top of page
  • Einar Páll Svavarsson

Landmannalaugar private tour

Updated: Dec 29, 2022


Torfajökull rhyolite caldera seen from hike in Landmannalaugar
Torfajökull rhyolite caldera seen from hike in Landmannalaugar

This quality tour has been offered since 2018 and is operated by Hit Iceland and Einar Páll Svavarsson to Landmannalaugar from Reykjavík City and back. It is a journey to some of the most impressive landscapes and exciting attractions in Iceland and possibly to the most breathtaking places on the planet. My specialties are natural wonders, inspiring places in Icelandic nature, and places of historical and geological importance, especially in the Highland. If you want to get the most out of a day tour with a knowledgeable local expert on Iceland by your side in a new modified 4X4 vehicle, this is your tour.

Colorful rhyolite mountains in Landmannalaugar
Colorful rhyolite mountains in Landmannalaugar

It is a private tour of a maximum of four passengers. The tour is a visit to the Highland, and we go to one of the most captivating places you can find in Iceland, the northwest part of the Torfajökull caldera and the only entrance possible in a vehicle. The purpose of the tour is to show natural wonders as well as presenting the beauty, the landform, geology, landscape, and the feeling you experience when you are close to spectacular natural wonders. The tour is offered from the time Landmannalaugar road opens in spring, usually in the middle of June (occasionally in late May) until late September when the snow starts to fall. During winter, everything in Landmannalaugar and the Islandic Highlands is covered with snow and not particularly interesting.


What can we tell you about Landmannalaugar?

Hiking up to the top of Mt. Brennisteinsalda to enjoy the spectacular view
Hiking up to the top of Mt. Brennisteinsalda to enjoy the spectacular view

Landmannalaugar is perhaps better described as an area of mysterious landscape rather than a place. In essence, it is the northernmost part of the spectacular and unique volcanic system, Torfajökull, which is best known for its colorful rhyolite mountains. It is a vast region in the highland with many different hiking trails, mysterious and colorful valleys, warm creeks mixed with geothermal water, glacial rivers, spring-fed rivers, geothermal pool, volcanos, lava fields, and mountain peaks with stunning views towards impressive hot springs and rhyolite mountains of many different colors. In Landmannalaugar, you can explore, hike, relax, and experience. You can also have a walk through a mysterious small valley with small hot springs all around you. If you are interested in photography, the motives and landscape to capture are endless. In Landmannalaugar, you can place yourself in a unique spot and easily find your private sanctuary among the magnificent colors of rhyolite mountains as you walk some of the beautiful Landmannalaugar tracks. The Hit Iceland tour is a perfect way to learn about Landmannalaugar, to understand what the Highland is all about, and how to drive on F-roads.


What is there to see along the way to and from Landmannalaugar?

Sigöldugljúfur canyon
Sigöldugljúfur canyon

The drive to Landmannalaugar is scenic, through a continually changing landform. As one of our passengers told us, it is like driving from one painting to another but all very different, for example, a drive through beautiful farmlands to a black sand wasteland. Along the way, we visit one of the most beautiful canyons, Sigöldugljúfur, known for its many small and spectacular spring-fed waterfalls. It is a stop that usually takes people’s breaths away, and the reaction is often a double wow. We also stop by a stunning volcanic crater, a maar, or an explosion crater, as it is called in Icelandic. Like Sigöldugljúfur, it is a spectacular site and one of only a few you can find in Iceland. We also make a short stop at Frostastaðarvatn Lake, close to Landmannalaugar. On our way back, we drive through the lava fields of Dómadalur Valley and by the Volcano Hekla, one of the most active volcanos in Iceland for many centuries. It is a tour of wow, ooh, gosh, and stunning.


From Reykjavík to Háifoss Waterfall and Hnausapollur Crater

Háifoss waterfall
Háifoss waterfall

The tour starts in Reykjavík at 8:00 AM and takes you along the south coast through Selfoss Town and then straight to the edge of the Highland. Our first stop, around 10:00 AM in the morning, is at Háifoss Waterfall, the second-highest waterfall in Iceland. From there, we continue about for a half-hour drive to the magnificent small waterfalls in Sigöldugljúfur Canyon. The canyon is among the most photogenic places in Iceland, but it is not visited by many. From Sigöldugljúfur, we drive through a large lava field to the Hnausapollur volcanic crater, which is accompanied by a small turquoise-colored lake.

Hnausapollur crater
Hnausapollur crater

After the Hnausapollur explosion crater, we stop by Frostastaðavatn Lake, which presents a magnificent Highland view. By the lake, you have a great view over a significant part of the Highland. After viewing the crater, the lake, and admiring the landscape, we continue the short distance towards the mountains around Landmannalaugar, crossing rivers and stopping at the service center. We arrive at around 12:30 PM, a good time for a light lunch. Our stop in Landmannalaugar is about three and a half to four hours.


The stop at Landmannalaugar, hiking, and the geothermal pool

The geothermal pool - a natural pool in nature in Landmannalalugar
The geothermal pool - a natural pool in nature in Landmannalalugar

When we arrive in Landmannalaugar, we stop by the service center, and it is an excellent opportunity to take a hike with me, preferably to the Laugahringur or the Landmannalaugar lava field circle. It is a short hike that takes you through the interesting area of lava that erupted from Brennisteinsalda Volcano and flooded in the late 15th century. We also hike by some small smoking hot springs, geothermal/sulfur steam, and back through the small colorful gulley Grænagil (Green gulley). The 4-km hike and an elevation of about 100 meters takes roughly an hour and a half; it is a breathtaking introduction to the kind of landforms and landscape you encounter in the Landmannalaugar area. There is also another option to go for: the top of Brennisteinsalda Volcano, which takes about an hour and a half more in addition to Laugahringur; it is an exceptional peak that presents a 360-degree view to a vast part of the Icelandic Highland. The Brennisteinsalda hike and the addition to the Laugahringur hike and is about 7 kilometers (2 miles) with an elevation of 300 meters. It is a relatively easy but stunning walk that takes about 3 to 3 and a half hours.


Hiking back from Mt. Brennisteinsalda
Hiking back from Mt. Brennisteinsalda

Finally, when we come back from the hike, you can dip into the famous Landmannalaugar geothermal natural pool. So, it is essential to bring hiking shoes and a small backpack with a bottle of water, sandwiches, light lunch, and some snacks as well as a towel and swimming suit to enjoy this stop to it fullest.


The drive back through Dómadalur Valley

Landmannalaugar Service Center
Landmannalaugar Service Center

From Landmannalaugar, we continue our tour at around 4:30 PM, depending on the activity. We begin by driving through the scenic drive through the Dómadalur Valley. The drive takes us through some magnificent landscape that is typical to the Icelandic Highland: vast fields of lava, small lakes, mountains, volcanoes, rivers, creeks and a 4X4 highland road, a landform often referred to as moon-like landscape. No wonder it was one of the filming locations at Radleys Scott Prometheus. It is a magical scenic drive that ends by the Volcano Hekla that could display one of its small eruptions at any time, according to geologists. We will stop once or twice just to take a photo and inhale the amazing moment of being in the Highland. From Hekla, we drive to Reykjavík and can expect to be there between 7:00 to 8:00 PM, so it is a long day tour.


A once in a lifetime experience?

Interesting lava landscape that you will see and experience along tha way
Interesting lava landscape that you will see and experience along the way

For most people, this tour is a once in a lifetime experience. It is an opportunity to visit some of the most remarkable natural wonders in Iceland in a relaxed and convenient way, in a new properly equipped and modified 4X4 Toyota Land Cruiser. You will be traveling just like the locals do in the Icelandic Highland. It is also a scenic drive loaded with information from your highly knowledgeable local guide, Einar Páll Svavarsson, owner and creator of Hit Iceland, about the geology and geography of Iceland as well as the country’s history and literature. You will see and experience some of the most remarkable landforms on the planet as well as magnificent waterfalls. Additionally, you will get infinite number of photo-taking opportunities whether you are a professional photographer or just taking a selfie.


An overview of the landscape towards Mt. Löðmundur
An overview of the landscape towards Mt. Löðmundur

You will be accompanied with a highly experienced Icelandic local driver guide with extensive knowledge about Iceland, geology, the country, people, history, and, more importantly, with years of experience driving on F highland roads in Iceland. It will be a drive to some of the most interesting places in Iceland, a hiking tour with a guide around Laugahraun lava field and up to the volcano Brennisteinsalda, and a dip into a natural geothermal pool (the real thing—not man-made like the Blue Lagoon).


Book your Landmannalaugar tour here


What is included?

A driver guide, a 4X4 modified Toyota Land Cruiser vehicle, and fees for the service center and facilities in Landmannalaugar. A guided hike up to Mt. Brennisteinsalda.


What is not included?

Food, snacks, and drinks, so it is a good idea to bring snacks, water (soda), sandwiches, etc.


Good to know and have in mind