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Reaching the hot river in the Reykjadalur Valley An hike to natural hot springs close to Reykjavik, Iceland

hot river iceland

Chilling, natural and free. The hot river is all about this!
One of the most popular “secret” places in Iceland, it still remains far from the mass tourism. In the last three years the hot river has increased its tourism attention but thanks to the one hour hike to reach it, it is still not so overcrowded as the Blue Lagoon or any other Icelandic “do-not-miss” attraction.
The hot river is located in the South of the island near Hveragarði, in a canyon called Reykjadalur Valley close to the geothermal park.

You can drive until the bottom of the mountain and leave the car in the free car park (click here to see the park’s position). The area is just next to the road number 1 and, coming from Reykjavik, you will see some farms and green houses down on your left. That’s the area. You cannot get wrong.

To get to the river you must walk for 3 km (almost one hour). There is a well-trodden path but almost entirely uphill. It’s composed by pebbles which could make the terrain very slippery especially in case it rains. For this reason I will suggest to wear hiking shoes.
It can be quite tiring for some people to get there because of some steep climbs (the first kilometer is about 150 meters climbing up) but there are loads of geothermal thins, bubbling muds and little bubbling pools to see on the way.
The panorama is quite interesting. Don’t forget to stop by and take some pictures of the canyon below the path. You can see a picture of it here below.

path hot river iceland Reykjadalur

As I was living in Hveragarði at that moment, I started walking from there at 15:30 and I reached the river after one hour and a half. At that time a lot of people were leaving the river so it was not so crowded.

I would say that the hot river is in the middle of nature but not into the wilderness. In fact the area is quite well-equipped with a catwalk and open air partitions where to get changed.
There are no changing rooms, so get ready to take your hiking clothes off in the open.
My first impression was very contradictory because of the presence of a lot of trash. Unfortunately it was full of beer cans, abandoned dirty towels and some underpants on the ground.

hot river Reykjadalur

I really don’t know if it was a unfortunate case, but I must say that in general the kind of tourism was very young and composed by many groups of friends, besides some couples.

Apart from this, the river is totally surrounded by nature and it’s just amazing to freeze outside while you are changing and then jump into such a hot water.
Once you arrived there, do not stop at the first area. The water gets warmer the further up stream you go. For this reason choose the spot you like and then change yourself into your bathing suit or, as there are no changing room, wear your swimming suit before arriving under your hiking clothes. You will freeze a little bit less 😀

Remember to bring a towel and do not wash your hair if you are a easy-catching-a-cold-person like me 🙂 the way back is one hour walking and you could just wipe off all the great and warm feelings of the hot river.

hot river Reykjadalur

When you get there, enjoy as much as you can the hot pot but PLEASE, bring back all the things you’ve brought with you. There were so many towels,underpants, beer cans and even absorbents on the ground and I felt really really bad about it. The place is so peaceful and relaxing and it gives you a lot in terms of good feelings that it’s just a big shame to leave garbage all around… So if you feel like doing something for the environment, bring a bag with you and before going away just take some of the abandoned trash with you.
It’s just a little way to thank that dreaming place!

hot river girl

Un bacio


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