Geothermal

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Húsafell Canyon Baths – what to anticipate from a visit to those geothermal swimming pools in Iceland

Húsafell Canyon Baths - what to expect from a trip


A useful stop-off after a go to to Into the Glacier is Húsafell, house to Hótel Húsafell. And when you’ve got been on the 10am tour (it takes round 3-4 hours), you may time it completely for lunch at Húsafell Bistro.

As effectively as an a la carte menu, the bistro presents a each day lunchtime hlaðborð (or buffet) the place you may assist your self to kjötsúpa (Icelandic lamb soup) and vegetable soup, in addition to pizzas and meals from an intensive salad bar (rooster salad, pasta salad, candy potato salad and tomato and mozzarella salad – and extra) with a wide range of dressings and oils.  It’s an important place to re-fuel after your morning’s exertions or certainly to pre-fuel forward of no matter activites await you subsequent.

And what higher factor to do afterwards than go to Húsafell Canyon Baths? These man-made geothermal swimming pools are situated within the Icelandic highlands and set in a surreal canyon panorama.

Entry to the Húsafell Canyon Baths can’t be made with out permission, however you should purchase tickets from Hotel Húsafell at an workplace subsequent door to the bistro for an unique minibus tour that features transport with a tour information, entry and time to spend there.

Trips are made with fairly small teams which are taken on a brief drive of round 10 minutes. Along the way in which, our information informed us in regards to the space, in regards to the Viking settles in round 940-950 AD and in regards to the household that owns Húsafell Hotel that goes again seven generations. We additionally learnt in regards to the chilly springs within the space (that produce sufficient water to help half 1,000,000 individuals each day) and the geothermal vitality that permits the realm to provide as 40 litres per second of 70-degree Centigrade sizzling water which is sufficient to heat the lodge, the swimming swimming pools and 200 homes, in addition to the encircling farming areas.


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The mother and father of the household now working the realm have been entrepreneurs in rural tourism – different farmers within the space thought they’d ‘lost it’ once they killed their sheep and began ‘farming’ with vacationers as an alternative. They made a swimming pool and tenting space, and began renting out small leisure homes within the Summer months. But it turned out to be the best resolution, and is why Húsafell thrives to at the present time.

As we received nearer to our vacation spot, a darkish hill to the best was identified and the snowy patches on it. This was the defend volcano named ‘Ok’ on which the Okjökull glacier was declassified as a glacier in 2014. (To be labeled as a glacier, the snow wanted to have a sure thickness in addition to a sure motion.) There is snow there year-round, but it surely doesn’t behave like a glacier. A plaque was put in in 2019 and a ceremony held that was attended by Katrín Jakobsdóttir, the Prime Minister of Iceland, and different dignitaries.

Having heard this sorry story, we took a flip and drove alongside the center of three canyons, the place we parked up and took a brief stroll to the Húsafell Canyon Baths. Although the land right here is non-public, there aren’t any indicators saying ‘do not trespass’ – persons are very welcome to hike and benefit from the space’s nature as long as they’re respecting the surroundings and never littering.

The final a part of the stroll right down to the geothermal swimming pools is down a protracted picket staircase.

And as soon as on the backside, there are female and male altering rooms, in addition to an out of doors bathe – you need to bathe earlier than getting into the swimming pools (however don’t fear, it’s heat!).

The wooden-clad altering rooms are merely furnished, with bench seating and upturned horseshoes re-purposed as garments pegs.

The setting of the baths is as spectacular as it’s tranquil – it’s good that they solely take small teams as this makes it a extra intimate expertise. There are two tubs – the upper of the 2 has one giant rock simply beneath the water floor that you need to negotiate as you climb into the water, so it’s probably finest to enter backwards to keep away from falling.

The pool closest to the bridge and altering rooms is less complicated to enter through some steps and has massive rocks the place you may sit and calm down in water that’s just a bit above physique temperature. If you want to expertise chilly water, you may have a lie down within the creek (however, be warned, it’s icy chilly!).

A shock on the way in which again to the minibus, which I hadn’t anticipated, was a brief stroll to a picket viewing platform.

From there we may admire the two-tiered Langifoss waterfall. Ordinarily we might then have ambled down the valley to be picked up by the minibus additional down. However, as can occur in Iceland, the climate took a flip for the more severe (I may have sworn it was attempting to snow… in July!) and we as an alternative took the extra quick route again to our transport.

On the journey again, we learnt about Reverend Snorri Björnsson who moved to Húsafell in 1747 as a 37 12 months previous. He was already well-known for having saved many lives since he had grown up within the Westfjords of Iceland and taught himself how you can swim (at a time when Icelanders didn’t know how you can swim). He was very robust and a foreman on a ship and, when small fishing boats would capsize, he would save many a fisherman. In Húsafell, he’s maybe finest identified, although, for the Húsafell stone, a legendary lifting stone that weighs 186kg (410lbs) that he used because the gate to a stone sheep and goat pen he constructed. This very stone can nonetheless be seen on the pen in Húsafell right now and was used within the 1992 World’s Strongest Man competitors in addition to in a number of Iceland’s Strongest Man competitions since.

Planning a visit to Iceland your self? You can watch a video from our journey to Iceland right here:

Disclosure: This submit is sponsored by Hótel Húsafell. Our journey to Iceland was additionally sponsored by Helly Hansen.





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Krauma Natural Geothermal Baths & Restaurant – what to anticipate from considered one of Iceland’s latest geothermal spas

Krauma Natural Geothermal Baths & Restaurant - what to expect


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:

Disclosure: This put up is sponsored by Krauma. Our journey to Iceland was additionally sponsored by Helly Hansen.





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