Hveragerdi

One thing not seen from the Ringroad is the river Varmá which runs through Hveragerdi town. Walking along the river you will come across many beautiful hot springs. PIC Origine1

One thing not seen from the Ringroad is the river Varmá which runs through Hveragerdi town. Walking along the river you will come across many beautiful hot springs. PIC Origine1

For quite some time the town of Hveragerdi, literally Hot Spring Place, has been the mecca for Icelanders with health issues. Not only was the surroundings considered relaxing but many believe the water here has healing qualities.

Although it could be argued that few offer as horrible an entrance into one town as Hveragerdi, which proudly boasts a gas station and a big parking area in front of a small shopping center as the very first things entering visitors see, there is much more to the town.

The Total Iceland team would even venture to recommend spending a whole day here and staying overnight before taking off again. But only in summertime. It is then that Hveragerdi turns from being a sleepy hollow for people working mostly in the capital Reykjavik into a blooming town of life. Avid hikers and outdoor enthusiasts should stay longer since there are so many fantastic walking paths in and around the town.

The main thing to know is that the town is basically built on hot springs area and hot water and steam gushes forth in many places. This is the main reason you see so many greenhouses in one place here but the warm earth makes it cheap and easy to grow vegatables and fruits all year round.

Many hot springs can be seen up close here as long as you take care (see map). The biggest ones are Sandhólshver just north of the Hveragerdi church, Grýla hot spring, close to the majestic Hamar cliff above the town and a quite a few are found in Hverahvammur on the banks of the river Varmá. Fishing for trout and salmon is possible in Varmá river.

From top of the Hamar cliff you will have fine views over Hveragerdi town and to the south. However, the very best views are from the sightseeing stop beside the Ringroad near the top of Hellisheidi which most cross to get to Hveragerdi and the south of Iceland. From there you can see forever and on clear days all the way to Westman Islands.

As for the town itself it doesn´t really have much to see. The church, Hveragerdiskirkja, is picturesque and often open. There is a decent nine hole golf course here, Gufudalsvöllur, surrounded by hot springs which makes playing unusual to say the least. There is one small art museum here. Listasafn Árnesinga by Austurmörk road showcases both local and foreign works of art. The town swimming pool by Sunnumörk is a must stop.

Once or twice per year Hveragerdi celebrates its first place as a flower and vegatable capital of Iceland. The festival Blomstrandi dagar, Flowering days, is pretty popular but the timing is different from year to year.

You get fine service in the town itself. Two hotels offer accomodations. Hot Springs Hotel is more rehabilitation and health clinic than an actual hotel but nice nevertheless. Hotel Örk stands close to the Ringroad and offers amongs other things golf and swimming on premises.

The camping area by Reykjamörk road is nice enough but basic. There is also a slate of nice guesthouses in the vicinity. Frumskógar is one and Guesthouse Frost and Fire is another.

There is a restaurant in Hotel Örk and you get pretty cheap dishes in restaurant Hoflandssetrid on Breiðumörk road although it is more fast food style. An unusual gem is the Kjöt and Kúnst restaurant.

Driving further into the little valley in which Hveragerdi lies you will soon come upon Reykjadalur valley. This is a fantastic hiking area and a number of hot springs are found throughout. Some of which are ideal for a natural soak. However, this is a popular place so do not expect much privacy.


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