Seeing that Iceland is a volcanic island then you will find several hot pools in Iceland with natural geothermal water. There is one in particular that I like, called Guðrúnarlaug hot tub. It is in an area of West-Iceland which is pure Viking area. Visiting this area makes me feel like stepping back in time.
Here lived Guðrún Ósvífursdóttir, one of the most note-worthy personas in Laxdæla Saga. Guðrún Ósvífursdóttir, Bolli Þorleiksson and Kjartan Ólafsson made up the best-known love-triangle in the Icelandic Sagas.
Gudrunarlaug is named after one of the great heroines of the Icelandic Sagas. She’s the main protagonist of Laxdæla Saga but the pool is also mentioned in Sturlunga Saga. Guðrún grew up at a farm in Laugar, Sælingsdalur, and was married four times. It is written in Laxdæla Saga that Guðrún spent a lot of time in or by the hot-tub. You will find an information sign by the tub on 4 of Guðrún's dreams, which Gestur Oddleifsson had deciphered.
Gestur told Guðrún that she would be married 4 times – which came true A landslide ruined the original pool in 1869 but it was was reconstructed in the fall of 2009. Unlike most natural geothermal pools in Iceland, there’s a changing room just a couple of meters away from the pool. The building is a small medieval-styled hut that has a turf roof. There are no showers in the changing room, in case you were wondering.
The pool’s temperature roughly 100°F. The water is clean but it does have some algae. The algae is supposedly good for your skin so I wouldn’t worry too much about that.
How to get there:
The pool is located in Laugar, Sælingsdalur. Sælingsdalur is in the Dalir region in northwest Iceland. Stop your car in front of the Hótel Edda in Laugar. Then walk up a small hill, just across the hotel.
You will To get to this particular hot-tub turn from ring-road 1 turn onto road 60 for Búðardalurvillage. Drivefor 16 km as if you were going to Holmavik and turn left on side-road 589. Drive for 3 km on a paved road to Hotel Edda. There are not many guided tours to this area, so it is most advisable to rent a car for the drive up from Reykjavík. Also check out the self-drive tours option with a car, accommodation and a detailed itinerary included. Sælingsdalur is located in West-Iceland, some 167 km north of Reykjavík, which is 2.5 hours of driving. Here you can see the location of Guðrúnarlaug on the map.
GPS: 65°14'42.5"N 21°48'09.8"W
Guðrúnarlaug is open to the public and there is no entrance fee. You take off your clothes in a small changing room above the hot-tub and get into the tub. It is warm and lovely.
Are there interesting attractions nearby?
Numerous ones, for the ice cream lovers, I recommend visiting a dairy farm called Erpsstaðir . It is located by Road 60, around 10 minutes south of Búðardalur by car. They serve delicious ice cream, cheese and some skyr-infused chocolates. Eiríksstaðir, the farm of Eirik the Red and birthplace of Leif the Lucky, is also close to Guðrúnarlaug. The farm has been rebuilt in a traditional manner but it’s also possible to take a look around the old ruins.
It’s also worth mentioning that Guðrúnarlaug is conveniently located between Snæfellsnes peninsula and the Westfjords and could be a great stop on the way if you are driving between those two regions. This is advised in order to fully capture the beauty of Iceland’s terrain.A landslide fell on the original hot-tub so Guðrúnarlaug had been closed for 140 years until it was reconstructed and opened in October 2009.
It was just like out of this world, bathing outside in nature in a reconstruction of the hot-tub of Guðrún Ósvífursdóttir. This travel-blog of mine is one of the first travel-blogs I wrote some years back and I hope Guðrúnarlaug isn't overly crowded now.There is a hotel in the Hotel Edda chain almost next to the hot-tub, but the properties were sold in 2018.Just turn away from the hotel and sit in the hot-tub looking in the direction of the replica of the old Viking hut and you will feel like you have stepped back in time 🙂