Hrunalaug Natural Hot Pool in South Iceland - please keep it clean!
One of the many delights of Iceland (and a particular favourite of mine) is being able to take a dip in a natural hot pool in the middle of nature.
I have already shown you the many natural hot pools in the Westfjords of Iceland and a couple of natural hot springs in West Iceland.
But there is one pool in particular that I have deliberately not written about before, and that is Hrunalaug in Hrunamannahreppur rural district in South Iceland. I did not want to draw attention to it as it is privately owned. But after reading the recent news reports regarding this pool, I want to tell you a little about this lovely gem in nature.
Soaking in hot pools is very popular amongst tourists and locals alike and few things beat soaking in a lovely warm pool in the middle of a bright summer night after a long day of travelling in Iceland. I have only visited Hrunalaug once and will not visit it again out of respect for the owners of the pool.
My photos of Hrunalaug were taken in the middle of a June night 6 years ago after a visit to Gjáin and Háifoss waterfall.
Gjáin in Þjórsárdalur Valley Upcountry Iceland - One of Iceland's Pearls of Nature
Háifoss, Granni & Hjálparfoss - the beautiful Waterfalls in Fossá River in Iceland
During our visit, there were only a couple of other considerate travellers in the pool who just wanted to enjoy the serenity of the bright summer night and the warmth of Hrunalaug.
Relaxing in Hrunalaug pool
But then it came to my attention that some visitors' behaviour so saddened the owners of this lovely pool that the owners were even at one point thinking of destroying it with a bulldozer.
Inconsiderate visitors had been leaving a lot of rubbish by the pool, so the owners had to regularly clean it.
And even the rocks in the pool had been rearranged. These rocks were stacked by the great-grandfather and grandfather of the owners of Hrunalaug and should never be tampered with.
Hrunalaug pool and Laugarlækur creek - the rocks should never be tampered with
The pool is their private property, and they graciously allow us to enjoy it with them. But there are so many visitors to the pool that they cannot even enjoy soaking in peace in their pool themselves any longer.
So let's show our appreciation by treating this lovely gem with utter respect. Or better still pay a visit to the Secret Lagoon, which is close by rather than visiting a private pool.
The Secret Lagoon has got an entrance fee, but there you have showers, a restaurant, and a lovely clean pool where you can also visit a geothermal area.
The Secret Lagoon - I have written 2 travel-blogs about this lovely pool
I was so sad when I read the news article in one of our local newspapers back in 2015 that I decided not to write a travel-blog about my visit to Hrunalaug so as to not draw attention to it.
In my travel-blogs about Iceland (which are all in all 280 now), I want to show other travellers lovely spots in Iceland, but I do not want to have these lovely spots destroyed.
The latest news I read about Hrunalaug was during COVID-19 in May 2020, after the restrictions had been lifted in Iceland. One night the owners of Hrunalaug, who live at Ás farm, woke up to see their precious hot pool in this condition: Mbl. - Hrunalaug!
The article is in Icelandic, but the photos speak for themselves.
Very few, if any tourists, came to Iceland during the restrictions. So this is the work of locals.
The changing room is in this old shed which was used for bathing sheep - it is open at one end though
Empty wine and beer bottles were left behind all around the pool for the owners to pick up.
It breaks my heart to see that people who were brought up in Iceland, don't have enough love and respect for their own country, but to leave nature in this state.
And these were not locals from the immediate neighbourhood, but people who had driven for some distance to visit the pool. So at least the designated drivers were sober and could have picked up the bottles and trash left behind. The leftover litter filled two big bags!
The parking by Hrunalaug - there is absolutely no camping by the pool
Since this incident, the owners of Hrunalaug have been considering closing the flow to the pool at night.
And they have decided to close the pool at night (from 10 pm) and have a guard by the pool at night.
I am pretty sure that these farmers have other things to attend to than guarding the pool at night and continually picking up litter around the pool.
The path leading to Hrunalaug pool
The owners want to keep their family pool open and allow us to enjoy it with them. So let's join hands and treat this little gem of nature with respect. Let's leave nothing behind but our footsteps.
If you want to visit some hot springs in Iceland then I have written three travel-blogs about hot pools:
Hot Pools in the Westfjords of Iceland - a Selection of the Natural Pools I have visited
Lundarreykjadalur Valley in West Iceland - the Natural Hot Pools Krosslaug and Englandshverir
Hotel Laugarhóll at Strandir in the Westfjords of Iceland - hot Pools and Sorcery in Abundance
Have a lovely time in Iceland and let's always show respect by the natural pools of Iceland!
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The Dynamic Plant Lupine
Secret waterfall on the South Coast
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