‘Seljavallalaug – The Hidden Pool’ – sounds like a movie title. Probably, horror or fantasy, knowing me. Sorry, not trying to scare anyone away from exploring it!
This geothermal spring was converted into a swimming pool for school kids a while ago. It is not used as an official swimming pool anymore but is open to the public to use. Getting here is a little tricky. When you’re on Ring Road on, going in an anti-clockwise direction (east ward), you will need to take road 242 on your left and drive on to the parking lot as shown below. I missed this exit and had to circle back. The sign might be small, but there is a sign that says 242.
Once you’re in the parking lot, it’s about a 20-min hike to the pool. You will see a general trail to follow. The walk itself is beautiful as you go through the mountains and little streams. This is the only place in Iceland where I lost cell reception. Also, when I went, this stream’s ‘bridge’ was kinda broken and I was very grateful for my waterproof boots!
As it is a relatively lesser known location, there are fewer people here. However, as it is not maintained by the government anymore, it’s not the best experience. The changing rooms are pretty dirty and the pool floor is covered with moss. I quickly dipped my feet in the warmer section and peaced out. Great area for photo ops and a nice walk to stretch your legs out, but if you want a decent geothermal bath experience, I would stick to the better-known ones and skip this.
There are several well-known geothermal baths in Iceland – Blue Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Myvatn Baths (here’s a ‘gotcha’, myvatn baths are not a naturally occurring geothermal pool, they’re a man-made spring) – but I decided not to go to them. I thought they’re a little too crowded for me, but I think I might give it a shot next time I get a chance to go to one anywhere else. I’ve heard the whole experience is relaxing and wonderful from friends who did make the trip.