Fancy having an experience in a hot pool that requires no hike to get there? Maybe a place that you just show up and enjoy… Well allow us to introduce you to the fabulous Grettislaug Hot Spring! Come along with us today as share all of the details on the history, how to find it, and what to do when you get there.
History of Grettislaug
Did you know Grettislaug is actually in the Icelandic Sagas? To illustrate, the story goes a literal giant named, Grettir was an outlaw. He called the Northern island of Drangey home during his escapades. But back then anyone could kill an outlaw without reaping any return punishment he fled the island into the sea one night. After swimming 4.5+ miles to the mainland, he stumbled upon a hot pool in Skagifjörður. There he was able to warm up and save himself from hypothermia. Accordingly, the hot spring now dons his name.
Meanwhile, although the area was naturally hot not much care had been taken. Until the 1990’s when the current family that owns the land and other locals, decided to rebuild the pools. As time went on the pools became a bit more developed, a changing house built, bathroom installed, and the landowner made the area available to campers.
Grettislaug Hot Spring Driving Directions
Therefore, if you find yourself in North Iceland then checking out Grettislaug should for sure be on your Iceland self-drive itinerary. Especially if you have time to spare or you’re traveling in a camper van! Likely now you want all of the details on how to get there and is the experience is #worthit, right?! Be aware, this location is a 45 minute (one way) detour off of Route 1 / Ring Road.
Grettirs Pool Specs:
- Distance from Akureyri: ~ 1 hour 50 minutes.
- Distance from Reykjavik: ~ 4 hours.
- Grettislaug Parking Lot: Google Map
- View: Ocean and Mountains.
- Terrain: Loose rocks, dirt/mud, and grass.
- Difficulty: Easy (no hike and 1 minute walk from parking area)
- Best Time to Hike: Late April to October.
- Entrance Fee: 2,000 ISK per person (and they accept cask or VISA / MC).
- Water Temperature: ~100-104 °F or 38-40 °C
- How Many Pools: 2 (Grettislaug and Jarlslaug).
- Note: There are changing rooms and a bathroom (separate areas). Also, the landowner was okay with us bringing in champagne but checked to make sure our glasses were plastic 😉
Experiencing the Hot Springs
On your way to Grettislaug, go slow down the stone road as there is more often than not many potholes. Firstly, upon arriving, you’ll be greeted by cute turf houses, main buildings and a parking lot to the right of them. Secondly, jump inside to the larger building on the left to pay the entrance fee (or the farmer will spot you and come up).
Thirdly, grab your bathing suit and towel. Note: The bathrooms are on the left in the small building after the main house. Fourth, head over to the changing room building on the right next to the ocean. Fifth, follow the stone path down to the first pool and enjoy! Be aware, there are 2 pools and they vary slightly in temperature so see which one you like best!