Seljavallalaug

South coast, Iceland
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One of the oldest swimming pools in Iceland, built in 1923. The picturesque pool is 10 meters by 25 meters long, and due to algae, that grows in the pool, it displays a beautiful shade of green. The structure itself is unique as one of the sides of the swimming pool is the steep mountain face as the pool is nestled into the rock. The scenery is also breathtaking, as the pool lies in a beautiful canyon with towering mountains of tuff surrounding it. Nearby brooks and small waterfalls flow from the highlands above, making this location truly magnificent. The beautiful hills around it shelter this location and even if there is a small hike to this pool, it is well worth the trouble.

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    Lighting conditions

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    Accessibility, services and permits

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  • Visitors and risk factors

    Visitors and risk factors

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Accessibility

You drive 2.8 km from the main road, down a good gravel road that leads you to a medium-sized parking lot, from there you can drive a further 200 meters to a smaller lot but must hike 850 meters along an easy and moderate hiking trail towards the pool itself.
Public transportation unavailable
There is no public transportation available in this area
Car recommended
Unchallenging terrain accessible by car
Good phone coverage
Generally good phone coverage without any major interruptions
Not needed
Guide is not needed

Services nearby

Close to Hvolsvöllur and Vík, so hotels, gas stations and convenience stores are in abundance. The village of Skógar is 10 kilometers away. Nearest hospital is in Selfoss, 93 kilometers away.
Accommodation
< 30 km
Gas station
< 50 km
Hospital or emergency room
More than 50 km away
Parking
< 1 km
Restaurants
< 30 km
Shopping
< 50 km

Permits

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You need the mandatory license from the government and a permission from the landowners who live close by.
Shooting requires both the permission from the property owner and the local government permit

Basecamp and facilities

There is a small/medium parking lot at the start of the trail that leads to the pool. There is also a bigger parking lot 200 meters further away down the road that could be more suitable for basecamps. There are no facilities at this location, no shower, only a little shed that could be used to change clothes in. Phone coverage is bad at the pool location but good at base.

Risk factors

This is a tuff mountain, so loose rocks are prone to fall from the cliffs above. The trail is a little steep in places, so be careful where you step. Small creeks flow from the hills, making the rocks slippery. The swimming pool is full of algae so people with weak immunity system should not bath there. The water is lukewarm but hot water runs from tubes close to the deep end and could easily burn if you come to close.

Visitors

This location lies on Iceland’s most frequented route, along the south coast, so many tourists go through here. The pool is a popular hiking spot for visitors who mostly tend to stop briefly, while some, more adventurous, might take a swim on a good day. Closing this location is easy with PAs at the end of the trail.

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