hot springs capital of the world
A vast number of people pass through or by Hveragerði in south Iceland each year. Located 45 km from Reykjavik, Hveragerði may be seen from the vantage point of the Kambar mountain slope, as it spreads out across a 5,000 year-old lava field. Troughout the year, pillars of steam from the numerous hot springs in the town may be seen rising up out of the ground. In summer the town is truly a green community, abounding in trees. A green revolution is taking place as areas of woodland in and around Hveragerði expand, with the locals working together in order to further develop their blossoming town.
Without doubt, Hveragerði´s, most precious gem is it´s geothermal park. There can not be many towns in the world with hot springs literally in peoples back yard. The geothermal park is centrally located and is open every day in the summer time. 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 hotsprings and later enjoy warm with the bread. Guidance is provided on the spot. During off season time please contact the local information office which arranges group tours upon request. Only 50 metres from the Geothermal Park a restaurant uses the geothermal heat for its outdoor kitchen which its visitors find simply fantastic.
The existence of hot springs led people to settle in Hveragerði. The natural hot water could be used for space heating, for cooking, baking and laundry. But it also led to the development of jobs. The first market garden, Fagrihvammur, was founded by the Varmá river in 1929. A year later the first greenhouse was built, marking the beginning of greenhouse horticulture in this region. Horticulture became a key sector of the local economy. Hveragerði began to grow a community in bloom.
Brand new hot springs on the 29th of May 2008
A new hot spring area broke through the ground in the earthquake that shook Iceland´s southern part on the 29th of May 2008. It is situated in the hillside above the town. Several very active hot springs can be seen that throw colourful mud and clear water in the air. A spectactular sight that should not be missed. All information is given in the tourist information office.
The exhibition "Quake 2008"
A powerful earthquake (6,3 Richter scale) struck the South coast of Iceland at 15:45 on the 29th of May in 2008. The epicenter of the quake was about two kilometers southeast of Hveragerði. The area closest to the epicenter of the quake suffered severe damage of houses and contents as this was being thrown around in the earthquake.
The exhibition presents the causes and derivatives the earthquake 2008 in Hveragerði. The exhibition shows the experience of residents, how it affected the buildings, local environments and other damage. Television screen shows the recordings from the camera monitoring, photographs of local people and information from Earthquake Center, University of Iceland. Earthquake simulator that visitors can experience a powerful earthquake that is over 6 per richter. When digging the foundation hole for the shopping centre a large, ancient fissure was revealed. One can see the fissure lit up through a transparent section of the floor in the library and at the tourist information centre.
Access to the exhibition is free but fee is taken for the earthquake simulator.
"Quake 2008" Sunnumörk 2-4810 Hveragerði tel: +354 483 -4601
In 1946 Hveragerði became its own municipality. Hveragerði has been a productive town in the last few years. New buildings are appering as more and more people are choosing to come and live in the town attracted by its tranquillity and closeness to nature. The growing population has risen to 2300. Hveragerði has much to offer. Trout and salmon swim in the Varmá river, berries can be had for the picking on the heath to the west of the town, and the area abounds in excellent walking routes. Not to mention the swimming pool, that for years was the largest pool in Iceland. It´s surroundings are remarkably beautiful. There are hot baths, whirlpools, a natural sauna and a fitness center. The swimming pool is open all year round. The NLFÍ Health and Rehabilitation Clinic offers the opportunity to seek health and happiness, and the Ás senior citizens´ home provides comfort for the twilight years. As the poets said: “Hveragerði is the best place in the world.”
The Outdoors – Nature – Exercise
The Hveragerði surroundings are a paradise for outdoors people. There are good hiking trails within the town that link up with a network of trails on the land belonging to the Agricultural University of Iceland at the foot of Reykjafjall Mountain and in Ölfusborgir. There are also hiking trails in the recreational area at the foot of and on Hamar Mountain. From the mountain there are excellent views of land and out to sea. There are interesting hiking trails within the town. The Poets´Trail winds its way through historical parts of the town visiting three streets that made up the “artists´ quarters” between the years 1940-1965. These are Bláskógar(Blue woods), the street of painters; Frumskógar (Jungles), the street of poets, formerly known as Skáldagata, and Laufskógar (Leaf Woods), the street of the musicians. The Geothermal Trail visits the principal geothermal areas in and around town.
Maps and guidance for the main trails in Hveragerði can be found here.
There are walking and riding trails from the town into Ölfusdalur valley, the Hengill area and all the way to Nesjavellir and Þingvellir. On the route you will find warm natural pools and rivers for bathing.
Sunnumörk Shopping centre
In the spring of 2004 the Sunnumörk Shopping Center was opened. Here you will find alls kinds of services, such as shops, a post office, library, bank, town offices, information center etc.
Information and services
The locals of Hveragerði do their utmost to make guests feel welcome. The town has much to offer, a range of interesting activities, places to eat and stay including an excellent campsite with first-class facilities situated in the field by Fagrihvammur. To South Iceland Tourist Information Center provides information about hiking trails, various activities, museums, exhibitions, culture, art, accommodation, services and guided tours of Hveragerði and its surroundings.