Cross Country Skiing

Landmannalaugar in Winter

Cross-country ski in the third largest geothermal area in the world. A truly unforgettable adventure.

Tour code: IMG53

Landmannalaugar in Winter

Discover the Icelandic Highlands on Cross-Country Skis

When it comes to cross-country skiing, Iceland’s highlands offer fantastic conditions for a winter adventure. Our northerly location, just below the Arctic Circle, and volcanic landscape, create striking contrasts and incredible diverse natural features. A cozy mountain hut in Landmannalaugar, the third largest geothermal area in the world, will be your base camp for the entire tour. As you traverse this landscape with your professional skiing guide leading the way, you will witness craters, lava fields, snow filled gorges and canyons, where thick steam bursts out of the earth. During the summer, this area is equally beautiful but bustling with people. Winter offers an extraordinary opportunity to explore this famous area with few people around. After a fun-filled day of cross-country skiing, you can relax in a warm hot spring under the enchanting evening sky. If you’re lucky, the Northern Lights might put on a dazzling display.

Tour Overview

  • We pick you up @

    Included

  • Group size

    4 - 12 participants

  • Language

    English

  • Accommodation

    Mountain hut

  • Walking per day

    5 - 6 hrs

  • Total Distance

    100 km (60 mi)

  • Max Ascent

    500 m (1640 ft)

  • Difficulty

    Moderate

    Difficulty

    Moderate

  • Availability

    Feb - Mar

  • Duration

    5 days

  • 16

    Minimum age:

    16 yrs

Book this tour

Customer Reviews

Tour Highlights

Included

  • Experienced and qualified guide
  • Mountain hut sleeping bag accommodation in dormitories
  • 4x4 minibus or Super Jeep
  • Breakfast (4), Lunch (5), Dinner (4)

Not Included

  • Sleeping bag
  • Skiing equipment
  • Accommodation in Reykjavík

Optional Extras

  • Sleeping bag
  • Skiing equipment
  • Accommodation in Reykjavík before and after the tour

Tour Map and Itinerary

Click map for detailed itinerary

Landmannalaugar in Winter

MAP & ITINERARY

Day 1

Reykjavík - Sigalda - Landmannalaugar

Early pick up from the accommodation at 7:30. Leaving Reykjavík we head east on the road of Hellisheiði. After passing the village of Selfoss, we push north-west into Iceland’s interior, in the direction of the Atlantic rift. This road, the only road to the mountains that is cleared of snow, brings us to Sigalda, 23 km from Landmannalaugar where our vehicle drops us off. Here we put on our skis and set course in the direction of the lava fields of Bjallahraun. Our path takes us over the Hnausar pass, where it slightly descends to the lake Frostastaðavatn, before arriving at Landmannalaugar. We set camp in the mountain refuge where our luggage awaits us, and take our first hot bath just a few dozen meters from the hut.
Driving: 3 hrs
Skiing: 6 hrs
Difference in altitude: 100 m (328 ft)

Day 2

Ljótipollur crater - Landmannalaugar

A day spent in the discovery of Ljótipollur, an enormous crater born out of a series of eruptions that rattled the region in the 15th century. The crater, which erupted on a fissure segment and is about 1.5 km (1 mi) long, is the home of an impressive lake. From underneath its white winter coat, we’ll most probably catch a glimpse of the black and red colors of its steep rocky walls. We continue the loop to the imposing mountain Kirkjufell before returning to the hut and a hot bath.
Skiing: 5 hrs
Difference in altitude: 100 m (328 ft)

Day 3

Stórihver hot spring - Hrafntinnusker mountain hut - Landmannalaugar

We start our ascent through a concentration of steam vents on the hills of Brennisteinsalda, passing the crest to reach the great hot spring Stórihver. There we are met by an enormous opening emitting huge curls of vapor accompanied by a mystifying roar in this otherwise serene landscape. If the weather is favorable, we press on to the ice caves of Hrafntinnusker, before going around this obsidian mountain to reach the small mountain hut that lies there at an altitude of almost 1100m. From there, an easy descent to Landmannalaugar and its hot springs.
Skiing: 6 hrs
Difference in altitude: 550 m (1804 ft)

Day 4

“The Hat” - “The Bold” - Landmannalaugar

The craters Hattur (the Hat) and Skalli (the Bold) that give us breathtaking views of close by glacier Torfajökull (1199 m/3930 ft) and the gorges of Jökulgil.  If we are greeted with clear skies we might even catch a glimpse of the great Vatnajökull (the largest glacier in Europe) and the highest point in Iceland, and the immense ice caps of Hofsjökull and Langjökull.  In the late afternoon a good soak in the hot baths in Landmannalaugar.
Skiing: 5 hrs
Difference in altitude: 600 m (1970 ft)

Day 5

Landmannalaugar - Sigalda - Reykjavík

We leave the Landmannalaugar hut and head north through the lava fields of Dómadalur and the lake Eskihlíðarvatn. From there we reach Sigalda where our transport is waiting, having picked up our luggage from Landmannalaugar.  We return to Reykjavík where we arrive in the late afternoon.

 

Please note

  • The day to day activities are subject to change according to weather and snow condition and will not necessary be in the described order. Final decision on which routes will be skied each day is in the hands of the guide, and is based on snow conditions, avalanche danger etc. All times are approximate.

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
Click to activate the map

Practical Information

Facilities (showers, wc, water, accommodation, electricity)

  • Will we be able to shower on the tour?

Unfortunately there is no hot water for the showers in the winter time but feel free to bathe in the warm natural pool a few 100 meters from the hut.

 

  • How are the toilet facilities?

During winter we use the outhouse. If the temperatures are not too low the flushing toilets might be available.  

 

  • Will the huts have running water?

There will be running cold water in the hut. You will need to heat water to get hot water.

 

  • Does the mountain hut have dormitory rooms/private rooms?

The mountain hut has no private rooms, all rooms are dormitories.

 

  • Do I need to bring my own cooking equipment?

No, the hut has a fully equipped kitchen.

 

  • Can I charge my phone/camera in the hotels/huts?

We recommend bringing a power bank to charge your electronic devices as there is no electricity in the hut. If the warden is there he/she is sometimes able to charge for a small fee ISK 500.

 

Sleeping bags can be rented from Icelandic Mountain Guides at some extra cost.
FAQ List

Special diets

  • I am a vegetarian/vegan/gluten intolerant, will there be a food option for me, what is it?

Special dietary supplement, such as vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, gluten free or other supplements, can be ordered at some extra cost. The supplement will include meals that meet the requirements of your diet.

Booking

  • The date I want to book is not available, can I still request to book?

If a date is not available it either fully booked or not offered on that date. You are welcome to contact us for a private tour if you cannot join on an available date. Please email [email protected] to request a private tour.