On the weekend I visited the hot springs at Reykjadalur (literally: ‘Smokey Valley’) just outside the town of Hveragerði. The partly-uphill hike to reach the springs in the valley through which the hot river runs takes roughly 45 minutes .
It’s long been a popular spot for hikers and horse riders but on this warm and bright Sunday afternoon, I were surprised by the number of cars parked near the start of the hiking path.
There were 50 cars, some of them mini vans, and two buses, a sharp contrast to our last trip two summers ago when we had the valley almost to ourselves. The path too had been widened and a café built near the car park.
Proof that the hot springs are increasingly popular, within the same week two friends had recommended a trip there, and a visitor staying with us from abroad had also mentioned it among activities on her ‘to do list’ for her trip around Iceland.
Despite the crowds, we found a spot to ourselves and enjoyed bathing in the natural springs on what was, given the numerous cold and rainy days this summer, a surprisingly warm afternoon.
On the way back, even more cars lined the side of the road leading into town. Reykjadalur is still a fantastic spot but I wouldn’t want to see too many people visiting the area at one time as the pressure will inevitably take its toll, eventually.
Zoë Robert – firstname.lastname@example.org