Hike to and Swim at Seljavallalaug

Iceland Seljavallalaug

Added by Alan Maxcy

Take a dip at Iceland's Oldest Swimming Pool and natural hot springs. Enjoy landscapes that are other worldly beautiful.

You will reach the trailhead by turning off of the Ring Road 1 onto road 242. You will see signs marked for Seljavellir. You will drive straight on this unpaved road until you reach a parking lot for an abandoned pool (little shack in photo above). From here it is only a 15-20 min walk along the rocky mountain valley. The hike will feature beautiful mountains, Icelandic sheep, and a small river coming down off of the Eyjafjallajökull Glacier. You won't miss the pool after the short hike, it is not difficult to find.

The pool was built in 1923 and has been maintained by volunteers over the years. While the pool is man-made the water in the pool comes from a natural hot spring. There is a primitive changing room that is available to use, but there are no showers or bathrooms. Relaxing in the warm water on a chilly, foggy Icelandic day feels more like a dream than reality. This little adventure is a must for anyone traveling to Iceland!

Pack List

  • It is not a difficult hike, but the valley is quite rocky and unstable so I would recommend wearing appropriate footwear.
  • Towel
  • Swim Suit
  • Water Bottle
  • Camera
  • ND Filter
  • Tripod
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Chillin, Hiking, Swimming

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

1.9 Miles

Rating:

Features:

Family Friendly
Hot Springs
Romantic
Scenic
Swimming Hole

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

4 months ago

Breathtaking

We ran 2 kliks in the pouring rain to get to the pool and it was well worth it. A beauty of a sight.

4 months ago

6 months ago

Beautiful Views!

This was a nice short walk to a great hot pot! I went in the late afternoon and there were ~10 other swimmers. I'll echo the shoe statement- definitely no flip flops for the rocky portions! I found the cleanliness in line with what you'd expect from a natural hot springs (and totally acceptable for me!)

6 months ago

6 months ago

A Cesspool :'((

In a beautiful location, but it would appear that the secret is out as there were probably 50 people there at 5pm in early June. No showers + non-treated water with so many people grossed me out a bit, but it is in a beautiful setting so if you're not bothered by coliforms you may love it!

6 months ago

10 months ago

Hidden Beauty

This has been the highlight of the trip so far. The path is very hard to follow when it's covered in snow and we probably wouldn't have found it without a few pairs of foot prints left behind. This was definitely the raisin at the end of the hotdog as the locals would say. Incredible views and we were fortunate enough to have the place to ourselves. We chose to swim, but it's worth mentioning that this pool is not nearly as warm in the winter when the snow melt from the mountain side runs into the pool.

10 months ago

about 1 year ago

Epic spot!

Hiked out and swam in this pool during our road trip during June 2013. This is an amazing spot to relax in the hot spring and soak up the surrounding views.

about 1 year ago

Added by Alan Maxcy

Hi! I am a self-taught photographer who specializes in landscape, lifestyle, and portrait photography. My wife and I are obsessed with tacos, craft beer, and traveling the world. My favorite photos are the ones that inspire me to go on an adventure. That is the affect I want my photography to have on others.

More Adventures Nearby

Canyoning at Raufeldsgja

Iceland / Raudeldsgja

Copule clarifications. The first, I say Intermediate and advanced. The reason I say this is because getting into the canyon is pretty simple. Few rock hops and you will be in a little clearing.

Alex Tande
4 Saves

Hike Dettifoss and Selfoss

Iceland / Dettifoss

Dettifoss and Selfoss are two waterfalls located closely together, separated only by about one kilometer of easy walking along a cliff top.

Alex Tande
6 Saves

Explore Gluggafoss

Iceland / Gluggafoss

Super simple, super easy to get to. Just a cool little waterfall located just off the road.

Alex Tande
3 Saves