The Land Of Fire And Ice: Trekking Up To Landmannalaugar - The Reykjavik Grapevine

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The Land Of Fire And Ice: Trekking Up To Landmannalaugar

The Land Of Fire And Ice: Trekking Up To Landmannalaugar

CONTENT SPONSORED BY:
Jenna Mohammed
Photos by
Art Bicnick

Published September 7, 2017

Steep slopes and rocky paths are some of my biggest fears, only because it’s a recipe for slipping and falling on your face. When I heard I would be going for an all day hike to Landmannalaugar, I was a little uneasy, as I’m not sort of out of touch with nature.

To mentally prepare for the hike I read Arctic Adventures’ general information on Landmannalaugar over, and over again. I imagined I could handle a moderate level hike suitable for a ten year old. I didn’t let my nerves get the best of me, even though my balance is equivalent to Bambi walking on ice.

All the colours of the world

Located in the southern region of Icelandic Highlands, ever so easy to pronounce, Landmannalaugar, has an abundance of stunning colourful mountains and steaming fumaroles. The Laugavegur trek is a 55km trail and leads to the glacial valley of Þórsmörk – among Iceland’s most dramatic and powerful spots.

The hike starts at Mount Bláhnjúkur, also known as Blue Peak; it’s a fascinating volcano surrounded by blue and black colours. Sulphur, copper, and iron combine to give the mountain unique features that both stun the senses and captivate the eye. Along the way you come across the Laugahraun lava field, formed during an eruption around the year 1477. The eruption brought with it shiny black volcanic rocks and when the sun is out they glisten like nothing else.

After you’ve conquered all the hills along the trail, you encounter the glorious mountain Brennisteinsalda, which means sulphur wave. The base of the mountain emits a strong aroma that bombard the olfactory senses. When you arrive at the top, the view is like no other. The sharp contrast creates the appearance of a painting coming to life. It’s like staring at the preset wallpapers you find on your computer.

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Soaking in the hot water

After a long, yet rewarding hike, we were able to dip into a geothermal hot spring. Perfect for relaxing, you’re accompanied by lush green grass and awe-inspiring mountains. Finding the spot with the right temperature can be a little tricky–don’t get cooked–when in doubt just follow the crowd.

Family Ties

The only one of its kind in Iceland, Mountain Mall is a shop inside a bus, which is located in Landmannalaugar. Established in 1992, it started as fish monger, selling fish to travel groups trekking in the area. Today, the business has been fashioned into a shop stationed inside 3 vintage buses. Store manager, Katla Sif Þorleifsdóttir, and her cousin Íris Þóra Sverrisdóttir both run the shop, maintaining the proud tradition of the family business.

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Livestream from the trip.

Guide Profile

Name: Maksim Kachanzhi
Age: 29
Home Town: Moldova, Chisinau

Favorite part of the job: Maksim says he likes his office; he’s got a great view! He loves meeting new people from all around the world.

Fun Fact: Maksim has trekked Landmannalaugar 35 times this year and hopes to get up to 50.


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