Langisjór the mysterious lake in the midst of the Icelandic highland

  • On Sveinstindur with Langisjór in the background


The lake Langisjór in the midst of the Icelandic Highland is a bit mysterious.  It is one of the largest natural lakes in the country (not a reservoir for a hydroelectric plant) but is difficult to see unless you either travel to the edge of the water or climb a nearby mountain. Because of the distance from the shoreline, throughout history, no one travelled this deep into the highland or ever wrote about this lake until the middle of the 19th century when it was discovered.  The lake is 20 kilometres long and only 2 kilometres wide and that is the reason for the name, Langisjór or (“The long sea”). On both sides of the lake, there are long mountain rigs, Fögrufjöll (“Beautiful mountains”) and Tungnaárfjöll. In the late 19th century the first geologist in Iceland, the prominent Þorvaldur Thoroddsen, travelled to Lanisjór and viewed the lake from the same place where this photo is taken, on top of the mountain Sveinstindur (Sveins peak). He named the lake and the mountain in his report.  The name of the mountain was named after his friend who was a physician. The Lake is a natural wonder with small islands and unique surroundings with one end near the edge of a glacier.  It is quite difficult to visit and only accessible from the middle of July throughout September.  There is a mountain road for well equipped 4X4 vehicle leading to the south-west end from the mountain road, Fjallabak nyrðri.  Another spectacular but more difficult 4X4 path is also on top of the mountain rig Fögrufjöll.  The whole experience of travelling, hiking and mountain climbing in the Langisjór area is breathtaking. 

Read this important article written by a local expert before you choose a car.

Below is the location of Landmannalaugar on the map of Iceland