I’m heading up North for this post, to the “Land of Fire and Ice” – Iceland. As most people know, Iceland’s name is a huge lie. Parts of Iceland are covered in snowfields and glaciers, but Iceland also has hundreds of volcanos and is known for its hot springs. So yeah, the Vikings who named Iceland were huge jokesters.
I’ve always loved looking at pictures of Iceland. It’s such a beautiful country – I love how wild and rugged it is, and soaking in a natural hot spring is totally my thing. One hot spring in particular, Laugafell, really caught my eye (partly because it has a name I can actually pronounce, unlike Deildartunguhver…).
Laugafell is a mountain in the northern highlands of
, sitting between the glaciers Horsjokull and Vatnajokull. Its western slope is riddled with geothermal hot springs, which are heated by the earth’s mantle. The hot springs are a bit of an oasis, since the highlands can be very barren. Plants and wildlife flourish around the Iceland , which are usually 40-50 degrees Celsius. hot springs
Laugafell has two mountain huts where visitors can stay. The oldest hut was built 1948-1950 and sleeps 15. It is open all year round and is actually heated by geothermic water from the springs. The newer hut was built in the 90’s and is open for use in the summer. It sleeps 20. Both huts have functioning kitchens with gas for cooking and utensils provided. There is a separate third hut which serves as a washroom and showerhouse. The hot spring pools are located just outside the cabins.
Just imagine waking up in the morning, stepping out onto the beautiful mountainside and gazing over the highlands all around you. Then you could take a dip in a pool heated by the earth’s core, right in your own backyard, surrounded by wildflowers and gorgeous mountain vistas. Sounds like bliss.
What to do? Other than soaking in warm geothermal pools (and you would have a hard time tearing me away from that), there are tons of hiking trails all around Laugafell, which lead to other mountains and glaciers and the nearby Eyjafiord Valley. There are gorgeous waterfalls and canyons to visit throughout the highlands, and apparently they raise a lot of horses here, so you could probably do some horseback riding or something.
What to eat? You’re pretty much on your own here. You’ve got two kitchens with stoves and “the necessary utensils” (not sure exactly what that includes). Laugafell is 85 km from the nearest town, Akureyri, so you could make a stop there and stock up on groceries before heading up to the huts for your stay.
I tried to find some sort of pun about Iceland or something, but they were all pretty bad… So instead, Fun Fact: many people in Iceland still believe in elves and trolls, and many roads are rerouted around places they think are inhabited by magical creatures. Probably makes for some interesting driving.
There’s not a ton of information about Laugafell, and most of it is scattered in bits and pieces over a bunch of sites, but this one covers pretty much everything. The English is a little iffy, but I’m sure you can get past that.