Some like it hot! Located 45 kilometers (28 mi) east from Reykjavik, Hveragerdi is the charming gateway town to South Iceland. It‘s set in a large geothermal area and is often referred to as the ‘flower village,’ because of the many greenhouses there.
Hveragerdi has the highest concentration of greenhouses in Iceland. There residents have been harnessing geothermal energy since 1920 to provide the country with much of its home grown produce, including exotic varieties like papayas and bananas.
Hveragerdi Hot Spring Area
A new hot spring area emerged on a hillside above Hveragerdi after a major earthquake shook South Iceland in May 2008. Pillars of steam can be seen rising up from the ground year round. Several highly active hot springs spew colorful mud and hot geothermal water into the air creating quite a spectacle.
Aside from hot springs, Hveragerdi has much to offer in trout and salmon fishing in the Varma River, which runs warm in some areas. The river source being the sulphur and copper tinted mountains that lie behind. The surrounding mountainous area is spectacular and is easily accessed and explored via a good supply of well-marked hiking paths and riding trails. It is even possible to take an al fresco bathe amongst steaming hot-springs in the warm creek in Reykjadalur valley. Needless to say facilities at the site are minimal! Not just that, you’ll have to be prepared to put in quite a hike to get there.
In summer the heath to the west of town is lush for berry picking. There is a blossoming woodland area that is being developed by the local community. Horseback riding and excellent hiking trails abound in the steamy hills. Valleys spread out from a 5,000 year-old lava field. In the evenings the greenhouses are lit up giving the town of Hveragerdi a distinctive glow.
Hveragerdi Geothermal Park
Without a doubt Hveragerði’s most precious gem is the Hveragerdi Hot Spring Area. There cannot be many towns in the world with hot springs literally in people’s back yard.
A natural clay foot bath can be enjoyed in the park and afterwards you can soak your feet in one of the hot springs. In a hole in the park the locals bake the famous black bread using the geothermal ground as an oven. You can boil egg in the hot springs and later enjoy warm with the bread. Guidance is provided on the spot.