Hveragerði is a beautiful and picturesque town 45 km east of Reykjavik and 10 km west of Selfus on Ring Road. The town’s population numbers 2300 people. Quargardi is known as the greenhouse town, and nowhere in Iceland can such a concentration of greenhouses be found, and much about the geothermal activity there. The greenhouses are powered by hot water flowing from a geothermal spring and many vegetables and flowers are grown on the spot and marketed throughout the state.
In the heart of the town you can find the Reykjafoss waterfall, which flows from the Varmá river to the settlement in two. The Reikapos waterfall is not high, but it is another quandary in one of the most beautiful villages in Iceland.
By far, the most prominent feature of the city and the main reason for visiting the place is the much geothermal activity. When hiking in the town you can see smoke (which is actually steam) coming out of the homes of the residents. Wonder what it feels like to live with a little geyser under the house? Seemologically unstable Quargaridian area and weak earthquakes often occur. In 2008, after a massive earthquake felt in all of southern Iceland, a new hot-water spring was erupted next to Quargardei, with bubbling mud swells giving a first idea of what is really going on underground.
The local geyser
Visitors to Quargardi are recommended to cross it and reach the golf course located on the outskirts of the town, where the local geyser, Grýla, is located in the Ölfusdalur valley. Try to find the steam rising from the ground. Caution! Don’t get too close to the pits.
The excellent geothermal swimming pool at Quargardi is open all year round.
A trip to the warm river in Rikadalur Valley
At the end of the town of Quargardi, one of the most magical hiking trails in southern Iceland begins. A 3-mile walking path in each direction leads to the valley of the Reykjadalur Hot Springs means ‘smoking valley’. This beautiful valley ends in a river where hot water flows at an ideal temperature for bathing. There are wardrobes for changing clothes.