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Abandoned Hot Spring on the South Coast of Iceland

Seljavallalaug, Iceland



0.5 miles

Elevation Gain

100 ft

Route Type



Added by Danny McGee

Soak in a little known, abandoned hot spring, while breathing in cool mountain air.

I actually am very hesitant to share this one because nobody seems to know about it even though thousands of tourists drive right past it every day on the way to the nearby Skogarfoss waterfall. But, I had such an incredible experience it wouldn't feel right keeping it to myself.

Off of a tip from another traveler, my Russian friend that I met a few days earlier and I found ourselves hiking up a remote canyon in search of an abandoned hot spring. We were backpacking, and being in a country like Iceland, being cold and wet was a given; the promise of a hot spring pool was enough to make us take the trip. It all became worth it when this oasis revealed itself behind a bend in the valley floor. Breathing in crisp mountain air, soaking in the thermal waters surrounded by cascading waterfalls on all sides was an incredibly surreal experience . Nestled at the foot of the Eyjafjallajökull Volcano lies this incredible Thermal pool. It lies in one of Icelands most scenic valleys free of charge, if you can find it.

To get to it from Reykjavik, head east on the ring road until you run into Road 242 marked Raufarfell. Head up this road until you reach a small parking lot at the foot of the valley. The hike to the pool takes about 15-20 minutes. There used to be a more defined trail but the 2012 eruption washed most of it away. Just keep heading up the valley and you will find it. The only somewhat difficult part is a small stream crossing but it's easily dealt with a little hop, skip and a jump. I was there in the summer but from what I've heard it is accessible year round.

We saw quite a few families. Right next to the pool is a changing room with plenty of hangars and mats to keep everything off the wet floor. We decided to pitch our tents directly behind the changing rooms so we could wake up to a little hot spring soak. It ended up being one of the most memorable experiences I've ever had.

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Easy Parking
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Hot Springs
Swimming Hole

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