Hiking to the Hot Pots

Reykjavik Travel Blog

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Looking over Reykjavik
After a restful night’s sleep, I found myself at the beginning of another beautiful Icelandic day. Originally, I wanted to do a glacier hike today but I realized my funds are pretty low and I didn’t have any waterproof pants. So back on Saturday I decided I would spend more time seeing Reykjavik. The place just has so much to offer.

I had heard and read about a geothermal beach (a beach on the ocean that is heated naturally by the Earth). I checked out a map before I left the room and began walking in that direction, not knowing what kind of surprises were in store for me.

It was nearly 60 degrees outside with a cool breeze. My walk took me out of downtown and past a small airport on the outskirts of town. I knew I had to go around the airport and the only way to do that was via small walking paths.
One of the hot pots
I figured it would just be a nice, easy sidewalk to the other side. I discovered that that was not going to be the case when the sidewalk turned into dirt and began sloping uphill. I wasn’t expecting to do any hiking today, but here I was.

After some research, I determined that the small mountain I was on was named Oskjuhlio, and the views it offered were spectacular. Once I strolled through the lush green hillside, I found myself at the top overlooking Reykjavik and the surrounding mountains. Surprises lie around every corner of this country.

After spending nearly two hours exploring the mountain and finding various trails and scenery, I decided to continue on to my ultimate destination. I found my way off the mountain rather easily and spotted the beach almost immediately.
The beach along with the other hot pot on the right hand side
I walked in and the place was packed with children and locals. I was somewhat dumbfounded as to where to start. There were three separate swimming areas to choose from: the ocean, a “hot pot” right on the edge of the water, and another “hot pot” near the bar and bathrooms. I started with the ocean, since it was the biggest and least crowded. Two minutes later I realized why, it was cold. Me, being the naïve tourist, quickly got out and went in the nearby hot pot.

The hot pot is a large hot tub that is heated by geothermal activity underneath it. A large ripple in the ocean right by the pot is the geothermal energy that heats it. Pretty interesting stuff. I relaxed a bit, alternating between both of the hot pots, before I decided to get out and head back to the city center. It still boggles my mind as to how much this island the size of Kentucky has to offer. There are very few places in the world that offer such pristine sights and entertainment.

I returned to the hostel around 6:00pm and made myself a chicken sandwich for dinner (I bought a big rotisserie chicken that lasted me a few days). After that, I did a bit more shopping and returned to pack up and relax. My short time in Iceland was almost over...
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Looking over Reykjavik
Looking over Reykjavik
One of the hot pots
One of the hot pots
The beach along with the other hot…
The beach along with the other ho…
Looking back at the entire complex
Looking back at the entire complex
Sign explaining the swimming area
Sign explaining the swimming area
Part of the hiking trail
Part of the hiking trail
Icelandic wilderness
Icelandic wilderness
I came across this bridge
I came across this bridge
It was built on top of a fallen tr…
It was built on top of a fallen t…
Looking over the airport and the o…
Looking over the airport and the …
Reykjavik
photo by: MadeleineGL