Landmannalaugar (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈlantˌmanːaˌlœiːɣar̥] (listen)) is a place in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve in the Highlands of Iceland. It is at the edge of Laugahraun lava field, which was formed in an eruption in around 1477. It is known for its natural geothermal hot springs and surrounding landscape.
Landmannalaugar is the northern end of the Laugavegur hiking trail and the Iceland Touring Association operates a mountain hut with accommodation for hikers. During the tourist high season a small shop and a horse tour agency operate there, as well as the ICE-SAR highland patrol in Fjallabak. Several bus companies have regular trips to and from Landmannalaugar during the tourist season.
Four routes lead to Landmannalaugar and one of them is accessible by regular car, though the road is rough, with large stones on the road and washboard sections. Rented cars are not allowed on either road as F roads are usually only intended for four-wheel drive vehicles. The most accessible route to Landmannalaugar is via Road 30 from the main road and into Road 32, across the Sultartangi hydro-electric dam, going onto F26, then F208 and just before arriving in Landmannalaugar, making a right turn to F224. Road 26 can also be accessed directly from Rd. 1 just before arriving in the small village of Hella, crossing through typical Icelandic farmland landscape. There are also roads leading to Landmannalaugar from the east via Eldgjá or the north via Sprengisandur, both 4WD roads only.
Landmannalaugar is famous for its hiking trails. The most popular routes include the 2 hour hike through the Laugahraun lava field to Mt. Brennisteinsalda ("Sulphur Wave"), the 1-hour hike up Mt. Bláhnjúkur ("Blue Peak") and the 4-hour hike to Ljótipollur crater lake ("Ugly Puddle"). Landmannalaugar can also be the starting point of several longer hiking trails, such as the 3- to 4-day Hellismannaleið route at the base of the Hekla volcano and Sprengisandur route for hikers prepared to travel through the volcanic desert.
Landmannalaugar is the usual starting point for a four-day-long hiking trail called Laugavegur, whose name means "The Landmannalaugar Trail"—"Laugar" being a shortened version for "Landmannalaugar". The usual four-day trail ends in Thórsmörk, but one or two days can be added, trekking then all the way to Skógar nearly at the coast via Fimmvörðuháls between the two glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull.
The huts on the Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls trails are (from north to south):
Icelandic horseriding has been available in the area each summer, although not in the summer of 2013. The horse riding trips visit places which can often be difficult to access on foot and not accessible by car as there are no official roads, as an example into Jökulgil (Glacier Valley). Arctic char fishing takes place in Landmannalaugar and nearby lakes. From late June and through the summer, a shop called the Mountain Mall is operated inside a green American school bus from the 1970s which stocks groceries and other things useful for camping. The buses are still operating and are driven there in June and taken back at the end of September when the season finishes. In the winter the hut is used as a base for cross-country skiing.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Landmannalaugar.|
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