Home Travel Adventure The Epic Hike Each Solo Traveler To Iceland Should Do

The Epic Hike Each Solo Traveler To Iceland Should Do

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“Sadly, your tour has been canceled as a result of inclement climate.”

I used to be alleged to go journey Icelandic horses right into a lava subject, however sadly visiting Iceland in winter means quite a lot of my plans are getting ruined.

Effectively, I can’t say ruined. In actual fact, the one motive I did the hike I’m about to let you know about is due to a canceled tour.

And the hike was actually, actually superior. So let’s say my plans had been getting…severely altered.

Psst, don’t overlook to pin this publish for later!

“Extreme” is a superb phrase to make use of when speaking about Iceland in winter.

After I landed on the airport I used to be stuffed with positivity, eager about all of the epic panorama photographs I’d take, to not point out my red-eye actually flew by way of the Northern Lights. I knew it might be chilly, however I by no means pictured how insanely windy it may get.

Till I exited the airport terminal and, whoosh!, a gust blew my espresso out of my hand. I used to be renting a automobile from the hilariously named SADcars, and because the rep noticed my horrified face he laughed, promising me not on daily basis can be so loopy. “The climate in Iceland is unpredictable. It could possibly change in a second.”

“Is it secure to drive on this?!” I requested, wide-eyed.

“Sure, simply maintain the wheel tight. You’ll be superb!”

And I used to be superb. In actual fact, I liked driving in Iceland. Cruising down broad open roads with countless views of snow-capped volcanos was an incredible technique to spend a day. It was like yoga or meditation or wine; it instantly made my serotonin ranges rise.

Stunning views whereas driving to the trailhead

One wonderful thing about renting from SADcars is that they ship e mail notifications to let you realize when driving may be a problem or roads can be closed.

On that exact day, there have been no warnings of street closures within the south, so I made a decision as a substitute of losing the afternoon cooped up I’d head out for an journey.

And that’s the place this distinctive Iceland journey information begins.

Learn on to be taught in regards to the superior Iceland scorching springs hike it’s worthwhile to do!

Desk of Contents

  • Past The Blue Lagoon
  • What Makes A Good Solo Journey Hike?
  • Scorching Chilly & Steamy
  • Leveling Out
  • Reaching The Iceland Scorching Springs

Past The Blue Lagoon

A bunch of individuals on the ODDSSON Ho(s)tel the place I used to be staying had been driving to Iceland’s famed Blue Lagoon, an attraction I used to be determined to keep away from.

I at all times attempt to transcend the most important vacationer websites, however there was additionally the issue that it’s costly (5400 Icelandic Kroner!) and I doubted I’d take pleasure in it solo.

If my boyfriend had been with me, perhaps; however the equal of $50 USD was rather a lot to pay to take a seat awkwardly round {couples}, associates and households, particularly when the ODDSSON had a terrace scorching tub.

I’d heard about a number of different Iceland scorching springs experiences that weren’t the Blue Lagoon.

With restricted time on my fingers, I selected Reykjadalur, which was solely 45 minutes from Reykjavík.

Seeing Icelandic horses close to the trailhead

Residing simply exterior Hveragerði — a small city constructed upon a scorching spring subject — and inside the Hengill Geothermal Space, you’ll expertise a scenic climbing twist to the healing soak.

This meant it might be extra enjoyable than awkward for me as a solo traveler. Actually, in the event you’re questioning find out how to hike alone, this peaceable path may also help you construct your confidence.

Discover the steaming countryside close to the trailhead?
Observe the indicators to the trailhead

What Makes A Good Solo Journey Hike?

Over my years touring solo I’ve discovered what makes an excellent solo hike, not less than for me.

For one, I need one thing that’s off the overwhelmed path sufficient to not be massively touristy.

That being mentioned, I additionally need it to be well-liked sufficient that if I slip and break my ankle somebody will discover me quickly sufficient that I don’t get eaten by pack animals.

I like one thing that challenges my health and rewards me with views, however isn’t so technical I may get critically injured and not using a associate.

The path also needs to be well-marked sufficient that I’m not going to get misplaced and starve.

If you happen to agree with the above, than Reykjadalur — which means “Steamy Valley — is ideal. Plus, it’s 100% free and presents the kind of views that make you assume “Yup, I’m in Iceland, the Land of Hearth & Ice!”

Proceed studying to see my photographs that show it.

Beautiful Icelandic landscapes
The start of the hike
Observe these path markers and also you received’t get misplaced
Smoke alongside the path

Scorching Chilly & Steamy

I park the automotive within the small lot on the trailhead, the place I discover a wood cafe that’s closed for the season.

Throughout from the cafe is a gate that opens simply, welcoming me to the virtually 2-mile path.

The whole drive into the valley had provided views of stream-cut valleys and ridges blurring with geothermal exercise.

Now, I used to be surrounded by it, honey-colored grassland actually sending me smoke indicators.

Bridge on the path
Views from the bridge
Stunning trails

My digital camera shutter clicks quickly as I attempt to take all of it in, with a whimsical background of farmhouses and Icelandic horses.

One factor that makes it laborious to pay attention:

It’s very steep! By 20 minutes in my calves are burning, although the surroundings makes it simple to work by way of the ache.

Pleasant hikers cross from the opposite means, the grins on their faces let me understand it was definitely worth the journey.

Each 20 minutes or so the surroundings adjustments or options one thing new, a wood bridge, a small waterfall, an aerial view of switchback trails, an icy gorge. I’m left breathless from each the uphills and the surroundings.

Waterfalls dot the path
Somebody stopping to take some photographs
Loving life on the path

Leveling Out

Fortunately the path ranges out about half-hour in, and the uphills develop into interspersed with much more flat floor.

Ensure you’re sporting sturdy waterproof sneakers — traction is the secret right here — as in winter the bottom can get muddy. Furthermore, at one level you’ll must stroll over rocks to cross a small stream.

Regardless that it’s shallow, you do NOT wish to by accident fall in throughout Iceland’s freezing chilly winter and need to hike with moist ft.

After about an hour I attain an indication welcoming me to the Reykjadalur Scorching Springs.

I can see them peeking up behind the mountains, although I’ll must hike up once more to satisfy them.

It begins to hail slightly, however at this level, I’m decided and refuse to show again.

In addition to, anybody who chooses to go climbing in Iceland’s winter must have thick pores and skin for the climate.

I pull my BUFF Headband over my face and proceed on. Belief me; you’ll undoubtedly wish to know what to put on when going climbing for this trek.

Getting increased
Don’t look down!

Lastly, the recent springs come clearly into view. To succeed in them I first need to stroll down towards a small wood bridge.

As soon as on the bridge, I’m utterly enveloped in scorching spring steam, its healing powers hopefully washing over me. This has really been one of the crucial lovely climbing trails I’ve ever achieved.

I’m tempted to proceed on, however the steam creates such a thick fog on the path I resolve to show again.

Proper past this bridge is the place folks really do bathe within the geothermal waters, although I used to be informed by locals the water is definitely chilly in winter because the snow melts into it.

Nonetheless, I’m positive it’s a therapeutic, pure expertise for many who don’t thoughts. I’ll be again on one other solo journey journey in the summertime for that a part of the hike.

In actual fact, in the event you go to in summer season you’ll actually get a Blue Lagoon expertise, albeit much less touristy. Try journey blogger Unlocking Kiki‘s summer season hike expertise right here.

Hey, don’t choose me. I went snorkeling in Iceland’s winter! Now THAT was definitely worth the chill. 

A lot steam!
Nearly to the recent springs!
A lot steam from the recent springs

The hike again to the automotive is far simpler.

I swap from the fisheye lens I’d been utilizing to a telephoto lens for a distinct perspective, taking my time and having fun with the views simply as a lot the second time round.

Do your self a favor:

  • Sturdy waterproof boots with traction (I wore my Timberland work boots)
  • BUFF Headband (nice as a shawl that turns right into a face masks)
  • BUFF Merino wool hat
  • Scarf scarf (I put on the BUFF headband beneath)
  • Waterproof gloves
  • Merino wool undershirt
  • Hoodie
  • Winter coat
  • Inside coat shell (optionally available; I get chilly simply)
  • Compression socks
  • Waterproof backpack or waterproof baggage for electronics — try this checklist that includes the perfect inexpensive climbing backpacks for below $100!
  • Swimsuit & Towel if going swimming
  • Vigilant Private Alarm (I at all times carry this when climbing)

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