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Visiting Landmannalaugar Iceland without the crowds

Beauty being spoiled by mass tourism. On crowded days the famous and stunning Landmannalaugar area reminds locals of the beaches of Benidorm in Spain. Hardly a good thing. PIC narvaleos

It used to be one of the absolute highlight of any trip to the highlands of Iceland. Nowadays the Landmannalaugar area is more often than not overcrowded, dirty and downtrodden.

That, at least, is the opinion of a dozen local people visiting the area for the first time in few years in summer of 2014. Landmannalaugar, where the most fabulous nature and hot springs galore meet in one stunning spot is so popular with the massively growing numbers of visitors that it is no longer the place it once was.

You need to go as soon as the place opens

Be that as it may and since the local government or tourist authorities have no incentive to limit the number of people here to benefit nature, the best we can do is recommend a time to visit without walking right into busloads after busloads of people and actually enjoying this place.

For this you will need your own vehicle or go on a smallish tour very early in the summer. You need to go as soon as the place opens, the area is inaccessible in wintertime, and it usually opens in early or middle of June. You also go very late in the day since the larger tours bring their people back late in the day. Better yet, go in late August or beginning of September when the massive influx of tourists is less than in high summer.

Ideally, you bring a tent and you stay here a day or two. That way you take advantage of the hot natural pools and the amazing landscape when you see fit and most of the crowds have gone.

Trust us, you will not regret a minute here. Landmannalaugar is still a top five wonder of Iceland in our view but that only holds if not stumbling over the next person or fighting to jam yourself into the next hot spring.

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