Famous for its hot springs, Landmannalaugar is a magical place situated in the highlands of Iceland, where Black lava fields and irresistible walking trails on the colorful mountains means that the destination is popular with hikers. The Landmannalaugar hot springs region offers a beautiful camping ground and the best part is – that the visitors can freely bathe all year round.
Iceland – A Great Destination for Solo Female Travel
Iceland is renowned for its safety and ease of travel, making it one of the most popular solo female travel destinations in the world. Think carefully about the time of the year to visit, but even in winter, Iceland is not as cold as you might think. Regarding the hot springs, there’s really nothing like the warm water soothing your body, yet at the same time feeling cold air on your face!
A few Words of Warning about Bathing in Iceland!
A few words of warning when it comes to either Hot Springs or swimming and bathing in Iceland. The Icelandic people are very liberal. When they bathe or shower in public pool, they often go naked – it’s not seen as rude or pervy, just freeing and natural. Also, the local Icelandics can be very thick skinned – they think nothing of walking around half naked in conditions that many of us wouldn’t even take off their coat! I actually saw a guy in a public baths go straight from the hot tub into a ‘freezing dip’ thinking nothing of it – he barely even pulled a face! ?
Where are the Landmannalaugar Hot Springs Located?
Landmannalaugar is a geothermal oasis located in the Southern Highlands of Iceland, within the Fjallabak Nature Reserve aka ‘Mountain’s Back’.It’s about a 3-hour drive (around 180 km) from Reykjavik to Landmannalaugar, even though it’s always good to count on having a few stops along the way, as the landscape is too beautiful to drive past without stopping. You can hire a car to drive around the Ring Road (Route 1 or Hringvegur) but it can be challenging in the winter when faced with icy roads. There are plenty of tours in iceland, so you really don’t have to worry.
Why is Landmannalaugar a good alternative to the Blue Lagoon?
Well, you probably not the only one who thinks of a Blue Lagoon Tour when it comes to visiting hot springs of Iceland. If you want to avoid the huge crowds and hefty price tag of Blue Lagoon, just visit Landmannalaugar instead.
Hiking and horseback riding are other great activities to fill your days in this beautiful place, but be sure to at least dip your feet in the geothermally heated waters, and see if you can resist the allure of a quick dip, or a long soak, in this mountain-ringed retreat.
Here are some of the best Landmannalaugar tours that you can book online. It is possible to book tours on your arrival in Iceland, but if you want the peace of mind or are travelling at busy times you can book online in advance.
Landmannalaugar via The Highlands Helicopter Tour
Duration: 4 hours
Departure Point: Reykjavik, Iceland
If you’re eager to see the landscape and hot springs from above, get booked on this tour! The Highlands Helicopter tour comprises of stopping at Landmannalaugar hot springs, fly the most dramatic canyons in Iceland, step on Eyjafjallajokull, the volcano that stopped it all in 2010 and much more. Hotel pickup is offered for this tour for prior bookings and a maximum of 11 travelers can attend the trip.
Landmannalaugar via Hiking
Landmannalaugar is not only known for being a geothermal paradise and also a hiking paradise. Full of beautiful trails and amazing scenery to keep you occupied on your hike. In fact, Landmannalaugar is the starting point for the most famous hiking trail in Iceland, the Laugavegur, a must-do for all hiking enthusiasts!
Let’s take a look at some of the best day hikes in Landmannalaugar:
Laugahraun Lava Field
There’s an awesome loop of Laugahraun lava field, which was formed during an eruption around the year 1477. It starts near the northern point of the campsite and is extremely rewarding as you get closer to Mount Brennisteinsalda. The hike is relatively easy with very little elevation gain and shouldn’t take longer than 2 hours.
Mount Blahnjukur (Blue Peak)
Blahnjukur (Blue Peak in English) got its name from the shimmering blue-black color of its sides. This rugged terrain literally rose from the lava and ashes of the surrounding volcanoes. Once you get to the top you’ll get the 360-degree view of the Laugahraun Lava field and the colorful rhyolite peaks encircling it. Truly a photographer’s paradise.
Blahnjukur is only around a 5km loop and can be done in around 3 hours. The terrain is really sandy, but the path is very well maintained and easy to follow.
Landmannalaugar vs Blue Lagoon
Would I recommend Landmannalaugar over the Blue Lagoon? Nope, I’d recommend it as well as! Althought Landmannalaugar Hot Springs are a great natural alternative in beautiful scenery, the Blue Lagoon is still not to be missed. I can’t get enough of the soothing silica – the slime mud mask that you slather on your skin. Oh, and the luxury of having changing rooms and a swim up bar in the blue and white mist is an experience like nothing else. Do Iceland justice – go for a two week trip, rather than just spending a weekend in Iceland!
Beyond the Hot Springs – Other things to do in Iceland
If you are in Iceland, you also might want to check out some of the other adventurous and wildlife based tours on offer.
For Whale Watching Iceland is a very popular destination and although weather is calmer in summer months Whale watching tours go year round. It’s often possible to find over 20 different Whale species in the Icelandic waters.
A helicopter tour of Iceland can show you the most amazing scenery from above including the geothermal area, Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, Thellingvir National Park and The Highlands. Helicopter tours are perfect if you have limited time such as a weekend in Iceland, because you can cover so much ground so quickly. It can be an exhilarating experience.
Iceland Winter Tours
There are some amazing Iceland Winter tours that involve snowmobiling, glacier hikes and ice caving.