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Day 4 in Iceland : Reykjadalur, the hot spring river of Hveragerdi, Reykjavik and Gardur

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Les fumeroles dans la vallée de l'Hveragerdi près de Reykjavik Les fumeroles dans la vallée de l'Hveragerdi près de Reykjavik (Phil P.)

Time passes so quickly and this is already our last day in Southern Iceland. We still have an entire day ahead of us before heading to the US. Today we plan to go for a hike in the Reykjadalur Valley to reach the hot spring river of Hvergardi, then have a short visit of Reykjavik and finally end up in Gardur, at the most western part of the Reykjanes Peninsula.

This is the fourth in a series of stories devoted to my trip to Iceland. For a complete overview of all sightseeing’s, I invite you to read:

The itinerary of our fourth and final day in Iceland

From Selfoss, we travel 109 km stopping at:
  1. Hvergardi to reach the Reykjadalur Valley and Hot Spring River.
  2. Reykjavik to get a short impression of the the capital city and do some shopping
  3. Gardur for our last evening an enjoy from a 360° panorama over the ocean.

Where to find Reykjadalur ?

Reykjadalur Valley and the Hot Spring River of Hvegardi

We leave early enough to avoid the forecasted rain and drive to Hvergardi after a short stop at Kaffi Krus in Selfoss for breakfast. The hiking trail starts right of the parking lot at the end of the road after you drove through Hvegardi.

The trail is an easy hike up and the landscapes are absolutely spectacular. If it takes an hour to reach the hot spring river, you may want to take more time to enjoy the views on the smoking hills and observe the numerous boiling mud pots. Be prepared to smell sulfur on the heights.

A 100 degree Celcius sign on the hiking trail towards the Hvegardi hot spring river
A sign warning us about the boiling mud pots
Smoke chimneys near Hveragerði in Iceland
Smoke (steam) on the mountain
Reykjadalur Valley - On the trail to the hot spring river
More and more steam evaporates from the mountains
Cotton grass, looks like almost real cotton
Cotton grass

Swimming in the hot spring river of Hvergardi

We finally get close to the river and only have a few more meters to walk before putting on our swimsuits. Though the place seems a bit crowded, we manage to find a little corner for our own. The shallow water, on a stony river bed, is close to 30-35° C and is just perfect! We enjoy every moment of our swim and, after a relaxing time and with a softened skin, we head back to our car under an uninterrupted and cold drizzle. This was a lovely excursion!
The hot spring river of Hveragerdi in summer
The river is already crowded when we arrive
Icelandic horse and his beautiful mane
Icelandic horses


Hello Reykjavik! We still have half a day to spend and with this terrible weather, we decide to make a short stopover in the capital, have lunch (we loved Osta Búdin) and do some shopping. Reykjavik didn’t leave that many impressions but it feels good to see people, a normal city life, shops and restaurants.

The front of Osta Budin (Ostabúðin) seen from outside in Reykjavik
A good place to go out for lunch: Osta Budin

Gardur, Reykjanes peninsula

We arrive in Gardur late in the afternoon, just a few kilometers from Keflavik airport from where we will fly the next morning. This is an excellent town to stay and ideally located for a final night. The village is pretty small and despite a nice little lighthouse from which you can enjoy an almost 360° view over the ocean there’s not much to believe. Oh yes, I forgot … there’s the Röstin burger restaurant you definitively should try. It was a great trip to Iceland and we hope to come back one day for a longer trip round the island.

A trawler (GK274) in Gardur (Garður)
A trawler in Gardur (Garður) ... what is its history?
The Gardur lighthouse (Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland)
The Gardur lighthouse

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My Guide to #Iceland: #reykjaladur #hveragerdi #hotspringriver #reykjavik #gardur #swimming

Where to find Reykjadalur?

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The hiking trail to the #Hveragerdi hot spring river in #Reykjaladur Valley near #Reykjavik in Iceland
My Guide to #Iceland: #reykjaladur #hveragerdi #hotspringriver #reykjavik #gardur #swimming

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