From Iceland — Opinions Differ As Infrastructure Develops In Landmannalaugar

Opinions Differ As Infrastructure Develops In Landmannalaugar

Published August 2, 2023

Photo by
Art Bicnick

New changing facilities were built in Landmannalaugar this summer. Opinions on the execution of the project are divided, as some believe it diminishes the overall experience. Much larger developments are underway for vehicle access, reports RÚV.

The stunning natural beauty of Landmannalaugar in the Protected Highlands captivates many travelers. Every year, over 130,000 tourists visit the area, with the majority coming for day trips. The place is under considerable strain, prompting the need for improved facilities.

“I believe that there are around 2,000 to 3,000 people coming here each day,” says Einar Hagalín, a member of the Kyndill Search and Rescue Team. About 20 to 30 buses arrive daily, in addition to rental cars.

Landmannalaugar is well-known for its geothermal hot springs. This summer, a new changing facility was installed, which some feel excessively obstructs the view and limits the experience.

The new buildings sparked considerable discussion on social media recently, and many felt that they didn’t blend well with the natural environment. Plans are in place to further modify the facilities, constructing a service building with a dining area and shop, a larger hot spring pool, and more. The development is already underway, with the construction of new platforms near the hot springs.

Inga Dóra Hrólfsdóttir, the director of nature conservation at the Environment Agency of Iceland, explains that the number of visitors demands a certain level of infrastructure. “This is just rebuilding on the same platforms that were there, and it’s just a wall with benches to hang your towel or clothes,” says Inga, who is not concerned about obstructing the view. “There is a great view in Landmannalaugar all around.”

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