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Deildartunguhver is a geothermal hot spring located in west Iceland. Deildartunguhver is a significant natural attraction due to its impressive output of boiling water and its importance in providing geothermal energy for nearby communities. It is considered Europe’s most powerful hot spring in terms of water flow rate. It offers 200 litres per second of 100°C water. Geology buffs will want to get a glimpse of Deildartunguhver for an excellent example of the bubbling geothermal activity that is very much alive under the surface.
Close-up picture of a hot spring at Deildartunguhver in Iceland.
Best time to visit
All year round
Coordinates
64.66374717517097, -21.410267063911775
Distance from Reykjavík
104km (65mi)

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Deildartunguhver

One of the most significant uses of the heat from Deildartunguhver is for district heating in nearby communities. The water’s high temperature and abundant flow provide a valuable source of geothermal energy for heating homes, businesses, and greenhouses. Most of the water used for central heating in the towns of Akranes and Borgarnes is taken from Deildartunguhver. The hot-water pipeline to Akranes stretches 64 kilometres, which is the longest in Iceland; the water temperature is about 78-80°C when it reaches the town.

It’s safe to visit Deildartunguhver but keep your distance, as you can get splashed with scalding hot water if you get too close. Travellers will see water bubbling up and splashing against moss and rock.

Deildartunguhver is situated in the west of Iceland, near the town of Borgarnes. It’s located within the Borgarfjörður region, which is known for its natural beauty, historical sites, and geothermal activity. Deildartunguhver is located along Route 50, making it relatively easy to access by car. It’s a popular stop for travellers exploring the Borgarfjörður area, which offers a mix of natural and historical attractions.

While Deildartunguhver isn’t a traditional tourist attraction that visitors can swim in (due to its extreme temperature), it’s still a captivating sight. Viewing platforms and paths allow visitors to safely observe the steaming water and steam rising from the spring.

There are several worthwhile attractions near Deildartunguhver.

Krauma

Adjacent to Deildartunguhver, Krauma is a geothermal bath and spa, a welcome addition to West Iceland. Krauma has six baths at the facility: five of varying warm temperatures and one cold bath. Guests can access two steam baths and a relaxation room with comfortable lounge chairs, a roaring fireplace, and soothing music.

Hraunfossar Waterfall during falls

Hraunfossar

Hraunfossar (Lava Waterfalls) is a series of waterfalls streaming over 900 meters out of a vast lava field. The lava flowed from an eruption from a volcano lying under the Langjökull glacier.

Barnafoss Waterfall in Iceland

Barnafossar

Meanwhile, Barnafossar (Children’s Falls) is a stunning waterfall, wide with water rushing over a rocky landscape creating several cascades. It was named for children who were said to disappear from a local farm and drowned in the river, and lore has it that the mother of the disappeared children cursed the falls and that people should not cross the river. Barnafoss shares the same parking area as Hraunfossar, and it is a short walk to the falls.

Icelandic Goat Centre

The Icelandic Goat Centre was created to grow and protect the goat population in Iceland—believe it or not, the Icelandic goat was once an endangered species. Travellers are welcome to visit the grounds and meet the goats and other farm animals, including sheep, horses, and chickens. Workers at the centre show an enormous amount of care for the animals.

Snorrastofa

Snorrastofa is the cultural hub of Reykholt; it was established in 1995 as an independent research centre to investigate and collect information on the medieval era in Iceland. There’s a particular focus on the legendary saga writer and politician Snorri Sturluson, who lived in Reykholt until he died in 1241. The building also holds a tourist information centre, Snorri Sturluson’s sagas exhibition, and a public research library hosting courses and lectures.

The Cave

Reykholt is home to the largest cave in Iceland, Víðgelmir, which is only accessible through a guided tour. The Cave allows travellers to explore the beautiful ice formations, including scores of stalagmites and stalactites. There is a walking path inside most of the cave, but there are uneven surfaces, so take care. You will be provided with a helmet with a headlight. The tour is 1.5 hours long.

The Settlement Centre

Located in Borgarnes, this is the place to get a crash course in the Icelandic sagas. Guests will learn about the early days of settlement, including everything from fashion to food on the newly discovered island. Interactive displays and replica dwellings are on exhibit, and audio guides are available in several languages.

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Into the Glacier

For those looking for a bit of ice in Iceland, Into the Glacier offers 3-4-hour tours to the world’s largest human-made ice cave, Langjökull. A super truck picks up visitors close to Hotel Húsafell for a breathtaking journey across Langjökull to the tour company’s base camp, which takes 25 minutes. The cave itself is an engineering feat in which visitors are treated to views of crevices and smooth ice walls. LED lighting embedded in the walls illuminates the smooth tunnel walls.

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