Iceland’s hot springs are only a tiny part of what makes this country unique. Taking a dip in one or a few of them is certainly a recipe for making Iceland travels memorable.
This land is virtually brimming with hot pools and many of them are not even on the main tourist maps and itineraries. One of them is certainly the petite Landbrotalaug. It’s basically a low-scale pool in the middle of Icelandic wilderness but still, it is as charming as it gets.
What Exactly is Landbrotalaug?
Landbrotalaug is one of the hot springs which emerged as geothermally heated groundwater found its way to the surface. Iceland is one of those countries that have an abundance of geothermal spas and pools although some of them are not actually safe for bathing.
Common sense will tell you that you shouldn’t be dipping in any hot pool you just happen to come across. Though some of them have beneficial minerals that can do wonders for our skin, some might contain a certain chemical that may be harmful. In the majority of cases, safe hot springs are located within areas which have a sign that says hver (“hot spring” in Icelandic). On a similar note, always make sure you do your research if you’re planning to bathe in hot pools. You will most likely find all the necessary information online so you will know whether the hot spring of your choice is actually safe or not.
Landbrotalaug’s temperature ranges between 96 – 104 °F and it’s barely 1.5 meters in diameter. Unlike massively popular hot pools such as Blue Lagoon which can accommodate dozens of bathers, Landbrotalaug is barely enough to have two people in. There are no amenities or facilities around it apart from an abandoned farm nearby. On top of that, the chances are you won’t see anyone else around as this hot spring is well-hidden and off-the-beaten-path, making it ideal for enjoying some peace in a natural setting far away from swarms of tourists. Your only company might be curious sheep which roam freely around that area.
Still, some vacationers might share the passion for exploring this hidden gem so it might happen that you find the hot pot occupied when you arrive. If that’s the case, you’ll probably see their vehicle parked nearby and instead of bothering them, give them some time and wait for your turn. Hopefully, they won’t stay there for ages.
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How to Find Landbrotalaug?
A good thing about Landbrotalaug is the fact that it’s really close to all major driving routes. It is located on Snæfellsnes peninsula which is just a two hour’s drive from Iceland’s capital Reykjavik. What’s more, it’s easily accessible from the Ring Road which is great if you’re planning a road trip along this famous route.
The only way to reach this natural hot spring is by car although you will have to make a few steps once you get close enough. The pool is literally in the middle of nowhere, well-camouflaged and without any obvious signs directing you to it but with a little bit of effort, you should be able to find it pretty soon.
The GPS coordinates for Landbrotalaug are GPS: N64°49.933 W22°19.11 which is the most precise and helpful information for finding it. Setting out from Reykjavik, you will need around 143 kilometers to get to Snæfellsnes peninsula. Once you reach Route 1, you will go through the Hvalfjörður tunnel before you change to highway 54. On your left, you will pass by the Eldborg volcanic crater and just shortly after continuing down that road, you will come across a little dirt road on your left. Take a turn after you see an abandoned farm perched on a little hill called Skalg. Following that dirt road past the farm and further around the field (it’s the only road there), you should be able to see a sign indicating “Heit Laug Hot Spring”. It is here that you should park and set out on foot until you come across a pond.
Landbrotalaug is one of two hot pots that are found once you cross this pond. The other hot pot is actually pretty shallow so you won’t find it particularly interesting and engaging. Keep in mind that you will have to cross this pond or walk all around it. There are a few stepping stones that lead across it but it might get slippery so you need to be mindful of that too.
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Attractions Close to Landbrotalaug
It really makes no difference whether your trip to this natural hot spring will be the cherry on top or a way to kickstart the trip around Snæfellsnes peninsula with a visit to Landbrotalaug. It is in this region that you can find the most dramatic landscapes, lava fields, glaciers, black-sand beaches, waterfalls, and craters. It comes as no surprise why Snæfellsnes peninsula is often called Iceland in miniature.
As you will most likely pass by the Eldborg crater on your way to Landbrotalaug, it’s definitely worth making a stop there and climbing up this majestic 200-feet giant. It will take you around 40 minutes to get to the top of this almost perfectly shaped circular crater. The view from the top is magnificent as you will see the surrounding five craters.
In fact, Route 54 and Route 56 which wind through the Snæfellsnes peninsula offer spectacular vistas throughout their entire length. Not to be missed are the two lakes on the Snæfellsnes which are really close to Landbrotalaug hot pot – the grandiose Hlíðarvatn lake and the lake Oddastadavatn. They are located just 15 kilometers from Landbrotalaug on Route 55.
Seeing as Route 55 is connecting the two opposite courses of Route 54 which goes along the coastline of the entire Snæfellsnes peninsula, you can choose whether you will continue further north or choose to explore the other end leading to Snæfellsjökull National Park. If you continue down Route 54 leading toward the western tip of the peninsula, you can take a turn to the Route 56 and explore the northern coast. The trip to the northern coast from Landbrotalaug doesn’t take more than 30 minutes.
In fact, the whole of Snæfellsnes peninsula is virtually brimming with breath-taking landscapes, volcano cones and craters, glaciers, lava fields, and waterfalls. Here is the list of some other must-see attractions around Snæfellsnes which are also fairly close to Landbrotalaug hot pot.
1. Mount Kirkjufell – located just outside the town of Grundarfjörður. A peculiar cone-shaped mountain and also the most photographed mountain in Iceland. There are 2 waterfalls next to it and the whole terrain is said to be mesmerizing once the Northern lights hit the sky.
2. Snæfellsjökull Glacier – situated at the western tip of the peninsula and said to be almost 800 000 years old.
3. Londrangar beach – a beach at the South West point of the peninsula, characterized by peculiar cliffs and a neighboring lava field overlooking the ocean.
4. Grabrokargigar – twin craters located 33 kilometers north of Borgarnes. They form a magical sight and the hiking trail between them leads to the top of one of the craters.
5. Dritvik Djúpalónssandur – a beautiful black lava beach accessible through the Path of The Bulls (Nautastígur) which is an attraction per se, comprising two beautiful freshwater lagoons.
6. Arnarstapi and Lóndrangar volcanic plugs – two fantastic highlights of the Snæfellsnes National Park only 5 minutes from each other. Arnarstapi is a charming little fishing village embellished with amazing rock formations along the coast, including the Lóndrangar volcanic plugs and Mount Stapafell.
Though it’s anything but luxurious, Landbrotalaug hot pot is a truly unique way to experience Iceland in all its natural might. Not only will you relax and unwind with not a soul in sight but you will also have the chance to pay a visit to other spectacular attractions in the vicinity, guaranteed to instill a sense of awe and admiration for this wonderful land.