Landmannalaugar translates to Rainbow Mountains and is one of the most beautiful and popular hiking spots in all of Iceland.

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The small mountain area, with hills reaching heights of up to 1,100 metres, is renowned for its colourful soil, which is made up of the magmatic minerals rhyolite and obsidian, creating an incredible play of colours on sunny days. Lush green valleys alternate with black and grey lava fields, perfectly completing the magical atmosphere of the landscape.

Hiking and trekking

The main activity in Landmannalaugar is hiking through the idyllic landscape with relatively easy and short treks, as well as multi-day hikes leading to other areas.

All marked trails start at the large Landmannalaugar campsite, where you will also find public toilets, a small shop and parking. There are 6 basic routes leading from here, but you can combine them freely. They are marked with low coloured stakes, but you may not come across any signs for miles.

  • Laugahraun Lava Field 4.5 km - an easy route with no challenging elevation changes leads mostly through a landscape of dried lava, small ravines and rolling red-black hills.
  • Mount Bláhnúkur 6.5 km - one of the most popular treks in Iceland, it takes you to the 945-metre-high Mount Bláhnúkur, which offers breathtaking views of the entire Landmannalaugar. The trail covers quite a bit of elevation gain, but it is manageable for any moderately trained traveller and is free of dangerous sections.
  • Mount Suðurnámur 9 km - The hike up the 920-metre-high mountain will give you spectacular views of the rainbow-coloured hills and wide valley below. This route follows the ridge for a third of the way up, giving you the chance for great views for much of the way. The elevation gain is relatively high, but short, and the overall difficulty of this route is rated as moderate to easy.
  • Lake Ljótipollur 13.5 km - a beautiful day-long circular route through several valleys to an orphaned lake. The basic version of the route avoids major elevation changes, but you can extend the route by hiking up the Norðurnámur Table Mountain.
  • Dómadalur Valley 17.5 km - a long route that follows the same route back through a varied landscape of colourful mountains to a lush green wide valley. It can be quite muddy in places, but without extreme elevation changes.
  • Mount Skalli 15.5 km - in our opinion the most beautiful circuit within Landmannalaugar leads to Mount Skalli, over 1,000 metres high. You will enjoy spectacular views all the way.

* the colours of the routes used are for illustrative purposes only and do not correspond to the official markings

How to get there?

The Landmannalaugar area is only accessible between June and September, the rest of the year the road leading to the campsite and trailhead is closed. There are 3 main roads leading here:

  1. From Reykjavík on the F32 (main asphalt road) and the F208, which is a gravel road. According to many sources, only available for 4x4 vehicles, but can be driven by a regular conventional car without too much trouble. The road ends with a ford about 300 metres from the campsite, with a wooden footbridge across the river. Distance from Reykjavík is 195 km - map.
  2. From the west there is a gravel dirt road F26 and then road number F225, which is passable only by off-road vehicles due to several fords - map.
  3. From the east, the F208 is a dirt road, in good condition, but you have to cross about 15-20 fords on the way and therefore it is only passable by 4x4s - map.

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The last option is to walk one of the most famous long-distance treks in Iceland Laugavegur from the famous Þórsmörk valley. A map and full description of the 55km route can be found on the Icelandic tourist board's website:

The starting point of the hiking trails can also be reached by buses from various tour companies, usually leaving from Reykjavík in the early morning and returning in the afternoon:


Right in the middle of the Landmannalaugar Reserve, you can stay at a campsite located around the main trailheads. The price for an entire cabin is around 10 000 isk and can be booked on the Icelandic tourist board's website

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