Hiking through the beautiful Icelandic landscape. Check. Passing by waterfalls and lagoons. Check. Relaxing in a hot spring during the hike. Check.
The Reykjadalur hot springs hike has it all and is one not to be missed on your next trip to Iceland. Its not too long, not too difficult and is one of the only hikes you will come across that will involve putting on a bathing suit.
So if you are planning a trip to Iceland don’t leave it off the list of things to do. With that said, this guide will walk you through the logistics of the hike and how to take part of this unique experience through the Reykjadalur Valley.
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1) Reykjadalur Hot Springs Hike Overview
The Reykjadalur Hot Springs Hike in located in Hveragerdi, Iceland. It is about 40 minutes away from the capital of Reykjavik and 70 minutes away from the airport.
The hike begins right down by the parking lot and goes into the mountains and Reykjadalur valley for about 2 miles, ending by the hot springs.
Once finished at the hot springs it is another 2 miles down in the same direction you came. Depending on fitness level, picture opportunities and relaxing time at the springs it should take you approximately 2 hours to complete.
Also of note, do not forget to bring a bathing suit and towel with you on the hike since you probably will want to hop in the hot springs at the half way point.
» If you are only in Reykjavik for a couple days and do not rent a car, no worries – you can opt for a Reykjadalur Hot Springs Tour as well
2) Location of Reykjadalur Valley
As mentioned above the Reykjadalur Hot Springs Hike is located in Hveragerdi, which is in the southeastern portion of Iceland.
The image below can give you a better sense of where it falls on the map.
You can see where the starting point is (A) and where the hot springs are located (B). The path itself is well marked and you should have no problems getting there and back.
When it comes to renting a car in Iceland, I would highly recommend checking out Rentalcars.com for potential options.
By going through Rentalcars.com, you will have the chance to compare car prices among a variety of rental companies, and choose the best option for you.
3) Reykjadalur Hot Springs Hiking Guide
The Reykjadalur hot springs hike is a one of a kind experience that you probably won’t be able to do in too many places around the world. The hike is not just your regular stroll through beautiful surroundings in the heart of Iceland.
There actually is a reward at the end of the journey – you get to swim and relax in a natural hot spring river! This hike is sure to cool you down and warm you up all along the way.
After parking your car in the lot start your walk across the small wooden bridge, follow the path and make your way up the mountain. As you walk up the you will see pockets of sulfur gas coming up from the ground.
You will definitely be able to smell this strong scent when you get up close to them. Be careful though because the water is extremely hot and should not be touched. You will have that opportunity later on though.
For the next hour or so you will walk through this beautiful Reykjadalur valley of hot springs. All around you will be able to see a variety of scenery as you continue along the path.
You are sure to pass by waterfalls, plenty of greenery and incredible views, and maybe even a few sheep along the way.
Once you arrive at the end of the trail you will find the portion of the river where you can hop in and warm up your body in after the hour long hike.
There should be plenty of areas along this stretch of river where you can get into so you should have no problem staying away from other groups of people.
There is also somewhat of a changing area where you can put on your bathing suit. It is not too private at all – basically a couple of small walls put up but it does the trick for a quick change.
After taking some time to relax in the hot springs you can change back into your hiking apparel and head back down to the starting point.
Once back at the start of the hike you can grab some food and drink at the small coffee shop there before making way to your next destination.
Whenever heading off on longer day hikes, I always recommend being adequately prepared when it comes to the type of gear to bring along.
Check out the below packing list to get you ready for this hike and other hikes in Iceland.
Hiking Packing List
In general when it comes to hiking, there are a few main aspects to consider. These includes clothing layers, hiking shoes, hydration & fuel, electronics, and other essentials.
Below in a breakdown of some of the top items, but be sure to check out the Hiking Packing List for a more comprehensive view.
Layering is going to be a top consideration when hiking. You will want to be prepared for all sorts of weather so you can be comfortable in different situations. Some items may include:
→ Hiking Shorts
→ Hiking Pants
→ Short Sleeve Shirt
→ Long Sleeve Shirt / Sun Hoodie
→ Mid Layer Fleece
→ Puff Jacket (not always needed)
→ Packable Rain Jacket (Columbia Watertight II)
Note that your layers should be made of moisture wicking material as they are breathable and quick drying.
Having appropriate footwear will also be very important. You will want to have shoes with the necessary grip and support to keep you safe on the trail.
→ Hiking Shoes (Keen Targhee)
→ Hiking Socks (Darn Tough)
Whether it is hiking gear, electronics, or just some miscellaneous items, here are some other essentials to bring along on hikes.
→ Hiking Backpack (Osprey Talon 22) & Rain Cover (Joy Walker Cover)
→ Hiking Poles (Black Diamond Trekking Poles)
→ Water Bottle (CamelBak Chute or Katadyn Filter Bottle)
→ Portable Charger (Anker PowerCore 5000mAh)
→ Action Camera (GoPro Hero)
→ Energy Bars & Snacks
→ Hat & Sunglasses
→ Sunscreen & Bug Spray
4) Where to Stay
The Reykjadalur Hot Springs hike makes for a great day trip from Reykjavik due to its proximity to the capital.
You can also easily add this onto your Rind Road itinerary if you are thinking about heading around the entire country.
Check out this guide for on where to stay in Iceland for some great spots around Reykjavik by taking a look below.
Top Accommodation Options
» Feel free to also take a look at the top hotels in South Iceland for more info about where to stay along the southern coast
Take a look at our other Iceland itineraries and guides to help out with any other trip planning. Hope you enjoy your hiking experience in the Reykjadalur Valley. Feel free to comment below with any questions!