Some like it hot! Located 45 kilometers (28 mi) east from Reykjavik, Hveragerdi is the charming gateway town to South Iceland.  Hveragerdi sits in a large geothermal area.  In fact, its nickname is the “flower village” because of the town’s many greenhouses.

Indeed, Hveragerdi has the highest concentration of greenhouses in Iceland.  Residents have been harnessing geothermal energy since 1920 to provide Iceland with much of its home grown produce. Significantly, some of the produce even includes tropical papayas and bananas.

Hot Spring Area

A new hot spring area emerged on a hillside above Hveragerdi after a major earthquake shook South Iceland in May 2008. Several highly active hot springs spew colorful mud and hot geothermal water into the air creating quite a spectacle. As a result, pillars of steam are rising up from the ground year round.

Aside from hot springs, Hveragerdi is famous for trout and salmon fishing in the Varma, a river which even has warm water in some spots.  The surrounding mountainous area is spectacular. The town also has scenic waterfalls. A good supply of well-marked hiking paths and bridle paths make this area easy to explore. You can even take an al fresco bath among steaming hot-springs in the warm creek in Reykjadalur valley. You’ll have to be prepared to put in quite a hike to get there, but it is worth it. Needless to say, changing facilities at the site are minimal!

In summer, the heath to the west of town is ideal for berry picking. 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 Hveragerdi’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.

You can enjoy a natural clay foot in the park, and afterwards you can soak your feet in one of the hot springs. Additionally, you can watch the locals bake sweet rye bread using the geothermal ground as an oven.  You can boil egg in the hot springs to enjoy warm with the bread.