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Landmannalaugar
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Reviewed August 10, 2012

The Laugavegur was incredible! I hiked this alone for my first backpacking experience during the first week of August (I have had hiked and camped before this though). Depending on the day, the hikes run from 11 to 15 kilometers. The weather was beautiful and the sights along this trip were as well. The trail is easy to follow (designated names and arrows at trail splits and easy to follow trail markers). I was slightly apprehensive to hike this alone but it wasn't an issue. I wound up meeting some friends on the second day and finishing the trail with them. The trail has a substantial amount of people on it, but it's easy to wait a little to start trails and avoid people. There is so much variety in this hike--rhyolite mountains, lakes, fjords, black sand dunes, and canyons. I would suggest bringing warm clothes along with summer clothes because it gets cold during the evenings. The weather is relatively warm, I wore a windbreaker and shorts for the majority of the hike. Also bring water shoes because crossing some fjords might be rough on the feet. Good hiking boots are necessary. I wound up camping each night which ran me around 1.100 krona (~10 dollars). Overall the Laugavegur was the best hiking experience of my life. Respect the land and those to travel on it.

Date of experience: August 2012
10  Thank Tad D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2012

I loved Landmannalaugar!!! The only problem was I went with Grey Line and we didn't have much time to spend at the park once we got there. I chose to hike instead of taking a dip in the hot springs, and made it to the base of Mount Brennisteinsalda which is an absolutely beautiful sight with it's rainbow coloured rhyolite. If going by tour is your only option I would still definitely recommend it even if I would have loved to stay longer.

Date of experience: August 2011
7  Thank doc111872
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2012

If you drive, you should have a full size 4 wheel drive vehicle. It was a rough ride getting there, very rocky. We made it with a 4WD car, but I would not recommend that since there are little rivers that you need a high clearance for. We stopped just prior to getting to a river, and hiked the rest of the way.

We did this on a day trip, for about 4-5 hours. We made the most of it, but I could easily spend a week there camping. We only went on a short hike, the Laugavegurinn trail. We got there a few hours before sunset, and the rest of the hikers were returning from their hikes as we were trekking onward. When we got to the big area at the end of the hike, we had the place all to ourselves, with some sheep running around wild.

It was the most beautiful place I have ever experienced. It was majestic. Reminded me of Lord of the Rings. I cannot wait to go back there. I think about this place often.

We drove to many places around the country on our trip, and Landmannalaugar was my most favorite. If you have at least a few days in Iceland, I highly recommend Landmannalaugar as a must see. And if you can get out there, also the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.

Date of experience: August 2011
12  Thank sacredphi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2011

I booked a day tour to Landmannalaugar from Reykjavik with TOURIS but since it was a shoulder season we were pooled with other travelers and went on a GreyLine minibus. The guide was excellent, provided lots of information about the site on the way, Iceland and the Icelanders with a great sense of humor cheering the gloomy day. We saw Hjalparfoss, a pair of waterfalls in a area of black basalt; hydroelectric power stations; lovely lake; the famous volcano Hekla and the damage of its most recent violent eruption in 2000. But the highlight was the astonishing "painted" rhyolite mountains, brightly colored in orange, ocher, green, brown. Since it was a long drive from Reykjavik we had less than two hours free time on the spot. Some people opted to bath in the hot springs (with good experience) at the parking lot, itself on a gravel plain surrounded by colorful hills on the left and bottom and dark basalt lava mountain on the right. Others went hiking splitting into two groups since there was a fork in two directions. I went left and enjoyed the "painted" part, but had to come back after reaching a cold river; climbed half way the "dark" hill as much as the slippery ash allowed enjoying the stunning view around, then started on the right path at the fork - after some hike behind the dark hill a great view of painted mountains appeared in distance. Those who went right from the beginning saw more of the rhyolites, but everyone agreed - a day tour is just a teaser! The best way to really enjoy Landmannalaugar is a 2-3 day hiking in July or August sleeping in a tent or very basic accommodations. The paths are well marked.

Date of experience: September 2011
8  Thank Zagora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2011

We did the Laugavegur mid August and even though we expected it to be very crowded, since it's named after Iceland's busiest street, it wasn't that bad. In the morning everybody starts roughly the same time and you can easily avoid walking in groups by waiting 5 minutes or taking a bit more stops along the way.

We started in Landmannalaugar but didn't have time to take a swim since we came in at 1 pm and wanted to hike to the first campground straight away. And we had already been to Landmannalaugar before, but if you have time, you should definetely take a bath there. The first part through the Laugahraun is crowded but once you're past Brennisteinsalda it gets more quiet. We had to cross some icefields where there were still remains of the volcanic activity from spring 2010 and in some places the ice was just black. The hike was fairly easy, but quite a lot of climbing, no technical difficulties though. The location of the Hrafntinnusker campground is stunning but it was very windy and cold. The toilets were really smelly and unclean, for the campfee you have to pay, I at least expected a toilet that would be a little bit maintained (as in the other huts). The smell was so bad I'd rather have just done my thing somewhere outside, but that's just not allowed.

The next morning we woke up in the sunshine and took off early as we wanted to hike the two next days into one. The first part led us through a lot of chasms that we still snow and ice covered (according to our Icelandic friends, there was a lot more snow left on the trail than the previous years around the same time) and you had to be careful where to cross because some layers were thin and could easily collapse. Then we climbed up to a rigde with stunning views over Alfavatn and the mountains we came from. The descend was quite steep (about 450 metres in 45 minutes) but do-able with hikingpoles if you take your time. Down in the valley came the first river crossing but the water was pretty low and we could wade through easily, though very cold! From there it was about one hour of flat walking to Alfavatn.

We stayed there for lunch and decided to walk on to Emstrur. We had to do another 2 river crossings, the second one up until the knees and quite wide, but the water was clear and the current not too fast. The hike to Emstrur is easy and leads through lavafields. It's all black sand and ash, as well as very green mountains. I would say this is the most boring part of the trip, basically because it's so long and straight on for hours. The campground at Emstrur was awesome and they even had flush toilets. It eventually turned out to be a 10 hour hike but because the 2nd part of the hike is rather easy, it wasn't something I wouldn't do again.

The next morning we took off for Thórsmörk which started with a steep descent (holding onto some cables at points) into a gorge On the signs at the hut they said the bridge over the river could be dangerous for people with vertigo, but I don't see why. The only part I could imagine being a bit tricky is the part where you have to hold onto the cable to get up/down, but it's no problem at all really.

We eventually had to cross the Throngá river which is apparently the most difficult to cross. The water was muddy and came to above our knees. We held onto each other and made it just fine, our poles helped us out though. I saw some girls wading through with their straps still clicked, no poles and no shoes on, cameras in their hands but they seemed to have some trouble and my boyfriend helped them a bit. The area around Thórsmörk is pretty awesome, one of my favorite places in Iceland. So lush and green, with glaciers all around. We stayed at the Laugadalur campground, which is much nicer and less crowded than Husadalur. We could've caught the bus home since it goes around 3pm but we stayed one more night to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

I would definetely recommend this hike even if you're not that experienced. If you plan on taking 4 days, it will be do-able and you might consider sleeping in huts rather than taking your tent. You will have to bring food though but drinking water is available at the huts. We are not the fastest hikers since we take a lot of time to make pictures and enjoy the scenery but usually we made it to the next place well within the given time for it. (At the huts they have signs saying what the distance and the route to the next hut is).

I can imagine though that when it's bad weather the hike is a lot more difficult and less fun. You should always be prepared and carry a GPS and compass, and sign in and out at the huts. A memorial of a guy who died on the trail a couple of years ago in a blizzard made us realise (again) how dangerous it can be out there.

Date of experience: August 2011
25  Thank antonettes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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