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Grjotagja - old cave

London, United...
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Grjotagja - old cave

Grjotagja is an old cave, thermal pool, which was too hot to bathe, and some sites say its hot and roof is unstable, but I've seen blogs as recent as last month, with people having a nice swim inside.

Is it safe to try to go to?

Reykjavik, Iceland
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1. Re: Grjotagja - old cave

Yes it is :) Just mind your step, hehe. By the way, I've never heard before that the roof of that little cave was unstable....

The water is about 42°C. The nearby lava cave of Stóragjá is also being used as a bathing site. If you want your bathing to be a little more sophisticated you could try out the Jarðböðin Geothermal Spa (also known as Myvatn Nature Baths).

Edited: 6:16 pm, July 15, 2013
Reykjavik, Iceland
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2. Re: Grjotagja - old cave

The water in Grjótagjá became too hot after the volcanic eruptions in Krafla in the 70's and 80's. Since then the temperature has been dropping steadily and is now at a point where it is possible to bathe in there. Some might still find it too hot, but yes people can bathe in there again nowadays.

About the roof being unstable. You have the evidence of that all around you once you enter the cave and even before you do. In the past huge chunks of rocks have fallen off the ceiling, in fact that is how the openings formed originally. In case of an earthquake I would prefer to be outside of the cave. Anyone who wants to take a swim in there must realize that you go in there on your own responsibility. There is no changing area or anything of that sort around and you should to be careful when entering the cave. Watch your feet and head.

So, yes you can bathe in there. Another option is Stóragjá, that one is right in the village Reykjahlíð. The water in that rift is not as hot as in Grjótagjá but the same basic advice goes for that one. No changing area and watch your steps.

You should make the call when you are here, see how it looks and then decide if you fancy a dip. It looks beautiful and cozy on the photos, and don't get me wrong, it can be that way in reality too. Just know that it's not a developed tourist attraction but raw nature at it's best. With care and respect you will be able to have a great experience.

Adelaide, Australia
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3. Re: Grjotagja - old cave

How interesting, thank you I had not heard of these. Mr Northice -is it known how deep/shallow they are please, and if the two are connected in some way. I did have a look but none of the sites seemed to say. Thank you I do not want to go in or I do, and would if I could, I am just interested in the geology

Edited: 9:34 pm, July 15, 2013
Reykjavik, Iceland
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4. Re: Grjotagja - old cave

Hi Aussiegrannie, I have read many of your recent posts and it's nice to hear that you are still finding out about new places, even after having been here a few times before. One never fully explores Iceland, there is always something new to discover. But anyway, in reply to your question. The water can be from a few cm deep to few meters. I don't believe the rifts at Grjótagjá and Stóragjá are directly linked, although technically the whole area is just one giant tank of water, heated by the same volcanic chamber. For those interested in geology, Lake Myvatn and it's surroundings are a paradise.

I should follow up my previous post. Even though I mentioned Stóragjá as an alternative bathing place, people are advice against bathing there now. That is due to the fact that there have been measured high levels of e-coli bacteria's in that water. The watercurrent through the cave is very slow and that also means the water renews very slowly. The water in Grjótagjá renews much faster and is much hotter than in Stóragjá (42°C as opposed to 29°C in Stóragjá). But both sites are interesting and deserve a visit.

Adelaide, Australia
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5. Re: Grjotagja - old cave

Thank you Northice and G'day to you. I have of course been to Akureyri, and Lake Myvatn ( and the midges were not at home those days either:-)) My private guide did not mention those caves to me, or if he did I don't recall. I expect he did not, knowing that I would not take any foolish chances entering them, no matter how much I wanted too. However he will be asked again, in just a few weeks when I will be in Iceland , to continue with my research, and to see some more.

Going through the middle this time, and once again staying just outside Akureyri. Cant wait, I am sure you have heard many say they love Iceland, but I actually do, and I cant get enough. It's so peaceful, well most of the time , and quiet, with Mother Nature at her very, very best.Thanks :-)

Norway
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6. Re: Grjotagja - old cave

I was at Grjótagjá a few weeks ago, and I can confirm that some people are indeed bathing there. I can also confirm that there is a sign saying "Rocks have recently fallen from the roof of the cave, not for the last time". And we are not just talking about small rocks here, these are massive blocks. So obviously this is all on your own risk. However, it is not easy to estimate how dangerous this is. Statistically it is probably no more dangerous than trying to cross a busy city street, but as Northice says, I would not like to be in there if an earthquake struck.

I did not go down to the water this time, I have been in there before. I found the place more or less by coincidence in 2006. At that time I think the water was still a bit too hot for bathing, so I just took some photos, both outside and inside. Mostly it looks the same today, except there is a new and better road. Link to photos from 2006:

galleries.ringstadfoto.no/keyword/grotagja

7. Re: Grjotagja - old cave

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