Located in an active volcanic zone, the steaming landscape of Hveragerdi sprawls across a 5,000-year-old lava field, and its geothermal park is one of the country’s main centers of natural energy. The Hveragerdi Geothermal Park heats a series of greenhouses that grow everything from flowers to vegetables, and the celebrated Hveragerdi hot springs draw many visitors.
The Hveragerdi hot springs range from hissing steam vents and gurgling puddles of mud to pools so hot that locals use the water to boil eggs and bake bread in a ground oven. Along with bathing in the naturally heated Laugaskard swimming pool and enjoying an organic-clay foot bath, the area around Hveragerdi also offers prime terrain for hiking, surrounded by lush forests along the banks of the Varma river.
Located on Iceland’s Ring Road (Route 1), Hveragerdi is a common stop on bus tours making their way along the southern coast. You can also visit on a specialized hiking–and–hot springs guided tour from Reykjavik.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Hveragerdi is a must-visit for nature lovers.
- Hiking and riding trails stretch from the town throughout Olfusdalur valley, into the Hengill volcanic area, and all the way to the Nesjavellir geothermal area and Thingvellir.
- There are plenty of restaurants and shops in town, so you can spend a whole day here.
- The South Iceland Information Center is located in town.
How to Get There
Hveragerdi is around a 50-minute drive along the Ring Road from Reykjavik. If you are using public transport, take bus 3 from Reykjavik to Mjodd, then change to bus 51; the trip will take around an hour and a half. Alternatively, skip the hassle by joining a tour that includes round-trip transportation.
When to Get There
Geothermal heat is the catalyst for the fields of flowers you will see if you visit in summer, which earned the town the nickname “the blossoming town.” An annual flower exhibition takes place on the last weekend in June, displaying the best of Icelandic horticulture. On the other hand, soaking in a hot spring while snow falls around you makes a winter visit just as appealing.
In 2008, Hveragerdi gained a new hot spring, created during a powerful earthquake. This quake is subject of the town’s fascinating Quake 2008 exhibition, which examines its causes and impact and offers the chance to experience an earthquake measuring 6 on the Richter Scale in a simulator.