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Reykjadalur Hot Springs: A Dip into Iceland’s Steam Valley

Reykjadalur Hot Springs is a geothermal river in the Reykjadalur valley near Hveragerði. It offers visitors an opportunity to relax and enjoy the natural hot springs of nature. The river is heated by naturally occurring geothermal activity beneath the surface. It creates crystal-clear water perfect for unwinding and relaxing.

With its spectacular location, Reykjadalur Hot Springs is a great place to go for a day trip or stay overnight. The area also offers plenty of activities and attractions, making it an ideal destination for a unique and unforgettable experience.

This article will provide all the information you need to plan your trip and make the most of your hot river Iceland experience. So read on if you want to know when to go, how to get there, what to pack, and other essential tips!

Reykjadalur hot springs

The Reykjadalur Hot Spring, Thermal River in Iceland

The Hveragerði hot springs comprise naturally occurring geothermal activity. It heats the crystalline waters to a comfortable 36°C-40°C (96°F-1047°F).

The steamy river is perfect for a relaxing dip, and visitors can even experience the therapeutic effects of its healing hot springs. The river is heated by natural geothermal activity beneath the surface. This heat creates crystal-clear water perfect for a hot spring experience.

The water temperature can vary from area to area, with some areas being warmer than others. Iceland's famous Blue Lagoon is also located nearby. However, it's much more commercialized, with entry fees and plenty of crowds.

Directions to Reykjadalur Hot Springs

When heading to Reykjadalur steam valley, look for the signs next to the path. They display thermometers that tell you about the water temperature in different parts of this glorious river!

Some areas are too dangerous and hot to swim in, so always check the temperature before entering the river. Walking alongside the Reykjadalur geothermal river, you'll walk past bubbling mud pools, steaming vents, and a spectacular waterfall.

When you arrive at the wooden platforms with crisscrossed wooden planks, it's time to jump in and experience the therapeutic properties of the hot springs.

Reykjadalur bathing area

Where is it Located and How to Get There

Reykjadalur Hot Springs is located in the Reykjadalur valley near Hveragerði, Iceland. It's easy to find, located just off the main highway. It can be reached by car in about 45 minutes from Reykjavik or an hour and a half from Keflavik International Airport.

From the town center, you can rent a taxi to Reykjadalur valley. The taxi ride will take about 8 minutes and will drop you off at the start of your journey. From here, hiking is the only way to get to the best hot spring river in Iceland! It's a relatively easy hike, taking about 45 minutes each way.

The trailhead is located at the back of Hveragerði. The route takes you through a picturesque landscape with smokey hills, winding rivers, and lush forests that sometimes resemble a smoke-covered valley.

Transportation Options

Getting to Reykjadalur Hot Springs is relatively easy. It can be reached by car or by bus from Reykjavik. Buses run regularly from Reykjavík to Hveragerði and back if you don't have a car.

From Hveragerði town center, it takes you about 1 hour to walk to Reykjadalur valley. Here is some information on the transportation options:

  • By Car: For the ultimate experience of Reykjadalur Hot Springs, you should consider driving there! The drive from Reykjavik will take 45 minutes, and an hour from Keflavik International Airport.

  • By Bus: To get there by bus, take the 51 bus from Mjödd Bus Stop in Álfabakki, Reykjavík, up to Hveragerði. Then you'll have a pleasant 4-kilometer (2.4-mile) walk for about 45 minutes until you reach your final destination - Reykjadalur Car Park.

Don't forget, you still have an hour to walk from the car park to the hot springs, which is a relatively easy hike for most people.

Reykjadalur river directions

Parking at Reykjadalur Thermal River

Parking at the Reykjadalur thermal river is free but limited, so it can fill quickly. However, don't let that stop you from exploring this great area! If the parking lot is full, you can safely park your car next to the road and take a pleasant walk to the hot springs.

Remember that this is a trendy spot during the summer months, so plan and aim to arrive early so that you can experience all that Reykjadalur has to offer.

When Does it Open/Close

The Reykjadalur Hot Springs is open year-round, except for a few days during the winter when heavy snowfall makes it inaccessible. If you're visiting during the winter, check beforehand to ensure it is open and accessible.

Best Time to Visit the Hot Spring River in Iceland

Summer is the best time to visit Iceland, no doubts about it, and the Reykjadalur Hot Springs are no exception. In the summer, the trails are well-kept, the weather is mild and sunny, and the days are longer.

During the winter months, you can enjoy the area in solitude (the hot springs are nearly deserted during the winter). However, the trails can be slippery due to ice and snow, and you should come prepared with the proper equipment.

Midday is the busiest time to arrive, so it's better to choose the morning or evening if you want a more peaceful experience. We recommend going after 4 pm, when the crowds start to thin out.

reykjadalur in winter

Here is a breakdown of the best times to visit depending on the season:

  • Spring (March to June): The days are longer, and the weather is milder. Plus, most tourists haven't arrived yet, making it the best time to enjoy the hot springs in peace.

  • Summer (June to September): The days are the longest, and the weather is generally pleasant. However, this is also the peak season for tourism, so the hot springs can be pretty crowded. September in Iceland is the best time to visit if you want slightly fewer crowds!

  • Fall (August to October): This is an excellent time for hiking and exploring the area, as the weather is still mild and pleasant. The days are getting shorter, so plan your visit earlier for maximum daylight. If you plan to visit Iceland in August, note that this is the year's wettest month.

  • Winter (December to March): The hot spring at Reykjadalur in winter is a magical place. The atmosphere is peaceful and serene, and the snow-capped mountains in the background are stunning.

How Long to Stay

From the moment you hike up to the thermal springs, you are captivated by the natural beauty. Once you reach the hot springs, spending hours relaxing in their calming waters is easy.

The length of your visit will depend on how much time you have available and what activities you'd like to do there. However, most visitors spend an average of 3 hours at Reykjadalur before continuing their next adventure.

This is just enough time to enjoy a leisurely hike, relax in the hot springs, and take photos of the stunning scenery.

Tips to Reykjadalur hot springs

What Should You Pack for Your Trip

When visiting the hot spring river in Iceland, it's essential to come prepared. Here are a few items you should add to your packing list:

  • Hiking shoes/boots: Good hiking boots are necessary for navigating the trails and crossing rivers and streams.

  • Sunscreen and sunglasses: The sun can be pretty intense in the summer, so bring sunscreen and sunglasses for protection from UV rays.

  • Towels and swimsuits: The thermal spring is clothing-optional, so it's best to bring a towel and swimsuit for comfort.

  • Water: Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the hike.

  • Snacks: Pack some snacks to keep you energized throughout your journey.

  • Bug spray: As the area is quite marshy, there can be bothersome flies during summer. Bug spray can help keep them away.

  • Trash bags: Trash bags are handy for throwing in your muddy, wet clothes and any other garbage you may generate.

If you want more information about what to wear during your trip, check our Ultimate Iceland Packing List. It covers all the items you may need to bring for your trip to Iceland and more.

The Reykjadalur Hike - Length, Difficulty Level, Essential Tips

Taking the famous Reykjadalur Hike near Reykjavik is a fantastic experience not to miss when it's time to explore Iceland. The unique feature of this hike is the river, a mix of hot and cold water flows that visitors can create their ideal temperature for immersion.

Whether you seek an extreme spa experience with temperatures around 40°C (104°F) or a cooler dip at 10°C (50°F), there is a perfect thermal water source for everyone in the area.

You can also read our article about Iceland Spas if you want more spa-related happenings in Iceland.

Reykjadalur hike

Length of the Hike

The Reykjadalur hike itself is around 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) long and will take 45-60 minutes one way, with plenty of time to stop for photographs. Along the journey, you'll encounter several hot springs and mud pools as you get higher.

Be aware that the trail can become steep in parts, so watch your footing and be prepared for some horse manure along the way. Once at the end, you'll enjoy the stunning views of a beautiful canyon with a waterfall called Djúpagilsfoss. As you head past the waterfall, you'll see the Reykjadalur valley opening up in front with steaming hot springs and soft green hills.

At some point, the steam covers the trail, making it difficult to find the way, but stick to the left side of the valley and follow it to the hot springs. When you reach the valley, you will be rewarded with boiling mud and warm and cool water pools.

Difficulty Level of The Hike

The hiking difficulty of the Reykjadalur trail is labeled as easy, and it's suitable for all ages, including children. The terrain is easy, and the trail is relatively well-marked and maintained.

Some parts of the hiking trail can be steep and slippery, so wear proper hiking shoes/boots with good grip. Also, bring plenty of water and snacks for energy, as the hot springs can be quite strenuous on the body.

Also, check out our Ultimate Guide to Hiking in Iceland, as it has all the information you'll need to find your way through Iceland's incredible outdoors.

Reykjadalur hiking trail

Essential Tips for Enjoying The Hike

If you're planning a trip to Reykjadalur, here are some essential tips to ensure you have the best experience possible:

  • Little privacy for changing clothes: There are wooden walls built on the pathway for changing into swimwear, but they offer little privacy from the other people passing by. Luckily, people in Iceland are used to it and very respectful, so don't worry too much about it when you are getting dressed.

  • Always follow the signs: There are signs along the path to indicate where hot springs are located and where it is safe to swim. Pay attention to these, as they can be crucial for avoiding possible injury or danger due to the high temperature of some of the pools.

  • Walk slowly and mind your steps: The terrain can be tricky sometimes, so take it slow and watch your step. If you are feeling too tired, take a break and enjoy the view of the valley.

  • Enjoy the hot springs: Once you reach Reykjadalur, it's time to relax and enjoy the hot springs. Find your ideal temperature and enjoy nature's magic in the Reykjadalur valley.

Accommodation Options Near the Reykjadalur Hot Springs

Many accommodation options exist for staying in the area and enjoying the hot springs. The central hub is Hveragerði, which provides various lodging options for all budgets. From there, you can arrange tours to the hot springs and other attractions nearby.

If you're visiting Iceland on a budget, coming in the winter is a great option. Accommodation prices are lower, and the daylight hours are longer during winter.

To make your life easier, we have included some of the best options below:

Reykjadalur lodging options

Reykjadalur Guesthouse

Reykjadalur Guesthouse is the perfect place for travelers seeking a peaceful getaway near the Reykjadalur hot springs. Located in Hveragerði, the guesthouse offers stunning views of the valley. It provides comfortable rooms with all the necessary amenities, such as flat-screen TVs and private bathrooms.

Guests can enjoy a breakfast bag delivered to their door for an extra fee and explore the area's many attractions. Hiking trails and hot springs being the main ones.

Reykjavík is only a short drive away, and the Reykjavík Domestic Airport is 48 km from the guesthouse.

INNI Boutique Apartments

Located in the heart of the South Iceland region, near Hveragerði, INNI - Boutique apartments are an excellent choice for travelers looking for a comfortable stay.

With easy access to the Reykjadalur hot springs, this is an ideal spot for a relaxing vacation. The accommodation offers a variety of rooms, ranging from single to family-sized suites. All rooms come with free Wi-Fi, private parking, and access to a sauna.

Each room has a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, and kitchen facilities, including a refrigerator, dishwasher, and stovetop. Guests are also welcome to enjoy the shared hot tub in the courtyard area.

Cora's House and Horses

Cora's House and Horses is an excellent option for those looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience. Set in the rural heart of South Iceland, this farm stay offers a unique opportunity to explore local life and its customs.

Guests can rent horses and go for a ride in the valley, or simply relax on the terrace and admire the views of Reykjadalur. The accommodation has a kitchen, TV, and a shared bathroom. Private parking and free Wi-Fi are available.

Situated 47 kilometers (29 miles) from The Pearl and 48 kilometers (30 miles) from Reykjavík Domestic Airport, Cora's House & Horses welcomes all its visitors. You can feel at ease knowing that the hosts of this lovely abode - who speak English, German, and Icelandic - will take the utmost care of you during your stay.

Make The Most of Your Trip

The Reykjadalur Hot Springs is an incredible destination in Iceland. This fantastic thermal river in Iceland is situated just a short distance from Reykjavik. It offers a chance to immerse yourself in nature's beauty during enjoyable hikes.

With clearly marked trails and easy-to-follow directions, it's accessible to everyone with varying fitness levels. Whether you're looking for an unforgettable adventure or to relax and soak up the gorgeous views, the Reykjadalur Hot Springs is worth checking out!



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