This legendary bathing spot, Grettislaug at Reykir in Skagafjordur in North Iceland, is the bathing place of Grettir the Strong from Saga lore. Located by the seaside with amazing views, the geothermal pool has been constructed with natural stones.
At Reykir in Skagafjordur fjord are two geothermal pools, where guests can bathe. The older one, Grettislaug, is named after Grettir the Strong, the main character from Grettis Saga. As the story goes, Grettir, then an outlaw and lived in Drangey Island, visible from the pool, swam ashore. He was feeling cold, naturally, after them swim and spent the night in the pool, getting warm again.
Early 20th century there were two pools there. One called Reykjalaug which was used for washing clothes, and the other one Grettislaug. Both of these pools were ruined in a great storm early 20th century, but locals decided to rebuild them in 1992. Reykjalaug was renamed and is called Jarlslaug (e. pool of the earl) in honour of Jon Eiriksson, who lead the rebuilding of the pools.
What is the temperature of the water in Grettislaug?
Grettislaug is about 39°C (100°F) year round, though of course weather can influence the water’s temperature. There are dressing rooms and since the pool in on a private property, there is a small entrance fee.
Who was Grettir the Strong?
Grettir the Strong was an outlaw that lived in Drangey island. As the story goes the outlaw Grettir supposedly swam from the island to the western shore of Skagafjordur. There he bathed in a geothermal spring and fetched glowing embers to take back to his hiding place in the island. The pool, called Grettislaug, has been constructed with natural stones at this legendary bathing spot.
The outlaw Grettir was considered a strong, formidable warrior, that could battle trolls and undead alike and there were few who dared to ride against him. He lived in the island with his brother and their slave, after he was sentenced and deemed an outlaw.
One night their fire went out, so naturally Grettir decided to swim ashore and get fire. After he had bathed in the pool he walked naked to the nearest farm, Reykir, and went to sleep there, as he was tired. When the people who lived on the farm woke up they recognized him, where he slept. One of the girls said: “So may I thrive, sister! here is Grettir Asmundson lying bare, and I call him right well ribbed about the chest, but few might think he would be so small of growth below; and so then that does not go along with other kinds of bigness.”
How to get to Grettislaug geothermal pool?
The pools are just north of the town Saudarkrokur in Skagafjordur fjord.
GPS: N65º52.934 W19º44.171