If ever there was a pool that was and still to date a part of Iceland rich culture, it has got to be this one. Located in the northern part of Iceland this geothermal wonder has visitors coming in droves every peak season, and with good reason. They come to have a taste of history, the feeling of greatness envelopes you when you soak yourself in these pools, not to mention the cooling effect that it has on the body.
Grettislaug is a pool at Reykir in Skagafjordur in North Iceland. It is named after the outlaw Grettir of Grettis Saga fame, who was said to have warmed himself in a geothermal pool after his swim of about 7.5 kilometers from Drangey island.For those travellers who love themselves a good story, this is definitely the place for you. Tucked away in one of the most beautiful locations in the world, The hot spring Grettislaug is about 40 km from main road no. 1 (Varmahlíð). There is accessibility for cars but the road is not very good north of Sauðárkrókur, therefore it takes some time to reach the destination. The hot spring is located at the sea level in Glerhallavík at Reykjastr.Its this secluded location is ideal for hikers.Enjoy Iceland’s breathtaking landscape as you navigate the terrain enroute to the pools. This pool however is not the original pool where this great Nordic legend is features centrally on. This is because of the fact that old spring was destroyed and disappeared in a storm in 1934 along with another one, Reykjalaug, that had been used for washing. However fortunately in the year 1992 farmer Jon Eiriksson of Fagranes, known as ‘The earl of Drangey island’-Due to his extensive and impressive knowledge of all the nooks and crannies of the island along with others, reconstructed it. Due to the steady rise of traveler’s due to its ever-growing popularity, in the year 2006 an adjacent pool was added.
The floor of the pools are lined by natural stones, this gives the traveler a deep sense of being in the wild. The average temperature of the pool ranges from about 42-43°C.This temperature is ideal for detoxification of the skin as well as removing those pesky layers of dead skin. A good session at the bath will leave one feeling very relaxed and reinvigorated. After a bath the tourist can walk around, meditate will taking in the beautiful scenery. The picturesque setting is ideal for photographers who will find numerous vantage spots for great shots. The area around the pools is open and beautiful by the ocean, with wonderful nature and the perfect place to watch the sunset. It is fun to walk around the beach and over to Glerhallavík bay, which is a popular hiking trail. There are dressing rooms for the pool but a visitor is advised to be of a more modest attitude, after all you are in the wild. In terms of costs, Gettislaug is very pocket friendly the entrance charges are a minimal 4 dollars a person, this is because the pool is located on what is considered private property. The pool is normally closed during spring time so that is also a factor to consider. Aside from the above amenities listed above there are also offers on good accommodation, camping ground, café and boat trips. The campsite has toilet facilities, electricity, barbecue facilities and playground for the children.
How to get to the pool
Grettislaug is about 40 km from main road no. 1 (Varmahlíð).
- 4×4 or normal car: You can still get there with a regular car, but it’s more and more demanding. The terrain might be challenging to novices but it is navigable.
- Opening hours: from 10am
- Lifeguard: The pool is wild, so there is no lifeguard.
- Prices: It’s 4 dollars
- Parking: Parking at Gettislaug is free.
- Time: We recommend spending here around 2 to 3 hours including the hike and the walk along the shoreline.
- Food: there are basic amenities near the pool, but you are free to bring something to eat and drink with you.
- Visit with children: The site is family oriented , there is a playground for kids to stretch and enjoy themselves .
- Changing rooms: There are changing rooms.but they are not very spacious .During summer changing rooms are unavailable.
- Showers and toilets: There are no showers and toilets.
- Footwear: When you are planning to visit Gettislaug swimming pool, remember to bring good hiking shoes.