Hiking in Landmannalaugar

Date 07 August 2016

Hiking in Landmannalaugar

Hiking in Landmannalaugar

It was already our 5th day in Iceland, half of our trip gone by... After an amazing breakfast in Kjarnholt, we quickly hit the road to Landmannalaugar for a day of hiking. We stopped at Hrauneyar, the last inhabited place before we ventured into the wild, to do some shopping for the picnic before taking the 208 from the north.

That day the sky was very cloudy and the saleswoman at the store in Hrauneyar mentioned that there would probably be a bit of rain in the afternoon. Road 208 was a bumpy ride but not actually technically challenging and the BCR Duster did just fine. After a stop to admire the Norðurnamur cone and a short walk along the fantastic Frostaðavatn lake, we arrived at the car park around 1PM where we had a bite to eat.

We decided to do the Laugahraun hike which passed along the foothills of the famous Breinnisteinsalda. The hike seemed rather easy and even kid-friendly for our two little adventurers (8 and 3.5 years old). The scenery was as extraordinary as ever in Landmannalaugar, the colors and contrasts of the mountains growing deeper with the changing sunlight that broke through from time to time.


As the name suggested, the walk crossed a lava field before reaching the Vondugiljaaurar valley. These rhyolite rocks were expelled from the ground around the year 1477. The hike was easygoing with very little elevation until we reached the valley.

From there we would scale the splendid mountain of Breinnisteinsalda with its orange-red flanks. Arriving at the foothills, the smell of sulfur invaded the air and the smoke was everywhere.

The hike then took us once again on the lava flows at the foot of the impressive Blahnukur, which dominated the region. The sky then brightened a bit but a small shower began as we arrived in the astonishing valley of Graenagil with its green-gray flanks. The colors here were absolutely incredible. In total it took us just under 2 hours to complete this 4.5 km hike, a magnificent hiking trail that even kids could manage.

We then hit the road again in the middle of the afternoon to our guesthouse and decided to stop at Gullfoss located less than 10 km from Kjarnholt. The waterfall was as beautiful as ever and a new car park had actually been built since our last trip to admire the fall from deeper in the canyon.

After another dinner with Jon, Tor, and Bjarni, we lazed in the hot tub for quite sometime, enjoying a magical moment of absolute calm. Unfortunately, the following day scheduled in Kerlingarfjöll seemed compromised as they forecasted a lot of rain in this region, so it was time to improvise...