Reykjafjardarlaug

Best Icelandic Hot springs

Best Icelandic Hot springs

The ultimate guide to most beautiful Icelandic hot springs. How to find them, what kind of car do you need, our experience and many tips!

Want to know about ALL hot springs? We wrote a unique List of All Hot Springs that contains 50+ Icelandic hot pots!

9. REYKJAFJARDARLAUG

Reykjafjarðarlaug hot pool

Reykjafjarðarlaug hot pool

Summary

Distance from car park: 2 minutes
Time spent at: 30-45 minutes
Worth visiting even with bad weather: yes
Physical condition needed: little
Interesting index: 2 – great (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

Reykjafjardarlaug is a nice hot spring in the middle of nowhere, right next to the Road 63 in Westfjords.

How to get to Reykjafjardarlaug

In summer, Reykjafjardarlaug is accessible by any 2wd car. Although the road 63 leading there is zig-zag and secluded, it should be alright to reach with a bit of careful driving. Read about how we chose our car. Or just get free discounts for your Icelandic car rental.

Our experience with Reykjafjardarlaug

We made just a quick stop at the hot spring because we had already visited several of them at that time and headed elsewhere on that day. Reykjafjardarlaug is nevertheless nice and pleasant, just maybe not that exceptional compared to some other ones in Iceland. As someone had put it: “3 out of 5 Icelandic stars, i.e. 5 out of 5 anywhere else in the world”. 

Tips about Reykjafjardarlaug

There are actually 2 places for bathing in here. First one is the man-made artificial pool with regulated water temperature. The second one is the actual source of the hot water itself – a wild hot spring with varying temperature (usually much hotter). This secret Reykjafjardarlaug hot spring lies nearby.

Bathing is free of charge, we didn’t notice any donation box, but there may be one.

8. HVERAVELLIR

Hveravellir hot spring

The only Hveravellir hot spring for bathing. Image: courtesy of hiticeland.com

Summary

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)

Hveravellir is a hot spring area in the middle of F35 road with one nice free hot spring available for bathing. 

How to get to Hveravellir

You need a 4wd car to access the Hveravellir area. The road F35 (Kjalvegur) is not hard to drive on, though. You may rent basically any 4wd car to drive it. Read about how we chose our car. Or just get free discounts for your Icelandic car rental.

Once you leave F35 towards Hveravellir, it’s just a short, easy drive and you will soon find a parking lot in front of a small restaurant.

Our experience with Hveravellir

Almost next to the parking lot lies a nice, public, free hot spring.

Since it is so close to the car park, there’s a high chance someone will be inside most of the time. Nevertheless, the hot spring is big enough and water is pleasantly hot, with some 38°C (according to my professional assessment). On the other hand, air temperature felt really cold, something like 7-8°C even in the middle of August. So again – be prepared for that – you are in the middle of Iceland, in highlands.

I guess my expectations for Hveravellir were too big (read further to find out why). When planning our trip, I had read that there are “several hot springs in the Hveravellir area”. Moreover, seeing pictures like this had instantly made me a Hveravellir enthusiast. Well, the reality was a bit different.

Tips about Hveravellir

There were supposed to be “several hot springs” so let’s go find the other ones, we told ourselves. Hopefully with no people inside

hveravellir trail sheep

Sheep around Hveravellir trail

We were hiking for 1 hour around the entire area, but we haven’t found any hot springs, other than the main one near the parking lot. We don’t have anything against walking, but the entire area was pretty uneventful, with nothing interesting to observe. We said hello to several sheep along the way, but even those didn’t know where the other hot springs were.

We finally also asked the local at the restaurant who just confirmed our realization by saying: “you can bath only in this hot spring, next to the car park. There may be also some other hot springs further away, but you shouldn’t bath there”.

7. LYSUHOLSLAUG

lysuholslaug hot spring

Lýsuhólslaug hot spring

Summary

Distance from car park: 0 minutes 
Time spent at: 0,5 to 2 hours
Worth visiting even with bad weather: yes
Physical condition needed: little
Interesting index: 2 – great (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

Lysuholslaug is a nice, man-made and man-maintained hot spring, hidden in the southern part of Snaefellsnes peninsula. 

How to get to Lysuholslaug

Lysuholslaug is easily accessible by any 2wd car. Read about how we chose our car. Or just get free discounts for your Icelandic car rental.

Don’t get fooled by Google that you have to walk to Lysuholslaug. You don’t have to. There’s a road leading right next to the hot spring area. It’s just not marked on the Google Maps (see below).

Lysuholslaug hot spring map

Lýsuhólslaug hot spring as indicated on Google Maps. The road to it does exist, though.

Our experience with Lysuholslaug

Bathing in Lysuholslaug is definitely a very pleasant activity when the weather sucks. We really enjoyed it, despite the place not being anywhere near as picturesque as Hrunalaug or some other “wilder” hot springs. So, it depends on your preference, weather (and who knows what else), whether it’s worth making a detour for you. For us it definitely was.

Other than us, there was just one other couple using the pools at the time of our visit. We guess the main reason was, once again, Covid pandemic, rather than the place being unpopular.

Tips about Lysuholslaug

There are 2 small hot tubes and 1 bigger pool. All of them are the so-called “sea-weed baths”. That means, they look to be dirty, because of the sea-weeds everywhere. The ground and walls of the pool are also slippery, because of sea-weeds.

The big pool has water with the temperature of around 32°C (according to my professional assessment, i.e. read “just guessing”). Water in the small hot tubes is much hotter, around 36-38°C in the first of them and around 39-41°C in the hottest one. It’s definitely not recommended to stay in the hottest one for too long.

The hot spring is a paid one – 1000ISK/person, i.e. some 6-7eur.

6. LANDMANNALAUGAR

Landmannalaugar hot spring

Landmannalaugar hot spring. Picture taken from https://www.foodiebaker.com/day-4-iceland-travelogue/

Summary

Distance from car park: 5-7 minutes from both car parks (in camp and before camp) 
Time spent at: 20-40 minutes
Worth visiting even with bad weather: yes
Physical condition needed: little to medium
Interesting index: 1 – amazing (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

Landmannalaugar hot spring (sometimes also called Brennisteinsalda hot spring) is the only hot spring suitable for bathing in the main Landmannalaugar area.

How to get to Landmannalaugar hot spring

You need a proper 4wd car to reach Landmannalaugar and Brennisteinsalda hot spring. However, there’s a huge difference whether you come from the northern side of F208 or southern side.

Read more about these different routes in our F-road guide. Read also about how we chose our car, as this is essential for your Icelandic trip. Or just get free discounts for your Icelandic car rental.

Landmannalaugar Brennisteinsalda campsite

Landmannalaugar Brennisteinsalda campsite on the summer evening

Our experience with Landmannalaugar hot spring

Landmannalaugar hot spring is the only real natural hot spring (without any human interference) we’ve seen in Iceland so it’s definitely worth trying. It’s basically a stream of some really hot water (>50°C) flowing into the small river and you may bath in this river.

The river actually isn’t so hot, maybe around some 26-30°C which doesn’t feel so fantastic when it’s like 5-10°C outside. But the more you approach the actual hot stream, the warmer it gets. The warmest place is, of course, just near the place where the stream flows into the water. This is the place you want to aim for (but so will all your fellow co-campers). You will probably have to wait some time in a queue to get to that source. There’s also another smaller stream a few meters to the right, so these 2 streams flowing into the river are the hottest spots.

Tips about Landmannalaugar hot spring

The hot spring is free to use. There’s no place to change your clothes, just a wooden structure to put leave your clothes on, which also serves as an entrance to the hot river.

The river is also really shallow, only some 40-70cm deep, so you basically have to lie in it to be covered by water. Nevertheless, it’s definitely worth the experience and it’s a really cool thing to try as Brennisteinsalda hotpot is one of the very few “wild” hot springs not artificially modified by locals.

5. HORGSHLIDARLAUG

Horgshlidarlaug hot spring

Hörgshliðarlaug hot spring in the heart of fjord

Summary

Distance from car park: 2 minutes 
Time spent at: 10-30 minutes
Worth visiting even with bad weather: yes
Physical condition needed: little
Interesting index: 2 – great (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

Hörgshliðarlaug is a nice remote hot spring hidden in one of the fjords in the northern part of Westfjords.

How to get to Horgshlidarlaug

In summer, Hörgshliðarlaug is accessible by any 2wd car. Read about how we chose our car. Or just get free discounts for your Icelandic car rental.

Not only tough to pronounce, but also tough to find, that’s Horgshlidarlaug. At the time of our visit, the road 633 was closed, so we had to use northern part of the road 61 and make a detour south (left) right before crossing the Mjóifjörður fjord.

Once we arrived at the point indicated on Google Maps, there were just a few rural settlements with old houses next to them and we didn’t see any hot pot. At one of the settlements, we spotted an old bath-tub, with the big sign “PRIVATE PROPERTY”. Hmm, maybe this is Hörgshliðarlaug? I stepped out of the car and headed towards the bath-tub. On a halfway there a local guy stopped me with a huge smile on his face. I asked whether this is Horgshlidarlaug and he just casually replied that this is his house and the hot spring is another 2 kilometres down the road. I guess we were not the first, nor the last tourists sneaking around his courtyard.

horghslidarlaug map

The actual hot spring Hörgshliðarlaug is 2 kilometres south from the spot indicated by Google Maps

Nevertheless, the guy was right (of course). So, in case it will not be corrected yet on Google Maps (and you couldn’t see any hot spring), just continue 2 kilometres south down the road. You will definitely see it on your right (when coming from the north) or on the left (when coming from the south). There’s no real car park, you have to stop next to the road (but there’s a wider part of the road near hot spring).

Our experience with Horgshlidarlaug

Horgshlidarlaug is a dirty, old, full of seaweed hot spring with true Icelandic atmosphere. It lies right in the heart of the fjord, so you will be able to watch the fjord while soaking in the hot pot. If you are lucky enough, there may even be seals around (we haven’t seen any though).

Horgshlidarlaug westfjords

Horgshlidarlaug hotpot and a changing room

At the time of our visit, there were 2 groups of tourists already bathing in the hot spring. Hence, we waited 10 minutes, and afterwards, the hot spring became empty. Hörgshliðarlaug is definitely an original and picturesque place, nevertheless, we liked some other (see below) hot springs even more.

Tips about Horgshlidarlaug

There’s an old shelter next to the hot spring, which serves as a changing room. If you are into “sauna style” bathing, you may even alternate between bathing in the hot spring and bathing in the ice-cold sea. Water in the hot spring is very pleasant though, having some 36°C (according to my professional, read as „guessed“, assessment).

Hot spring is free to use, I don’t remember a donation box next to it, but there may have been one.

4. HELLULAUG

hellulaug hot spring

Hellulaug hot spring

Summary

Distance from car park: 2-3 minutes 
Time spent at: 15-45 minutes
Worth visiting even with bad weather: yes
Physical condition needed: little
Interesting index: 1 – amazing (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

Hellulaug is a nice hot spring situated in one of the fjords in the southern part of Westfjords.

How to get to Hellulaug

In summer, Hellulaug is accessible by any 2wd car. Read about how we chose our car. Or just get free discounts for your Icelandic car rental.

You can get to Hellulaug from the main road 60. Just be sure to finally turn on Hellulaugavegur and end up here, because there’s one other (wrong) spot on Google maps. You will leave your car at a small, gravel parking lot. From there you have to descent about 1 minute to reach the pool itself.

hellulaug hotpot

Hellulaug hotpot

Our experience with Hellulaug

At the time of our visit, it had already started to rain. We changed our clothes inside our car and virtually ran in the rain towards the pool. There were two local girls (this time without cocaine) already bathing there (didn’t seem to leave any time soon). 

The entire bathing experience was very nice. The water was pleasantly hot, but not too hot (some 34-36°C). It felt really comfortable to soak in the pool, while the rain poured down. Additionally, view from the hot spring is very nice, because of its location in the fjord. So you’re basically sitting in the hot spring looking at the fjord.

Tips about Hellulaug

Hellulaug is situated right in the heart of the fjord and it’s a man-made hotpot (water is being brought there by a pump). There’s no changing room, nor any shelter, but the hot spring is free of charge.

Well, if it rains, since there’s no shelter, some of your things will probably get wet, unless you cover them with something. We didn’t mind, though, because Hellulaug was probably the last stop of our trip.

3. KROSSNESLAUG

krossneslaug

Krossneslaug

Summary

Distance from car park: 5 minutes 
Time spent at: 30-60 minutes
Worth visiting even with bad weather: yes
Physical condition needed: little
Interesting index: 1 – amazing (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

Krossneslaug is a really unique, one-of-its-kind hot spring literally at the end of the world (or at least all Icelandic roads). 

How to get to Krossneslaug

Although officially any 2wd car is allowed in here, I do recommend a 4wd car and some guts to reach Krossneslaug. Road 643 heading towards Krossneslaug could easily be classified as an Icelandic F-road. It doesn’t contain any river crossings but it contains almost everything else an F-road may contain. Potholes, gravel, narrow passages, steep parts, driving on the edge of the cliffs, …

Read about how we chose our car. Or just get free discounts for your Icelandic car rental.

Google Maps mark Krossneslaug quite precisely. They just don’t show that the “car park” (or better said the place next to the road where you may leave your car) is tens of meters above the pool. That means, you have to leave your car up, next to the road and you have to walk down the path to Krossneslaug itself. Only the owner of the pool has an access to reach the pool by car.

Our experience with Krossneslaug

Bathing in Krossneslaug is again a once in a lifetime experience. It definitely belongs to Top 3 of our Icelandic hot springs. When we arrived, there was no one else in the pool, only the owner performing maintenance of the place.

krossneslaug hot spring

Views from Krossneslaug

Once in the pool, you will again feel like being in some kind of fairy tale. Just you, hot pool and view of the endless sea. The smaller, hotter bathtub even has a windshield (I guess for cases of severe weather?).

Before our departure, I asked the owner whether it does make economical sense to maintain such a pool at the end of the world. He just smiled and replied that from June till 1st half of August usually hundreds of people come per day. Even during Covid times, just their structure changed to more locals. OK, that surprised me, I guess it makes sense then.

Tips about Krossneslaug

Krossneslaug is a paid (1000ISK, i.e. 6-7Eur/person), man-made, hot water pool, utilising nearby hot spring water. It has a long history (1954) and 2 pools available for bathing. The bigger, rectangular pool with a water temperature of around 34°C and a smaller, more modern hot tub with a temperature of around 38°C. It is well maintained by the owner of the place, who also resides there usually from June until August each year. The entrance fee includes a changing room, toilets and showers, of course.

2. GUDRUNARLAUG

gudrunarlaug hot spring shelter

Shelter for changing clothes and Gudrunarlaug hot spring

Summary

Distance from car park: 5 minutes 
Time spent at: 30-60 minutes
Worth visiting even with bad weather: yes
Physical condition needed: little
Interesting index: 1 – amazing (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

Guðrúnarlaug is one of the most picturesque hot springs in Iceland. It’s very well accessible.

How to get to Gudrunarlaug

In summer, Guðrúnarlaug is easily accessible by any 2wd car. Read about how we chose our car. Or just get free discounts for your Icelandic car rental.

Our experience with Gudrunarlaug

When we arrived at the parking lot, we saw just one couple bathing in the hot spring. We were already spoiled by travelling during Covid pandemic, in the sense that we had been alone at every other place we had visited. So, we decided to wait a bit once the couple finishes its bathing, which took about 5 minutes.

Yep, once again, we were alone in Icelandic hot spring, in August at 4 pm. The rain had already been pouring when we got out of our car. We really enjoyed Gudrunarlaug bathing, even despite (or thanks to?) rain getting heavier. The place with its surroundings is pretty cool and the water is pleasantly hot (some 36-38°C). Definitely worth visiting. It was one of the best hot springs we’ve bathed in.

gudrunarlaug hotpot neighborhood

Neighborhood of the Guðrúnarlaug hot spring

Tips about Gudrunarlaug

Guðrúnarlaug is definitely a bit more touristy compared to, for example, Lýsuhólslaug. The reason for that is its proximity to ring road and to Westfjords, i.e., it’s quite easily accessible. The same is true when it comes to access to the actual hot tube – it’s a 2-minute walk from the car park, which sits right next to it. Google Maps are also quite precise about the location of Gudrunarlaug, so feel free to orientate according to them.

Guðrúnarlaug is located next to the small rural campsite (we didn’t see anyone camping at the time of our visit, during Covid-19 times) and something which looked like a school. There’s an authentic wooden shelter (similar to the one next to Hrunalaug) serving as a changing room, right next to the pool. Hot spring is free to use, I don’t remember a donation box next to it, but there may have been one.

1. HRUNALAUG

hruni hot spring

Tranquil scenery of Hruni hot spring

Summary

Distance from car park: 5 minutes 
Time spent at: 20-60 minutes
Worth visiting even with bad weather: yes, definitely
Physical condition needed: little
Interesting index: 1 – amazing (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

How to get to Hrunalaug

Hrunalaug (or Hruni) is easily accessible by any 2wd car. Read about how we chose our car. Or just get free discounts for your Icelandic car rental.

Use Google maps. They were quite precise about the location. There’s actually a car park (see attached picture) near the hot spring. From the “car park” it’s about 3 minutes of walk. You shouldn’t get lost, as far as I can remember there’s even a sign pointing towards hot spring.

hrunalaug car park

Hrunalaug “car park”

Our experience with Hrunalaug

I can confidently nominate Hruni hot spring for winning the award of most authentic Icelandic hot spring. It is, without doubt, the best hot spring we’ve ever been to. Thanks to many aspects. Firstly, it’s a place secluded from anything else with no buildings or roads around. Secondly, the landscape surrounding it is truly peaceful and picturesque. Thirdly, the hot pot itself looks like to be from some kind of fairy-tale. And, importantly, the water (in the main one) is pleasantly hot with some 38°C according to my professional (read amateur) assessment.

Once we got in, we really got carried away by the surrounding atmosphere. Just a slowly pouring rain, few sheep, endless grass and besides that just silence. Everything was tranquil, only until the new guest arrived at the hot spring. If you are into stories, feel free to read ours about meeting a naked Icelandic teenager possibly under drugs.

hrunalaug bathing

The main and the hottest hot spring in Hrunalaug

Tips about Hrunalaug

Once you arrive at the hot pot itself, you will realize there’s also a covered shelter for changing clothes! A very authentic one 🙂 The entire place is maintained by locals and works on a basis of free donation. There’s a donation box next to the hot spring.

There are actually several pools, some of them smaller, some of them bigger. All pools do contain a heated water, but each one has different temperature. The hottest one is also the smallest and is the one right next to the shelter. It’s ideal for 2 people, and if you are OK with some squeezing even for 4.

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Day 12 – Best of South Westfjords in 1 day

Day 12 – Best of South Westfjords in 1 day


According to the weather forecast, the last full day of our journey was supposed to be without rain only before 3 pm. Thus, we adjusted our plans accordingly. We woke up at 6 am and tried to see everything important before the rain comes. And we made it.

Road 60 – Vestfjarðavegur – towards Dynjandi

7:30-8:00

Worth visiting even with bad weather: yes, probably
Interesting index: 1 – amazing (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

road 60 between thingeyri and flokalundur

Road 60 (Vestfjarðavegur) between Þingeyri and Flókalundur

Road 60 is a beautiful fjord road. It firstly crosses the mountainous landscapes and then leads along the coastline. It’s a kind of semi-paved road with occasional potholes, so definitely not the best, but not an F-road as well. It’s doable by 2wd car, you’ll just have to drive carefully and more slowly than Google times suggest.

Dynjandi Vestfjarðavegur road 60

Road 60, or Vestfjarðavegur in Westfjords towards Dynjandi waterfall

Views along the road are amazing and unique, though. The road is definitely worth taking.

Dynjandi waterfall

8:00-8:30

Distance from car park: 10 minutes 
Time spent at: 30-45 minutes 
Worth visiting even with bad weather: yes
Physical condition needed: little to medium
Interesting index: 1 – amazing (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

dynjandi waterfall parking

See that car in the distance? That was our car and this was a parking place

Probably the most beautiful waterfall in Westfjords (and one of the best in Iceland as well) – that’s Dynjandi waterfall. The huge car park and the entire infrastructure around the waterfall suggest that Dynjandi is apparently a very touristy place during normal times. Not during Covid-19 times, though. When we reached the parking lot at 8 am, we were the only car parking there. Just us and the beautiful Dynjandi.

dynjandi parking in the fjord

OK for those of you who don’t have a zoom. Dynjandi parking

I had read before, that the hiking trail towards Dynjandi takes about 45 minutes to complete. That’s not true. It takes only some 10-15 minutes of light hiking to arrive at the base of the waterfall. Maybe there’s a trail continuing even further to the upper part of the waterfall (which takes 45 minutes to complete), I don’t remember any though.

dynjandi waterfall trail

Dynjandi waterfall trail

There are several smaller waterfalls below Dynjandi and you will meet them along your trail towards Dynjandi. The actual Dynjandi definitely belongs to the top Icelandic waterfalls we’ve seen. Its unique shape makes it more than just memorable.

Road 63 – Bíldudalsvegur, and road 62 – Barðastrandarvegur, towards Látrabjarg

8:30-9:30

Worth visiting even with bad weather: yes, probably
Interesting index: 2 – great (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

crossroads bildudalsvegur vestfjardavegur

Crossroads of the roads 60 and 63 or Bíldudalsvegur and Vestfjarðavegur

Our biggest (and most distant) stop of the day was a visit of Látrabjarg cliffs. Although Google had suggested the southern road 60 to be the fastest, we chose the northern way – via 63 and 62. We didn’t want to go twice via the same roads (as would be the case with road 60) and we also wanted to take a look at Reykjafjarðarlaug hot pool.

road 63 bildudalsvegur

Road 63 Bíldudalsvegur

We didn’t take many pictures of these roads. As far as I remember, they were (similar to the road 60) combination of normal paved roads and semi-paved gravel roads with some potholes. And again – a combination of mountain roads and coastal fjord roads. That means – absolutely OK with any 4wd car and also fine with 2wd, you will just need to drive carefully and more slowly compared to Google Maps’ estimates.

Reykjafjarðarlaug Hot Pool

9:30

Reykjafjarðarlaug hot pool

Reykjafjarðarlaug hot pool

We wanted to reach Latrabjarg as soon as possible because the weather was still nice and we wanted to make it there while it still was. That’s why we made just a quick stop at Reykjafjardarlaug hot pot. There are actually 2 places for bathing in here.

First one is the man-made artificial pool with regulated water temperature. The second one is the actual source of the hot water itself – a wild hot spring with varying temperature (usually much hotter). This hot spring lies nearby.

Road 612 a.k.a. Örlygshafnarvegur to Látrabjarg

10:30-11:30

Worth visiting even with bad weather: no, probably
Interesting index: 1 – amazing (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

We had already realized that the more difficult the name of the road in Iceland is to pronounce, the shittier the actual road will be. Orlygshafnarvegur was in line with this newly found rule of ours. Road 612 starts neatly but gets rougher and rougher with each additional kilometre.

breidavik beach

Breiðavík beach

The last part of Örlygshafnarvegur is a rough, narrow gravel road with many potholes, leading across the mountainous area and sometimes even next to the coastal edge simultaneously. It’s definitely doable by any 4wd car (not sure how it looks in rough weather, though). We also met several 2wd cars, but they were struggling at least. Sure, in good weather you can make the last part even with 2wd, it will just take you much longer than in 4wd and you will be probably blocking many 4wds waiting behind you.

Nevertheless, the “rough part” of 612 is not very long, so if you are patient enough, feel free to take it even in 2wd. Views along the road are breath-taking. You will pass a shipwreck, a plane wreck, a car scrap yard, some small settlements and, most importantly, the picturesque Breiðavík beach. Is Orlygshafnarvegur dangerous? No, just don’t look down too much when driving near the edge of the mountain 🙂

Látrabjarg

11:30-12:30

Distance from car park: 2-15 minutes 
Time spent at: 20-60 minutes 
Worth visiting even with bad weather: no, probably
Physical condition needed: little
Interesting index: 1 – amazing (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

puffins westfjords

First puffins spotted during our journey! At Latrabjarg

I had not studied about Latrabjarg much beforehand, just saw a beautiful picture of a cliff and decided to go there based on that one picture. Once we arrived there, we, however, realized why so many people take their time to reach the place.

latrabjarg cliffs

Látrabjarg cliffs

Not only is Latrabjarg the westernmost place in entire Europe, it is also the place with one of the most unique floras and faunas. Secondly, the actual Latrabjarg cliff is more than just magnificent. It’s huge and admirable. And as a bonus, guess who is here? Puffins! During our entire 12-day trip Latrabjarg was the first and the last place where we saw puffins. Later on, I read that Latrabjarg is a place where “it’s guaranteed to see puffins”. It seems to be so!

puffins at latrabjarg

Last puffins spotted during our journey. At Latrabjarg

We spent some time observing strange puffin flights and their landing, often, right next to us. Truly once in a lifetime experience. You may hike along the edge of the cliff as long as you want. We did so for some 15 minutes and then turned back. Although Latrabjarg was the place where we saw the biggest number of cars parked in Westfjords, it still didn’t seem to be crowded because of the size of the entire area.

To conclude – Latrabjarg is definitely worth making a detour.

Plane wreck, Hnjótur museum, boat wreck

13:00-14:00

Distance from car park: 0 minutes 
Time spent at: 30-90 minutes 
Worth visiting even with bad weather: yes
Physical condition needed: little
Interesting index: 3 – nice (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

hnjotur musem plane wreck

Plane wreck in front of the Hnjótur museum

Hnjótur museum

As I had already written, we had passed several interesting places along the Örlygshafnarvegur, which we had skipped before. On our return journey, we came back to them.

I’m not really into museums but my girlfriend is. So that she’s happy, we made at least one museum stop – for Hnjotur museum. It’s basically a museum displaying the historical life of people in this area. My girlfriend found it very interesting (I stayed chilling with coffee outside). After the visit, she told me stories about how Icelanders used to hunt puffin eggs by climbing down the cliffs or how they had rescued castaways from ship accidents many years ago. So, if you’re into this kind of stuff, feel free to go for it.

Plane wreck

hnjotur musem plane wreck 2

Plane wreck in front of the Hnjótur museum

In front of the museum, there’s a nice plane wreck. I guess not much different from the one near Reynisfjara beach (Sólheimasandurplane wreck). Just this one is less touristy.

Shipwreck Garðar BA 64

Garðar BA 64 shipwreck road 612 Orlygshafnarvegur

Garðar BA 64 shipwreck next to the road 612 Örlygshafnarvegur

A few minutes of the drive back via 612, there’s also a huge shipwreck. Second interesting boat wreck in Westfjords after the one in Djupavik. It’s a short stop along the road, so why not take it?

Rauðisandur beach

14:40-15:00

Distance from car park: 5 minutes 
Time spent at: 10-30 minutes 
Worth visiting even with bad weather: no, probably
Physical condition needed: little
Interesting index: 3 – nice (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

raudisandur beach

Rauðisandur beach

Just a 15-minute detour south from road 612 leads a hillside Rauðasandsvegur, or road 614, towards the biggest Icelandic beach – Rauðisandur beach. It’s a mountainous zig-zag drive on the pothole-full gravel road. It’s definitely a challenge in 2wd car, but without any problems in 4wd car (at least in good weather).

Saurbæjarkirkja

Saurbæjarkirkja next to Rauðisandur beach

We had heard a lot about Rauðisandur beach, with several people flagging it to be one of the most beautiful beaches they’ve ever seen. Well, if you haven’t seen many beaches in your life so far, then yes, Raudisandur beach is very nice. For us – beach lovers – we were not that overwhelmed. Yes, the beach is nice, yes, the beach is big, but other than that there’s nothing really special about Raudisandur beach. Personally, I liked the smaller Breidavik beach more. Maybe it’s nicer with sunny weather? We had a cloudy one.

Where to leave your car?

There’s a small car park in front of the picturesque Saurbæjarkirkja, or the little black church. Alternatively, you may continue further down the road in the direction of the church and leave your car there. The further you go, the less touristy it will probably be.

Road 62 – south – Barðastrandarvegur towards Flókalundur

15:50-16:30

Worth visiting even with bad weather: no, probably
Interesting index: 1 – amazing (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

The southern part of Bardastrandarvegur, a.k.a. 62, is most of the time a good quality paved road. It firstly leads via hillside land towards the beach Barðastrandarsandur. Then it continues along the coast, making it a nice coastal drive in case of good weather. As far as I remember there are also some semi-paved passages but the road was generally OK and one of the better ones.

Hellulaug hot spring

16:30-17:15

Distance from car park: 2-3 minutes 
Time spent at: 15-45 minutes 
Worth visiting even with bad weather: yes
Physical condition needed: little
Interesting index: 1 – amazing (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

How to get to Hellulaug and what to expect

Hellulaug is easily accessible by car from the main road 60. Just be sure to finally turn on Hellulaugavegur and end up here, because there’s one other (wrong) spot on Google maps. You will leave your car at a small, gravel parking lot. From there you have to descent about 1 minute to reach the pool itself.

Hellulaug is situated right in the heart of the fjord and it’s a man-made hotpot (water is being brought there by a pump). There’s no changing room, nor any shelter, but the hot spring is free of charge.

Hellulaug bathing experience

At the time of our visit, it had already started to rain. We changed our clothes inside our car and virtually ran in the rain towards the pool. There were two local girls (this time without cocaine) already bathing there (didn’t seem to leave any time soon). Well, if it rains, since there’s no shelter, some of your things will probably get wet, unless you cover them with something. We didn’t mind, though, because this was probably the last stop of our trip.

hellulaug hot spring

Hellulaug hot spring

The entire bathing experience was very nice. The water was pleasantly hot, but not too hot (some 34-36°C). It felt really comfortable to soak in the pool, while the rain poured down. Additionally, view from the hot spring is very nice, because of its location in the fjord. So you’re basically sitting in the hot spring looking at the fjord.

Two local girls left a pool after a while and a married local couple arrived to replace them. They taught us how to pronounce some Icelandic words and pointed out that we’ve seen probably much more of Iceland in 12 days than they’ve seen in their entire life.

Road 60 – south – Vestfjarðarvegur towards Kinnarstaðir

Worth visiting even with bad weather: yes, probably
Interesting index: 2 – great (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

This part of Vestfjardarvegur is very versatile. Some parts are very well paved, some parts are semi-paved, some of them lead zig-zag through a mountainous area and some of them are a beautiful coastal drive. It rained persistently, while we drove on road 60, so we didn’t make any stops, nor photos. Nevertheless, we enjoyed (or at least I enjoyed :)) the drive anyway.

It should be doable also by 2wd car in the summer, just for some rougher parts (or in case of rougher weather) it’s an advantage to have a 4wd.

SjávarSmiðan

19:15

The closest campsites in the southeast part of Westfjords were two camping spots in Reykhólar. One of them had really bad reviews on Google maps so we opted for the second one called Sjavarsmidan. This campsite was supposed to be nice and have seaweed hot springs included in the entrance.

We arrived there after 7 pm and were the only guests of the campsite. There was literally no one, not even a camp manager. Seaweed baths were closed. There was a phone number on a door sticker. I called and the manager of the campsite replied that the campsite is opened, and if we want to camp we can and he would come to collect an entrance fee.

Well, it seemed a bit strange to be alone in the entire campsite. Moreover, the rain kept pouring and there was no kitchen area, so we didn’t have a place to prepare our dinner. Because of the above-mentioned reasons, we decided to continue to the next campsite with some good reviews in the direction of Reykjavik.

Búðardalur camping Dalakot

20:30-

We arrived at the campsite Budardalur at half-past 8 and the campsite was already almost full. The weather forecast for the night looked ugly with some heavy rain and strong wind. Hence, we didn’t want to park our car at the open camping space and found a spot in the leeward. That meant, that we were surrounded by a kitchen area, trees and another campervan. With the experience of already getting our tent wet once, we were much more careful this time.

Day 13

We slept hard during our last night and luckily the wind and rain were bearable. What followed was the most unpleasant part of our journey. We had to pack everything up, drive 3 hours towards Keflavik, return the car and flight back in the Covid times being very unpleasant ones for flying.

Nevertheless, the entire trip was more than just worth every while of planning and every euro spent.

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Posted by epiciceland in Our Journey, 1 comment