Guðrúnarlaug, Sælingsdal

The Gudrunarlaug Natural Hot Pool

Gudrunarlaug is one of many "hidden" geothermal pools in Iceland, located in the western part of the country. I visited the pool for the first time on a sunny day in early June.

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Nína Þorkelsdóttir

2. December 2017

Exploring every single natural hot pool in Iceland will probably take years, a lifetime even. The fact that there are countless natural geothermal pools scattered around Iceland is unknown to many tourists so my mission is to introduce you to the best ones. 

I visited several pools I hadn’t been to last weekend. One of them is Gudrunarlaug, located in Sælingsdalur in the western part of the country. 

A woman in a black swimsuit bathing in a geothermal pool.

A geothermal outdoor pool and a changing room, resembling a turf house.

Gudrunarlaug is named after one of the great heroines of the Icelandic Sagas, Guðrún Ósvífursdóttir. She’s the main protagonist of Laxdæla Saga but the pool is also mentioned in Sturlunga Saga. Guðrún grew up at a farm in Laugar, Sælingsdalur, and was married four times. 

A landslide ruined the original pool in 1869 but it was was reconstructed in the fall of 2009. 

Unlike most natural geothermal pools in Iceland, there’s a changing room just a couple of meters away from the pool. The building is a small medieval-styled hut that has a turf roof. There are no showers in the changing room, in case you were wondering. 

The pool’s temperature roughly 100°F. The water is clean but it does have some algae. The algae is supposedly good for your skin so I wouldn’t worry too much about that. 

How to get there:

The pool is located in Laugar, Sælingsdalur. Sælingsdalur is in the Dalir region in northwest Iceland. If you are driving from Reykjavik, simply follow the Ring Road to the north until you come across Road 60 (Vestfjarðavegur). Turn to the left on Sælingsdalsvegur about 20 minutes after you pass the town of Búðardalur. 

Stop your car in front of the Hótel Edda in Laugar. Then walk up a small hill, just across the hotel. You will probably spot the medieval-style changing room from the road. 

Is it free?


Are there interesting attractions nearby?

Loads of them. If you like ice cream, I recommend visiting a dairy farm called Erpsstaðir. It is located by Road 60, around 10 minutes south of Búðardalur by car. They serve delicious ice cream, cheese and some skyr-infused chocolates. 

Eiríksstaðir, the farm of Eirik the Red and birthplace of Leif the Lucky, is also close to Guðrúnarlaug. The farm has been rebuilt in a traditional manner but it’s also possible to take a look around the old ruins. 

It’s also worth mentioning that Guðrúnarlaug is conveniently located between Snæfellsnes peninsula and the Westfjords and could be a great stop on the way if you are driving between those two regions.