A helpful stop-off after a go to to Into the Glacier is Húsafell, residence to Hótel Húsafell. And when you’ve got been on the 10am tour (it takes round 3-4 hours), you may time it completely for lunch at Húsafell Bistro.
In addition to an a la carte menu, the bistro provides a every day lunchtime hlaðborð (or buffet) the place you possibly can assist your self to kjötsúpa (Icelandic lamb soup) and vegetable soup, in addition to pizzas and meals from an intensive salad bar (hen salad, pasta salad, candy potato salad and tomato and mozzarella salad – and extra) with a wide range of dressings and oils. It’s an awesome place to re-fuel after your morning’s exertions or certainly to pre-fuel forward of no matter activites await you subsequent.
And what higher factor to do afterwards than go to Húsafell Canyon Baths? These man-made geothermal swimming pools are positioned within the Icelandic highlands and set in a surreal canyon panorama.
Entry to the Húsafell Canyon Baths can’t be made with out permission, however you should buy tickets from Resort Húsafell at an workplace subsequent door to the bistro for an unique minibus tour that features transport with a tour information, entry and time to spend there.
Journeys are made with fairly small teams which are taken on a brief drive of round 10 minutes. Alongside the best way, our information informed us concerning the space, concerning the Viking settles in round 940-950 AD and concerning the household that owns Húsafell Resort that goes again seven generations. We additionally learnt concerning the chilly springs within the space (that produce sufficient water to help half 1,000,000 individuals every day) and the geothermal power that permits the world to supply as 40 litres per second of 70-degree Centigrade sizzling water which is sufficient to heat the lodge, the swimming swimming pools and 200 homes, in addition to the encompassing farming areas.
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The dad and mom of the household now operating the world have been entrepreneurs in rural tourism – different farmers within the space thought they’d ‘misplaced it’ once they killed their sheep and began ‘farming’ with vacationers as an alternative. They made a swimming pool and tenting space, and began renting out small leisure homes within the Summer season months. But it surely turned out to be the correct resolution, and is why Húsafell thrives to this present day.
As we obtained nearer to our vacation spot, a darkish hill to the correct was identified and the snowy patches on it. This was the protect volcano named ‘Okay’ on which the Okjökull glacier was declassified as a glacier in 2014. (To be categorized as a glacier, the snow wanted to have a sure thickness in addition to a sure motion.) There may be snow there year-round, nevertheless it doesn’t behave like a glacier. A plaque was put in in 2019 and a ceremony held that was attended by Katrín Jakobsdóttir, the Prime Minister of Iceland, and different dignitaries.
Having heard this sorry story, we took a flip and drove alongside the center of three canyons, the place we parked up and took a brief stroll to the Húsafell Canyon Baths. Though the land right here is non-public, there aren’t any indicators saying ‘don’t trespass’ – individuals are very welcome to hike and benefit from the space’s nature as long as they’re respecting the atmosphere and never littering.
The final a part of the stroll right down to the geothermal swimming pools is down an extended picket staircase.
And as soon as on the backside, there are female and male altering rooms, in addition to an outside bathe – you should bathe earlier than coming into the swimming pools (however don’t fear, it’s heat!).
The wooden-clad altering rooms are merely furnished, with bench seating and upturned horseshoes re-purposed as garments pegs.
The setting of the baths is as spectacular as it’s tranquil – it’s good that they solely take small teams as this makes it a extra intimate expertise. There are two tubs – the upper of the 2 has one massive rock simply beneath the water floor that you should negotiate as you climb into the water, so it’s presumably greatest to enter backwards to keep away from falling.
The pool closest to the bridge and altering rooms is simpler to enter through some steps and has massive rocks the place you possibly can sit and calm down in water that’s just a bit above physique temperature. For those who want to expertise chilly water, you possibly can have a lie down within the creek (however, be warned, it’s icy chilly!).
A shock on the best way again to the minibus, which I hadn’t anticipated, was a brief stroll to a picket viewing platform.
From there we may admire the two-tiered Langifoss waterfall. Ordinarily we might then have ambled down the valley to be picked up by the minibus additional down. Nonetheless, as can occur in Iceland, the climate took a flip for the more severe (I may have sworn it was making an attempt to snow… in July!) and we as an alternative took the extra instant route again to our transport.
On the journey again, we learnt about Reverend Snorri Björnsson who moved to Húsafell in 1747 as a 37 yr outdated. He was already well-known for having saved many lives since he had grown up within the Westfjords of Iceland and taught himself how you can swim (at a time when Icelanders didn’t know how you can swim). He was very robust and a foreman on a ship and, when small fishing boats would capsize, he would save many a fisherman. In Húsafell, he’s maybe greatest identified, although, for the Húsafell stone, a legendary lifting stone that weighs 186kg (410lbs) that he used because the gate to a stone sheep and goat pen he constructed. This very stone can nonetheless be seen on the pen in Húsafell at the moment and was used within the 1992 World’s Strongest Man competitors in addition to in a number of Iceland’s Strongest Man competitions since.
Planning a visit to Iceland your self? You may watch a video from our journey to Iceland right here:
Disclosure: This publish is sponsored by Hótel Húsafell. Our journey to Iceland was additionally sponsored by Helly Hansen.