Hello again, I hope that you are ready to continue following my weekly stories in this beautiful country called Iceland. After a nice good night sleep and a traditional local breakfast in Hrauneyjar, it was time to continue with my trip. Luckily for me, the sun was shining and the weather was nice outside, perfect for another day of driving and exploring.
Today, I will be visiting another iconic spot called Landmannalaugar, a truly enigmatic place located in Iceland’s southern highlands. This place promises incredible naturals views of the many volcanoes, waterfalls and hot springs. You should know that there are two types of roads in Iceland, main and mountain roads. Learn more about the weather and driving here
. The first ones are suitable to drive all year round with any type of vehicle, but mountain or F-marked roads open in summer/springtime and they are limited to 4x4 cars only. The roads to access Landmannalaugar are usually F208 or F224. These last two are not paved, in fact, they are rather bumpy, too steep and uneven. Here is a quick summary of today’s trip:
• Leaving Hrauneyjar for Rjúpnavellir (camping & cottages)
• Staying at Farmhouse lodge near Vik
• Dinner at Halldórskaffi - Burger joint in Vik
Since the car I rented for my 10-day road trip (compact/economy) was not fit to venture on those difficult roads, I decided to book an excursion to Landmannalaugar with a great local company
this time. They offer a 4x4 round trip bus tour departing from different locations around the country. Since I was staying at Hrauneyjar for the night, I decided to drive to their closest pick-up stop located at Rjúpnavellir campsite. I could easily park the car there while visiting the pearl of the highlands. You should know that since the roads are a bit tricky here, most tours like this are available in the summer season.
A few minutes after I have arrived at the campsite, the bus makes the way in to pick us up. There were another 3 tourists with me there, which were pretty excited to begin the trip. The bus trip took about 2 hours to Landmannalaugar. It was a great opportunity to enjoy a quick nap on the way there, but since the road was pretty uncool, it was not possible. Don’t mind me! The whole trip was really interesting as
you get to see a unique landscape with colorful mountains, lava fields and green moss from a very close distance. The bus had to cross a few rivers and drive through a few very narrow paths. I was relieved I didn’t have to drive that time. Note aside, if you cause any damage to your rental, you could face expensive insurance charges. Any river crossing would even void the car guarantee.
I have finally arrived! Everything here is so captivating, wherever you look feels like this place has been here forever but it was kept so hidden from humanity. It is hard to understand how life could exist in a place that seems so unrealistic, dry and static. Before I continue telling you more about the area, make sure you have packed wisely before taking this tour. If you are visiting for the day like me, carrying a small bag will comes in handy. Since there are no shops here, you will have to bring your lunch, some snacks, a water bottle (essential) and some hiking boots. Also, to store your gadgets such as a camera, a phone, etc. Lastly, do not forget to bring a towel, slippers and
a swimsuit. WHY? Because there is a geothermal hot spring which you will appreciate after a long hike on the many hiking trails out here.
There are some facilities in the area such as an information cabin, toilets, showers and some picnic tables for guests. If you wish to stay the night, you could bring a tent and do some camping easily. Also, there are mountains cabins for those looking for a more comfortable option.There is a cool website
available where you could check all the details about lodging in the highlands. After arriving in Landmannalaugar, I decided to begin exploring the Brennisteinsalda trail, which will take you to the most touristic scenic paths you could imagine. It may take a bit of effort hiking all the way up but there are different levels of hiking here. The trail I chose lasts about an hour, but there is another one that could take 4-5 days. The Laugavegur Trail is very famous among locals and hikers worldwide, but it does take some preparation and a certain fitness level, so not everybody’s up to the task. A few most interesting things I found while doing the Brennisteinsalda trail were: the different types of
flowers, rocks, and moss you could spot along the way.
What a great walk! Now it’s time to enjoy a nice bath at the hot spring before heading back to the bus. It is funny because it may seem like the water is too cold at first but in fact, there are some super hot parts as you continue walking towards the center or to the sides of the hot spring. I spent about 45 minutes here, but if you are coming by car, you could definitely, stay longer. Afterward, I took a quick shower and packed my bag to catch the bus back to the car. A few minutes later, I got on the bus and fell asleep. I have to admit, that I felt so relaxed by the time we arrived at the campsite. Later, I drove south for a couple of hours as it was time to find a place to have dinner and stay the night.
As the day was coming to an end, I finally checked in at my hotel located at a farmhouse close to Vík. Then, it was time to have some dinner in town. Luckily, it wasn’t too hard to find a great restaurant close to me where I was staying. Halldórskaffi
the best food in town, with some delicious traditional dishes and of course, some incredible handmade burgers. They also have plenty of vegetarian alternatives. Don’t forget to stop by while visiting Vík.
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