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From far-flung corners to little pockets of paradise, we’re bringing you the world’s most exotic and unusual locations. Wander from home at your leisure.
Landmannalaugar, Fjallabak Nature Reserve, Iceland
Iceland isn’t short of dramatic landscapes, but tipping our must-see list are the multicoloured mountains of Landmannalaugar. Seemingly painted in arresting shades of red, brown, pink, green and yellow, this rhyolite mountainscape makes any hike akin to trekking through a Monet watercolour.
Part of the Fjallabak Nature Reserve at the heart of the Icelandic Highlands and lesser-visited than the Golden Circle sightseeing route, this dramatic range is home to bubbling hot springs, fierce waterfalls and lava fields that glitter with obsidian (volcanic glass). Think of it as all of nature’s best bits accessible via a medley of hiking trails.
Where to stay
Visit in spring when you can camp along the Laugavegur Trail – it a 55km-long hike and takes around four days to complete. Be sure to visit the Mountain Mall shop, partly for fireside supplies (read: marshmallows) and partly because it’s set up in an American-style 70s school bus. If you prefer a more bougie breakfast than tinned bins, check in to one of the Volcano Huts in Thorsmork.
What to pack
Stop by Ljótipollur (Ugly Puddle) a lake formed by a volcanic eruption in 1477. Despite its name, it’s actually quite beautiful. The red-rimmed crater helps the trout-filled waters reflect vivid turquoise tones.
How to get there
It’s possible to reach Landmannalaugar by car – the roads are open from late June to early September – but you’ll need to hire a 4×4 to tackle the terrain. Follow the route along Iceland’s South Coast to cruise past black lava fields, waterfalls and impressive rock formations.
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