hveravellir iceland

Hveravellir Hot Springs: 2024 Guide + Hiking Trails

Hveravellir Hot Springs is a nice natural geothermal site in the middle of the highlands, pretty close to the famous Kerlingarfjöll.

Hveravellir is mostly special because there are several natural hot springs, and these things called fumaroles that bubble up from the ground. You can even take a dip in one of these natural hot pools.

There are also numerous trails for hiking, a little cafe, and a campsite. Hveravellir is surrounded by the remote area of the Kjolur Highland road, with great views of two big glaciers, Langjökull and Hofsjökull. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re into very remote lands and a bit of adventure.

How to get to Hveravellir

Unlike many other places in the Icelandic Highlands, Hveravellir is rather easy to reach. You can get to Hveravellir by driving or by a guided tour.

By Car

Road 35, or in Icelandic Kjölur or Kjalvegur, followed by Road 735, will get you to Hveravellir hot springs. These are both gravel roads where you officially don’t even need a 4wd car.

That being said, I do recommend driving a car with higher ground clearance, like Dacia Duster, which is typically also a 4wd car. The roads are bumpy and rough, with no river crossings.

When driving the highland roads in Iceland, always check the road conditions in advance, along with the official Icelandic weather forecast and current safety warnings!

f35 kjalvegur

F35, aka Kjalvegur, near Hveravellir

By Bus

There used to be a bus service from Reykjavik, but it has been recently canceled.

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By Tour

You can take a Hveravellir guided tour from Akureyri. The trip combines a visit to Kerlingarfjöll and Hveravellir to make the most of your day.

When to visit Hveravellir

The easiest and most popular time to visit Hveravellir is during Icelandic summer, i.e. between June and October.

Hveravellir hot springs

Hveravellir hot springs area, source: http://www.icelandofmine.com


Roads to Hveravellir typically become snow-free and mud-free sometimes between the end of May and the end of June. This is when the Icelandic Road Administration marks the road as “Easily Passable” instead of impassable.

Summer is the best time to visit Hveravellir because you can get there easily, hike freely in the area and there’s no danger of storms.

Roads to Hveravellir then become impassable again anytime between mid-September and the end of October once the new snow settles in.


It’s possible to visit Hveravellir also in winter and experience there fabulous Northern Lights, but only by a private jeep tour.

Top Things to Do in Hveravellir

Hveravellir is rather undeveloped without too many things to do. Yet hikers and hot springs enthusiasts will definitely have a fun time in here.

Hveravellir Hot Spring

hveravellir main bathing hot pool

Hveravellir main bathing hot pool

The number one thing to do in Hveravellir is undoubtedly the main Hveravellir hot spring. Bathing in a picturesque hot spring in the middle of nowhere is an unforgettable experience in any weather.

Hiking to Other Hot Springs

hveravellir hiking trails

Hiking around hot springs in Hveravellir

There are also many other hot pots and fumaroles where you can’t bathe, but you may still hike around them.

After seeing many other amazing places in Iceland, we found them a bit underwhelming, though. You can read more about our Hveravellir experience below.

Our tip: if you are short on time, take just a dip in the main hot spring. This was the highlight of our Hveravellir visit

Hveravellir Mountain Cafe

Right next to the parking lot, there’s a cute little cafe inside the Hveravellir Lodge. The lodge serves as a highland accommodation. You can also pitch your tent at the Hveravellir campsite right next to the lodge.

Hiking around Hveravellir

hveravellir hot springs iceland

The easiest hiking trail around Hveravellir hot springs takes about 20 minutes.

There are numerous hiking options in Hveravellir. The easiest but also the least spectacular option is just to wander around the main hot spring area.

The alternatives include longer hikes, where you will see some better views of the area, though not the best in Iceland in our opinion.

Hveravellir Hiking Trails

Hveravellir’s hiking trails offer harsh landscapes and historical points of interest entirely away from crowds or any civilization. The three main routes are the Green Trail, the Red Trail, and the Orange Trail.

Green Trail

hveravellir green hiking trail

Green hiking trail in Hveravellir. Source: www.hveravellir.is

Route: Eyvindarrétt Circle 
Length: 3km (1.8mi) 
Walking time: 30-50min
Elevation: almost none

The Green Trail takes you through a route lined with lava fields, moss heath, and heathland. If you’re lucky, you might even encounter an Arctic fox.

As you traverse this trail, one of the main points of interest is Eyvindarhellir, also known as Eyvindur’s cave. This was where Eyvindur and his wife took refuge with their sheep.

Alongside, you’ll also come across Eyvindarrétt, an impressive volcanic rock structure once used for sheep herding.

Red Trail

strytur hveravellir red hiking trail

Strýtur at the red hiking trail, source: www.hveravellir.is

Route: from Hveravellir to Strýtur and back 
Length: 12km (7.5mi) 
Walking time: 3-5 hours
Elevation: 240m (800ft)

Although a bit longer, the Red Hiking Trail in Hveravellir isn’t demanding, and anyone in fair shape can manage it. The trail offers a blend of grey, black, and brown colors, remnants of lava and volcanic ashes.

As you traverse this path, you’ll see steam escaping from beneath the lava and cross a few tiny streams. A nice stop is Strýtur crater, located amidst the lava field. It erupted roughly 7,000 years ago and is generally flat and vegetated, making it relatively easy to cross. You can even walk around Strýtur and even inside the crater.

On clear days, seeing glaciers, including the impressive Hrútfell, is a beautiful bonus.

Orange Trail

hveravellir orange hiking trail

Hveravellir orange hiking trail, source: www.hveravellir.is

Route: from Hveravellir to Þjófadalir and back 
Length: 21km (13mi) 
Walking time: 5-6 hours
Elevation: 150m (500ft)

The Orange Trail is straightforward and mostly flat, offering a diverse landscape to enjoy.

The literal translation of Þjófadalir would be the Valleys of the Thieves because several places in the area were used as hideouts for outlaws.

You will see lava fields, flowers, berries, and great views on this trek. The most spectacular ones are views over the mountain “Mt. Redhead” (Rauðkollur), the Langjökull glacier, and also of Kerlingarfjöll and Hofsjökull glacier.

Our experience with Hveravellir

Distance from car park: 2 minutes (hot spring)
Time spent at: 1 hour 
Worth visiting even with bad weather: yes
Physical condition needed: little 
Interesting index: 3 – nice  (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

I had been so excited to visit Hveravellir, imagining a crystal blue bubbling hot spring in my mind. I had read about the multiple hot springs in the area and seen some absolutely mesmerizing photos, so I was really looking forward to experiencing it all for ourselves.

hveravellir hot spring iceland

This is a typical picture of Hveravellir hot spring you will find on the internet. Real? Not really. Just post-processed.


However, when we finally arrived, I was a bit underwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong, the Hveravellir area was nice enough, but it just didn’t quite measure up to some of the other stunning landscapes we had seen in Iceland.

When we got to Hveravellir from road (F)35, it was a quick and easy drive to a parking area by a charming little restaurant.

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Our Hot Spring Experience

There was a public hot spring right next to the parking lot that was really nice, although it was pretty crowded since it was so convenient. Despite our visit in the midst of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis!

The hot spring itself was quite spacious, and the water was a lovely temperature, around 38°C from what I could tell.

hveravellir main hot spring

Hveravellir main hot spring, source: www.hveravellir.is

However, the air temperature was surprisingly chilly, even in August, hovering around 7-8°C. So, it’s definitely important to come prepared for those kinds of conditions, especially since you’re up in the highlands of Iceland.

Our Search for Other Hot Springs

We decided to take a chance and visit also the other hot springs in search of those mesmerizing photos I mentioned in the beginning. We had heard that there were multiple hot springs, so we set out to explore and hopefully find some that were less crowded.

We followed one of the hiking trails, which was an easy, flat path through fields with a great view, but no steam or hot springs in sight. We kept walking, hoping to stumble upon them, but after 20 minutes, we still had not found anything. Although we didn’t mind the walk, the scenery was unremarkable and lacked any exciting sights.

hveravellir trail

Hveravellir hiking trail. Pretty dull landscapes compared to other ones in Iceland

We did meet some sheep along the way, but they didn’t seem to know where the hot springs were either. Eventually, we reached a small hill, and I scanned the area, but still no hot springs in sight. We decided to take a different path on our way back, hoping for better luck.

Despite returning by the second trail, we still couldn’t find any hot springs. I was really looking forward to experiencing the stunning hot springs I had seen online, so I was determined to find them. As a last resort, we asked for help at a nearby restaurant.

hveravellir trail sheep

Sheep around Hveravellir trail

The staff member informed us that the only hot spring suitable for bathing was the one by the car park. The others were further away and not meant for bathing. With this information, our enthusiasm waned, and we decided to bathe in the only hot spring we had found.

Our take on Hveravellir

To be clear, Hveravellir, like almost every place in Iceland, is a beautiful place. Our disappointment stemmed from the difference between our huge expectations and what we actually experienced that day. Nice, but not overwhelming, like many other top Icelandic places.


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Posted by Igor

Igor has spent months exploring every inch of Iceland over several years. He specializes in the Highlands, F-roads, hiking, hot springs, and less touristy places. He loves Iceland and keeps coming back.

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