Hidden in rugged highland country east of Reykjavík, Landmannalaugar is an otherworldly realm of hot springs, volcanoes, and glaciers. This is one of the best places for hiking in Iceland, with panoramas to die for.
Discover rare geological formations and adventurous hiking trails during a Landmannalaugar day trip from Reykjavík. After summiting a dormant volcano for jaw-dropping mountain views, reward your efforts with a soak in the geothermal pools.
How to get to Landmannalaugar from Reykjavík?
Landmannalaugar lies in the heart of the Icelandic Highlands, within the Fjallabak Nature Reserve. Just 3 ¼ hours from Reykjavík it makes a long but fun day trip from the capital.
From Reykjavík to Landmannalaugar by car
You will need a 4x4 to drive on the unpaved, gravel roads of the interior during your Landmannalaugar day trip from Reykjavík. There are two main routes to choose from.
The fastest and easiest journey takes the F26 and F208 via Selfoss or Þingvellir National Park. For a more scenic trip, approach from the Golden Circle along the south coast using the F208. This latter route is difficult yet rewarding, with some river crossings and steeper roads to negotiate.
There is no gas station in Landmannalaugar so make sure you have a full tank before setting off.
From Reykjavík to Landmannalaugar by bus
You can get to Landmannalaugar using the Highland Bus which departs daily from Reykjavík. Normal vehicles cannot access this remote area so these buses are specially designed to tackle the rough terrain. The journey takes just over 4 hours.
Guided tour to Landmannalaugar from Reykjavík
By far the easiest way to reach Landmannalaugar is on a guided day tour. Pick-ups are available at several hotels in Reykjavík.
What is the typical itinerary of a day tour to Landmannalaugar from Reykjavík?
Landmannalaugar day tours last between 5 and 14 hours. Some include transfers from Reykjavík, with pick-ups at hotels or pre-arranged meeting points in the city. Other tours begin in the park itself for those who have made their own way to Landmannalaugar or are staying overnight.
The journey to Landmannalaugar from Reykjavík takes around 3 ¼ hours in a 4x4, traveling through dramatic volcanic landscapes with towering peaks all around. On arrival, you will enjoy scenic hikes to viewpoints, and a visit to the hot springs for a relaxing soak.
On Landmannalaugar day trips from Reykjavík that include transfers, you will be returned to the city after your adventures.
What kind of tours are available to go to Landmannalaugar?
There are lots of guided Landmannalaugar day tours to choose from, each with something different to offer. Most include round-trip transfers from scheduled pick-up points in Reykjavík.
Guided tours to Landmannalaugar from Reykjavík
Get close-up to nature on a stress-free guided day tour to Landmannalaugar. This is an easy way to experience the wilderness, in a small group setting to keep costs down.
Hiking and hot springs are the highlights of these tours, with comfortable 4x4 transport for the journey to Landmannalaugar.
Private day trips to Landmannalaugar from Reykjavík
For a more intimate experience, opt for a private Landmannalaugar day trip. Excursions are by luxury 4x4, with personal service and a more flexible itinerary.
Private tours to Landmannalaugar plus Hekla volcano from Reykjavík
This private Landmannalaugar tour throws views of the snow-covered Hekla volcano into the mix for a truly epic day out. You will drive to the edge of a lava field, and along the volcano ridge if weather conditions allow.
Then it is time for hiking in Landmannalaugar, before returning to Reykjavík via some spectacular waterfalls.
2-day self-driving tour to Landmannalaugar from Reykjavík
This thrilling self-drive tour to Landmannalaugar from Reykjavík is one for adventurous explorers. After a short briefing about how to drive in different conditions, you will set off on your quest.
Journey along valleys and through rivers before spending the night in a mountain hut. Hot springs and barbeques add a little extra magic.
Expect to arrive back in Reykjavík by late afternoon on the second day.
3-day tour to Landmannalaugar from Reykjavík
These 3-day all-inclusive Landmannalaugar trips take in multiple sights across the Icelandic Highlands, using rustic mountain hut accommodation at night.
How much does a tour to Landmannalaugar from Reykjavík cost?
Prices for day trips to Landmannalaugar from Reykjavík vary according to group size and tour length. Most excursions include round-trip transport from the city, while others offer this as an optional extra.
- Small-group Landmannalaugar day tours start at $105 for 5 hours, excluding transfers. If you want transport from Reykjavík included, expect to pay between $162 and $198 for 10 to 14-hour trip.
- Private jeep tours of Landmannalaugar cost $252 for 8 hours, $403 for 10 hours, and from $255 for 14 hours. Pick-ups are included, but food and drinks are not.
- A 2-day self-drive super truck tour is $1031 per person, including hotel pick-ups, mountain hut accommodation, and all meals. Fuel is extra.
- 3-day Highlands tours start at $715 per person, with mountain hut lodging, meals, and transfers provided.
What will you see and do in Landmannalaugar?
Landmannalaugar excursions from Reykjavík take in some of the most spectacular scenery in Iceland. As you drive along the road, keep your camera ready for the stunning Bláhylur Lake that lays in the bottom of a dormant volcano crater.
These natural geothermal baths have been used by weary travelers through the centuries, for rejuvenating tired limbs ready for the onward journey. Today they are popular with tourists wanting to totally immerse themselves in the Icelandic wilderness.
The People’s Pool is the main event, situated right beside the Laugahraun lava field. The water temperature is a welcoming 36 - 40 °C (97 - 104˚F) throughout the year.
Laugahraun lava field
This vast expanse of solidified black lava is a striking contrast to the colorful peaks around it. This is one of the easiest hikes in Landmannalaugar. It takes around two hours and is suitable for all ages and abilities.
Everywhere you turn in Landmannalaugar you will be surrounded by colorful rhyolite mountains. Minerals like sulfur and iron give these volcanic rocky peaks their striking hues.
This is the famous “Sulphur Wave” where swirls of red, gold, and green carpet the mountainside giving it an ethereal rainbow look. You can hike to the summit for great views, with plenty of geothermal vents and lava features along the way.
Also known as the “Blue Peak”, this imperious volcano rewards determined hikers with breathtaking views of glaciers and valleys. The trail takes around 3.5 hours for a return walk.
When is the best time to visit Landmannalaugar?
Landmannalaugar day tours from Reykjavík run between mid-June and mid-September. Buses also operate during these months if you are traveling independently.
Just be aware that adverse weather can cause roads to be closed, so do check the conditions before setting off. As the saying goes, you can experience all types of weather in Iceland during a single day so pack warm clothing just in case.
- Take a swimsuit and towel if you plan on enjoying the hot springs during your Landmannalaugar jaunt.
- Make sure your camera batteries are fully charged – you will be needing them!
- Book your Landmannalaugar day trip from Reykjavík in good time for the cheapest deals.
- Pack sunscreen, a sunhat, and warm clothing as the weather can be unpredictable. Sturdy hiking boots for the trails are essential.
- Food and drinks are not included in the tours so you will need to take your own.
- Remember to bring your driving license if you are doing the 2-day self-drive tour.