All about and around Landmannalaugar in the highlands of Iceland. 
    Built on personal experience and taste of insiders.
    Though experience is big and taste is great, try other issues as well, to be sure. Google

   ABC of Landmannaafréttur
english english
 A  Á  B  C  D  Ð  E  É  F  G  H  I  Í J  K  L  M  N  O  Ó  P  R  S  T  U  Ú  V  Y  Ý  Þ Æ Ö 


Austur-Barmur (Barmur, Norður-Barmur): About 900 m. above sea-level. Age: older than 600.000 years (the upper part about 200.000 years). Material: rhyolite. Vegitation: almost none. Unklimbable from the canyon (south) but reacable from the northside. This ridge outlines part of the Torfajökull-caldera.

Austurdalir (Austur-Reykjadalir): A small mountain-surrounded plateau in more than 800 m., above sea-level, where river Markarfljót has its source.


Áfangagil: Small hut and a campground. Location: westside of Valafell. Before the car became a part og the annual sheepgathering in the authumn, this place used to be the shephards first and last station, due to its nearness to inhabited land.
Close to M.Hekla, 5 km from Landvegur 26 or 3 km from Landmannaleið (F 225).
2 huts, place for 25 person, kitchen with running water and cooking possibility, water closet.
Tel. 854 9500



Barmur: About 900 m. above sea-level. Age: older than 600.000 years (the upper part about 200.000 years). Material: rhyolite. Vegitation: grassy areas in the lowest northern part (Norður-Barmur). There is also the easyest place to mount.

Bjallavað: At the northern entrance of the natural reserve area, there is a small waterfall in river Tungnaá. There used to be the only place for the sheepgatherers to chase the sheep over the river. After 1936 (or 1930) they were also able to ferry them, because the department of communications had a ferry put there. The shelters for the boats still stand there.

Blautaver: A clearwater-lake, about 30 hectar size, connected with the muddy river Tungnaá. The fish also differs from that in the river: larger charr and some brown trout and stickleback. About 570 m. above sea-level.

Bláhnúkur: The very most popular mountain in the Landmannalaugar-region to walk on top on. It´s a 945 m. above sea-level wiewpoint, with a horizont-disc on the top. It´s about 50.000 to 90.000 years old, made of acid lava, erupted under glacier.
It almost became a table-mountain, since the lava-stream was close to entering the glacier´s surface. Like with many other rhyolit-rich mountains, there is hardly any vegetation on Bláhnúkur. Still it has green colours. That´s the rock´s natural colour, but the main colour is blue (blár=blue).

Bláhylur: (Hnausapollur, Tjörvafellspollur, ancient name: Litlavíti=small-hell). About 30 hectar lake in a crater, formed in an explosive eruption about 1.130 years ago. A road leads up to the rim of the crater. The water surface is about 570 m. above sea-level. Small brown-trouts live in it.

Brandsgil: A pictoresque canyon, lying at the east side of Bláhnúkur, stretching south and east for quite a distance divided in two canyons, Litla-Brandsgil and Stóra-Brandsgil.

Brennisteinsalda: Iceland´s most colourful mountain. Plants don´t thrive there. The colours are natural to the acid rhyolite-lava-stones, erupted under ice-age glacier. In the mountains shoulder there was an eruption in 1480, forming a lava peak and the Laugahraun itself. This symbol of the Landmannalaugar-area is a popular walkers spot: on the top of it is brilliant view, at the roots is a steeming geothermical place and along it lies the country´s most used highland-walking-track, Laugavegur.




Dómadalshraun: Rough liparid-lava with some obsidian, formed about 1.850 years ago, 0.06 km3 at volume. It covers areas between Frostastaðavatn and Dómadalur, where road F 225 serpentines through it.

Dómadalsleið:F 225. About 47 km. mountain-road from Landvegur to Frostastaðavatn´s northern side. In usual summerweather it´s easy to drive that road in a normal jeep. The forts are neither many nor deep under those circumstances. The names Landmannaleið or Fjallabaksleið nyrðri may be used for this road on some maps. The sign-post by Frostastaðavatn says Landmannaleið.

Dómadalsvatn: A small lake in the valley Dómadalur. Surface at 560 m. above sea-level. Brown-touts live in it. It´s easy to reach.

Dómadalur: A valley at the west side of lava Dómadalshraun. It has a small lake with brown-trout in it. F225, Dómadalsleið lies through it. Supposingly this was the meeting-point for people from two counties in the flatland, where strong rivers separated them (dómur=judgement).

Dyngjur: Area of small mountains, north of mount Löðmundur. They are rather easy to reach and to walk on, but few people do so. They are partly vegetated and partly vith naked tuffstone-formations.




Egilsgil: A small canyon in mount Löðmundur. A man whose name was Egill, fell there, died and became a ghost. Since then he has been at Landmannahellir.

Eskihlíðarvatn: A 3 km. long lake, following the common NE-SW-direction in Iceland´s volcanic zones. Surface ca. 540 m. above sea-level, depth 27 m., size 175 hectars. Small and overcrowded charr live in it. Fitjar: This name is used for the flat and vegetated areas south of Landmannahellir.



Fjallabaksleið nyrðri: F 208. The road from the highland -center at Hrauneyjar, through the highland, down to the flatland at Vestur Skaftafellssýsla, about 100 km. Usually the part of it, leading to Landmannalaugar, can be used by normal cars in the summertime (this is not a recomendation).
Since the river Jökulgilskvísl vas bridged in 1966, communications towards the east have been made a lot easyer, but still there are many small rivers to cross and the road is partly quite rough.
There are some ideas about building this road even better up in case of vulcanic activities would destroy the roads in the flatland.

Friðland að Fjallabaki: = Fjallabak Nature Reserve. Quotation from a brochure from the Nature Conservation Agency: "The Fjallabak Nature Reserve was established in 1979. It is 47.000 hectares and about 500 metres above sea level. The land is mountainous, sculped by volcanoes and geothermal activity, covered by lava, sand, rivers and lakes.
The objective of the Nature Reserve´s management is to protect natural features. In orders to achieve this objective, a code of conduct is enforced. Desolate wilderness and tranquillity are the main characteristics of the Fjallabak Nature Reserve, which thousands of travellers enjoy every year.
Guests in the area are reminded to abide by the Nature Reserve´s code of conduct so as to conserve natural features and suport recreation for the enjoyment of future generations."
The code is announced in brochures, published by the Nature Conservation Agency and on information-boards at the only campsides inside the reserve: Landmannalaugar, Landmannahellir and Hrafntinnusker.

Frostastaðaháls: A hill, where F 208 lies up to an ideal wievpoint. A snow-gathering place which sometimes must be dug open in springtime.

Frostastaðavatn: The biggest lake in the area, 225 hectars, but shallow, 4-6 m. F 225 and F 208 lie to it with open wiev to colourful mountains. Lavas are coming from 3 sides to the lake. There are charrs and sticklebacks in it but the brown-tout has just been abolished by the charr, which shows no signs of abolishment in spite of being a juicy pray for a lot of fishers. Surface: 527 m. above sea-level.



Grænagil: A gorge between the mountain Bláhnúkur and the lava Laugahraun. A popular walking-path in the neighbourhood of Landmannalaugar. Grænagil meens green gorge. The colour of the rhyolite at the gorges opening, gives it it´s name.


Hald: An old ferrylanding at Tungnaá, just before it joins Þjórsá. A cable carrier for cars was built close to it in 1964 and a full strength bridge in 2002. The older transport-buildings were mostly used for bringing sheep over the river but the new bridge was made for the hydro-electric plant at Búðarháls.

Hattur: A cliff at the inner area of the Jökulgil-canyon, differing from the slopes around it. A popular viewpoint on a long daytour hiking trail. 910 m. above sea-level.

Hattver: A vegetated flat spot beneeth the steep slopes of the inner part of Jökulgil-canyon. Close to it is the only possible way up, on the ridge Uppgönguhryggur.

Háalda: A popular viewpoint on a long daytour hiking trail, as this mountain rises high above the landmannalaugar area (1089 m. above sea-level). Hardly any vegetation.

Hábarmur: The highest part of the Barmur-range, which shows the outlines of the Torfajökull caldera. Nevertheless the ridge is not supposed to have been formed at the same time, varying from 200.000 to 600.000 years or more. This part of it is considered to be about 390.000 years. Almost no plants thrive in its acid rocks. Walking on this mountain is possible, but not for everyone.

Háskerðingur: This is the highest point in the Fjallabak area, 1281 m. above sea-level and as such one of the greatest viewpoints. It´s not far away from the popular hiking-trail, Laugavegur, but it takes some effort to make this sidestep. There may be some cracks in the glacier. But reaching this peak in good weather is worth the effort. This peak consists of acid lava, erupted under ice-age-glacier.


Háuhverir: Hotsprings above the inner area of Jökulgil-canyon, in the eastern side of Reykjafjöll (smoke-mountains). Uneasy to reach.

Hekla: Icelands most famous volcano is close to the Landmannaafréttur-area and visible from many of it´s spots (about 40 km. drive from Landmannalaugar to its roots). Walking on top of it only takes some hours and the view is better than from most other places. It´s 1.491 m. above sea-level but changes (grows) with each eruption.
During the 20. century there have been many "small-scale" eruptions with average amount of lava "only" about 1 km3. Before that, the mountain erupted less often but with much more strength and caused sometimes a lot of damage and death.

Hellisfjall: Cave-mountain. The cave and the tourist center, Landmannahellir, are by it´s roots. This small mountain (751 m. above sea-level) is well suited for shorter walks. Its vegetated and has some tuff formations. At the other side is the mountain Löðmundur (1.051 m. above sea-level).

Helliskvísl: A small river, running in front of Landmannahellir. It takes it´s water mostly from the gorges of the mountains, south of it and therefore the quantity of water varies with the amount of snow and with the weather. Usually it´s fort(s) is (are) easy to cross on jeeps.
In former times this river used to run for a long distance to the north and join Tungnaá. But in 1913 there was an eruption in the neighbourhood and the lavastream altered it´s old direction.
The new riverbed is porous and the water drissles through the lava. In time the river will thicken up it´s bed with mud, and reach Tungnaá again.

Herbjarnarfell: Quite high and vegitated mountain (935 m. above sea-level) but not always noticed because of even more spectacular mountains, such as Löðmundur. Herbjarnarfellsvatn: A lake hidden between green, high mountains, but unfortunately its vegetated banks have been spoiled by cars. Approximate statistics: Surface: 625 m. above sea-level, deapth 22 m., size 75 hectars. There is brown-trout in the lake.

Hestalda: A tuff-ridge, 871 m. above sea-level, continuing the direction of Hekla´s NE-rift -zone but has no volcanic activity itself. Unvegetated.

Hnausapollur: (see Bláhylur)

Hnausar: Numerous mountains have this name.
Most of them are situatet in the sand-desert in the nature reserve´s NE-corner.
A long row of them lies SE of Eskihlíðarvatn,
another group (mostly one single) hosts the crater-lake Bláhylur (Hnausapollur)
and between those two groups is the third group of Hnausar, which has more plants living on it than the other two, who are rather bare (partly covered with thin layer of moss).
The fourth group of Hnausar is of a different kind. It´s situated in the inner area of Jökulgil-canyon, opposite of Hattver and Uppgönguhryggur. From those Hnausar it´s possible to reach the Torfajökull-glacier. These Hnausar are made of rhyolite, but the others of tuff.

Hófsvað: A fort in Tungnaá, found 1950. Extreamely difficult and has not been used since the river was bridged in 1967.

Hrafnabjargavatn: An isolated, big and deep lake (about 30 m. deep and 175 hectar big) in 550 m. above sea-level. Overcrowded with small charr.

Hrafnabjörg: A tuff-ridge, naked and skulpted by the wind. Interesting to walk/klimb in, which not many have done. Highest point is 895 m. above sea-level. Hrafntinnuhraun: This acid lava, rich of obsidian, came out of one crater, for about 1.200 years ago. It´s about 0.15 km3 by volume, high and thick. It lies between Hrafntinnusker and Reykjadalir.

Hrafntinnusker: About 8.000 to 8.700 years ago, there was an subglacial basalt eruption. Then came acid lava, reached the surface and spread around. This flat mountain lyes high in the mountain area (1128 m. above sea-level) which means good view and low temperature. There is a small glacier on it and under the snow are hotsprings, forming caves into the glacier.
At the other side of Hrafntinnusker (obsidian-hill) is one of the huts on the famous walking-track Laugavegur. There is a lot og geothermal activity around Hrafntinnusker.

Hrauneyjafossvirkjun: The hydro-electral station at Hrauneyjafoss. Started in 1981. Power: 210 MW (Icelands second most powerful hydro-electral station). Dam: 15 m. high and 3 km. long. Reservoir 9 km2. Kanal 1 km. Owner: Landsvirkjun.

Hrauneyjalón: The reservoir for the hydro-electral station Hrauneyjafossvirkjun. It covers 9km2.

Hrauneyjar: Islands in the river Tungnaá, where now there is the reservoir for the hydro-electral station Hrauneyjafossvirkjun.
When spoken of Hrauneyjar nowadays, it means the highland-service-center Hrauneyjar. That is the gasolin-station, hotel, restaurant and bar, closest to the Fjallabak-area (less than 40 km. north from Landmannalaugar). It also serves as a minimal shop and information-center.

Höfðavatn: The highest lake in the area, more than 800 m. above sea-level, lying between Mógilshöfðar and Háalda. It´s about 35 hectars. There is no fish in it.




Jökulgil: A canyon, lying in a demi-circle from Landmannalaugar to the south, into the mountains, for about 30 km. The mountains on it´s east side (Barmur, Hábarmur, Torfajökull and Kaldaklofsjöll), are the clearest signs of the caldera, meant to be at the Torfajökull-area.
All around the canyon are steep slopes of colourful rhyolite. They are mostly impossible for climbing and on the bottom flows the river Jökulgilskvísl, and can be quite hard to cross by feet.

The inner part of the canyon was for a long time unknown. Farmers thougth that outlaws lived there and didn´t der to look for sheep ther until 1852. There were no people there, only hotsprings. But it is said that a man called Torfi went there at the end of the 14. century, with his people, while the grand plague shook the rest of the country.
For further description on this canyon, look under Hattver, Hnausar, Litla-Hamragil, Stóra-Hamragil, Sveinsgil, Uppgönguhryggur and Þrengsli in this list.

Jökulgilskvísl: The river in Jökulgil. It´s sources are in Torfajökull, Kaldaklofsfjöll and Reykjafjöll. Passing Landmannalaugar it starts spreading around over quite some area before joining Tungnaá by the lava Norðurnámshraun. Not far from there, a bridge was built in 1966. Before that, the river could hinder travellers. The quantity of water depends a lot on weather and times of the year.

Jökultungur: 944 above sea-level. When walking the Laugavegur hiking-trail to the south, this is where the highest and barest mountains are descendet and lover and more vegetated areas are ahead. Kaldaklofsfjöll: The highest mountains in the area (see also Háskerðingur). The glacier, Kaldaklofsjökull, is retreating but is still about 5km2.



Kirkjufell: One of those crags, made with an subglacial eruption, where the lava manages to enter the surface. Rhyolite. Climbing this mountain, of 964 m. above sea-level, is possible at the right place. There is hardly any vegetation on Kirkjufell.

Kirkjufellsós: The creek, running from lake Kirkjufellsvatn into river Tungnaá, is the borderline between the counties Rangárvallasýsla and Vestur Skaftafellssýsla. It is also the border of the natural reserve area. The creek has to be crossed on a fort, the first one after leaving Landmannalaugar towards east on road F 208.

Kirkjufellsvatn: A lake which is a part of the borderline between the counties Rangárvallasýsla and Vestur Skaftafellssýsla. The border of the natural reserve area lies through it. The lake is at 573 m. above sea-level, it is deep and the mountains around it are high. It is about 150 hectars. Small charr lives in it. Klukkugil: A deep gorge between the two Mógilshöfðar.

Klukkugilskvísl: A streem, running into Klukkugil, through it, over the Dómadalsleið, F225, and becomes Helliskvísl. The quantity of water is variable, depending on weather and seasons, but usually the forts are easy to cross on a normal jeep.

Kringla: The greenest area of this part of Icelands highland, including the plains south of Landmannahellir and the mountains Sátubarn, Sauðleysur, Löðmundur, Dyngjur and Lifrafjöll.

Krakatindur: A peak-formed, single-standing tuff-mountain NE of Hekla and belonging to her vulcanic zone. 958 or 1.025 m. above sea-level. It can be climbed but not all the way to the top (at least not normal people). Surrounded with lava and Krókslón (Sigöldulón): The reservoir for the hydro-electro station Sigölduvirkjun in Tungnaá. It´s size is 14km2.

Kýlingar: The second greenest spot in the area, after Kringla. The two little mountains Stóri-Kýlingur and Litli-Kýlingur are the actual Kýlingar, but the term is also used for the plains and the waters around them. Kýlingavötn (Kýlingar): Shallow lakes, being actually only slow parts of the glacial river Tungnaá and taking it´s untransparent colour.
They host the same charr as lives in the river. Surface 572 m. above sea-level, size approximately 250-300 hectars, both lakes togeather in a normal position.

Kýlingaskarð: Before the river Jökulgilskvísl was bridged, 1966, the way from Landmannalaugar to the east lay over a fort and through the pass Kýlingaskarð. Now the only traffic allowed there is for walkers and horseriders.



Lambafitjahraun: Lava since an eruption in 1913. It came up SW of Hrafnabjörg but belongs to the volcanic zone of Hekla.

Landmannaafréttur: Landmenn (gen. landmanna) are the people living in the parrish Land(ssveit). Afréttur means the upper lands, belonging to and used by the parrish. Most of the places, described in this list, is within the borders of this "afréttur". About 4/5 of the nature reserve area is within Landmannaafréttur.
But it´s even bigger: At the northern side of Tungnaá, the Veiðivötn-area, with it´s mountain-ridges at both sides. It took the farmers a whole week to gather their sheep in authumn from this vast area. It still takes, in spite of better technology and communications. For many Landmenn this was (and is) the greatest time of the year.

Landmannahellir A small cave in the mountain Hellisfjall.  Now the term Landmannahellir is used for the tourist service- and accommodation- center which has been expanding, close to that cave. 
Long before tourism, this spot was an important dwelling-place.  The sheep-gatherers used it as one of three gathering- points in the area.  To begin with the cave was the only shelter.  70 - 80 horses might be squeased inside and the men slept in a kind of a side- cave and later on they piled up a sort of a corridor, to expand their shelter.  Some more old stonewalls are still wisible. 
At the east side of the cave are the ruins of walls, used to keep the sheep on one place. 

At 1966, a modern fence took over that part and gave the sheep far more space (the mountain Sáta is surrounded with a fence).  In 1907 a hut was build next to the cave, partly of wood and iron.  It still stands there in its original shape. 
The biggest building in the area is from 1974, housing horses in one end and people in the other end (23 people).  Now that building is used for tourists (mostly riding groups) in the summer.  Those who run it (young people from the county) have added two other huts for tourists to sleep in. The guardian of the area lives in one hut (informations and fishing licenses are given there).  One house is for lavatory and shower.  Beside all this there are three other buildings on the area, for other purposes. 

Landmannaleið:  F 225, also called Dómadalsleið, leading from Landvegur, eastwards to Frostastaðavatn, 47 km.  It´s quite common to speak of the road from there down to the flatland at the east (F 208) as Landmannaleið, as well.  Nowadays that part of Landmannaleið is better known as the half of Fjallabaksleið nyrðri.


Landmannalaugar:  One half of this homepage is about Landmannalaugar, but here is a brief description anyway:  A highly interesting place in geological sence but also for its history and vegetation.  Most important though is the beauty of the surrounding.  Such a multiplicity of colours and shapes are not to be found in one other place in nature.  This fact and the comfortable natural bath has made Landmannalaugar the most visited spot in the uninhabited areas of Iceland. 

The place is relatively easy to reach (i.e. with scedual bus) and offers a huge range of travelling possibillities, including riding tours, organised there.  A big number of walking paths is specially popular.
There is a hut and a campground there with modern sanitary facilities, and a little shop offering the common needs of the traveller (no tankservice though). 
In spite of the human crowd around the campground, it´s easy to be alone in magnificent surroundings within few minutes. 
The hot pool, nevertheless is almost always full with people, like a constant international congress.

Langasáta:  A low mountain, more of a ridge, not particulary spectacular, but nicely situated in the middle of the flat, green area south og Landmannahellir.  Its all covered with vegetation and easy to mount.

Laufafell:  At the southern border of the Nature reserve area is this single standing mountain, ranging hundreds of meters above its podest (highest point is 1164 m. above sea level).  It´s a typical subglacial erupted mountain, like Rauðufossafjöll or Kirkjufell, and is, like them, mainly made of rhyolite.  It happened about 50.000 - 90.000 years ago. 

Laufdalsvatn:  This is the smallest and the most isolated fishing lake of the area, hidden in Dyngjur at Löðmundur´s northern side (9 hectars, surface 540 m. above sea level).  There is nice arctic charr in the lake.  A decade ago it was overcrowded but a fishing action has turned the situation back into a desirable situation.

Laugahraun:  This is the lava, from wich the hot water in Landmannalaugar flows.  At its edge is this popular touristic point, and the first hundreds of meters on the Laugavegur- walking-trail lie through it.  This rouch rhyolite-obsedian-lava erupted about only 520 years ago.  Its source is in the slope of the colourful Brennisteinsalda, right where the hiking-trail lies now.


Laugavegur This is a nickname, stuck to Icelands most popular highland-hiking-trail. 
It leads from Landmannalaugar to Þórsmörk, 54 km.  Its popularity is due to the beautiful and variable landscape and the fact that it has been made accessable with huts, bridges and markings. 

From Landmannalaugar to the first hut are 11 km, from there to the next hut 12 km, then 16 km to the next one and finally 15 km from there to Þórsmörk.  This doesn´t tell everything, since there is a great differenc in how easy each part is, there is so much up and down. 
Usually it´s recommended do use as many days on the travel as the number of huts on the way.  Quick walkers skip some of them.  There is a lot of interesting side-trails all along the way (there is a description on many of them on this homepage, around Landmannalaugar and Hrafntinnusker). 
For using the huts, there must be made an order in good advance (tel.568 2533). 
A place on the campgrounds around the huts needs not to be ordered. 
Travellers must be good equipped and prepared for winterly circumstances and let someone know where they are going before they go.

Lifrafjallavatn:  A former fishinglake, close to the mainroads but well hidden between the grassy Lifrarfjöll.  It´s not to be reached with a car and therefore the browntrout, which does not breed there, becomes extinct.  Nevertheless it´s worth walking there: easy, friendly and close and isolated at the same time.

Lifrafjöll:  Green mountains, easy to walk in and offering good viewpoints but no marked walking-trails.  Easily situated, north of Dómadalur.  Highest point is 792 m. above sea-level.

Litla-Brandsgil One wing of the canyon Brandsgil, at Bláhnúkur´s eastern side.  The mouth of Litla-Brandsgil reminds on a huge stone-gate.  Then it leads upwards among rough stones and jumping creek until the exelent viewpoint Skalli is reached.

Litla-Hamragil:  A gorge at the furthest part of the canyon Jökulgil.  There is one of the sources of its river, Jökulgilskvísl.  Close to this gorge are the hotsprings Háuhverir.


LitlhöfðiThis is the bigger one of the two mountains forming Mógilshöfðar, devided with the deep gorge Klukkugil.  Its all carved with small gorges and moss-covered between them. 
On Litlhöfði´s western side lies the steep jeep-track to Hrafntinnusker or to Fjallabaksleið syðri, F 210, on the socalled Pokahryggur-ridge.  From there is a brilliant view to both north and south, but even better if walked on top of the mountain, in 1103 m. above sea-level. 
That is easy to do if there are no clouds (there are no marking sticks) 

Litli-Kýlingur:  A small, fully vegitated mountain, surrounded by the waters of Kýlingavötn and Tungnaá and as such, unusually visible (also upside down, in still weathers, proved by hundreds of photos arond the world, taken from travellers on F 208).

Ljósártungur:  The south-western rim of the Torfajökull-caldera, opposite of the mountain Laufafell.  Ljósártungur are also made of rhyolite, but they are older (probably about 200.000 to 600.000 years).  Highest point 1075 m. above sea-level.

Ljótipollur A crater with a lake inside (about 45 hectars), famous for its intensive colours, red rim and green lake.  In 1480 an explosive eruption formed the crater, which later on gathered water.  Now its depth is only 14 meters.  There is brown-trout in it, which makes it one of the most popular fishing-lake of the area. 
A jeep track leads up to the rim, for the comfort of the fisher, but not less to give the common traveller a magnificent view.  It is in a convenient distance from Landmannalaugar.  The track starts at the meetingpoint of F 225 and F 208.

Löðmundarvatn:  A lake at the southern foot of the mountain Löðmundur. 
Like many other mountain-lakes, one half of in is shallow and the other half is deep (about 25 meters).  It´s in 590 m. above sea-level an its size is 90 hectar.  Arctic charr has lived in it since about 1965, drastically overpopulated, but during the last decade a successful fishing-project has raised its weight again, so now the lake is becoming one of the most popular fishing lakes of the area.  It´s easy to reach, lying close to Landmannahellir.

Löðmundur:  This is one of the most visible mountains of the area, rising almost half a kilometer from its podest (highest point 1051 m. above sea-level) far beyond competition from the other mountains around it.  It is steep and there are some high cliffs.  Nevertheless it is almost fully vegitated and there are many ways to mount it.  On a clear day, this is one of the best viewpoints. 
There are no marked tracks there and it often gets foggy.  This tuff-mountain was formed for 50.000 years or more.



Markarfljót:  This is one of South-Icelands biggest rivers (85 m3/sec on the flatland and 100 km. long).  Its sources are up in Landmannaafréttur, in Austurdalir, some would say up by Stórihver.  Up there it is a small river, easy to cross, where the jeeptracks pass it.  Further down it grows a lot and has dug deep canyons, which those who walk Laugavegur can take a look at on their way to Þórsmörk.

Mógilshöfðar:  Two mountains, split with a gorge.  One of them is Litlhöfði (1103 m. above sea-level) and the other is Stórhöfði (1020 m. above sea-level).  They are at the south side of Kringla and Dómadalur.  Made in a subglacial eruption for about 130.000 to 180.000 years ago (basalt-andesit).  Mostly vegitated but quite water-carved.  Rather easy to walk on for a good view, but no marked paths.


Námshraun:  Lava which floated from a lower slope of Suðurnámur into Frostastaðavatn on one side and down to Jökulgilskvísl at the other.  It happened only 520 years ago.  Puts a strong mark on the surrounding in spite of its volume of only 0.05 km3.  Dasit with some obsidian.

Námskvísl:  Those who want to drive the last hundred of meters into the Landmannalaugar-area have to cross Námskvísl on a fort, just before it enters Jökulgilskvísl.  Othervise they park next to it and use the pedestrian-bridge.  The amount of water waries with the weather.  This river (creek) is short but collects its waters from numerous gorges, including Vondugil.

Norður-Barmur Barmur, Austur-Barmur.  Sometimes the name is only used for the lowest part of Barmur.

Norðurnámshraun:  Partly acid andesit-lava mixed with basalt came out of the crater Stútur by Frostastaðaháls for about 520 years ago.  F 208 lies beside it from Frostastaðaháls to the bridge over Jökulgilskvísl.

Norðurnámsver:  Grassgreen fields with quiet creeks, hidden between Norðurnámur, Norðurnámshraun and Tungnaá.

Norðurnámur:  Three mountains in one or one mountain with three peeks, situated on a very visible place between Frostastaðavatn, Ljótipollur and Jökulgilskvísl.  Therefore both car-road, riding-path and hiking-trails lie beside it and a walking-trail on top of it as well (highest point 786 m. above sea-level).  Mostly vegitated.




 PPokahryggur:  The road in the slope in Litlhöfði´s side, leading to Hrafntinnusker or to F 210.  Usually snow blocks the way there until midsummer.  One of the very best viewpoints legally reachable with a jeep.

 RRauðaskál:  In Hekla´s volcanic zone, this is the best visible crater, seen from the main-road and with a site road (to Hekla) leading close to it.  Intensively red colour.

Rauðfoss (Rauðufossar):  About 60 m. high waterfall spreading down red-coloured cliffs from the foot of Rauðufossafjöll.  It is visible from F 225, easy to walk to but forbidden to drive to it.  In the same rim the waterfall pours down, a bit further to the west, there is a huge volcanic crater.

Rauðufossafjöll:  A group of mountains formed in a subglacial eruption for about 50.000 to 90.000 years ago, a mixture of tuff and rhyolite. 
There have been different theories about how they are connected to the Torfajökull-caldera and its volcanic activities.  There have also been theories about this as one mountain in former times but then carved into its contemporary form by running claciers. 
This mountain group has a strong visual affects on the areas western part: dark, cold, naked and high.  The highest of the mountains is 1207 m. above sea-level, so if Hekla wasn´t between, this would be one of South-Iceland´s symbols.

Rauðufossakvísl:  A small river, starting in Rauðufossafjöll, falling down to Fitjar in Rauðfoss and joining Helliskvísl, about 15 km from the source.  There, on the meetingpoint, it has to be crossed on a fort, wether one is going to Landmannalaugar or Landmannahellir (in the latter case both "rivers", joined, have to be crossed).  Under usual circumstances it is easy to cross in a normal jeep.

Reykjadalir At the southern side of Mógilshöfðar, the track towards F 210 lies alongsides "smoky walleys": Reykjadalir.  This is a true name, since high geothermal activity lets the place boil and steam.  Leaving the car and taking a better look is recommended. 

The place is like a labyrint of intensive colours with various sounds and smells. Streems and waterfalls carve the landscape and feed the plants, giving even more contrast amongst the naked rhyolite slopes. 
In early summer (before reacable with cars) the hot steams form icecaves in the snowfilled gorges. 
There is a possibillity that this place may be sacrificed for a powerstation, transforming the geothermal power into electrisity for heavy industry.  This would change the view of the area dramatically, including from the Laugavegur-hiking-trail.


Reykjafjöll:  East of Hrafntinnusker is the mountain(group) Reykjafjöll.  There is a rest of glacier in it, since Torfajökull srteched much further to the west in former centuries.  Its higest point is in 1185 m. above sea-level, so it´s cold there.  Its acid rocks also make it impossible for plants to settle there.  It was formed in subglacial eruptions for 200.000 and more years ago. 
In Reykjafjöll´s eastern side are the Háuhverir-springs.  All around there is much geothermal activity.

Reykjakollur (Kjaftalda):  A small mountain (or a big hill, 734 m. above sea-level) east of Landmannalaugar, where the canyons Brandsgil and Jökulgil meet.  It is quickly and easely reached from the campside.  A piece of the slope, facing Landmannalaugar, is hissing, steaming and spitting with tiny hotsprings with incredible palette of colours.  A short view-tour to the moss-green top is easily made, but there are no marked paths, so care must be taken, not to spoil vegitation.



Sauðleysur:  A group of moss-green tuff-mountains, rising 200-350 m. up from their podest (the highest point is over 900 m. above sea-level).  One of them is unvegitated, with vertical cliffs.  These mountains are not far from the shepards center in Landmannahellir

Until 1882 sheep were gathered there within walls, piled of stones, which rests are still to be seen.  The lake between the mountains, their easy mountability, the view and the nearness to Landmannahellir should make Sauðleysur an ideal hiking place, but there are few who go there and there are no markings, exept for old stonepiles beneath them, guiding horsemen.

Sauðleysuvatn:  An 80 hectars lake, and quite a deep one, lies hidden between the mountains of Sauðleysur.  It is easily reached by foot and it generousely gives arctic-charr to fishermen. 
Those are to small to fit to normal interests, but a mass-murdering-action has given the fish a bit of space to grow (the same fisher-group that "cleaned" Laufdalsvatn).  In this lake, like many others around, the arctic-charr is not in its natural environment, so it overpopulates.

Sáta (Litla-Sáta) Opposite of Landmannahellir stands this little, steep, equally formed, all-green mountain, rising about 150 meters from its ground (762 m. above sea-level).  In authumn, the sheep-gatherers make a competition in who is the fastest, running up to Sáta´s top.  The record is 5 minutes.
Since 1966 there is a fence around the mountain, keeping the gathered sheep, before they are chased to the flatland.  Now the piled stonewalls by Landmannahellir and Sauðleysur never keep a sheep. 
In spring 2002 parts of Sáta´s steep slopes glid down in mud-lavinas.

Sigalda:  A tuff ridge, since ice-age, 600 m. above sea-level.  Tungnaá used to dig a canyon through the ridge, but now it flows in tubes into the powerstation in Sigalda´s northern slope, built 1973-77.  Tungnaá was bridged by Sigalda in 1967.

Sigöldulón (Krókslón):  The 14 km2 reservoir of the power-station Sigalda.

Sigölduvirkjun:  The first hydro-electral power-station on the Tungnaá-area, built 1973-77, started 1977. Icelands third most efficient power-station, producing 150 MW.  Its dam is 42 m. high and 925 m. long.  Its reservoir´s size is 14 km2.  Landsvirkjun is the owner.

Skalli:  One of the highest available points close to Landmannalaugar, 989 m. above sea-level, and the best viewspot over the Jökulgil-area.  This flat-topped mountain is easy to reach from a visible hiking-trail to Hattur, lying in Skalli´s slope or from Litla-Brandsgil, which is a bit rougher.  Its acid ground, hight and snow makes it impossible for plants to grow there.


Skál:  A basin in the mountain Löðmundur, starting down by the lake and reaching, somewhere in vertical cliffs, up to the rim close to the highest peek.

Stóra-Brandsgil: The bigger branch of the canyon Brandsgil.  It is possible to follow its bottom for some kilometers, until a waterfall blocks the way.  The steep slopes at both sides are variable in colours.

Stóra-Hamragil:  A gorge at the furthest part of the canyon Jökulgil.  There is one of the sources of its river, Jökulgilskvísl.  This rough and narrow gorge is unpassable.

Stórhöfði:  The smaller one of the two mountains, forming Mógilshöfðar.  Made in a subglacial eruption for about 130.000 to 180.000 years ago (basalt-andesit).  Mostly vegitated but quite water-carved.  Rather easy to walk on for a good view, but no marked paths.  1020 m. above sea-level.  Hidden behind it are the lake Höfðavatn and the deep gorge Klukkugil.

Stórihver A boiling hotspring, one of the most powerful in the geothermal Torfajökull-zone.  This is the first real boiler seen on the hiking-trail from Landmannalaugar to Þórsmörk, and therefore a popular resting-place.  There is also the only green spot for a long while.  Some say that the water, flowing out of Stórihver, is the very beginning of the 100 km. long river Markarfljót.

Stóri-Kýlingur:  A very well vegitated little mountain (730 m. above sea-level), by the eastern side of lakes Kýlingavötn.  Easy to walk on to get a nice view over Tungnaá, if it wasn´t for a power-line, crossing the horizon.  One of its masts stands on Stóri-Kýlingur´s northern side.

Suður-Barmur (Vestur-Barmur):  These names are not often seen on maps, but with them is meant the southern rim of the canyon of Jökulgil.  It´s younger than the utter rim (450.000 to 600.000 years) and resent theories suggest that it´s a part of a caldera within the older caldera.  Its material is also rhyolite.  Still moss manages to grow in some places. 
There is a visible path for hikers leading up the ridge and from there to Skalli, Hattur and even down to Jökulgil or into the Laugavegur-hiking-trail.


Suðurnámur A rhyolite-mountain, rich of colours and shapes, rising about 340 m. above Frostastaðavatn.  Its other side frames a big part of Landmannalaugar´s horizon.  Inbetween, when walking behind Suðurnámshraun, a world on its own appears: a deep gorge in Suðurnámur, with its formations in closeup and a creek streaming through a hole in the mountain.  The age of this mountain is about 200.000 years.

Svartikambur:  A rough, dark and naked tuff-ridge in 916 m. height above sea-level.  It lies above Reykjadalir and is easy to klimb to get a view over the Rauðufossafjöll-area, but not many put their feet there.  It is about 130.000 to 18.000 years old.

SveinsgilJökulgil-canyon´s biggest gorge (side-canyon), with steep rhyolite-slopes on botn sides and a small river on the bottom, taking its waters from Hábarmur through one side-gorge and from Torfajökull through another one.

Sölvahraun:  A wide field of Hekla-lava, passed through on F 225 on the way to Landmannalaugar.  Hekla covered it with ashes in year 1980 and parts of it again in year 2000.



Tjörvafell:  By the crossing of F 225 and F 208, a grass-green mountain stands higher than the other mountains around it (the top is 843 m. above sea-level).  This is Tjörvafell, beloved from grass-seeking sheep, but surprisingly seldom used by view-seeking hikers.  Both crater-lakes, Ljótibollur and Bláhylur, can be seen from up there, as well as many far-away places.

Torfajökull A glacier at size of 15 km2.  This glacier used to be much bigger in resent centuries.  It was so dominant, that the whole highest mountain-area carries its name and is called Torfajökulssvæði (Torfajökull-area) or Torfajökulseldstöð (Torfajökull-volcanic zone). 
The glaciers in Kaldaklofsfjöll, Reykjafjöll and Hrafntinnusker used to be one and the same Torfajökull.  The contemporary Torfajökull´s highest point is 1152 m. above sea-level.  This glacier is the most generous water-spender to Jökulgilskvísl, but it also sends streams to other directions. 
The glacier is flat and easy to walk on but there can be dangerous fissures, specially on the edges, and weathers can change quickly. 
The glacier has its name from a farmer, who is said to have settled in Jökulgil, during a medieval plague.  His name was Torfi.

Tungnaá A glacial river of 175 m3/sec, starting in Vatnajökull´s western side and ends in Þjórsá, which by that, more than doubles its quantity of water. 
The Landmannaafréttur-area is partly given its borders by Tungnaá and partly cut in two by it.  The river´s geographical situation and its amount of water has made it to a major hindrance for travelling from the southern flatland into the highlands.  Sheep and horses could swin over at special spots under normal circumstances. 

A ferry for sheep and people was put in one place 1936, another one already existed, down near Þjórsá and there, a creel was built in 1964.  A fort for big trucks was found in 1950 and in 1967 a bridge for all vehicles was built by Sigalda. 
In 2002 another one was built down by the creel at Hald.  In Tungnaá there are the second and third biggest of Icelands hydro-electral power-stations, Sigölduvirkjun and Hrauneyjafossvirkjun with their reservoirs of totally 23 km2.  Tungnaá´s main side-rivers are Jökulgilskvísl and Kaldakvísl.



Uppgönguhryggur:  A long, winding rhyolite-ridge, leading down into Jökulgil´s inner part.  Walking on top of it, is the easyest way down there and up again.



Valafell:  A mountain north of Hekla, smooth and flat but covering many km2.  It´s a green oase within Hekla´s ashes and lava, but sometimes it´s also covered with it´s neighbour´s rough gifts, so it can take long time to recover.  In Valafell´s western side, is the hut of Áfangagil.

Valagjá:  East of Valafell lies the wide and deep rift, Valagjá.  It follows the typical northeast-southwest pattern of volcanic zones, in this case Hekla´s zone.  It´s forms are smooth.  A track for normal jeeps, from F 225, by Valahnúkar, lies up to the rift´s rim.

Valahnúkar:  South of Valafell, F 225 lies beneath vertical cliffs, putting significent mark on their surrounding. Those dark and naked rocks are Valahnúkar.  There are both nice places for walkers and dangerous places for climbers.

Veiðivötn:  Icelands most popular arctic charr-, and brown-trout-lakes.  This group of lakes lies within the area of Landmannaafréttur, but at the northern side of Tungnaá, and therefore like a distant world.  Besides the fish, phe place is interesting for it´s beauty and geological background: the craters, later turning into lakes, were created in grand eruptions in 1480.


Vesturdalir (Vestur -Reykjadalir):  Flat spots where Markarfljót runs beneath Reykjadalir. 

Vondugil:  Gorges between Brennisteinsalda and Háalda, where Námskvísl takes most of it´s waters from.  There are boiling and steaming springs there, amongst fertile and flourishing soil, surrounded with light rhyolite-slopes and the planes of Námskvísl.
  There is a short hiking-trail from Laugavegur to Vondugil.  The walker must be careful and responsible in this sensitive, beautiful place.

Vondugiljaaurar:  The flat plain of the winding waters of Námskvísl "behind" the lava Laugahraun.  This open space gives the hiker on Laugavegur a rich view at Háalda and Suðurnámur.




Þjóhnappar:  One of the mountain-groups Hnausar, renamed (Ass-cheeks, because of their form).  These mountains stand, partly green, in the middle of the sanddesert and lava of Dómadalshraun (754 m. above sea-level).

Þjórsá:  Icelands longest river, 230 km.  It is the furthest western border of the Landmannaafréttur-area.  Tungnaá gives Þjórsá a lot of water.  Before they meet, it´s quantity of cubic-meters per second is 135 but 305 beneath their gathering.  There are two bridges for public use, two powerstations and big numbers of waterfalls in Þjórsá.

Þrengsli Narrowness is the english word for Þrengsli.  This is where the canyon Jökulgil is narrow and the river Jökulgilskvísl throws itself from one side to the other on it´s way to open space by Landmannalaugar.  The rhyolite-cliffs in Þrengsli have unusually intensive emerald-green colour and there are various formations in the cliffs (monsters, castles



   Nína Ivanova & Ómar Smári Kristinsson © 2003—2011

last updated - 01.10.2011