Most people visiting Iceland think they have to go to The Blue Lagoon. Well, those people are wrong. Besides the long lines and instagram “influencers” (who will get on your last nerve), you’re basically in a manmade pool.
If you’re looking for more a more natural experience, you’re going to have to hike for it. Reykjadalur Geothermal Springs, is about a 20 minute drive from Selfoss. There’s a sizable parking lot to leave your car before you start your hike into the mountains. The trail is about 1.8 miles (one way) and worth every step. The views are so beautiful as you’ll pass waterfalls and mini thermal springs along the way.
Once you reach the thermal river, you’ll see some not-so-private changing stalls. If you’re shy like me, I’d suggest wearing your suit on the hike so you don’t have to change into it in front of strangers. Don’t forget a towel! (and maybe a beer or two to enjoy while you soak)
When you’re looking for the perfect spot to settle in, dip your foot into the river. The temperature varies from place to place. Two water sources converge at the top of the foot path, one hot and one cold. The nearer you are to the cold stream, the more moderate the thermal waters will be. I spent the eve of my birthday in this river. I couldn’t imagine a better way to celebrate.