area on the Landmanna Route could be called “The Circle” in English.
Its flat areas (590m above sea level), former lake bottoms, are
well vegetated and surrounded with close to 1000 m high and mostly barren
mountains. There are a few
good trout and char lakes in this area, better referred to on the angling
site. Just to mention a few of them:
Lodmundarvatn, Eskihlidarvatn, Domadalsvatn and Saudleysuvatn.
The streams running through the area are mainly Klukkugilskvisl,
the discharge of Lakes
Lodmundarvatn and Raudufossakvisl, which create
River Helliskvisl. A cave
near Lake Lodmundarvatn called Landmannahellir was used as a shelter to
accommodate the farmers upon their sheep round ups in the past.
Now the modern travellers are accommodated there in simple
lodgings, especially those who participate in the popular riding tours.
river, running through the so-called Kringla area,
is a collection of cold springs and
meltwater from snow patches in the
surrounding mountains. Its
discharge area is about 90 km˛ and the volume of water is very
1913, a new lava field created by the Lambafit eruption blocked its course
and a lake was created.
It soon disappeared when the river started running around the lava
decades, the permeable lava swallowed the water, but late in the 20th
century, it created a new course past the lava field to River Tungnaa.
Later its course was diverted to River Thjorsa.
are two low hyaloclastite mountains on the Landmanna Route and a
relatively well-vegetated area around Lake Kylingavatn.
The majestic Mt. Kirkjufell towers over the area with its obsidian
precipices. The mountain road
from Landmannalaugar to the volcanic fissure Eldgja lies on the banks of
the lake. Late in summer, the
vegetated areas are white like snow with cotton grass.
hyaloclastite mountain (812m) bears no resemblance to its namesake in the
Odadahraun Lava Field in the north. The
view from the mountain shoulder stretching to the south is excellent on a
fine day. The mountain road,
which descends from the shoulder to the east, leads directly into the
volcanic fissure Eldgja.
shallow and relatively well-vegetated valleys are en route between the
volcanic fissure Eldgja and Landmannalaugar.
An old refuge hut, made of sod and stones, for the farmers rounding
up the sheep late in summer or early in autumn, is situated there.
Many farmers, who stayed there overnight, claimed to have slept
badly or nothing at all because of the ghosts harassing them.
as it is called in Icelandic, is actually a 13 km long valley carved into
the rhyolite landscape to the southeast from the Landmannalaugar
area. It is relatively
easily accessible late in summer or in autumn when the water level of
River Jokulkvisl has dropped.
are no words strong enough to describe the colourful landscape and the
rhyolite formations, which meet the eye in the valley and no pictures do
it justice. It simply has to
be experienced. River
Jokulkvisl is a collection of many cold spring and meltwater brooks from
the small glacier patches in the Torfa- and Reykja Mountains.
It has been diverted with a dyke past the Landmannalaugar area to
prevent floods. This,
however, has created a new problem, because the ground water level has
risen. This river represented
the only real obstacle for the many travellers through this area in the
past until the bridge was built in 1966.
According to the legend, a farmer called Thordur from the farm
Klofi, fled to the valley during the period of the plague.
The legend says that the valley was well vegetated and wooded at
that time and surrounded by glaciers.
Nowadays it is devoid of vegetation and no signs of a former glory.
The farmers of the Land County grazed their sheep in the mountains
and never bothered to seek them in the valley when they were rounding up.
This cost them a few sheep every year and they claimed that the
outlaws and evil spirits of the valley had stolen them. This area was thoroughly explored in 1852 and no signs of any
dwellings of outlaws or other beings were discovered. Since then the farmers have included the valley in their
round up program and more sheep were accounted for every year.
are low, hyaloclastite mountains just north of River Tungnaa near the
Landmanna Route from the hydroelectric power station at Sigalda.
The so-called Bjallar-ford of River Tungnaa was commonly used by
the farmers of the Land County to transport their sheep to and from the
summer grazings north of the river. On
each side of the river east of the ford are shelters for open boats, which
were later used for this purpose. Such
glacial rivers are dangerous and difficult to ford and nowadays there is
no need for that because of the bridges near the power stations.
offers rather primitive accommodations in a beautiful location just
off the Landmanna Route, near the rivers Sydri Ofaera and Skafta and the
magnificent "fire fissure" Eldgja. It
is an excellent spot for a further exploration of the area on foot and
then enjoy the services of the Bus Company
and its daily
schedule on the Landmanna Routes.
HIGHLAND ICELAND SAGA