If you’re seeking a simple day trip from Reykjavik or road tripping through the south of Iceland, here’s a hot spring-filled hike worth taking. After walking an hour through winding hills and valleys, you’ll be rewarded with a steamy stream to relax in—plus, catch some wild views of this otherworldly island.
Directions from Reykjavik
Hop onto Road 1 heading southeast toward Hveragerði. After about 40 minutes, you’ll come to a roundabout. Take the exit for Breiðamörk north, toward the Reykjadalur valley. This will lead you through Hveragerði’s main street and then down a gravel road—don’t worry, you’re still going the right way!
There’s a car park at the foot of the valley, as well as a café that’s open during peak travel season. Cross the small bridge by foot to reach the beginning of the trail. It’s well marked, and you will most likely see other travelers en route.
It took us about one hour to walk to the hot springs (with plenty of picture taking), and about 40 minutes to get back to the parking lot. It’s safe to give yourself at least 2.5 hours if you plan on swimming.
What to Bring
Since our hike took place in April, everyone wore layers to keep warm. We slipped bathing suits on under our shirts and packed a change of clothes, as well as small microfiber towels. There are no changing rooms—so our long coats doubled as one! Hiking boots are a must, considering the amount of mud in certain areas of the trail. Lastly: Don’t forget your camera, a snack, and a water bottle.
Don’t have a car?
There are several tours that will take you to Reykjadalur, though we found renting a car for our 6-day trip to be less expensive that taking individual tours.
Here's one of the earlier views during the hike. You can see the car park in the distance.
You'll find pockets of bubbling earth along your journey to the hot springs. Look, don't touch.
Here's what the Reykjadalur hike looks like in Spring—a coffee-colored mix of earth and snow.
The word "Reykjadalur" is translated to "steam valley." You can see why it was named that.
Even in April, you need a bathing suit in Iceland.
Hope you enjoy the hike! Have questions? Leave a comment below.