From brightly colored rhyolite mountains in shades of red, pink, green, and gold to vast 500-year-old lava fields, this three-day trek will take you through the unique, exquisite landscape of Landmannalaugar. Experience unexpected views full of steaming hot springs, boiling mud pools, and raven-black fields of lava.

Highlights

  • Fall in love with the unusual reds, pinks, and golds of the rhyolite mountains
  • Visit a vast lava field formed in 1477
  • Relax in natural geothermal pools
  • Overnight in cozy mountain huts

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Reykjavík - Álftavatn Álftavatn
Day 2 Álftavatn – Dalakofinn Dalakofinn
Day 3 Dalakofinn – Landmannalaugar - Reykjavík  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Reykjavík - Álftavatn

Watch steam rising from hot springs next to snow-covered hills
Watch steam rising from hot springs next to snow-covered hills

Welcome to Iceland's volcanic backcountry! Start your journey with a scenic bus ride from Reykjavík to Lake Álftavatn, also known as Swan Lake. Once you arrive, put on your hiking boots, grab your camera, and hit the trails, exploring the area around the lake before making your way to a comfortable mountain hut with modern facilities where you'll turn in for the night.

Hiking distance: 3 miles

Day 2: Álftavatn – Dalakofinn

Enjoy unspoiled nature on this off-the-beaten-track route
Enjoy unspoiled nature on this off-the-beaten-track route

Wave farewell to your first mountain hut as you hit the trails again, walking along the backroads of Fjallabak into the brightly colored hills of Ljósártungur. Zig-zag across streams and rivers. Pause to take in the sweeping landscapes. And spend the night in another cozy mountain hut (Dalakofinn). 

Hiking distance: 11 miles

Day 3: Dalakofinn – Landmannalaugar - Reykjavík

Have a well-earned post-trek soak in a geothermal pool
Have a well-earned post-trek soak in a geothermal pool

On your final day in the Icelandic wilderness, make your way to the highland oasis of Landmannalaugar. Pause to take in the impressive, ink-black lava field of Hrafntinnuhraun. Climb to geothermal Dalamót. Descend into the dramatic Vondugil Canyons. And when you finally arrive in Landmannalaugar, soak in one of the relaxing natural pools before boarding a bus back to Reykjavík.

Hiking distance: 11 miles

Map

Map of Volcanic Trails: The Backroad to Landmannalaugar - 3 Days
Map of Volcanic Trails: The Backroad to Landmannalaugar - 3 Days
Hildur
Written by Hildur J, updated Mar 18, 2019