The Smokey Valley: Reykjadalur
Reykjadalur which means “Smokey valley” is a spectacular place next to the village of Hveragerdi. It is also considered as a hidden gem of the south because it is less explored, though it is quite easy to locate. You don’t really have to travel that far to reach the place from the city of Reykjavik. It is just about 40 km from the city’s downtown. Reykjadalur is a part of Hengill geothermal area and it plays one of the most important rule; to provide Reykjavik’s hot water, steam and electricity.
In this valley is a hot spring where you can dip in and just enjoy the unspoilt nature landscape right in front of you. Imagine just sitting in a hot spring with some steam coming from all over and when you lean back on the edges you can actually view the magnificent show of Mother nature. So solemn and away from sounds and lights from the busy city. Just pure nature and peacefulness.
So where can you find this hot spring in Reykjadalur valley?
First things first, you need to park your car somewhere, there is a place where you can do that outside the valley. You have to enter the Reykjadalur by foot, no please don’t take it literally, you need a good hiking shoes for this because even though the hike would be quite so easy even for children, the path can be slippery due to being damped after the rain in autumn or spring. Don’t expect that simple sneakers would stand the water. If you come here during winter, you should know that the hike would be different. So travel at your own convenience and risk. Remember to always ask local advices before you ever go hiking by yourself or better yet take some local with you. Anyway, the hike getting into the hot spring would take about 45 minutes. But this won’t even be justify how much beauty and unique things you can see along the way. You might not even feel that time is passing. You will come across canyons, boiling mud pits (which will even stop you to take pictures which will add to your time spent), smoke chimneys from the ground (oh a must see!), waterfalls and not to mention the river. Yes, where the whole scenery is being defined. You will be crossing this one, don’t worry, it is warm and it will add up to your adventure. When you are taking a the wonderful expedition you will notice a smell… yes, it is kind of strong, it is because that is sulfur. You can get over the smell after seeing the scenery and that is a promise, well it is Mother Nature’s promise. As you get closer to your destination, you will also feel the thrilling excitement. And finally, you will reach a spot where you can see the two small rivers meeting together, congratulations you have reached your destination.
What makes the water so special?
As you should know Iceland has the best water as it is 100% pure mineral and clean. Reykjadalur’s hotspring makes no exception. The spot where you can bathe in is where the river water of Klambragil valley, this is the boiling hot one, and the water from Olkelduhals, this is the cold one. This is like Mother Nature’s way of preparing your bath. Mixing the two rivers together.
A fair advice
For tourists and even for locals that are visiting the place, we highly recommend that you also need to respect the nature’s gift. Please refrain from littering or burning open fire as it might destroy the environment. Subarctic fauna are very fragile and it takes years or even decades to restore itself to its original state if damaged. You can just bring packed lunch and please bring a garbage bag for your trash. Don’t leave trash lying around as the ground won’t open up and clean them. You will not expect any elves to go cleaning around after you have enjoyed your stay. So respect nature for you to be able to enjoy it further in the future because for sure once you felt the hot spring, you’ll definitely come back to this wonderful valley of Reykjadalur.