The journey from Reykjavik to the geothermal baths at Krauma is just below an hour and a half, so that is simply a spot you could possibly go to on a day journey out of the capital. For us, the journey was a fair shorter one, as we occurred to be travelling from close by Húsafell. Although solely 25 minutes away, we selected to soak up two of Iceland‘s iconic waterfalls alongside the way in which – Hraunfossar and Barnafoss – an space that was declared a nationwide monument in 1987.
You can simply go to each falls on foot from a parking lot located simply off route 518, following marked trails and a sequence of viewing platforms. The Hraunfossar waterfalls are the primary that you just’ll come to; these falls encompass quite a few springs of clear water that emerge from the Hallmundarhraun lava discipline earlier than flowing into the River Hvitá amongst rocks and birch-scrub vegetation. Surface water and meltwater from the glaciers runs between layers of pillow lava, forming the 1km-wide Hraunfossar falls
The Barnafoss waterfall, or Children’s Falls, however, is a a lot narrower, extra violent torrent of water that rushes via rocks and stone arches, sculpting them with its pressure. The common circulation price is 80 cubic metres per second, however in flood it has reached as much as 500 cubic metres per second.
There’s a tragic story that accounts for the waterfall’s identify, and for the disappearance of the stone arch that used to bridge the waterfall. One Christmas day the family at Hraunsás went to attend mass, except for two youngsters who had been to remain at dwelling. When they returned, the kids has vanished however their tracks led right down to the river. Very sadly, the kids had fallen off the stone arch and drowned. Their mom then had the arch destroyed to forestall the recurrence of such a tragedy.
With our detour full, we continued alongside route 518, having fun with the open street, stunning surroundings and a few large, dramatic skies.
If you need to expertise sizzling spring tradition in Iceland, then you definitely’ll need to search for Krauma, however first take a second to admire Deildartunguhver, the very best flowing sizzling spring in Europe, producing 180 litres of sizzling water – 100°C (212°F) – per second. Afterall, it’s the rationale why Krauma exists.
Situated in Reykholtsdalur (the valley of the river Reykjadalsá), between Borgarnes and Husafell, Krauma opened in late 2017. Today, with its minimalist black design, it blends in actually properly with the encircling panorama.
The water in Krauma’s geothermal baths comes straight from Deildartunguhver. It isn’t combined with chilly water and no extra chemical substances are added to the water. The purity is ensured with excessive water circulation into the baths. And the new water is wealthy in minerals comparable to iron, calcium, magnesium and sulfur, all of that are parts which can be additionally widespread in Icelandic soil.
On arrival, you’re welcomed and given a towel and bathrobe and directed to the altering rooms. As with all swimming pools in Iceland, it’s essential to bathe beforehand.
There are 5 totally different sizzling swimming pools to select from, every of various temperatures (every labelled). There’s loads of house and it didn’t really feel too busy after we had been there, making it the proper place to unwind, admire the panorama and absorb Iceland’s pure magnificence in a very relaxed setting.
There is a chilly pool as effectively – immersion in chilly water is nice for lymphatic drainage. It causes your lymph vessels to contract which in flip pumps lymph fluids all through your physique, serving to to flush out metabolic waste. This in flip has a optimistic impact on the immune system, which in the end retains you feeling wholesome.
Additional services at Krauma embrace a steam tub and infra-red sauna, in addition to a rest room with comfy lounger chairs. You received’t need to go away!
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But, as soon as you’re feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, how about dinner at Krauma’s restaurant? The surroundings from the restaurant is spectacular and appears again in the direction of Deildartunguhver, with seating outdoors for these hotter days.
The restaurant serves Icelandic delicacies from the freshest native farm produced elements, with the menu accessible on-line by way of a QR code. Between us we had the scrumptious Sólbyrgi salad (Sólbyrgi is a small 10-hectare natural farm only a 2km drive from Krauma) with baked beetroot, pickled purple onion, grilled paprika, croutons, sunflower seeds, ricotta cheese and a lemon and dill dressing.
The Caesar salad – additionally from Sólbyrgi – got here with grilled rooster breast, cucumber, purple onion, tomato, croutons, Parmesam, bacon and aioli.
If you’re vegan, you’ll need to strive the ‘Krauma Vegan’ which consists of various mushrooms, salt baked beetroot, lentil and bean salad, and a carrot purée with a lemon and dill sauce.
Also extremely really useful is the slow-cooked cod – the stand-out dish for me – offered in that occasion with creamy brussel sprouts, mushrooms, bacon, celery root purée and a garlic balsamic sauce. In my ebook, it’s an Icelandic traditional that’s at all times a successful dish.
Dinner at Krauma Restaurant was a good way to spherical off a very pleasurable and memorable day, earlier than a scenic drive again to Reykjavik.
Planning a visit to Iceland your self? You can watch a video from our journey to Iceland right here. You can see Hraunfossar, Deildartunguhver and Krauma between 54s and 1m 06s inside the video: