from you so please add your comments below.

  • Posted by Anita on August 06, 2021

    Author: Anita Sāne

    Anita 03 18

    About the author
    Anita is a part-time traveller, passionate photographer and a retired career woman from Latvia, 
    travelling mostly solo for more than 15 years. She is a skilled travel planner who plans and executes her travels by herself. Anita wants to show you how to travel the world and open your mind to new experiences. Follow her on FacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter and Bloglovin.


    Beautiful photos! I really love Iceland and this looks like a beautiful part of the country to visit. Thanks for sharing!
    Wow! Quite a trip! I’ve been to Iceland during the winter months and so never got further south/east than Seljalandsfoss. Would love to come back in warmer months and have more flexibility around the island.
    Oh my gosh, I was just in Iceland but we did not do this. We loved it so much so will definitely go back again. Saving this for future reference
    Can't get over all of these colors. Iceland is the most magical place in the world.
    WOW. I'm thinking of visiting Iceland sometime in the next year and every time I see photos I get more and more convinced! I'd probably go in the winter though so wouldn't be able to access this if the road closes in September, but that will just give me an excuse to go back again some day in the summer! :)
    What a lovely hike in interesting scenery. Beautiful photos, especially the little unexpected flowers.
    This part of Iceland looks amazing to visit for a day or so. We didn't have time to explore much of the country when we visited two years ago, but when we go back I'll be sure to add this to our itinerary!
    Charu Goyal
    This looks so beautiful, Anita. Iceland is one of the top places that I would like to visit when the world opens up. When that happens, I will definitely look into doing a day trip to Landmanalaugar. Thank you for putting it on my radar!

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