Southern iceland guide

S08 – Rhyolite Mountains **

Multi-colored wonder of the world
HOW to gey there
Distance from Hrauneyjar Highland Center ~ 40 km (25 mi)
Travel time ~ 1 hour


From the Highland Center, head east along F26 and then turn onto F208. After Lake Frostastaðavatn, turn to F224.

To get to the rhyolite hills, I recommend getting to the Landmannalaugar tourist information center first, then leaving your car in the parking lot and taking the circular route. You can begin your hike upon the mountains from behind the administrative building in the camp, then cross the lava field to arrive at the rhyolite hills. You can return to the camp following the left side of the river stream, there are signs throughout the trail. The circular walk takes no more than 3 hours.
Landmannalaugar, “the land of baths," as the name translates from the Icelandic, is a truly amazing place with its many thermal springs surrounded by colorful rhyolite mountains. The valley, a geothermal oasis, is located in the Southern Highlands at an altitude of 600 m (1969 ft) above sea level, 20 km (12.4 mi) from the Hekla volcano.

Every year thousands of tourists flock here to see the unearthly beauty of the landscape, stroll through the lava fields, and take a bath in one of the natural hot springs. The most remarkable natural attraction of Landmannalaugar is the rhyolite mountains. The mineral assemblage in rhyolite causes the mountains to change their color depending on the lighting. You'll see the slopes in various shades of brown, yellow, pink, red, and blue. The two most impressive mountains, Brennisteinsalda (855 m, 2805 ft), the “Sulfur Wave", still an active volcano, and Bláhnúkur, the “Blue Peak" (940m, 3083 ft), are located very close to each other. You'll see sulfur-steaming vents upon the mountain hills, and if you get to the top -- incredibly beautiful views of the Laugahraun lava field..

The Landmannalaugar Valley is a landscape photographer's paradise!
PHOTOGRAPHY RECOMMENDATIONS
Photograph the mountains at sunrise and sunset, During the day -- with overcasting clouds above. There are a lot of interesting angles to try, so get creative. Fly with a drone above the colorful ranges.