Seljavellir abandoned geothermal pool, South Iceland

Posted on January 24, 2011

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Swimming spot: Seljavellir Swimming Pool

The geothermal swimming pool is situated in a short and a narrow valley near the farm Seljavellir at the foot of the Eyjafjoll Mountains in South Iceland. The local Youth Club built the old pool, where an older and smaller one stood before. It is built into the sheer rocky mountainside so the rear of the pool is rock and natural hot water trickles into the pool. The is also a pipe that pumps warm water into the pool.

The pool has a stunning view of the stream that runs beside. In the distance you can see a waterfall cascading down from the mountains that forms the stream. The “natural” pool is somewhat of a well-kept secret by locals (We were told about the place by by the people running the bed and breakfast we were staying in) and is apparently frequented by local youths – especially during midnight sun of the incredible everlasting summer evenings.

In 1987, the family of Seljavellir build a new and modern swimming pool just west of the Laugar Stream and keep it open for visitors during summer (June 1 – September 1; 11,00 to 23,00). About ten years later, the old pool was renovated and is still being used by those who make the effort to walk up there.

Where: Seljavellir, near Raufarell (in the region of the Eyjafjallajokull Glacier), South Iceland.

Getting to the spot: Take road no. 1 in the direction the town Vík. The spot is located mid way between Hella (near Selfoss) and Vik, it’s actually a little closer to Vik. Travel along road no 1 and turn left to the road no. 242 to Raufarfell. Take that road all the way to the end. You can parking there and walk about 20 minutes  walk to the swimming pool.

Accommodation: We stayed at a small motel— come bed and breakfast in the town of Vik, though there are several country towns nearby with similar types of accommodation. There are are helpful tourist maps available in Reyjavik at the tourist centre that will indicate accommodation in various regions.

Facilities: The pool is technically abandoned and not serviced so the change rooms are older and a little dirty. There are no facilities to speak of but a pair of bathers is all you need. There is plenty of country side for a au natural toilet stop.

About the area: The Myrdalsjokull Glacier is located in the area further down road no. 1, close to the town of Vik. There are easy hiking tours up the glacier. You can spot puffins off the cliff at Dyrholaey.  country side Icelandic cliffs or if you’re on your way to the Golden Circle tourist area and the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, north of the town Vik.

Nearby known swimming spots: All we know of is the Vik aquatic centre, it’s geothermal water but not a natural body of water: it’s a community swimming pool.

Other swimming spots in Iceland:

The Hot Springs Walk on the Hengill plateau in Reyjavik

Landmannalaugar hot springs in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve(Icelandic highlands)

Hveravellir hot springs in the middle of the west highlands between the glaciers Langjökull and Hofsjökull

Snorralaug Hot Spring in Reykholt

Hveragerði Hot Springs in Hveragerði

Laugafell Hot Spring, Laugafell

Nearby towns: Vik, Dyrholaey, Hvolsvollur, Hella, Selfoss


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Posted in: Iceland