Grjotagja hot Spring Cave‬‏

 

Grjotagja hot Spring Cave‬‏ located at the area of Mývatn. Mývatn is a shallow lake located in the area of active volcanic activity in northern Iceland, not far from the Krafla volcano. Mother Nature’s violent masterpieces are found throughout the lake area: giant craters, bubbling sulfur springs, mud pools and frozen scraps of fresh volcanic eruptions give the feeling of a trip to another planet. The name Mývatn is sometimes used not only as a nickname for the lake but also for the uninhabited environment around it.




Grjotagja hot Spring Cave

Grjotagja is a hatch in the soil that has been filled with warm water. In the past it was a popular bathing site but geothermal activity made the pool too hot (50 degrees) for bathing. You can watch the pool through the cracks in the ceiling and also go down to the water. The site is located between Reykjahlíð and Hverfjall volcano.

How to get there

To get there, take road # 1 towards Agilstadir and after about a kilometer drive from Lake Myvatn take exit 860 towards Grjotagja.

Directions

Viti in Askja

 

Viti

Somewhere in the mountainous area of Iceland, just north of Vatnajökull Glacier, there is a special place where real astronauts once practiced landing on the moon. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, the Apollo 11 team that first landed on the moon. A place in Iceland where ordinary humans can follow giants.




Due to the region’s typical lunar landscape, the area served as a temporary base for NASA’s Apollo space program. When NASA sought a place to train their astronauts, the Askja area was chosen as the ideal location. In a remote spot in the middle of the mountainous region of Iceland, away from any settlement, there is a unique and unparalleled landscape in the world.

Askja is a caldera, which means a huge muzzle of a volcano that collapsed into the core of the magma beneath it. The height of the mountain is 1510 m and its area is 50 km. Askja is located just north of Vatnajökull Glacier and is a testament to Mother Nature’s strength. The eruption that created the original muzzle occurred in 1875, when stones were thrown from the mountain and reached as far as continental Europe more than 1000 km! The volcanic activity lasted thirty years, culminating in another massive collapse of the top of the mountain. The resulting pharynx was filled with water, becoming the deepest lake in Iceland 217 m deep, colored sapphire blue and frozen most of the year. In the younger crater near Askja north of Askjavatn lake is the small Víti muzzle, which contains a thermal lake. The place is considered a popular tourist attraction, although it is only accessible during the summer months and in a 4WD car.




How to get there?

Two main roads come to Askja from the north. Via F88 and F910. Both are mountainous dirt roads that cross several streams, all roads leading to Askja require a 4WD vehicle. Another option to visit Askja volcano is to take a daily hike in a special vehicle / bus with a guide. The road takes around three hours in each direction and it is important to fill the vehicle’s fuel tank before leaving.

Directions

Hveravellir geothermal pool

 

In the central highlands of Iceland, you will find a beautiful geothermal area, called Hveravellir or the Hot Spring Fields. It is one of the pearls of Iceland, a nature reserve 650 meters above sea-level. After driving through the vast, barren highlands it is absolutely refreshing to encounter such an oasis.




Hveravellir is a unique nature reserve situated on the Kjolur route in the middle of the west highlands between the glaciers Langjökull and Hofsjökull. Hveravellir is one of the most beautiful geothermal areas in the world with smoking fumarolees and beautifully shaped with sky blue, boiling water. It is a special experience to have a look around, whether it is in the summer or winter. Hveravellir is located on the Kjolur route (number F35), which runs across the middle highlands from Gullfoss in the south to Blondudal in the north. The length of the route is 200 km. The distance from Gullfoss to Hveravellir is about 90 km but the distance to Blöndudal is about 110 km. Hveravellir lies about halfway between Reykjavik and Akureyri, but there are about 200 km in either direction. We can drive you to Hveravellir almost every day of the year.

Directions

To reach Hveravellir one has to continue on road no 35, Kjalvegur road, and pass Iceland’s most famous waterfall, Gullfoss in the south of Iceland. This road will then take you for some 168 km across Iceland to Blöndudalur in North-Iceland, where you will then merge with ring road 1. It is a shorter route to the north on an unpaved road through some rugged landscape – an alternative to driving on the paved ring road 1. This road is a highland road and it is a very bumpy gravel road so a 4×4 is preferred, but it can be done with a 2WD, but not the smallest of cars, as after rain the potholes are very big. This area can onlybe accessed in the summertime.Halfway through, or ca 90 km away from Gullfoss, you will encounter Hveravellir, which makes driving through this rugged landscape so worthwhile.

The geothermal pool at Hveravellir is unique and breathtaking . Both hot and cold water flows to the pool, which makes it easy to regulate the temperature of the water in the pool. The water flows quickly, which means that the water is clean at all times and the medicinal qualities of the water are scientifically proven. Over 20 people can comfortably bathe in the pool at the same time.

The pool and its entire surroundings are magnificent, offering a beautiful view of the geothermal area, Kjalhraun lava field and Langjökull. There feeling of sitting in this hot pool in the wilderness of Iceland, in between two of Iceland’s glaciers, Langjökull and Hofsjökull glaciers is very serene and relaxing .The hot pool at Hveravellir is located in a warm stream and the temperature varies from 18,6-39,3 degrees C. The water in the intake pipe is much hotter though 80-90 degrees C, so caution is advised .It is therapeutic sitting in this hot pool after a long hike in the area, unfortunately there are no changing facilities in this area.

Close to the hot pool, a beautiful geothermal area with multi-coloured boiling mud pools, huffing and puffing fumaroles and beautiful azure hot springs will take your breath away. There is such beautiful geyserite, which has accumulated around some of the hot springs. It is such a delight walking around this beautiful geothermal area, looking at the various hot springs. The water in the hot springs is very hot, 70-100 degrees C, so be careful, especially if you are visiting with young children. This beautiful geothermal area has been protected since 1960.




Hveravellir is located on the edge of the 8000-year-old Kjalhraun lava field and taking a walk through the lava field is amazing, as the lava takes on all kinds of form and structures. In places, it looks like the earth has just cracked and opened up. And there is steam coming through fissures in the ground. Tourists can also visit Kjalhraun is an enormous lava field (10–12 cubic kilometers) not far from Hveravellir. The lava reaches the geothermal area. It covers a total of 180 square kilometers through which one can find many fascinating walking routes as for example to the circular crater which measures 900 meters in diameter. Kjalhraun was formed in a gigantic eruption around 8000 years ago. There was an old route through this area, which is referred to in the Viking Sagas with the first references being from around year 900. This road is called Kjalvegur road. The geothermal area here has been called the most beautiful geothermal area in Iceland.

Landbrotalaug

 

Iceland is known for its scenic landscapes, volcanic activity and medicinal baths that vary in shapes and sizes. Most tourist who want to travel through the Golden circle often target the big boys such as Fontana and Blue lagoon geothermal hot springs. However, for those that value their privacy and have a streak of adventure in them, there are still many different options to explore, one such location is Landbrotalaug.

Directions

This is a hot pot that is in a random field by a little pond behind an abandoned farm. The spring itself is located at Snaefellsnes which is the peninsula north of Reykjavik. By car, it’s about 2 hours to the center of Snaefellsnes Peninsula. To the hot pot, it will probably take like an hour. Coming from Reykjavik the ride should take approximately 2 hours.The best part about Landbrotalaug Hot Pot is that there is a website that has the GPS coordinates posted (GPS: N64°49.933 W22°19.110). Basically, if you are driving from Reykjavik towards Snaefellsnes, you will pass Eldborg Crater (on your left). There is literally one main road, so you won’t get lost. After you’ve passed the crater, you’ll see an abandoned farm house up on a hill (Skalg). There’s a road/driveway right before Skalg. Turn left onto that road. You’ll follow the road up and around, past the farm and back into the middle of a field. Once you get a few minutes back into the middle of nowhere, you will see a small sign indicating “Heit Laug Hot Spring”. If you’re lucky, you will be the only car there. Go ahead and park and walk on out to the small pond. Please take caution when crossing the pond. The rock walkway is slippery and moss covered, so you could easily slip and cut yourself. Walking around is probably smarter although for the thrill seekers this might not be an interesting way to explore the pond.

There are two “hot pots” at the pond. Both are on the other side of the pond, so you will either have to walk all the way around or across. One of the hot pots is fed by a pipe where warm water shoots down into a very shallow but larger pool. You could probably fit in a bunch of people in there but you wouldn’t be very covered. If you look towards one end of the pond, you will see a few rocks that look like a makeshift walkway across the pond. If you follow the rocks with your eyes, you’ll see a makeshift rock wall. Behind that rock wall is the mother-load hot pot. It’s small and can just fit two people (maybe 3 if you push it). It’s deeper though and you will be in water up to your neck. It’s also the warmer of the two hot pots here.Landbrotalaug is the best free natural hot pool you can visit in winter in southwest Iceland. It consists of two small intimate pools that can fit no more than a couple of people in each one. People usually skinny dip here so the golden rule is that if you see a car parked, respect people’s privacy and wait until they are finished before you take your turn. The heat in the pool is approximate 44°C and it is just heavenly to chill out in the hot waters when you are surrounded by miles and miles of snow and ice.If you visit the pool at night , you can enjoy a cold beer as the warm water soaks up your skin .From here you can watch the Northern Lights and enjoy the beauty of Iceland first-hand.

Quicktips

  • If you’re coming from Reykjavik, after passing the Eldborg crater on road 54, turn into the dirt road with the sign Stóra Hraun and follow the path to the parking lot
  • Google Co-ordinates that we followed to get there – N64 49.923 W22 19.130
  • Bring a bag for your clothes and large towel, make sure there’s something heavy in the bag so it doesn’t fly away
  • 4×4 or normal car: You can still get there with a regular car
  • Opening hours: It is open throughout the day
  • Lifeguard: There is no need for a lifeguard
  • Prices: It’s free of charge.
  • Parking: Parking is free.
  • Visit with children: The site is family oriented it is possible to take children although due to its size it can only fit 2 to 3 people.
  • Changing rooms: There are no changing rooms in the area.
  • Showers and toilets: There are no showers and toilets.

Brimketill lava rock pool

 

There are hidden geological gems all around Iceland, places where volcanic activity and brutal exposure to the elements form the beautiful phenomena that make this country so unique. You can find hexagonal basalt columns; sea-arches and pillars; towering lava formations; and on the south side of the Reykjanes Peninsula, Brimketill.

According to folklore regarding Brimketill it used to be said that the pool was owned by a giantess, who used it to wash her clothes and bathe. In that time, its name was not ‘the whitewater cauldron’, but ‘Oddný’s pool’, or Oddnýjarlaug, after this character.

Carved by the pounding of waves against soft lava rock, Brimketill is a large, natural pool that sits at the bottom of a cliff at the ocean’s edge. In summer, it is a place of beauty and serenity; in winter, it becomes a place of dramatic wonder.

Directions

Reaching the car park for Brimketill is a different kind of challenge compared to other hot pot locations. To get to them, you have to drive down unmaintained roads covered in so much snow it was extreme caution is advised it does not help that the area is not yet well signposted and may not come up on one of the GPS systems; therefore, keep a keen eye to find out where we should be going. About 10 kilometres from Grindavík, however, you will see a wooden post a short way up a little side road that has been highlighted in fading letters, and thus you will have arrived at your destination. The carpark is just a short drive further. A large section of it was fenced off, with diggers and building materials inside, and we saw some sort of trail that was in the early stages of construction, heading over the edge of the rocky cliff.

The waves against the adjacent cliffs are a magnificent site to behold , calming to the nerves , and provides a refreshing sprinkle of sea spray across your faces.The view from the top of the cliff is and spectacular. Though not particularly high nor particularly steep, great waves were rolling in and smashing against the rocks, throwing spray across our faces and filling the air with the incredible sound of the ocean’s power.While approaching Brimketill from the rocky cliff is quite an adventure, I would caution those who are unsteady on their feet, or who fear heights or the ocean, to wait until the path and platform are constructed before visiting themselves. On your return journey, you can chose to take the long route back, travelling around the edge of the Reykjanes peninsula. Travelling this way from Grindavík, Brimketill is just the first of several interesting locations, which are all conveniently positioned around each other.A few kilometres away, you can find a spectacular geothermal area called Gunnuhver. There are many mud pools and vents here, with thick columns of steam rising high into the air; amongst them, you can see the remains of the old path that collapsed when a hot spring opened beneath it.

Further along is the Reykjanes Lighthouse, overlooking the dangerous, rocky coastland on the peninsula edge, and ahead from there is Miðlína, where you can cross a symbolic bridge between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. There are also many volcanoes and craters just off the road.Off this coast on a clear day, you can see the protected island of Eldey, which rises sheerly 77 metres from the surface of the water, and is renowned for hosting one of the world’s largest gannet colonies.

All of these locations are worth a look, especially for anyone on a self-drive tour around Reykjanes. Brimketill is highly recommended locally because of its dramatic location, and the way it changes with the conditions around it. Like most of the other places on the peninsula, it is more accessible during summer; but for those who are sure on their feet and responsible regarding the dangers of the cliff, the whitewater cauldron warrants a visit all the year round.

The folklore relates that the pond was regularly occupied by a giantess named Oddný. The viewing platform overlooking Brimketill is just a few steps away from the parking lot starting with a small set of stairs, making the platform inaccessible to wheelchairs. Standing on the platform you risk the possibility of getting soaked as the waves can almost reach the parking lot. Make sure to watch your step while taking in the amazing view and the unrelenting forces of nature. Utmost caution is recommended, especially when travelling with children. This is because ;

  • There is no safety supervision of the area.
  • Visitors travel at their own risk.
  • The waves can be unpredictable and unexpected.
  • Ocean currents in the area are extremely powerful.
  • Strong blasts of wind can be dangerous and unforeseen.
  • Never leave your child unattended. Hold it at all times on the viewing platform.
  • Entering the sea may be life-threatening.

Geyser

 

Geysir is one of Iceland’s most famous attractions and the source of the natural phenomenon known as the “springs springs”. Geysir was discovered and received its name in the 13th century as its eruptions rose to 80 meters. But today he is very calm, lazily bubbling and barely catching attention, even though since the big earthquake of 2000 he has erupted several times. So what about all the geyser pictures you’ve seen? These are pictures of Strokkur right next to Geysir, which erupts impressively every five minutes, sometimes reaching a height of 40 meters.




Geysir Park

Today the attraction of the park is the geyser Strokkur which means in Icelandic “Mabhutsa”. Strokkur is a few meters from the big geyser and it erupts at regular intervals of about 5 minutes. A fierce jet of boiling water rises to the sky and reaches up to 40 meters high, much to the delight of the spectators around. It is speculated that Geyser was created in the late 13th century when a series of strong earthquakes that accompanied a deadly eruption of the Hekla volcano hit the Haukadalur Valley and caused geothermal activity in the valley. The entire Geyser Valley is a geo-thermal park that sits atop a vast cauldron of boiling water. On all sides water, mud and sulfur bubbling develop in the ground and steam whistles are occasionally heard. The colored mud is the result of the bacteria and primitive plants that thrive under these harsh conditions. Some, like the fertilized bacterium, live at a temperature of 60 ° in the vicinity of hydrogen sulfide, which causes the smell of stinking eggs and gives the soil its gray color.

Laugarfjall Hill

A little to the west is Laugarfjall Hill, a small hill with spectacular panoramic views overlooking the Geyser Park area. King of Denmark Christian IX, visited the area in 1874 and while leaning on one of the rocks in the hill its guests tried to impress it by boiling eggs in the hot springs. Since then, these rocks have been called the “King’s Stones”.

How to get there?

Geyser can be reached as part of the “Golden Circle” route starting from Reykjavik and passing through the Gulffoss Falls and other stops along the way. Admission is free. Visiting the place is highly recommended!

Directions

Seljavallalaug Swimming Pool

 

Seljavallalaug Pool is an outdoor pool in southern Iceland. Built in 1923, the pool is considered to be one of the oldest swimming pools in Iceland. The oldest pool is the ‘Secret Lagoon’ in Flúðir which has been operating since 1891.




History of Seljavallalaug

The rectangular pool is 25 meters long and 10 meters wide, making it the largest pool in Iceland until 1936. Its construction allowed the children of the environment to learn to swim. Although Iceland is a fishermen nation, swimming was not an extensive skill back then. Nowadays, every child learns swimming in school as part of compulsory classes.

Useful information

Admission to the Seljavallalaug pool is free. There are replacement wardrobes but no showers. The place is maintained and cleaned only once a year by volunteers as many people bathe in the pool every day. Bathing should be shared with other travelers and taken into consideration. The water in the pool is not very clean. The water temperature ranges from 30 degrees to 40 degrees.

How to get there

The pool is about an hour and a half drive from Reykjavik. When traveling on the ring road heading east to reach Seljavallalaug turn left onto Route 242 until reaching the car park. The pool is just a mile north until you reach the pool. The southern coastal area is one of the most beautiful in Iceland and only a few kilometers further from the pool you can also visit the impressive Skógafoss waterfall.

Directions