On the Snæfellsnes peninsula there are some natural mineral springs. I love one of them in particular, where the water is very pure and tasty and has got bubbles.
Rauðamelsölkelda mineral spring
Rauðamelsölkelda is my favourite natural mineral spring on the peninsula. I know, the name of this mineral spring is a mouthful, but to make it a tad easier then "ölkelda" is the Icelandic word for a natural spring and "rauðamels-" means Red gravel plain.
Rauðamelsölkelda is one of the best known natural mineral springs in Iceland as the water from it is so light and refreshing. It is also believed to have healing properties.
The water in Rauðamelsölkelda has got carbonic acid so it looks like it is boiling. It is just amazing being able to drink water like this coming straight from the earth. We bottle some of the water and take it home with us when we visit this spring.
Rauðamelsölkelda is a bit off the beaten path. It is located on the southern side of the Snæfellsnes peninsula off road 54. If you are driving west on the peninsula then turn right onto a gravel road by the sign Gerðuberg (opposite the road on 54 is road no 567, but I haven't seen a road number for the road leading to Rauðamelsölkelda).
The road towards Rauðamelsölkelda is a gravel road and the scenery is amazing, all kinds of strange looking lava formations, which make for very good photo opportunities. It was foggy on the way, so my photos are kind of blue.
Once you reach the sign below Rauðamelsölkelda, park on the parking lot and walk for ca 10-15 minutes through a lava field. Don't worry about the yellow sign which says: "All use of firearm is strictly forbidden. This area is under surveillance".
I have often been asked what this sign means, but it is for hunters and all hunting is forbidden here by the landowners.
Along the way there is such pretty lava with thick springy moss on top. I love such thick moss, it is ever so soft. Moss is a delicate thing though and it takes a very long time for it to grow, so let's be careful so it won't get ruined. It breaks my heart when I see torn up moss.
I totally understand that not everybody knows how delicate moss is. I have seen it torn up in several places on my travels in Iceland, but I don't think people do this on purpose, they just don't know how long it takes for the moss to grow. Tearing it up leaves an ugly wound, which takes a very long time to heal.
Just imagine how hardy this moss is on the other hand, being able to grow on lava. I haven't seen anything else grow on the Icelandic lava. This moss is called hraungambri or Lamb's wool moss (Racomitrium lanuginosum).
Not long ago it was on the news that tourists camping in Þingvellir national park had torn up a lot of moss to insulate their tent. We Icelanders were shocked seeing this footage on TV, but the poor tourists were remorseful as they had not realised that it is forbidden to tear up the moss.
Seeing that the moss is able to grow on lava then it covers the cracks in between the lava making it dangerous to walk on lava fields. As children we were always forbidden to walk on lava fields because of this as it is easy to break one's leg by doing so, or to get stuck in a hole - or even fall into a hole, which has happened.
Once you pass the lava field you will cross a bridge and the landscape changes and becomes grassy. There is a pretty waterfall by the end of the valley, which you can visit after you have a drink at Rauðamelsölkelda. This is such a lovely place to visit.
Ölkelda mineral spring
There is another mineral spring at Ölkelda, which is quite different from Rauðamelsölkelda and the water tastes differently.
Ölkelda was built up in 1904 by the farmer at Ölkelda farm. Before that time it welled up from a hole in the ground. It is believed that the water has health benefits and it has been used by the farmers at Ölkelda for centuries.
Visitors can come and bottle some water for personal use.
The water has been analysed and is said to be good for people with diabetes, heart problems and kidney problems. It contains iron, calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, fluorine, chlorite, sulphate, bicarbonate and carbonic acid.
The water has got a peculiar taste because of the iron. But I am sure it is healthy, so I am going to bottle up on this water every time I travel in this area and thank the farmer for allowing me to do so.
Ölkelda is just a short distance from road 54 on the south side of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. If you are driving west on the peninsula then you turn right on road 571 and drive for a very short distance.
Lýsuhólslaug geothermal mineral water
Lýsuhólslaug is a geothermal mineral water pool on the south side of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. When camping by the golden beach at Langaholt I always visit Lýsuhólslaug.
It is pure geothermal mineral water and no chemicals are added to the water. It can get pretty green at times when green tinge floats in the water and fastens itself to the walls of the pool, but that is nature for you. The water is supposed to be very healthy and healing.
I have heard that if you taste the water in one of the corners of the pool then it tastes like bottled mineral water, but don't take my word for it ;)
There are several guided tours to Snæfellsnes and a guided super jeep tour to Snæfellsnes peninsula plus a 2-day tour to the Snæfellsnes peninsula and Northern Lights just to give you a selection of the many guided tours which are available. You can even get a private tour to the Snæfellsnes peninsula or go there in an ECO friendly jeep. I always drive around the peninsula on a private car, but I recently went on a guided tour with the very friendly people from Niceland.