Nearby Reykjavik, just about 50 minutes by car, a steamy little gem is hidden in the middle of nature: the Reykjadalur hot spring thermal river awaits for you to dip in! In this article we will tell you how to reach the place and some useful information you might need. It will only take you a short hike with stunning landscapes around you to discover this natural hot river where you will have all the time in the world to enjoy and relax while dipping in it.
First of all, this place is easily accessible with the car since you will not drive on gravel roads but only on paved roads. When arriving, you will find a parking lot right in front of the beginning of the trail and a café in case you want to use the bathrooms or have something to eat or drink before hiking or on your way back. Once there, you can start the hike at your own pace.
According to your physical conditions, the hike to reach the hot river spot will take between 30 up to 60 minutes. The hike is about 3km long, more or less. However, we have to tell you, the first part of the trail is the “hardest” as it is a little steep but after that, the hike is pretty easy and rather flat. As a consequence, the way back is a little faster to hike.
On your path, you will be amazed by the surrealist landscapes surrounding you. There are some waterfalls you will see, steam coming out of the ground and lambs roaming around. It also happens to see horses from time to time in the area.
We highly recommend you to stay on the main path when hiking there. Some people explore a little to see the natural hot springs you will meet across your hike however, since everything is boiling over there, the ground/soil is not always very stable and you may fall and burn yourself or so: be extra careful.
Arriving at the Reykjadalur valley, you will know once you are there since you will see wooden structures and paths for you to use to change and safely walk along the river, again the soil is not super stable.
The lower you go in the river, the cooler the river is, consequently, the higher, the warmer. Be aware, the river is rather hot, between 36-40°C, so just choose what is making you feel more comfortable to spend a couple of hours there. In case, a bit higher in the river, there is a spot where a cold river meets the warm river and the temperature is very nice overthere for ones that handle pretty bad being hot, because you will get very hot, we assure you this!
As the river is rather long, do not worry, finding a spot there is pretty feasible and easy. And in case you prefer to stay away from the crowd, if there is, you can even dip in places which do not have the wooden structure around it. Just always watch out for the right temperature that would suit you.
Last time we went there was in June 2021, on a sunny day, and it was extremely pleasant even though it was very hot and hard to handle at the beginning. With the warm weather outside and in the river, the temperature goes up and you get really hot easily. But when the sun started to go down, it was very enjoyable.
In winter time, the hike might be a little bit rougher according to the weather conditions and it can happen that, if there is snow melting away, it refreshes the river a little bit, but still stays warm enough for you to enjoy.
In any case, the site is accessible all year and we highly recommend you to pass by it if you have time and you are close by!