Seljavallalaug
Seljavallalaug
4

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles424 reviews
Excellent
174
Very good
136
Average
60
Poor
32
Terrible
22

Shofsan
Sweden425 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2020 • Couples
I went here with my husband, since it was oj the way back from our South Coast tour. We didn't have our suits with is, but wanted to see it. I'm glad we decided to do the small hike! The valley in which it's located in is beautiful! I enjoyed the walk there probably more than the actual destination. It's really cool to see this pool in the middle of nature. There were four people swimming in it and the water looks a little green, probably from the algae. Keep to the left and find the little path then just walk straight. There was also a little "bridge" to help you cross over the river if you happened to not be wearing waterproof shoes:)
Written May 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stefan G
Washington DC, DC1,049 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
Drive down the gravel road, park at the area that appears to look like a parking lot when you can't drive any further. Walk 10 - 15 minutes to the pool. Pause. Consider the large amount of floating green algae. Consider the large number of other people in the pool (I was there in July). Examine the changing rooms (very spartan). Jump in - or not, like me. Too many people, too much algae. Not overly hot, rather just warm.

After having visited several other spas around the island (both natural and man-made but powered by natural hot springs), this one was my least favorite and rather average.

It's free.
Written November 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

petrumd
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2017 • Solo
From a volunteer to travellers from far and close to whom it may concern...

Seljavallalaug is a geothermal pool, not a hot spring. Temperature varies between 25-30 degrees Celsius.

There is no toilet, stop doing your business in the changing rooms or in towels and leave them there, I have to carry this down on my back and it is disgusting, try not to be disgusting.

Since December 2016 I'm cleaning there once a week but will stop mid March 2017. TAKE BACK YOUR TRASH...

Pool has been cleaned and completely refilled with fresh water on 21st of February 2017.

Entry is free, but please put some money in the donation box - if we can't afford it anymore, the water will be permanently drained and the changing rooms locked.
Written February 25, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

The Travelling House Sitters
Croatia103 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2018 • Friends
If you go to Iceland you simply can't pass up this opportunity.

It is without a doubt one of the most unique, picturesque and wonderful places on earth.

We went very early in the morning and got the pool all to ourselves. It was magical - definitely worth getting up in the wee hours of the morning to find.

The hike up isn't too bad and there is a path to follow (I guess this would depend exactly when you visit though!)

The water was super warm and as you would expect the pool was a little slimy but thats all apart of its charm. The changing rooms and a little worn and worse for wear - but its definitely not an issue.

Forget all about the Blue Lagoon - escape the tourists and get to the Seljavallalaug pool!
Written January 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

James W
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom26 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2018 • Friends
We visited Iceland in the winter - which means it's cold, windy, and often rainy. Seljavallalaug, as far as I'm aware, isn't that popular an attraction, but the day we went there was practically nobody there.

When you arrive in a car park at the bottom of a scenic valley, you have to walk for around 20-30 minutes up an unmarked path to the pool. As I understand it, the path was destroyed in the 2010 eruption, and the current route is confused. Just walk up the valley until you find the pool - don't take any of the paths that climb up the mountains or go strange routes and you'll get there fine.

A couple of things may gross people out. Firstly, the changing rooms are absolutely disgusting. People just chuck their swimwear and towels into the corner (somebody told us they do their business in them first), and beer cans litter the rooms. It makes me feel sad, because I found Seljavallalaug so magical, and so scenic that the fact that arrogant tourists have soiled the landscape is incredibly annoying. Entrance is free, and volunteers rarely hike to clean the place up, so it's disheartening that people mistreat it.

Secondly, if you can get past this and just change as fast as possible, the water is filled (I understand that when the pool is cleaned this is not the case) with green/black algae that makes it impossible to see to the bottom at all points except the very shallowest (and it goes to over 2m in depth), and when you look at your hands/body through the water, you can see lots of particles floating around. You may find this disgusting, or even scary.

Thirdly, the water is not hot. It is warm, at around 20-30 degrees celsius. As a result, you may feel a little cold. The pipe running hot water into the pool is located at the end, by the deepest point. During our visit, a coupe of members of our group gravitated to this point, which only served to make them more cold, as any movement away from the hot water resulted in a rush of cool water.

If you can get past those things (the first lasts for only as long as you change, and the second two might not bother you), the experience is unforgettable. When we first arrived, we were the sole visitors there - in a warm pool in the middle of the frozen wilderness, attached to a volcano that erupted less than a decade ago. With a bottle of Glenmorangie at hand, the experience was even better ;)

We stayed for quite a while, and in that time a couple of groups came and went, but there were never more than six or seven other people in the pool at one time, and it's quite a big pool so space was never an issue. If we needed to warm up, swimming a couple of lengths was a good way to do so, and I felt really connected to the spectacular natural landscape. A fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime experience. I love Iceland.
Written November 13, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Polish_Legion
Burlington, Canada403 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Friends
If your looking to encounter a pool as naturally heated as can be then definitely make Seljavallalaug a stop on your road trip before heading to Vik. The pool is known to be iceland's oldest pool, but seems to have held up very well over time as it doesn't seem to be as old as I thought it would be initially.

Some things to note:

-There is no bathroom facility here (i.e. toilet/sink), so be prepared to bring some toilet paper and to look for a private space in case nature calls.
-There are 3 rooms where you can change, but have someone stand outside as guard! The locks aren't that great.
-To get to the pool from the parking lot will take you roughly 15-25 minutes.
Written July 12, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Maria H
Nashville, TN26 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2016 • Family
There are very few secrets spots left in Iceland anymore - with over 1 million visitors every year most 'secret spots' are now popular stops on the tourist itinerary. Everybody is looking for something special and this is a special place - an old pool full of geothermal water. So it's not really hot and it is not really clean. But that is not what it is really about. You can get plenty of clean spotless pools as the country is full of it. It is a place which captures some of the Icelandic past when small swimming pools like Seljavallalaug were built, utilising natural geothermal springs and used by few locals, for children to learn to swim and perhaps occasionally used some natives visitors. No glamour here nor does it try to be anything but a run down place where you can jump into some warm water after a lovely hike up to the pool and tourist leave a mess in the changing rooms which really are just old wooden shacks from the early 20's, providing some shelter from the elements and a place to hang up your close and that is what they are. I visited this place few times as a child and as an adult, and other similar pools around the country. The mess around is left by visitors to the pool which is regrettable but with more people visiting it is one of the many consequences of the huge increase in visitors to this place.
Written July 21, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Suydam
Grand Rapids, MI360 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Family
The setting is incredible. Make no mistake. If it wasn't for 30 cars filling the parking lot and a stream of people hiking the trail I would have called this a highlight of our trip.

Sadly, not so.

The changing rooms stank to high heck. There were people all over the place. The water was full of floating blobs of black algae(?) or maybe it was something else. After all the positive reviews, I'm thinking it's probably awesome if you go some time other than July. I am not at all someone who shies away from cool experiences, but this was more of a sardine tin full of sweaty tourists.

There are other hot springs in Iceland. There are other hikes in Iceland (ahem... Skaftafell). If you're going in the summer, visit those instead. You won't be missing a thing.
Written July 8, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael M
Lebanon, OR693 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016 • Couples
Before my wife and I even planned our trip to Iceland we watched the movie Land Ho! and saw this spot in it. Seeing it then I never imagined it could be that awesome in real life or that I would ever get to go there!

A few months later we planned our trip to Iceland and of course put this place on our list of things to do!

We were really happy to find how easy it is to get to! You turn off the 1, drive about 5 minutes, park and then have a pretty easy 15-20 minute hike and you are there!

The place is surreal. You are surrounded by Mountains (snow packed when we went). We lucked out and got there on a sunny day and the temperatures were a balmy 45 degrees!

The bathrooms are gross, but you are in the middle of a mountain so don't expect anything too nice. The treat is the pool. It's large enough to swim some laps in (though you will just want to relax and soak in your surroundings), it's not that warm with the exception of two spots where the warm water comes in and overall it's big enough that you wont feel cramped at all.

When we went there were about a dozen other people and everyone was enjoying them selves. The pool has a deeper end which we think was about 7 feet but the shallow end is in the 3-4 foot range. With the hike and lack of lifeguard it may not be the best place for young ones, but if you can do it, make the hike and get here. It is unlike anything else.

I made sure to pause a moment and silently take a mental image as I sat at one end of the pool (the warm end) and looked at what I was seeing and where I was. So peaceful. I get goosebumps still today. AWESOME.
Written April 8, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TravelwithTeens2017
Toronto, Canada1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2018 • Family
I was there two days ago. And am both saddened and horrified by the state travellers have left this pool and it’s change rooms. Filthy, full of garbage, empty beer bottles, discarded clothes, underwear, toilet paper, and more, all strewn about the change area.

I wish I had known. I would have gone with plastic gloves and trash bags and cleaned it as an apology from all travellers to the people of region and to future travellers.

It smelled bad, and looked worse. I would rate this as an avoid. Ruined by disrespect and an overflow of people.

Written September 2, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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