Landmannalaugar: Volcanic Landscapes

Landmannalaugar: Volcanic Landscapes

This is a very special area in the interior Highlands of Iceland, accessible by coach for only a short summer window because for the bulk of the year, it remains a closed area to all but the hardiest Icelanders in 4×4 vehicles.

Chosen by Ridley Scott for the shooting of some scenes in his 2012 blockbuster ‘Prometheus’, this is an area wild in its myriad of volcanic landscapes, gargantuan in scale, glorious in its colours and rich in its various atmospheres.

First travel past Hekla volcano, Iceland’s most active in recent decades, where a stop can be made to study the pumice deposits of the 1104 eruption. As your journey continues, you will witness remote Iceland; no habitation will be seen for many hours as students are astounded by the sight of volcanic cones, lava flows and plains, crossing them as well as several rivers. Just before arriving in to Landmannalaugar, a stop is made to let everyone gain a first feeling of this environment and a glimpse of the colourful rhyolite mountains – it’s a landscape most students can’t imagine existing.

Plenty of time is then available to explore the Laugahraun lava flow with its craggy and crooked fingers of twisted and contorted rocks. A gentle walk takes you around the lava flow, encountering some pleasantly pungent fumaroles on the way, before walking across the lava flow to become immersed in this Tolkienesque landscape. Touch the smooth, glassy, obsidian surfaces, be amazed by the extensive red and yellow screes and be entranced on walking through the Graenagil where the olivine rich green rocks can’t be real, surely.

Complete the day in true Icelandic style with a trip to the Mountain Mall or a relaxing soak in the naturally heated stream that emerges from the base of the Laugahraun lava flow.

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