27 November 2016

Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains

Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains

Swimming in Seljavallalaug Geothermal Pool:


The Land of Fire and Ice and has many hidden gems that it's so hard to pick a favourite. All I know is while planning the trip to Iceland, I knew that there was no way I wanted to leave without swimming in Seljavallaugh pool that is nestled in the mountains. Seljavallalaug was built in 1923 and may just be Iceland's oldest pool. It was used to teach swimming to many Icelanders, but now so many pools have sprung up in and around the country, but Seljavallaug remains popular and  is mainly frequented by tourists. Those that can actually find it. Having read that a few people failed to find it, I was a little anxious about not being able to find it and leaving Iceland without swimming it. Finding Seljavallaug was actually not that hard. It really was a matter of preparation and research as to what to look out for.

When we arrived for our swim it was just after 10pm, in the summer the days are long so it doesn't get dark until about 1am. We had been out exploring and wanted to end out the day of exploring with a visit to the pool. Clouds were low, it was raining lightly but the temperature in Seljavallalaug pool was such a treat for the wet and mildly cold day. As cold droplets fell from the sky you would dip your entire body in the pool and suddenly you were nice and toasty from the warmth of the pool filled with water from the hot spring nearby.


It's built right on the rocks. The floor of the 82-foot-long pool is covered in slippery algae, which makes standing or walking in the pool rather difficult at times. The weird sensation of the slippery algae is quickly overshadowed by the calming and relaxing feeling, a result from the beautiful and tranquil scenery of cascading waterfalls, and mountains views that surround the pool and it's all free! This hidden gem is filled with hot spring what from Eyjafjallajokull. If that name looks familiar is because that's the name of the volcano that erupted in 2010 and sent all the flights in Europe and around the world into a tailspin as the ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano caused flights to be cancelled due to safety. Also blame that volcano for a lot of changes in travel insurance coverage too as insurer added a clause about cancellations due to natural disasters. Eyjafjallajokull volcano is now covered by an ice cap. Seljavallalaug pool is now a protected site and maintained by volunteers who clean the pool a handful of times a year to ensure it's free from the ice after winter as well as cleaning the algae from the floor of the pool from time to time.


Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains
Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains
Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains
Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains



Are there changing rooms at Seljavallalaug pool:


Before I could attempt to embrace my inner diva and demand my dressing room be bathed in natural light and filled with fresh and fragrant flowers, I was presented with changing rooms that are more basic than BASIC! Yes, there are changing rooms but they are basically concrete walls to protect your modesty and that's about it! Also, not designated by the sex, so people can randomly walk in and change in whichever one is available. The good thing is, people are respectful and do give you an opportunity to change in private if they find you in an already compromised position. There are no showers on site. There are no toilets on the site either so just bear that in mind. The changing rooms site are on one end of the pool and simply provide some privacy to change into swimsuits.

Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains
Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains
Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains
Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains
Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains

What to pack for a visit to Seljavallalaug hot spring pool:

There are no other facilities on site. Bring your swimsuit obviously. Pack a towel and some flip flops. Depending on the season you come, it can sometimes be cold. I have seen some people bring woolly hats into the pool, which are perfect if you are just chilling in the pool and want to keep your head warm while the whole body is dipped in warm water. Also, pack some snacks, drinks or water as there are no shops or any facilities. Pack some forehead torches, especially if coming here during the winter months when it gets dark early in the day. There are no lights in the changing rooms or in the surrounding area so you will walk back in darkest if you don't come prepared, which is not recommended.

Also, ensure you come with warm clothes to change into as well as waterproof jackets too. I tend to bring my GoreTex Pro Jacket. It's super light and keeps the heat in.  The weather in Iceland can change dramatically with not so much warning. We took these pictures in the summer! Some of the terrains can also be slippery, especially when it's been raining so wear suitable walking shoes.




Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains
Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains
Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains
Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains

The trek to Seljavallalaug swimming pool:


Pat yourself on the back once you find the car park but once parked you still have to locate the pool. Having prepared with a lot of research and mental images stored in my head about what the surrounding looked like I knew to look out for the cascading waterfalls. Once you see those you know you are in the right place. The walk from the car park to the pool is about 15-20 minutes. The trail is somewhat obvious and easy to follow. Just walk in the direction of the waterfalls. During heavy rainfall, you may find that the river next to the pool can look a bit rough so take care not walk too close as the current looked quite powerful. If you are lucky you may also be in good company by way of a lovely dog that is usually walking around here from the nearby farms. I am scared shitless of dogs but this is one friendly pup that will guide to or from the pool depending on the direction you are walking in. It walked us back to the car park. Barking along as if to direct us on the path to walk.

Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains
Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains
Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains
Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains

Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains
Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains

How to get to Seljavallalaug | Pool directions:


Google is a little sketchy in these parts so you will have to do a little research in terms of that names of the road to look out for and signage. Exploring the Ring Road is by way of road 1. If you are driving from Reykjavik you will drive towards the direction of Vik but once you get to Porvaldseyri(Icelandic Eruption exhibition), drive a little further and look out for signs for Seljavellir which lead you to road 242 marked by Raufarfell. The road takes you all the way to the parking spot, which is not clearly marked but will be quite obvious. There is a small farm and a couple of houses just near the parking spot. Once you park your car, you will notice you are in a deep valley with a river running right by it. The trail isn't far from the car park. A few minutes into your walk you will see the changing rooms peaking out. The pool is right at the bottom of the changing rooms.

If the directions above still leave you lost and google maps isn't helping then try the Seljavallalaug coordinates: 63.5656° N, 19.6076° W

Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains
Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains
Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains
Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains


Pin it to your wanderlust board.


Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains

Seljavallalaug | Why You Need To Visit Iceland's Secret Pool Nestled In The Mountains

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