What could be better than relaxing in a natural hotspring after a hike to a beautiful waterfall? If that sounds like a perfect Icelandic afternoon, might I suggest a visit to Djúpagilsfoss.
Located in the Reykjadalur Valley, you can find Djúpagilsfoss, which is a common attraction for those hiking to the natural hot springs. Reykjadalur means steam valley, and you will encounter much of that on the hike to this waterfall. Djúpagilsfoss translates to the Deep Gorge Waterfall, which gets its name from the Djúpagil, the gorge it resides in.
Further up the river, you can find the Reykjadalur Thermal Bathing Pools. The hot spring and pools bring in a lot of visitors, but Djúpagilsfoss is usually a side attraction along the way. However, the view of Djúpagilsfoss in the gorge should not be skipped! The good news is it’s visible from the trail, so it is hard to miss. Djúpagilsfoss is also a great waterfall to visit during the winter. The Djúpagil canyon covered in white snow is not a sight many visitors will see. Plus, the hot spring is perhaps even more enjoyable during the winter with the proper planning! Check below for some tips on how to plan for your winter dip!
Hveragerdi, The Hotspring Town
Your visit to Djúpagilsfoss will begin in Hveragerdi, a small town in Iceland rightfully known as the “town of hot springs.” Iceland is known for its geothermal energy, but Hveragerdi takes that a step further and uses that geothermal activity to grow fruits. Hveragerdi is the most northern banana producer in the world. Using the natural geothermal activity, residents have found a way to grow fruits, even tropical fruits, with greenhouses all year. Many residents of Reykjavík will come to Hveragerdi to buy fresh fruits or the local geothermally brewed beer.
Hiking to Reykjadalur Thermal Pools
Length: 5.0 mi (8.0 km)
Elevation gain: 1138 ft (347 m)
Route Type: Out & back
The hike to Djúpagilsfoss, is really a hike to the Reykjadalur Thermal Bathing Pools. You don’t wont to skip on or the other. Djúpagilsfoss is located in a gorge so you can’t get to close to it, but there are good views of this waterfall along the trail. The hike is aroudn 60-90 mins one way, and has a steep incline in some areas. Be sure to pack a swim suit or towel! Better yet, during warmer weather it might be best to put on your swimwear beforehand. There are no facilites at the hotspring area, but you can find some wooden privacy fences for changing. Be very careful if you leav the trail, especially near the hots pools and boiling mud pools. Some are hidden beneath the surface and can be fatal. The common bathing areas well be noticeable to traffic and wooden walkways built for the visitors. Even though its popular, the area is large enough to find parts of the river that’s more seculded. The further up the river you go, the hotter the tempature, so find a place that is just right for you!
For the winter adventurers, a hot spring feels like a luxury spa, perhaps even a private spa session. To help ensure a safe trip, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Wear waterproof clothes for the hike. Some of the trail is covered in mist and steam.
- Please bring a towel and be sure to dry off as much as possible with it.
- Pack flip-flops and protect your feet!
- While bathing, protect your clothes and gear from the steam by storing them away from the river. Otherwise, they can turn to ice.
- Bring a plastic bag for your wet clothes.
- It will be cold when you change back to dry clothes! However, you will be surprised how fast you will warm up during the hike!
Directions to Djúpagilsfoss:
Viewable from Road?: No
Nearest Major Town or City: Hveragerdi
Distance from Reykjavík: 31 mi (49.5 km)
To access Djúpagilsfoss and Reykjadalur’s hot springs, you will need to hike. The trailhead’s beginning is marked on Google as the “Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River.” There is parking in the area, but be prepared to pay a small fee. Parking can be an issue depending on the time you go, as this is a popular area.
The trip toward the Reykjadalur area is within an hour from Reykjavík, making this the perfect day trip experience. Plus, the trailhead is not far from the Ring Road.
- Follow Route 1 (Þjóðvegur 1) toward the southeast
- Turn left onto Breiðamörk, which will take you into Hveragerdi.
- Continue on Breiðamörk and continue straight onto Reykjadalur.
Have you been to Djúpagilsfoss or the hot springs? If so what was your favorite part of the experience and do you have any tips for future visitors?