Hveravellir is a geothermal area located in the central Icelandic Highlands.
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Geography of Hveravellir
Hveravellir is a wonderland of steaming fumaroles, mud-pits and hot springs, one of which it is possible to bathe in. It is also remarkably colourful due to the fact that geothermal activity brings elements deep in the earth to the surface, dying the landscapes.
The reason that Hveravellir is such an active, volcanic area is because of the mid-Atlantic rift, which runs through Iceland. East Iceland sits on the Eurasian tectonic plate, while the west sits on the North American. As these plates pull Iceland in two different directions, magma rises to the surface, boiling groundwater and creating the country’s geothermal wonders.
What makes Hveravellir unique amongst the many hot spring sites in Iceland is its location. Found right in the middle of the Highlands of Iceland, it is surrounded by incredible nature. Most notable are the glaciers that can be viewed either side of it, Hofsjökull and Langjökull.
Hveravellir is also very close to one of the most spectacular mountain ranges in the country, Kerlingarfjöll, which is renowned for its similarly intense colouration.
History of Hveravellir
Hveravellir has been known about and used as an oasis for centuries; it provided respite to Icelanders of old travelling across the country and was conveniently located on a commonly used pass.
Due to its remoteness, the shelter and warmth provided by the nearby caves and springs, and the fact that travellers loaded with goods would occasionally pass through; it is little wonder why it became the home of a notorious bandit couple. Fjalla-Eyvindur and Halla spent twenty years hiding from the Icelandic authorities at this location from around 1760 and achieved such fame that they have been the subject of plays, poems and films.
There is a hot spring on site named after them, Eyvindarhver.
In recent history, Hveravellir has undergone a small amount of development; now it has a lodge and cafe nearby.
Getting to Hveravellir
Hveravellir is accessible only by travelling the Kjölur Highland Road, which connects the north and south Iceland by intersecting the highlands; it is one of only two roads to do this.
To reach it from Reykjavík, take Route 1 south to the town of Selfoss; just before reaching this settlement, take Route 35 to your left. Following this road will take you past some classic tourist destinations, such as Kerið crater, Faxi waterfall and the Geysir Geothermal Area before you move onto the F35 at Gullfoss waterfall.
Following this road will take you to the F735, where Hveravellir can be found.
Please note that F-roads can only be taken in summer, and thus this geothermal area is inaccessible in winter.