There is nothing I love more than being in a place I've never been, and I pretty much just want to go everywhere...
I can't get enough of travelling and sightseeing, so this blog is dedicated to the cool little places I would someday like to go.

Friday, March 1, 2013

"Eldur Og ís" : Laugafell

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 Iceland, 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 hot springs, which are usually 40-50 degrees Celsius.
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.


  1. I do not think I would be able to live that far from a grocery store! That would be a huge bummer for me. But it looks really nice and peaceful. Definitely the opposite of a day at KCI!

  2. I really like the natural look of these hot springs. I remember going to the one's in BC and just realising that it was basically a pool, complete with liner and everything and how disappointing that is. It was kind of good though, I feel like the fact that lava is heating the pool is kind of sketchy. You feel like you might just take a step and lose your leg.

  3. This sounds like a dream come true, to be honest. The isolation would be so cool! And imagine if it was just you and 14 total strangers, to just hang out and get to know each other in the heat of a hotspring. I'd probably try to get a hunting license and some tags for when I was there, and get my food the old fashioned way.
    Someone stop me, I'm having too much fun with this fantasy. I want to go now!

  4. Mitchell - I thought the same thing, I've been to some in BC and it was still nice but kind of dissapointing.
    And Chase - that would be such a great experience! I don't think I'd be able to hunt though haha so I'd just have to stock up on food like a hoarder

  5. It sounds like a wonderful place. I've never actually seen pictures of Iceland before except that one time when the volcano with the long name was active. The one where many airplanes had to be cancelled.
    Anyway, it'd be nice to live there. Away from the hustle and bustle of cities. I think life would be more serene and simple. No worrying about traffic jams, pollution or that essay you have to finish by tomorrow...

    1. It would be so peaceful! And yeah you don't really hear a lot about iceland except for that volcano thing, it's easy to forget.