Ready for another wonderful day?
The majority of people think that the only opportunity they have to bathe in a hot spring is to go to the Blue Lagoon. There are a lot more places where you can enjoy a natural pool of hot water without paying (see https://livelifewithaview.com/free-hot-springs-iceland/).
We were heading to the region of Mývatn to enjoy half a day of relaxation, a comfortable treat which is cheaper and less crowded than the Blue Lagoon. When we were fairly close we saw steam coming out of the ground and went to explore. That’s how we found the geothermal area of Námafjall Hverir. The distinctive smell of hydrogen sulphide is spread all across the region, but it’s particularly strong here due to the presence of numerous fumaroles and mud pots. In the past the Icelandic population used the sulphur from this area to produce gun powder.
There is a clear path to follow and it’s wise to stick to it! The water temperature is 80-100°C on the surface and reaches over 200°C at a depth of 1000 m. This is definitely not a pool you want to swim in!
After a while that we were there a few buses full of tourists arrived, meaning that this is a well-known spot to visit. I must say, we spent quite a long time there and we loved every second of it. The noise of the gas coming out of a fumarole is impressive. An endless pressure pot right next to you, red soil, green rivers, grey/blue pools. This is truly surreal!
Leaving Námafjall Hverir we faced many more geothermal areas and acidic hot lakes. Until then, we had seen geysers, waterfalls, mountains, animals, beaches and glaciers. Being Iceland the land of ice and fire, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to climb a volcano. And just when we were least expecting it, we realised there was one just in front of us, a few km down the road. I don’t know if the path at the bottom of the volcano could be considered an actual road, we certainly had to be very careful with our tiny, non-4×4 car.
But in the end, there it was, Hverfjall volcano! When I climb up something, whether that is a hill or a pyramid, I like to keep looking up. I don’t want to ruin myself the surprise by looking behind and seeing what the landscape is like. I can guarantee you it is totally worth it, and if you suffer from vertigo it helps even more!
The view on the top of the 420 m high volcano left me speechless. I had never walked on the edge of a crater. I stood there, imagining lava spilling out, the contrast between the dark black of the volcanic rock and the bright light of magma coming out of it. This pushed me even more to desire to visit places such as Guatemala, filled with active volcanos you can climb and see up-close.
All around you can admire the Mývatn district. White smoke coming out of the ground, no signs of civilisation and a mixture of colours which makes it appear like a different world. Despite the freezing wind, I just didn’t want to leave that marvellous place.
After this experience we headed to Mývatn Nature Baths quite happy to relax for a few hours. The site is open between 12 and 10 pm and the entrance is ISK 2,400 (€18). You can order drinks while you’re bathing, there is a steam room and a sauna. Bathing in a 40°C pool when the temperature outside is 5°C is beautiful (and very good for your circulation!). For more information see https://myvatnnaturebaths.is/.
Towards the evening we headed to Stöng and stayed at Guesthouse Stöng and Cottages (€85/night including breakfast). The guesthouse is nice and remote, so we decided to have dinner there instead of driving for ages to find a supermarket and live off fruit and bread. It was totally worth it! The mushroom soup was divine and abundant. It wasn’t our cheapest meal, but it is so delicious we didn’t regret it.
After dinner, as we did every single night, we drove a couple of km far from the guesthouse to search for the the darkest spot. The forecast for the Aurora was very promising, but the sky was covered in clouds. As a result, we got out of the car to see a green blanket over us, a magic glow which made us desire to see the dancing show more and more. Sometimes, if you are patient, you get what you want and it is even better than what you expected.
We nearly got to the end of the week, but don’t think that day 6 will be less exciting!
Do you want to save money on your next trip? Use the code luciam01 when you book via www.booking.com and you’ll receive €20/£15/$25 after your stay 🙂