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A Guide to Visiting Seljavallalaug: A Natural Hot Spring Amidst the Icelandic Mountains

Embark on a journey to Seljavallalaug, a hidden gem nestled in the Icelandic mountains, as inviting as a warm embrace on a frosty day. This guide will lead you through the enchanting history, serene landscapes, and soothing waters of one of Iceland's oldest geothermal pools, beckoning you to discover its magic.


What Is the History of Seljavallalaug Pool?

So, have you ever wondered about the story behind Seljavallalaug Pool? Picture this: it's 1923, and in the heart of Iceland's rugged landscapes, this charming pool makes its debut. Why, you ask? Well, it wasn't just for kicks! 

Seljavallalaug was one of Iceland's very first swimming pools, built with a mission – to teach the Icelanders how to swim. Pretty cool, right? Over the years, it's seen its fair share of changes, evolving just like a good old Icelandic saga.


From its humble beginnings to becoming a beloved historical spot, Seljavallalaug's story is as captivating as its warm, welcoming waters.

seljavallalaug pool

How to Get to Seljavallalaug Pool?

Seljavallalaug is cozily tucked away near the famous Eyjafjallajökull (yeah, the volcano with the tongue-twister name). From Reykjavík, it's a scenic drive – just head south on Route 1 towards Vik. About 2 hours in, you'll need to make a left onto Route 242, and voilà, you're there! 

Now, here's a tip: renting a car in Iceland is your golden ticket. Why? Freedom, my friend! Imagine cruising through Iceland's epic landscapes, tunes playing, and no bus schedules to tie you down. Sure, public transport's an option, but with your own set of wheels from Cars Iceland, you're the captain of this adventure.

How Long is the Hike to Seljavallalaug?

Once you arrive at the Seljavallalaug swimming pool parking lot, it's a 20-minute hike each way, totaling about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) round trip. The path, while unmarked, is easy to follow, especially with fellow hikers around. 

You'll navigate a flat but rocky terrain along a river bed, so mind your step. If there are fewer people, follow the dry river bed into the mountains. You'll cross a couple of rivers before the pool suddenly appears, a hidden gem at the journey's end. The hike is easy, and the views are simply stunning.

How Much Does It Cost To Go to Seljavallalaug Pool?

Visiting Seljavallalaug is absolutely FREE! That's right, there is no entrance fee to dip into this natural wonder. As for parking, it's also FREE– a rare treat these days. Just bring your sense of adventure (and maybe a snack or two), and you're all set for an unforgettable experience without spending a dime.

seljavallalaug pool price

What Is the Temperature of the Seljavallalaug Pool?

Jumping into Seljavallalaug Pool is like sliding into a lukewarm bath. The water's usually lounging at a comfy 20-35°C (68-86°F) depending on the season. It's not your typical steamy hot spring, but it's perfect for those who like their water warm enough to relax in yet cool enough to stay a while. 

What to Expect When Visiting Seljavallalaug Hot Spring?

Well, here's the nitty-gritty, folks. The Seljavallalaug hot spring pool is a modest creature, measuring around 25m x 10m (82ft x 33ft). Its depth varies, but it's generally waist-deep - perfect for a leisurely soak. 

The pool, set amidst a dramatic backdrop of mountainous wilderness, is a picture of raw, untouched beauty. Now, for the facilities, or should we say, the lack thereof? There are simple changing rooms but no showers or toilets, so come prepared! 

seljavallalaug pool facilities

Finally, the crowd. Seljavallalaug tends to attract a mix of locals and travelers. The vibe? Think tranquil, relaxed, and friendly. 

What Is The Best Time to Visit Seljavallalaug Geothermal Pool?

Alright, now onto the million-dollar question: when should you visit? Well, folks, Seljavallalaug geothermal pool shines in the Icelandic summer months (June-August) when the weather's just peachy. 

However, if you're a fan of fewer crowds and don't mind a little chill, autumn (September-November) also has its charm. As for the time, we say the early bird gets the worm. An early morning dip lets you soak up the tranquility before the day's visitors trickle in. 

What Are The Do's and Don'ts When Visiting Seljavallalaug Hot Pool?

Alright, let's talk about minding our manners when visiting the Seljavallalaug hot pool:

  • Respect Nature: Remember, leave nothing but footprints, and take nothing but memories. Preserve Seljavallalaug's enchanting beauty by leaving no trace. It's our shared responsibility to keep this gem pristine.

  • Safety Tips: Slippery when wet! The pool deck can be a bit slick, so tread lightly. And, always keep an eye on the water level of the nearby river, especially after heavy rain.

  • Cultural Etiquette: When in Seljavallalaug, do as the Icelanders do. Respect the pool's tranquil vibe, and remember – no splashing or rowdiness. 

  • Follow the Rules: Seljavallalaug is unguarded and has just one rule – 'don't litter!' Follow it to keep this lovely spot pleasant for all visitors.

seljavallalaug geothermal pool

What Essential Items Should You Bring to Seljavallalaug Swimming Pool?

If you're heading to Seljavallalaug, make sure you have these essentials:

  • Swimming Essentials: Don't forget your swimwear, towels, and waterproof bags to keep your belongings dry.

  • Comfort and Convenience: Pack some snacks and water for your journey. And bring a camera to capture the awe-inspiring scenery!

  • Weather-Appropriate Gear: Prepare for the hike by wearing weather-appropriate clothing and sturdy footwear. After all, comfort is key when you're exploring Iceland's breathtaking landscapes.

Other Nearby Attractions to Explore After Visiting Seljavallalaug Pool

After your rejuvenating soak at Seljavallalaug, consider exploring these nearby attractions:

  • Natural Sites: The breathtaking Skógafoss Waterfall and the scenic Fimmvörðuháls Hiking Trail are must-visit spots. Another geothermal pool, Reykjadalur Hot Spring, is also a great choice.

  • Cultural Spots: The charming town of Vik offers a glimpse into local life, and the historical landmark of the Myrdal Church is a must-see.

  • Adventure Activities:  Enjoy a thrilling horseback ride to the black sand beach of Reynisfjara. Or, explore an ice cave at Vatnajökull glacier – the options are endless! 

Why Seljavallalaug Should Be On Your Iceland Itinerary

Seljavallalaug is not your average swimming pool – it's a hidden gem amid rugged landscapes that will take your breath away. Whether you're looking for a relaxing soak, stunning views, or an adventurous hike, Seljavallalaug has something for everyone. Make sure to add it to your Iceland itinerary and experience this unique natural wonder for yourself.



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