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Reykjafjarðarlaug swimming pool and hot spring

 

My last post I talked about that we celebrated Christmas and new years in Iceland this year. More specifically in Tálknafjörður in the beautiful Westfjords. For those of you unfamiliar with this area, it’s the most north-western part of Iceland, when you look at a map it’s the area that sticks out a bit and many say it looks a rose. I always recommend for people to go here on their second or third visit to Iceland. It’s definitely still less touristy, the attractions are further apart from each other and the roads and general conditions are not as good as in the rest of the country. To me, the Westfjords is a paradise for nature lovers, hikers and photographers who is not dependent on tour-guides and scheduled trips.

 

Reykjafjörður mid-winter seen frome above

 

In this exotic place in the northwest of Iceland there are many swimming pools and natural hot springs. There is one specific that I’ve wanted to visit for a while now, which is the Reykjafjarðarlaug swimming pool and hot spring in Reykjafjörður. I’ve seen photos of this place in the past and even driven past and it just looked a little bit too good to miss. Around this pool is only a couple of summer houses and what looks to be an abandoned sheep house. Other than that it’s just you, the pool and the incredible views.

It’s located in Reykjafjörður, which is a small fjord located in a larger fjord called Arnarfjörður. When you drive from the town of Bíldudalur driving north towards Þingeyri and Ísafjörður you will pass Reykjafjörður and see it right next to the road. The road between Bíldudalur and Þingeyri is only open during the summer as the roads are mostly gravel and over a couple of difficult mountain passes and not plowed in the winter. Getting to Reykjaförður though does not require driving over any mountain passes, but a big part of the drive is on gravel and not plowed in the winter.

One of the days between Christmas and new years the weather was quite good and we decided to try to get to Reykjafjarðarlaug. It had been raining quite a lot making most of the snow we had previously gotten disappear, and the road conditions more forgiving. Had it not been for this, we would not even have thought of driving there this time of the year. We set out not knowing what the road conditions was like but hoping for the best. We decided before hand that should the conditions of the road at any point not look good enough, we turn around, taking no risks. Luckily for us the road was fine most of the way, partly icy but nothing to worry about with spiked tires and careful driving.

The view of icy roads in Arnarfjörður

Icy roads in Arnarfjörður on the way to Reykjafjarðarlaug

 

While driving we couldn’t see any other tire tracks in the snow so we knew that we were going to have the place all to our selves, which is always nice. Once there we realized that the water in the large swimming pool was too cold to be enjoyable. Not surprisingly, when you look at the size of the pool, it would take a good flow of warm water for it to stay warm through the winter. We checked the smaller natural hot spring which is just a few meters from the pool and it was plenty warm for us. Being a natural hot spring there were a little bit of dirt that swirled up when you stepped in, but absolutely no big deal. There are changing rooms for both men and women which were very clean and with hooks to hang your stuff. Over all the trip was a great success and oh so enjoyable soaking while looking out the majestic Arnarfjörður fjord.

 

The swimming pool in Reykjafjörður. Note that it’s not warm enough during the winter!

The natural hot spring behind the swimming pool

When you’re in the Westfjords, definitely make a stop here and relax before continuing your adventures. It’s a perfect stop before or after visiting the Dynjandi waterfall.

I must point out that I do not recommend for anyone attempting driving here in the winter time, unless you know the area very well. We were extremely fortunate with the conditions as this road in the winter is usually impassible. The last thing you want to do is to put yourself or others in danger by getting stuck in an area with very little chance of assistance around.

 

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