Reykjadalur - Smokey Valley

Not far from Reykjavik there is a little town called Hverageriði - the starting point of the hike into Reykjadalur (meaning smokey valley in Icelandic). A place full of geothermal activity, hot springs, bubbling mud pools and even a hot river!

Smokey valley
The staring point for the hike is about 4km out of Hveragerdi city center - if you drive straight throught the city, you can't miss the parking space. This is where we left our car and started walking. The distance to the hot river is about 4km and the ascend 150m - nothing too much or too difficult. We managed to do it in an hour. This winter was also one of the warmest and wettest in Iceland, which resulted in very muddy paths. Dadi, our Icelandic friend, who hiked with us, said: "I didn't know that we have so much mud in Iceland." :)
The walk was very interesting - steam comming out of the ground almost everywhere and sulfur smell being present all the time; we also found a couple of bubbling mud pools, many springs of hot and smelly water, fumaroles ... Isn't it amazing how active our Earth is? And in the distance we could see waterfalls. Beautiful!

Hot water ahead!
Bubbling mud pool
A waterfall in the distance
The further we walked the more steam we noticed and the less we were able to see :) It could mean only one thing: we are close to the hot river! Actually, to be precise: there is one VERY hot river and one cold river. A few meters beneath their confluence the water is warm enough to swim in it - not too hot and not too cold, just right, about 40-50°C. It felt really special to take our clothes off at the outside temperature around 0°C and then go into hot water. Amazing feeling! :)

Just to add a few information here: 

  • You can't actually swim there, the water is too shallow. The water lever was also to low for sitting in the river when we visited it. So all we could do was to lay in the warm water and enjoy. Not bad :)
  • A few years ago sort of changing "room" was made near the hot river, but it's nothing more than 4 walls, still on the open air. It only serves for hanging your clothes and backpacks but it doesn't provide any shelter from the winds and cold. So, you have to dress pretty fast in order not to freeze there :) 
  • No showers can be found near this natural pool, so don't spend your time looking for it.
  • There are also no trash bins, so please, take your stuff with you back to the city.
Rok in hot river
Open air changing room
Wooden path around the hot pools



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