First Day in Iceland: Natural Hot Springs & Reykjavik

When I first told people I was going to Iceland to visit I got the typical response, “Um, wait a minute. Isn’t Iceland all ice? How in the world will you travel there?”

Just to break the idea that some people have in their mind, it is cold there, but it is not all covered in ice. In fact, only about 13% is covered by snowfields and glaciers and if you get the chance to see it, you won’t be disappointed!

Iceland is the place where you can let your spirit of adventure come unglued, because there are adventures to be had everywhere you look.

While guided bus tours might be good in some locations, this is not the place. As soon as I got off the plane I made the best decision that I could of possibly made here and rented a car from a trusted car rental company, Geysir Car Rental.


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After driving to the capital, Reykjavik and settling with my Icelandic host, we set off to see different parts by foot. As I travel, I am always trying to learn about the culture and the country, which is my main reason for using couch surfing in each place that I go to.

In my Icelandic tour, I learned 10 interesting facts to start off the trip.

  1. Iceland was one of the last places on earth to be settled by humans.
  2. Owning a pet snake or lizard is against the law.
  3. A volcano erupts almost every 4 years there
  4. This is a FIRST: There are NO McDonald’s in this country.
  5. The city only gets only four hours of sunlight on its shortest day in the winter its daylight almost 24 hours (so, don’t forget a sleeping face mask).
  6. They are lacking trees, although the country is really green.
  7. A very large percentage of people there believe in elves and trolls.
  8. Many people when they start dating, they instantly start the relationship off by checking in the computer to see if that person is related to them. Some people may be closer in the family tree than they would like to be for a dating relationship.
  9. The most common fish caught near Icelandic coast is cod and its DELICIOUS!
  10. Two of James Bond movies were filmed here: A View To A Kill and Die Another Day. 

One of the most popular attractions in the city and its tallest structure in all of Iceland is its unique Hallgrímskirkja church, which is ranked one of the most strangest churches in the world.

After a day of visited the city we took a car about 45km from the city to the small town of Hveragerdi, which is known for good hiking and a large hot water spring. On our way to our destination, we couldn’t ignore the two happy hitchhikers we saw on the side of the road.

We picked them up, invited them on our journey and the four of us went on the adventure together!

This was a very unique experience and my first time visiting a hot water spring that was completely natural, but beware, because the water gets REALLY. There are warning signs informing you that the water temperature is above 80 C °, so watch your step and make sure you don’t step in boiling water.

Travel Info:

Cost: Free

Public Transport: Hveragerdi can be easily and inexpensively reached from Reykjavik by public transport.

What to bring: hiking shoes, jacket, camera, dry clothes, towel, bathing suit (there is a place at the beginning of the trail to change your clothes)

Distance: 3 km, which takes about 45 minutes. The hike is not too difficult and the path is straightforward.

If you only have one day in Iceland, this would be a good activity to do, but as I mentioned, its better to do it with a rental car, because it will cut your time in half. 


Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.comFirst Day in Iceland: Natural Hot Springs & Reykjavik