Searing. Serene. Surreal.
Hveradalir: A Geothermal Paradise in Kerlingarfjöll
Hveradalir, nestled in the picturesque Kerlingarfjöll mountain range, is a true gem of Iceland's volcanic landscape. Located in the central highlands of the country, Hveradalir is a geothermal wonderland that captivates visitors with its surreal beauty. The name Hveradalir translates to "Valley of Hot Springs," and it perfectly describes the unique characteristics of this area. The valley is formed by a series of steaming hot springs, bubbling mud pools, and vibrant geothermal vents. As you explore Hveradalir, you'll be greeted by a symphony of colors, with hues ranging from vibrant blues and greens to fiery reds and oranges. It's a visual feast that will leave you in awe.
The geothermal activity in Hveradalir is a result of the underlying volcanic forces at work. The Kerlingarfjöll mountain range is part of the active volcanic system in Iceland, and the valley sits atop a zone of intense geothermal activity. The heat from the Earth's interior escapes through cracks and fissures, creating an otherworldly landscape that feels like something out of a science fiction movie.
Reasons to visit Hveradalir
Unparalleled geothermal beauty
Prepare to be mesmerized by the kaleidoscope of colors that adorn Hveradalir's landscape, from vibrant reds and oranges to soothing blues and greens. The area's geothermal features, including steaming hot springs, bubbling mud pools, and dazzling fumaroles, create a surreal and unforgettable experience.
Hveradalir boasts numerous hiking trails that wind through the valley, offering breathtaking views of the simmering landscape. It's an explorer’s paradise, as every turn presents a new and awe-inspiring vista.
A photogenic marvel
With its striking contrast of colors, textures, and mesmerizing landforms, Hveradalir is a photographer’s dream. Capture the mystical beauty of this geothermal area and create lasting memories of your visit.
How to get to Hveradalir
The journey to Hveradalir involves traveling to Highland Base - Kerlingarfjöll, an oasis of hospitality that serves as the staging ground for adventuring in the central highlands. In the summer, Highland Base is accessible by car, private transfer, and bus. During the winter, it can only be reached with a 4x4 super jeep driven by a professional. From Reykjavík, the drive time is approximately three hours in optimal conditions, covering nearly 200 kilometers—a voyage moving from paved highways to the challenging and desolate gravel roads of the country’s interior. Once you arrive at Highland Base, Hveradalir is just a 5 km hike into the enchanting mountainscape. If you do not wish to hike, you can drive to the site—or book a Hveradalir guided tour, which departs from Highland Base and includes transportation.
Where to stay when visiting Hveradalir
After a day of hiking, you’ll need a place to relax and recharge. Highland Base is an optimal location—a welcoming refuge of warmth and comfort at the edge of the Kerlingarfjöll frontier. Opened in the summer of 2023, it is a game-changing resort, unlocking the door to a world of highland exploration. With accommodations for everyone from the simple backpacker to the lavish explorer, this remote outpost features a campsite, hostel huts, hotel rooms, luxury suites, private lodges, a cozy restaurant, and the Highland Base Baths. The destination also offers a vast spectrum of guided and unguided adventures designed for winter or summer.
In conclusion, Hveradalir's geothermal wonders and superb hiking trails make it an unmissable destination for nature enthusiasts and eager explorers alike. From the captivating colors of the rhyolite mountains to the endless enchantments of the hot springs, Hveradalir promises an unforgettable experience.