With mountains that look like they’ve been painted, rocky lava fields, and a gorgeous hot spring to relax in, heading to Landmannalaugar is one of the best adventures you can have. But, Iceland’s Highlands are known for being difficult to get to, so this guide will tell you how to get to Landmannalaugar, along with the best hikes in the area, and everything you need to know!
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How to Get to Landmannalaugar
To explore the area, you’ll need to know how to get to Landmannalaugar. This requires driving down some F-roads, which can be pretty tricky! There are a few different options for how to get to Landmannalaugar, so choose the one that works best for you!
Can You Get to Landmannalaugar Without 4×4?
First – can you get to Landmannalaugar without 4×4? The short answer is no.
The F-roads in Iceland require a 4×4, and if you’re renting a car, you won’t be allowed to drive here if you don’t have a 4×4 vehicle. But, if you don’t want to drive yourself, you can take a tour to Landmannalaugar and have someone else do the driving for you!
driving to Landmannalaugar
I think driving in Iceland is the best way to see everything, as it gives you way more flexibility and freedom. No matter which way you go, driving to Landmannalaugar requires going down some F-roads, so be sure to check out this guide to Iceland’s F-roads to prepare!
But, there is one way that’s much easier than the others. The easiest way to get to Landmannalaugar is to take F26 and F208 from the north! There are no river crossings, and while the road is pretty bumpy, it’s something any 4×4 can handle (in the summer when there’s no snow) and it shouldn’t be too hard for people who don’t have a lot of experience with driving 4x4s.
To get to F26, you’ll take either Route 32 (I recommend this one so you can stop at Haífoss on the way) or Route 26, and when the two intersect, the road turns to gravel – this is F26. After driving for a little under 30 minutes, you’ll turn right onto F208, which will have signs pointing you to Landmannalaugar. F208 is a little bumpier and more rocky, but nothing too crazy! The views get better and better as you drive.
Keep driving on this road until you reach F224, which will be a right turn, and you’ll see Landmannalaugar. There is a river crossing to get into the main area of Landmannalaugar – but you don’t have to cross it! There is another parking area before the river, so if you feel safer there, park your car and just walk across the bridge. The walk takes about 10 minutes.
In total, driving to Landmannalaugar on F26 and F208 takes about an hour and a half!
There are two other options for driving to Landmannalaugar – F225 from the west, and F208 from the south. Both have several river crossings, but F225 is usually doable for any 4×4, while F208 is only recommended for larger cars.
F26 and F208 are the easiest way to get to Landmannalaugar, so I recommend coming in from the north.
Landmannalaugar Excursions & Tours
You can also avoid driving altogether by taking a tour or excursion to Landmannalaugar! This way, an experienced driver will take you through the F-roads, and you won’t have to worry about it.
There are plenty of tour options, so check out all of them at Get Your Guide!
What to Bring to Landmannalaugar
I definitely recommend hiking the trails at Landmannalaugar, soaking in the hot spring, and camping there afterwards! Here’s what you’ll need to bring for adventuring at Landmannalaugar.
There’s nothing better than sitting in a natural hot spring after a hike, so bring your bathing suit!
Iceland is known for being wet, so shoes with good traction are a must for hiking at Landmannalaugar.
My favorite hiking boots are my Danner boots – they’re cute, comfortable, and waterproof! I also love hiking in my Luna Barefoot sandals, and I wore them at Landmannalaugar. I know most people wouldn’t advise sandals in Iceland, but I prefer them! Just be prepared for sudden changes in weather.
Rain boots are another great option for muddy or wet conditions, and are definitely the easiest to clean.
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Iceland is known for being unpredictable, and it’s always best to wear layers . It’s important to bring rain gear, since there’s a good chance you’ll get caught in a drizzle while you hike.
The Marmot Minimalist Jacket is a great lightweight, waterproof option. For the cold, I love my Columbia puffy jacket – it’s lightweight, but keeps me warm. It’s also water resistant! For added warmth and layering, a Patagonia fleece is always a good addition.
When I’m bringing my camera gear, my favorite backpack is the Alex Strohl Mountain Light. It’s definitely the best camera bag out there for hiking with photo gear. If you don’t need storage for camera stuff, I recommend an Osprey Hikelite. If you aren’t bringing very much and just want a day bag, I love my Topo Designs Y-Pack for carrying essentials!
Especially when you’re hiking or exploring outdoors, it’s important to stay hydrated! Single use water bottles are, of course, terrible for the environment, so avoid that and bring a reusable one!
For hiking, the CamelBak water reservoirs are convenient and easy – they can fit in your hiking backpack for water on the go. Nalgene water bottles are great for day to day, and if you want an insulated water bottle to keep your water cold and refreshing, Hydro Flasks are the best!
If you want to camp at Landmannalaugar, you can car camp, or bring a tent! I have the Big Agnes Tiger Wall tent, which is amazing and weighs less than 2 pounds. The Stoic Madrone Tent is a more budget friendly, but heavier option.
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For camping, you’ll need to make sure the sleeping bag is warm enough for your trip, along with being lightweight and packable if you’re bringing it with you to Iceland.
I use an ALPS down sleeping bag, which is really affordable compared to most down sleeping bags, but it’s light enough for me, and has kept me warm! The Marmot Ultra Elite 20 is a great synthetic bag that’s lightweight.
A sleeping pad is a necessity for comfy nights, whether you’re in a tent or if you’re car camping in Iceland.
I have the Sea to Summit UltraLight Sleeping Pad, which packs up small and weighs less than a pound.
The NEMO equipment Switchback Sleeping Pad folds up small and is also great for backpacking, and if you’re going to be camping in colder weather, the NEMO Insulated Sleeping Pad helps with staying warm.
Having a camping stove allows you to have hot meals, and hot coffee!
The Jetboil MiniMo Stove is probably the lightest option there is, and it’s really popular with backpackers. I use the MSR Pocket Rocket stove, which packs up nice and small! Propane and butane for camping stoves were really easy to find in Iceland – almost every gas station and grocery store sells them.
You’ll also need some cooking utensils, and I recommend the GSI Outdoors Cook Set.
The Best Landmannalaugar Hiking Trails
While the views from the parking lot will take your breath away, the best way to experience Landmannalaugar is by hiking!
Distance: 4.1 miles (6.6 km)
Elevation Gain: 1256 feet (382.8 meters)
This was my absolute favorite hike that I did in Iceland! Bláhnúkur means Blue Peak, and the mountain (volcano, actually) is made up of blueish green sand that looks really unique. It’s a steep hike, but the view from the top is incredible.
Distance: 32.4 miles (52.14 km)
Elevation Gain: 5583 feet (1701.7 meters)
If you want to go backpacking in Iceland, this is the best hike at Landmannalaugar for you! This is a point to point trail that starts at Landmannalaugar and ends at Thórsmörk. The hike usually takes three days, and you’ll cross geothermal hot springs, volcanic deserts, glacial rivers and deep valleys. It’s an incredible hike, but it’s pretty strenuous! You can do this on your own, or with an experienced guide.
Landmannalaugar Short Loop
Distance: 3.1 miles (5 km)
Elevation Gain: 652 feet (198.7 meters)
If you want a short and relatively easy trail, take the Landmannalaugar short loop! Part of the hike is on the Laugavegur trail, and the loop takes you through the gorgeous mountains and breathtaking scenery of Landmannalaugar.
Places to Stay Near Landmannalaugar
When you’re done exploring Landmannalaugar, you’ll need a place to stay! There are a few options at Landmannalaugar, and more close by.
Camping at Landmannalaugar
The first option is camping – there’s a gorgeous camping area at Landmannalaugar, surrounded by the rainbow mountains. You can car camp or bring a tent, and stay close to all of the trailheads and a short walk from the hot springs. Keep in mind that you have to stay in designated campsites!
If you want something a step up from camping, stay in one of the huts! These huts are pretty minimal, so you’ll still need to bring a sleeping bag, but you’ll have a little more shelter.
Hotels Near Landmannalaugar
While there are no hotels in Landmannalaugar, the closest one is the Volcano Huts Þórsmörk, located in the remote Þórsmörk Nature Reserve. To find more accommodations on your route, check out the map below! Make sure to change the dates and zoom out to see all of the options.
More Adventures Near Landmannalaugar
After trying out some of these best hikes in Landmannalaugar, I highly recommend taking a soak at Landmannalaugar Bathing Place – this natural hot spring is right next to the parking area, and so relaxing, especially after a hike. If you’re heading towards Reykjavik, check out the Hrunalaug Hot Springs! And make sure to visit Thingvellir National Park to see the tectonic plates, and scuba dive the Silfra Fissure for extra adventure. If you’re continuing on the Ring Road, take the short hike to Seljavallalaug Swimming Pool!
- Everything You Need to Know About Driving in Iceland
- Guide to Camping in Iceland
- Iceland Road Trip Itineraries
If you’ve been to Landmannalaugar and have any tips, or if you’re planning a trip and have any questions, leave them in a comment below!
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