This post focuses on Day 3 (Landmannalaugar, Seljalandsfoss) of our Ultimate Itinerary for 2 Weeks / 14 Days in Iceland.
If you’ve just starting planning for your vacation or holiday in Iceland, check out our Iceland planning and resources post.
NOTE: Our itinerary outlines activities and drive times. Everybody has different eating habits so stop for groceries and food as needed. Picnic areas are suggested when extraordinary, otherwise eat where and when you want. We rarely ate out and instead enjoyed yogurt and fruit for breakfast, prepared quick lunches and snacks throughout the day, and cooked a hot meal every evening at the campground.
Iceland Itinerary Day 3 Summary
|Drive||2 hrs||*** 4×4 REQUIRED ***|
|Landmannalaugar||6 – 6 ½ hrs||*** 4×4 REQUIRED ***
500 ISK per person facility fee
|Drive||2 ½ hrs||*** 4×4 REQUIRED ***
A few very nice pull-outs along the way; stopping will increase the drive time
|Seljalandsfoss||30 min||700 ISK parking fee|
|Hamragarðar Campground||accommodation||1500 ISK per person; 300 ISK per shower|
|Total = ~ 11 ½ hrs|
Iceland Itinerary Day 3 Details
Day 3 Activities
NOTE: 4×4 is required to access Landmannalaugar.
It’s going to be a MAGICAL day with some proper Iceland hiking so get an early start. The drive from Árnes Campground to Landmannalaugar is two hours. The second half is through lunar landscapes on the bumpy F208 road which requires 4×4 drive.
TIP: There is no fuel or services near Landmannalaugar. Get petrol whenever possible in Iceland.
Upon arriving at Landmannalaugar, pack yourself a lunch and put on your hiking shoes. There is a 500 ISK per person fee to use the facilities. Although we’re here for a day hike, lots of people start or end multi-day hikes at Landmannalaugar and camping facilities are available. In peak season there is a small store with camping supplies and snacks that is run out of a green school bus across the river in the camping area.
Cross the camping area and head up the steep path of Mt. Bláhnjúkur (“blue mountain”). You can’t miss the trail with the striking blue/black color of the mountain. After an hour or two – depending upon your fitness level and the number of photo stops – you’ll arrive at the the peak. The 360° unobstructed views are breathtaking. The surrounding mountains are comprised of rhyolite which gives them the amazing colors. Rhyolite is found in volcanic regions and, sure enough, one of the views from the peak is over the Laugahraun lava field.
Rather than turning around and heading back on the same trail we suggest turning the hike into a loop. Continue down the other side of the mountain towards the lava field. After about an hour you’ll reach the river at the bottom. Cross the river and into the Laugahraun lava field. Follow the trail up and through the lava field and then alongside the river back towards the campground. This will take another hour or so.
The views and landscapes are absolutely magical. Don’t rush; even with plenty of stops you’ll likely finish the hike in about 4-5 hours.
NOTE: 4×4 is required to return from Landmannalaugar to Seljalandsfoss.
The day is not yet over. After another bumpy drive, two and a half hours via the F225, you’ll arrive at Seljalandsfoss. There are some pull-outs along the drive that offer spectacular views of the surrounding area. Enjoy.
Parking at Seljalandsfoss costs 700 ISK. Or, drive another minute to Hamragarðar Campground and get your spot for the night. You can then walk back to Seljalandsfoss via the path at the rear of the campground.
TIP: You may notice a crowd of tourists in the back right corner of the campground. This is yet another waterfall – Gljúfrabúi. We start tomorrow, Day 4, with a visit to Gljúfrabúi. But, if you have time tonight, check it out.
Seljalandsfoss reminds me of the Weeping Wall at Zion National Park in Utah, United States. You can walk up and behind the waterfall which provides a very unique perspective, especially at sunset.
Day 3 Accommodation
Hamragarðar Campground is situated between the waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi. There are upper and lower camping areas. This campground has facilities that include an indoor kitchen and washing machines. These are located, along with toilets, in the building in the lower area. The upper area also has a building with toilets and showers.
Camping at Hamragarðar Campground costs 1500 ISK per person and showers are an additional 300 ISK per person.
Iceland Itinerary Day 3 Map
Day 3 covers points 13 – 15 on the map layer Our 2 Week / 14 Day Itinerary.
Other layers include additional points of interest, accommodation (camping and hotel), and dining/groceries. Most of these points have a description and a link for more information.
September 4 – 5, 2018