Landmannalaugar in Winter 3 Days | Super Jeep & Northern Lights
Inspired by the locals we invite you to leave city life behind and join us on our three day Landmannalaugar tour. An experience that gives you a totally new dimension of winter travelling when guests and staff blend together as one team, taking an active part in all of the upcoming adventures.
Do as Icelanders do and come along on a journey of unforeseen challenges, bathe in the stunning geothermal natural pool in mid winter and enjoy being alone with nature, surrounded by the stars and the dancing northern lights.
When Icelanders want to treat themselves they climb on board a Super Jeep and head for Landmannalaugar during winter time. On a journey of unforeseen adventures and constant challenges, they take on the unpredictable highlands and face new experiences during every tour. There are no disappointments, no failures. Everything that happens is part of the journey. It is all about embracing the moment. For them, nothing beats the beauty of testing their own driving skills and resourcefulness against the natural forces and being rewarded with nature’s stunning beauty, starlit skies perfected by the dance of the Northern Lights.
** This tour includes the Golden Circle on the last day **
Equipped with large Super Jeeps on huge tyres we take control of every situation we are faced with at any given moment. Once on the snow we let the air out of the giant tyres until the Jeep floats over the snow like a boat on water, tackling every obstacle in our way. Our experienced highland team is equipped to face the challenge of rough conditions and to find solutions on the spot to get us to our destination. The journey in itself is a great adventure.
When we arrive at our destination we will discover a large mountain lodge, heated by geothermal energy and the full warmth of a raw highland welcome to greet us. There is no electricity or running water inside the lodge – yet we have endless sources of the purest drinking water nature can provide only footsteps away from the lodge. The house is lit by warm lighting generated by solar energy. The jeeps will supply us with 220 voltage electricity to charge our electrical devices.
Once there we savour the solitude, embrace the weather conditions of each moment, hike in the colourful rhyolite mountains formed by centuries of volcanic activities in the area, play around on the snowmobiles when there are good snow conditions, take the Jeep out for a spin, relax and unwind. We cook our meals in the large and beautiful kitchen, enjoy candle lit evenings inside the lodge and starlight on the outside.
When we are lucky the Northern Lights welcome us and dance with the stars turning the sky into a breathtaking spectacle. With no man-made lighting around, the total darkness creates a wonderfully soothing and peaceful environment.
Don't miss out on this three day adventure. Check availability by choosing a date.
- Available: Nov. - Mar.
- Duration: 3 days
- Activities: Snowmobile, Super Jeep, Sightseeing, Northern lights hunting, Hot Spring Bathing
- Difficulty: Easy
- Minimum age: 8 years.
- Languages: English
- Highlights: Landmannalaugar,
Landmannalaugar ("The people's pools") is a vast area of stunning and unique beauty, the true heart of Iceland's southern Highlands.
Landmannalaugar is a truly rare area, both geologically and aesthetically. The area can be found nestled beside the raven-black Laugahraun lava field, a sweeping expanse of dried magma which originally formed in 1477. Landmannalaugar itself is made up of windswept rhyolite mountains, a rock type that creates a full spectrum of dazzling colour on the mountainside. Shades of red, pink, green and golden yellow all change their tone, keeping in movement with the sun rays and creating an area of wilderness that resembles no place else on earth.
Landmannalaugar is primarily known for its natural geothermal baths, hence its name "The People's Pools". For centuries, Landmannalaugar has served as an area of shelter and respite for weary travellers who use these soothing springs as a means to relax after tiring excursions. Today, visitors to the highlands should always bring a swimsuit and towel, just in case one of these naturally occurring hot pools should crop up along the hiking trail.
The most popular road leading to landmannalaugar, Sigölduleið, takes you past multiple stunning natural features, including Bláhylur lake, a magnificent body of water nestled in a dormant volcanic crater.
The area marks the northern end of the Laugavegur, one of Iceland's most popular hiking trails. It is also home to many other notable trails, however, including the path onto the mighty Mt. Brennisteinsalda ("Sulphur Wave"). Visitors can also traverse the trail up the Bláhnjúkur ("Blue Peak") volcano, whose summit allows for a sweeping view of up to five glaciers on clear days.
Multiple operators run daily tours to Landmannalaugar from mid-June to mid-September, during which time The Icelandic Touring Association operates a small shop, three camp sites and a mountain hut equipped with sleeping bags and accommodation for up to 80 visitors.
- Find Highland Tours here
The stratovolcano Hekla in the south of Iceland is undoubtedly one of the island's most famous and active volcanoes, with over 20 eruptions since settlement.
Hekla is part of a 40 kilometers long volcanic ridge but the most active part is the fissure Heklugja, considered the volcano proper. Hekla has produced one of the largest amounts of lava of any volcano in the world. Last time Hekla erupted was in 2000.
In the Middle Ages Hekla was considered to be the gateway to Hell, and it continues to inspire. It’s referenced in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, poet and artist William Blake banishes Winter to Hekla in his poem Winter and Icelandic composer Jon Leifs, inspired by Hekla’s power, composed one of the loudest pieces of classical music ever, Hekla Op 52.
Travelers from all over seek out Hekla and it is a popular hiking place. In addition to hiking you can ski there in the spring, summer offers easy mountaineering routes and you can snowmobile to the top in winter.Geysir,
Geysir is a famous hot spring in Haukadalur valley in South Iceland. Part of the ‘Golden Circle', Geysir gives its name to hot springs all over the world.
Though Geysir itself is hardly active anymore, the area features spectacular hot springs such as the powerful Strokkur, which spouts a vast amount of water every 10 minutes, around 15-20 meters into the air, Smidur and Litli-Strokkur.
North of Geysir are fumaroles, i.e. unlike the hot springs that emit hot water, only steam and gas emanate from these. You may be able to observe bright yellow stains at the fumaroles, this is native sulphur, which crystallizes from the steam. At the southern part of the geothermal area, called Thykkuhverir, you‘ll find various mud pots. Such mud pots are actually fumaroles that boil up through surface water/groundwater and may become steaming fumaroles during dry spells, rather than the usual boiling mud pots.
About 2 km from Geysir is an old preserved natural pool called Kúalaug. One can bathe in it and it has room for 3-5 people at a time, but care should be taken, as the area around the pool is very delicate. The temperature is 39-43°C, depending on how you are positioned in the pool. The water is slightly muddy, as the pool is built on soil, and the bottom is slippery due to algae, so caution is advised.
In Haukadalur there has also been tree planting in recent times and today the forest Haukadalsskógur is one of the largest in South Iceland. Aspen, various types of pine, and other plants have been tried out there and experiments and research continue. We also recommend visiting the tree museum, built in the memory of forester Gunnar Freysteinsson. There are good paths and roads in the forest and the wood is specially designed to accommodate wheelchairs.
Haukadalur has been a church site since ancient time. The current wooden church was last rebuilt in 1938 but the variety and appearance of the church dates back to 1842, making it one of the oldest of its kind in Iceland.
Haukadalur is indeed a historical place. It was settled during the age of settlement and scholar Ari “The Wise“ Thorgilsson grew up there. The first pastoral school in Iceland was also built there.
For accommodation, Hotel Gullfoss is about 7 km from the Geysir area, and closer still is the Hotel Geysir.Gullfoss,
Gullfoss (translated to ‘Golden Falls’) is one of Iceland’s most iconic and beloved waterfalls, found on the Hvítá river canyon in south Iceland. The water in Hvítá river travels from the glacier Langjökull, finally cascading 32m down Gullfoss’ two stages in a dramatic display of nature’s raw power.
Because of the waterfall’s two stages, Gullfoss should actually be thought of as two separate waterfalls. The first, shorter stage of the waterfall is 11m, whilst the second stage is 21m. The canyon walls on both sides of the waterfall reach heights of up to 70m, descending into the 2.5km long Gullfossgjúfur canyon (geologists indicate that this canyon was formed by glacial outbursts at the beginning of the last age.)
In the summer, approximately 140 cubic metres of water surges down the waterfall every second, whilst in winter that number drops to around 109 cubic metres. With such energy, visitor’s should not be surprised to find themselves drenched by the waterfall’s mighty spray-off.
In the early days of the last century, Gullfoss was at the centre of much controversy regarding foreign investors and their desire to profit off Iceland’s nature. In the year 1907, an English businessman known only as Howells sought to utilise the waterfall’s energy and harboured ambitions to use its energy to fuel a hydroelectric plant.
At the time, Gullfoss was owned by a farmer named Tómas Tómasson. Tómas declined Howell’s offer to purchase the land, stating famously “I will not sell my friend!” He would, however, go on to lease Howells the land, inadvertently beginning the first chapter of Icelandic environmentalism.
It was Tómas’ daughter, Sigríður Tómasdóttir, who would lead the charge. Having grown up on her father’s sheep farm, she sought to get the lease contract nullified, hurriedly saving her own money to hire a lawyer. The ensuing legal battle was an uphill struggle; the case continued for years, forcing Sigríður to travel many times by foot to Reykjavík if only to keep the trial moving. Circumstances became so difficult that Sigríður threatened to throw herself into the waterfall if any construction began.
Thankfully, in 1929, the waterfall fell back into the hands of the Icelandic people. Today, Sigríður is recognised for her perseverance in protecting Gullfoss and is often hailed as Iceland’s first environmentalist. Her contribution is forever marked in stone; a plaque detailing her plight sits at the top of Gullfoss.
Restaurant / Cafe
Besides Gullfoss, visitors can enjoy the views from Gullfoss Cafe, a locally run delicatessen that serves a wide variety of refreshments and meals. The menu has options to tantalise everyone’s taste buds; hot soups, sandwiches, salads and cakes. There is also a shop on site where visitors’ can browse and purchase traditional Icelandic souvenirs.Þingvellir,
Þingvellir is one of the most important sites to visit in Iceland for its landscape, history and cultural value.
The Icelandic parliament was founded in Þingvellir in 930 and remained there for centuries. Þingvellir is surrounded by a beautiful mountain range and is the site of a rift valley, marking the crest of the Mid-Atlantic range. Today it is a natural park, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and considered a vital part of the ‘Golden triangle’ (with Geysir and Gullfoss). Of particular note is the magnificent gorge Almannagjá, which marks the eastern boundary of the North American plate and into which the beautiful waterfall Öxarárfoss falls.
Other notable attractions within the park include the beautiful lake Þingvallavatn, the largest lake in Iceland, the Silfra fissure, one of the world's top dives, Þingvallakirkja Church and Gjábakkahellir, one of Iceland's most interesting lava tubes.Þjórsárdalur,
Thjorsardalur is the easternmost valley of Arnessysla in South Iceland. The valley is lush and contains amazing natural and cultural attractions.
Thjorsardalur is rather flat and has much pumice, due to volcanic eruptions from Hekla.The rivers Sanda and Fossa run through the valley, which has wide areas of birchwood and is listed as a National Forest.
Among popular attractions are the beautiful waterfalls Hjalparfoss and Haifoss, one of the highest waterfalls in Iceland. The small valley Gjain features small waterfalls, ponds and volcanic formations. Vegghamrar are impressive rock cliffs, popular for rock climbing and the reconstructed viking-era farmstead Thjodveldisbaerinn, showcasing life in the Saga Age, is also highly recommended.Hjálparfoss
Hjalparfoss is one of several waterfalls in Thjorsardalur valley, north of the volcano Hekla, in south Iceland.
This is a two-stepped waterfall, situated near the point where the rivers Fossa and Thjorsa join each other. The waterfall is framed by beautiful basalt formations, creating a nice contrast to the white waterstream.
Pickup time : 09:00
transportation, hotel pick up, guided tour, accommodation in sleeping bags in a mountain lodge with shared facilities for two nights, sleeping bags, meals (breakfast x2, dinner x2, lunch x1) and snowmobiling.
What to bring:
Warm layers of clothes, such as wind and rainproof outer shells, warm wool socks, hats and gloves, thermal or wool middle layer and inner layer. Sturdy and waterproof hiking boots are a must and it is
Good to know:
** This tour includes the Golden Circle on the last day **
Day 1 - The Saga Valley
We pick you up in the morning at your hotel and drive towards the valley of Thjorsardalur where we get a view to the volcano, Hekla, which we get closer to on our way into the highlands. Hekla was believed to be the gateway to hell in the middle ages. This cone shaped volcano is made up of a series of ridges and it is one of Iceland's most famous and active volcanoes which last erupted in the year 2000.
We drive along by the River Thjorsa, the longest river in the country, and into the valley of Thjorsardalur with the Hjalparfoss Waterfall - the Helping Falls, where the horses used to graze in the last lush area before heading across the sandy desert of Sprengisandur in olden times.
We have a lunch break in Hrauneyjar Highland Center, the last outpost before we enter the real highlands at Fjallabak Nature Reserve. We drive through vast lava fields covered by snow, pass Lake Hnausapollur and Lake Ljotipollur and have a stop at Lake Frostastadavatn. Here the surrounding mountains and strange rock formations are reflected in the mirror like surface of the lake when the weather is calm.
Finally, we get to Landmannalaugar which will most likely be snow covered. But the steep rhyolite mountains and rough lava fields are visible, showing the geothermal activity of the hot springs and naturally heated rivers criss-crossing the land at every turn.
After the drive you will be able to relax in the geothermally heated pool whist your driver-guide prepares dinner from premium Icelandic ingredients. In the evening the Northern Lights might show up if the sky is clear. If they do not show up it is still spectacular to view the stars shining extra bright so far away from man-made light pollution.
The lodge is heated and kept warm all year around and is specially inviting for visitors on cold winter days. It is a building on two floors; downstairs there is a spacious sleeping area with bunk beds, a large and spacious kitchen, a cozy sitting area and the mud room. Upstairs there are three separate sleeping areas. The lodge is heated with geothermal heat and the kitchen is equipped with gas. The lavatories are in a small building located next to the main building.
Day 2 - Geothermal Pool - Snowmobiling - Hiking
If you begin your day with bathing in the pool before breakfast this may start you wondering about the geothermal heat in the area. The mountains encircling the area are mostly formed from sour magma which was cooked in the magna chamber of a volcano located by the glacier of Torfajokull south of Landmannalaugar. The Torfajokull area is the country´s second largest high temperature geothermal area. The sour magma and the geothermal heat are located within a huge chamber which is the largest of its kind in Iceland.
During breakfast we plan the day according to snow conditions, weather and your own preferences. Some examples are: a snowmobile tour in the area, a hike to the numerous interesting locations nearby, a ride with your guide in the modified Super Jeep to nearby lakes and interesting locations. Or even - if you are in the mood, just relaxing in the hot pool outside and enjoying the peace.
In the evening we prepare a delicious barbecue dinner, enjoy life in the lodge, embrace the solitude and of course, the hot pool outside is open around the clock.
Day 3 - Golden Circle
After breakfast we leave the peacefulness of Landmannalaugar and head for the dam at Hrauneyjar where we stop for lunch. From there we drive through Thjorsardalur on to the Golden Circle route which takes us first to the majestic Gullfoss Falls (the "Golden Falls"). This waterfall is in the glacial river Hvita which flows from the lake Hvitarvatn and glacier Langjokull which is the second biggest glacier in Iceland. Gullfoss is 32 metres high but it plunges in two stages (11 m and 21 m).
Next we come to the geothermal field of Geysir with hundreds of hot springs of all types, most with boiling water – and a few of them are geysers. Geysir, one of the most famous hot springs in the world, sometimes known as The Great Geysir, was the first geyser described in a printed source and the first known to modern Europeans. The English word geyser (a spouting hot spring) derives from the Icelandic “Geysir”.
We then head on to Thingvellir, via Laugarvatn village. Sometimes called the heart of Iceland, Thingvellir was declared a National Park in 1930. A law was passed designating Thingvellir as "a protected national shrine for all Icelanders, the perpetual property of the Icelandic nation under the preservation of parliament, never to be sold or mortgaged".
Weather circumstances, snow and road conditions all play a big role in our tour so the travelling time can vary greatly. Time of arrival in Reykjavik is estimated to be in the early evening at dinner time.