Blahnukur (Bláhnúkur) Circle

Blahnukur (Bláhnúkur) Circle

Duration: allow 3-4 hours. Difficulty: a tough but rewarding hike, with two steep ascents and descents, on a waymarked path. Interest: breathtaking views of colourful rhyolite mountains; geothermal solfataras; lava. Start/End: Landmannalaugar campsite and hut

From the campsite and facing the lava flow, bear left along the edge of the lava flow, crossing a stream to reach the foot of the grey mountain Blahnukur. Now take the steep path up the mountain, a climb of about 350m which should take you 30-40 minutes.

After soaking up the views, continue on the path and begin the descent. Where the ridge divides, bear right and descend more steeply to the valley floor. Cross the stream - you may need to wade it - and pick up the path on the other side.

Now head for the steam rising from the base of Brennisteinsalda, the coloured mountain ahead of you. At the springs, join the ‘Laugavegur’ trail and follow the red-topped markers up the steep slope. At the top, reach a saddle where the viscous lava to your left oozed from a fissure. At this point bear right onto Brennisteinsalda and make your way to its summit.

From the summit, the path descends a broad gentle slope, with views into Vondugil gorge. The last part of the descent to the valley floor is very steep. Bear right and follow the path markers around the base of the hill to rejoin the ‘Laugavegur trail at the edge of the lava flow. Cross the lava to return to the campsite and hut.