Iceland has a rich early history that is a mixture of Viking violence and cultured literary output.From just the Icelandic sagas, one gets the feeling that Iceland was and still is a hotbed of drama , mystery and romance.
For tourists and locals alike there has been a pool that has been in existence since the beginning of the twelfth century. This pool, though not the original one has a colourful history because of the man who supposedly used to soak himself in this geothermal pool.
The geothermal pool in question is known as Snorralaug, named after, a wily 13th-century politician believed to have authored the Eddas which are literal works containing much of what is presently known about Nordic mythology – and several Icelandic sagas.
The dramatic effect that this pool has once you view it is this better illustrated through the life of Snorri Sturluson. Even though Snorri’s scheming eventually led to his assassination, as history has it, he was cut down in an underground tunnel here at Reykholt, northwest of Reykjavík, you can still bathe in the hot pool he once used if the temperatures allow.
Reykholt is home to a myriad of volcanic formation, from cascading mountains, to hot springs and geysers, but of them all Snoralaug stands out due to the fact that it might actually be the oldest bathing pool in the entire Icelandic country.
The pool has probably been utilized by locals since the 12th century. The quaint little hot spring is first mentioned in the medieval writings of Snorri Sturluson, a poet, and politician whose work has made him a famous artisan even today.
According to his writings, Sturluson used the naturally heated pool to bathe and utilize it apparent healing properties way before the rest of the world caught on.
According to the local legend, it is rumored that Sturluson lived nearby and even had his own private tunnel that led from his home directly to the foot of the hot spring.
Although it has never been established, local and tourist keep exploring the area in an effort to find the long-lost tunnel.
Over the years the pool has undergone tremendous changes due to frequent volcanic activity but there is no doubt that the pool still retains its original beauty.
The pool nowadays pool is surrounded by a circle of flat flagstones, and a quaint stone patio that runs right up to the green burms around the hot spring.
There is also a door set into the squat hill behind the pool that leads to Sturluson’s private tunnel, which can be investigated by curious visitors. Of course, this door does nothing to discourage the spring’s fantastical look.
The temperature of the geothermal hot spring fluctuates rapidly, due to this factor it is highly advised that the bath be admired from far, or with the company of an experienced guide, however this may not be enough hence it is best to not dip yourself in.
For the travellers who are using the Golden circle route, this pool offers a very unique location to watch the Northern Lights in all their magnificence as they dance around the midnight sun.
The temperature of the hot spring is said to fluctuate drastically, often becoming far too hot to bath in. Should this be the case, Reykholt also has a library that is focused on Sturluson’s work, so while it’s not a dip in a hot spring from Middle Earth, if you can read Icelandic it may be just as relaxing of an experience.
- 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
- Prices: It’s free of charge but tips are encouraged
- Parking: Parking at Snorralaug is free.
- Time; 1st of May – 1st of November
- Food: there are no 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 although the pool cannot be bathed in
- Changing rooms:The changing rooms are clean and well maintained.
- Showers and toilets: There are clean showers and toilets.
- Footwear: When you are planning to visit . There is no need for excessive preparations hiking boots are advised however incase one wants to explore the environment.
Lifeguard: There is no need for a lifeguard