The Galtahryggjarlaug hot spring is one of the best hot springs in Iceland – mostly because it’s a secret, and you’re nearly guaranteed to have it completely to yourself! The hot spring is located at the Hotel Heydalur in the Westfjords, which is a great place to stay and has several other hot springs to soak in.
I stopped here on my 14 day Iceland road trip itinerary, and I actually had plans to keep going that day but loved this place so much I decided to stay here all day instead! This guide is about hot springs at the Hotel Heydalur, and about how to find the secret Galtahryggjarlaug pool!
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About The Hot Springs at The Hotel Heydalur
The Hotel Heydalur has several hot springs to choose from! Next to the hotel, there’s a building that resembles a greenhouse. Inside you’ll find an amazing warm pool – heated from the natural hot springs, this pool is so fun to swim in! If you love swimming like I do, you can easily spend all day here. There’s also a hot tub next to the pool.
The greenhouse itself is pretty cool too, with plants all over, fruit growing on the trees (don’t pick the fruit, though!), and gorgeous string lights that make the atmosphere really cozy.
Outside of this building, you’ll find some more natural hot springs – two pools surrounded by stones that are heated by geothermal springs. The upper pool is warmer, while the lower pool is slightly less hot. From these pools, you have an amazing view o the mountains surrounding the Hotel Heydalur, and the horses grazing in their pasture.
There’s even a dog who lives here, and he really loves when you splash water for him to (try to) catch in his mouth!
But, the best hot spring at the Hotel Heydalur is Galtahryggjarlaug – a secret hot spring that’s harder to get to, but you’ll most likely have it entirely to yourself.
How to Get to the Hotel Heydalur
The Hotel Heydalur is in a pretty remote location in the Westfjords. It’s easy to get to, but there isn’t very much nearby! You’ll need to drive there, but while there are some gravel roads, you won’t be on any F-roads, so a 4×4 isn’t necessary.
Address of the Hotel Heydalur: Heydalur, 401 Isafjordur, Iceland
To get to the Hotel Heydalur, you’ll turn off the Ring Road onto Road 68. You’ll take a scenic drive through the Westfjords, and the road will turn into Road 61, which you’ll follow until you turn off onto 633, which will take you to the hotel.
How to Get to Galtahryggjarlaug Hot Spring
Once you get to the hotel, there’s a fee to use the hot springs – unless you’re staying at the hotel or camping in the camping area, in which case access to the hot springs is included!
The Galtahryggjarlaug hot spring is hidden, and not many people know about it – which means it’s an absolute must see if you’re here! Inside the restaurant of the hotel, you can ask for directions to Galtahryggjarlaug. They’ll show you a map and explain how to get to the hot spring. Getting there is a bit of a challenge, as you have to wade through a river that’s actually pretty fast, but it’s so worth it!
This natural hot springs is in the middle of a field, with amazing views – and you’re pretty much guaranteed to have it all to yourself.
What to Bring to the Heydalur Hotel
When you go to the hot springs at the Heydalur Hotel, here’s what you’ll need to bring!
To bathe in the hot spring, you’ll need a bathing suit! There is a changing area across from the greenhouse and the human-made hot springs.
There isn’t any hiking required to get to Galtahryggjarlaug or any of the other hot springs at the Hotel Heydalur, but you’ll need to cross a river to get to Galtahryggjarlaug, so footwear is definitely a consideration.
My favorite hiking boots are my Danner boots – they’re cute, comfortable, and waterproof! These are great if you just want to walk around the hotel, as it rains often and can get muddy. For crossing the river, Luna Barefoot sandals are great as they can get wet, and tall rain boots are another great option.
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If you’re staying in the hotel, you won’t need camping gear, but if you’re camping at the Hotel Heydalur, it’ll definitely come in handy!
If you want to camp at Heydalur, you can car camp, or bring a tent! I have the Big Agnes Tiger Wall tent, which is amazing and weighs less than 2 pounds. The Stoic Madrone Tent is a more budget friendly, but heavier option.
For camping, you’ll need to make sure the sleeping bag is warm enough for your trip, along with being lightweight and packable if you’re bringing it with you to Iceland.
I use an ALPS down sleeping bag, which is really affordable compared to most down sleeping bags, but it’s light enough for me, and has kept me warm! The Marmot Ultra Elite 20 is a great synthetic bag that’s lightweight.
A sleeping pad is a necessity for comfy nights, whether you’re in a tent or if you’re car camping in Iceland.
I have the Sea to Summit UltraLight Sleeping Pad, which packs up small and weighs less than a pound.
The NEMO equipment Switchback Sleeping Pad folds up small and is also great for backpacking, and if you’re going to be camping in colder weather, the NEMO Insulated Sleeping Pad helps with staying warm.
Having a camping stove allows you to have hot meals, and hot coffee! When camping at the Hotel Heydalur, there aren’t any cooking facilities.
The Jetboil MiniMo Stove is probably the lightest option there is, and it’s really popular with backpackers. I use the MSR Pocket Rocket stove, which packs up nice and small! Propane and butane for camping stoves were really easy to find in Iceland – almost every gas station and grocery store sells them.
You’ll also need some cooking utensils, and I recommend the GSI Outdoors Cook Set.
Staying at the Hotel Heydalur
The Hotel Heydalur is a great place to stay, and the farmhouse-style hotel has beautiful rooms, a restaurant with delicious food, kayaks and horses available to rent, and of course, the hot springs!
If you’re on a budget, you can also camp at the Hotel Heydalur instead! The camping area is next to the horse pasture, and you’ll have access to the hot springs, the restaurant, and a shared bathroom with showers.
More Adventures Near the Hotel Heydalur
To find more things to do near the Hotel Heydalur, be sure to check out these Iceland itineraries! For more hot springs, this post is all about the best hot springs in Iceland.
- Everything You Need to Know About Driving in Iceland
- Guide to Camping in Iceland
- Iceland Road Trip Itineraries
If you’ve been to these hot springs or stayed at the Hotel Heydalur and have any tips, or if you’re planning a trip and have any questions, leave them in a comment below!
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