Hellulaug Pool is a hidden gem in the southern part of the Westfjords. My advice to you is to visit the pool soon – while it's still off the tourist radar!
There are countless natural geothermal pools in Iceland and some of them are ideal spots for swimming and bathing. Some of these pool are getting quite well known, like Seljavallalaug for instance, but others are more remote and almost entirely off the tourist radar.
I am a huge fan of these relatively unknown natural pools. I’d much rather choose to be all by myself in a small natural pool somewhere in the wilderness than paying high entrance fees and splash around in crowded pools (like the Blue Lagoon or the Secret Lagoon for instance).
My most recent discovery is a remote hot pool in the Westfjords of Iceland, called Hellulaug. What makes this pool unique is its location by the seaside and the fact that few people know about it – yet.
I visited Hellulaug on a sunny day in early June. Travelade/Nína
There were no people in the pool when I went there. Travelade/Nína.
I visited the pool on a Sunday afternoon in early June. We were alone in the pool for almost an hour. I can’t promise you that you’ll be alone in the pool too, it’s probably going to get busier during the peak of the season.
The best thing about hot pools, like Hellulaug, is that there’s no entrance fee. There are no facilities either, so you will probably have to change into your bathing suit in the car or wear it underneath your clothes.
The stunning view over Vatnsfjörður Fjord. Travelade/Nína.
I lounged for a bit on the rocks above the pool. Travelade/Nína.
There’s no shower either but the water seemed very clean so I really didn’t mind. The temperature of the pool is ideal – it’s around 100°F (38°C).
There beach around Hellulaug is home a plethora of birds. You’ll definitely see some eider ducks, arctic terns and oystercatchers wandering around on the beach. You might also catch a glimpse of whimbrels, golden plovers and other wader birds.
An oystercatcher. Travelade/iStock.
I feel urged to remind you that there’s no poolkeeper that will come and pick up rubbish and clean the place, so please don’t leave anything behind!
If you're wondering about things to do in the area, I recommend this Westfjords Hiking and Hot Pool Itinerary.
Hellulaug is located in Vatnsfjörður on the south coast of the Westfjords. It’s close to a hotel called Hótel Flókalundur. If you are driving from Reykjavik, take the Ring Road northbound. Shortly after you pass Bifröst, take a left turn onto Road 60 (also called Vestfjarðavegur) which will eventually lead you to the pool.
According to Google, the drive from Reykjavik takes just over 4 hours. I actually think that’s way too optimistic. Road 60 is partly gravelled and driving along fjords and mountains in the Westfjords always require driving cautiously. I think the drive from Reykjavik is at least five hours, even a bit longer.
The best travel recommendations come from locals. Check out these Wanderguides from Iceland by locals sharing their travel tips and hidden gems.