Fjallabak Nature Reserve

Fjallabak Nature Reserve and National Park Guide: Tours, Visiting Hours, Transportation

Fjallabak Nature Reserve National Park is located in the Highlands of Iceland. Fjallabak literally translates to “Mountain Back,” which describes the geological formations found inside the park’s boundaries.

This area in the Icelandic Highlands has been protected since 1979 and has long been a popular hiking destination in the national parks in Iceland. It is about 500 meters above sea level. 

The reason it is so popular is because of its beautiful geography. It has colorful mountains of green, yellow, blue, and red from the rhyolite and obsidian in the ground. The landscape is characterized by volcanic activity with geothermal valleys and lava fields. There is also a famous hot spring in the Landmannalaugar camping ground.

What are the Features of Fjallabak Nature Reserve National Park?

The primary features of the park include the mountains that were shaped by volcanic activity. These mountains have a beautiful, broad color palette. Instead of being made of soil and rock that becomes covered by greenery, the mountains are all kinds of beautiful colors. 

In between the mountains within the reserve, there are many hot springs and flowing rivers around lava fields. The geothermal activity is quite high in the area, sometimes making entire valleys fill with steam.

How is the Geology of Fjallabak Nature Reserve National Park Area?

The geology of Fjallabak Nature Reserve National Park was formed through volcanic activity. In fact, the reserve covers a port of an area known by geologists in iceland as the Torfajökull area. This piece of land features the most extensive rhyolite expanse in the country. 

This is significant since when rhyolite magma cools, it either forms obsidian or geothermally transforms to take on many different color hues. Volcanic activity hasn’t been exceptionally high since the last Ice Age, making it safe as long as you stay out of the geothermal areas that are too hot.

Is it Allowed to Climb in Fjallabak Nature Reserve National Park in Iceland?

There are many hiking trails within Fjallabak Nature Reserve but few good climbing routes. However, if you find a climbing route, you are free to approach it as long as there isn’t prohibitory signage up.

What is the prominence of Fjallabak Nature Reserve National Park for Iceland Culture?

This park was protected in 1979 to conserve the geothermal area and the mountains. It is quite far from Reykjavik, so it didn’t receive much attention until the island started to get more tourists in the mid to late 19th century.

What are the Tours for Fjallabak Nature Reserve in Iceland?

There are many adventure tours that you can take in Fjallabak Nature Reserve. Some of these include motorcycle adventure tours throughout the Icelandic highlands and even a photography workshop. During the winter, you can also take a snowmobiling tour in the Icelandic Highlands.

The tours range in time from two days to multiple weeks, depending on what kind of tour you take. Since it is so far away from Reykjavik, there are unlikely to be tours that take you directly from Reykavik to Fjallabak.

What are the Best Hotels for Fjallabak Nature Reserve National Park?

There is a mountain hut very close to the area that visitors can book for overnight stays. This includes a kitchen and a bathroom facility. The amenities are basic and rustic, but they do provide more amenities than anywhere else in the area. Keep in mind that there are no food or grocery stores in the area, so you will want to stock up before heading to the National Park.

Landmannalaugar is an area within the Nature Reserve that is very beautiful and a popular hiking destination. It also has a campground if you want to enjoy nature within the park.

What to do in Fjallabak Nature Reserve National Park?

Hiking is the most popular thing to do in Fjallabak National Park. You can also find some of the hot springs and pools within the geothermal area. Some of these are cool enough for humans to be able to safely enjoy, including Brennisteinsalda Bathing Place.

How to Hike Fjallabak Nature Reserve

There are many hikes throughout this nature reserve. From long to short, you can find a hiking trail to suit your trip. For example, the Laugavegur Trail spans across most of the Fjallabak Nature Reserve and is a multi-day hike. However, you can all take the Landmannalaugar Short-Loop or hike up Blahnjukur Mountain if you want shorter hikes that only span a couple of hours.


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Staff Writer