Hoffell hot tubs


Hoffell hot tubs are located about 19 kilometers from Hofn in Hornafjordur and about 3 kilometers from Road number 1. Hoffell is known from its picturesque setting that is a common factor in all of Iceland’s terrain.The spectacular backdrop of steep cascading mountains to crystal clear glaciers applied to geothermal heat combines to bring about a serene environment. Vast and grassy low-lands; high mountains, many encircled by cliffs; roaring outlet glaciers; the glittering silvery glacier dome of Vatnajökull; dark, muddy and cold glacier rivers; and seething hot geothermal springs, not forgetting the black sand coast moulded by ocean waves for a tourist it who is new to the area it is advisable to use a guided tour.


During the so-called Little Ice Age, Hoffellsjökull formed as an outlet for ice flowing from the main body of Vatnajökull. The new tongue of ice advanced over the vegetated plain, blocking the lower mouths of gorges in the Hoffellsfjöll and Núpar mountains. Since drainage from these gorges was dammed behind the ice, the lagoons Gjávatn and Múlavatn appeared. These soon began to drain through annual jökulhlaups, which is the internationally used Icelandic word for glacial floods. In more recent times, Hoffellsjökull began to retreat, removing the ice dams in front of the gorges, so that both lagoons had disappeared by 1985. However, you can still see clear signs of earlier lagoon surface levels where Gjávatn used to be, with water up to 60 m deep.Hoffellsjökull outlet glacier was the scene of extensive glaciological studies in the early part of the 20th century.Studies carried out by a group or researchers demonstrated that Vatnajökull receives much more precipitation than most glaciers elsewhere in the world, and also produces more melt water. This means that the water cycle on the south side of Vatnajökull is extremely rapid, greater than almost anywhere else in the world. Indeed, the central part of Hoffellsjökull was shown by other measurements to achieve a sliding speed of about two metres per day, though this speed has decreased considerably since those years.

Hoffellsjökull outlet glacier cuts through a central volcano which is named after Geitafell mountain and was active 5-6 million years ago. Mostly consisting of tholeite basalt but also to some extent of hyaloclastite and rhyolite deposits, the total thickness of the strata from this volcano is estimated as 2,700 m. There are indications of a high peak that may have been covered by glacier even before the Ice Age. Although ice has eroded this volcano, signs of a huge caldera appear on the slopes of both Hoffellsfjöll, east of this valley, and Viðborðsfjall to the west.

The mountainous area east of Hoffellsjökull is the habitat of several rare plan, Hoffell is not just about the beautiful and special nature, they also offer accommodation services in charming old renovated houses. Tourists can check in the Guesthouse Hoffell which is only some 3 km from Hoffellsjökull glacier, which is among Vatnajökull’s largest outlet glaciers to the south Rooms with private bathroom in a renovated barn and cowshed, single, double and triple rooms. A show room and a canteen with glacier and mountain views. Also single and double rooms with shared bathrooms in a house called Miðfell Around the glacier edge and circling the glacier are some spectacular hiking trails, long or short, easy or difficult. Nature in these parts is characterised by stark opposites.

Guests (that are staying in the accommodation) can use it free of charge.

The hot tubs are also open for public and the price is 1000 ISK pr. person.

Amenities include:

  • Shared bathroom (Cat.I)
  • Private bathroom (Cat.III)
  • Family rooms 3+
  • Working farm
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Internet access
  • Hot tub
  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Facilities for disabled
  • Laundry facilities
  • Credit cards accepted

Quick tips

  • 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: It is open throughout the day
  • Lifeguard: There is no need for a lifeguard
  • Prices: It’s free of charge.
  • Parking: Parking at Kvika geothermal footbath is free.
  • Time; The most advisable time and season to visit the Kvika footbath is around sunset and of course when Northern Light activity is high. It’s, in my opinion, the best spot in Reykjavik to catch a glimpse of the mystical Northern lights!
  • 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 it is possible to take children
  • Changing rooms: There are no changing rooms in the area.
  • Showers and toilets: There are no showers and toilets.
  • Footwear: When you are planning to visit . There is no need for excessive preparations, it is a walking distance from the town .
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