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An outdoor swimming pool in Iceland – Seljavallalaug, is well-known by the locals because of its somewhat hidden location and interesting history. It's quite an adventure to reach it, and once you do, you will be rewarded with magnificent views. Just note that Seljavallalaug is not your average pool. It’s been cleaned only once a year, so only those who aren’t afraid of it being full of algae, should bathe in it. Nevertheless, this area is surely worth visiting because of its beautifully raw landscape.

Geothermal Hot Springs and Lagoons

Where is Seljavallalaug located?

The pool is situated on the South Coast of Iceland. Not far away from a well-recognized waterfall, Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss. It’s also only 10 kilometers (6 miles) away from the village of Skógar, that’s known to be a preferred stop among travelers. 

Full address: H98V+FC9, 861 Evindarhólar, Iceland.

How to get to Seljavallalaug?

If you plan to go to this attraction from the capital, it will take you approximately 2 to 3 hours by car to reach the pool. There’s a main road, known as Ring Road, that leads from Reykjavik to the pool. Next, turn to Road 242, which leads to a parking lot. You’ll have to leave the car and go on a short hike to reach your destination. Don’t forget that on your way here, you’ll pass by many beautiful attractions, such as Seljalandsfoss waterfall, so take some time to stop and admire them.

Things to know about Seljavallalaug

  • The geothermal pool is free of charge.

  • Seljavallalaug is 10 meters (33 feet) wide and 25 meters (82 feet) long. 

  • The water temperature of Seljavallalaug varies from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F) depending on the weather.

  • Seljavallalaug is the oldest man-made swimming pool in Iceland. Until 1936, it was the largest swimming pool in the country. 

  • Since the pool is free, it’s cleaned only once a year. Because of this, the place might seem a bit neglected. So after you’re done swimming here and ready to head out, you’re asked not to leave any trash after yourself.

  • Despite the pool being in a rather remote area, surrounded by a natural hot spring and mountains, you’ll be rewarded by the peaceful and astonishing natural landscape after your trip here.

History of Seljavallalaug

Built in 1923 by Björn Andrésson, the pool was created in order to teach people how to swim. That’s right, despite the fact that Icelanders are recognized as great fishers, at the beginning of the 20th century, many citizens didn’t know how to swim. So, Andrésson and other volunteers worked on this project to tackle the problem. 

Soon, in 1927, swimming lessons became a mandatory requirement, and Seljavallalaug was a local hub for that, where tourists would rarely show up. Over the course of time, things have changed, meaning that the requirement for Icelanders to know how to swim became the new norm, and a lesser-known Seljavallalaug became a secret tourist attraction.

Best time to visit Seljavallalaug

Considering how unexpected Icelandic weather is and the fact that the pool is outdoors, when is the best time to go to Seljavallalaug? It’s best to try your luck in the warmer months of the year, from May up until September.

Attractions near Seljavallalaug

What's great about Iceland is that various mesmerizing attractions are not so far away from each other. So, once you're done spending time at Seljavallalaug, check out some of these beautiful attractions: 

Seljalandsfoss – a waterfall dropping 60 meters (197 feet) down, is special for allowing visitors to get behind the cascade and see everything through a "water curtain."

Kerid Crater Lake – a 3000-year-old attraction that lures people with its fascinating color scheme and a lake view that, for many, reminds them of an eye. 

Vík í Mýrdal (Vik) the town of Vik, with its famous black sand beaches, is a well-known rest stop for people traveling in the South of Iceland. 

Reynisfjara Beach – the black sand beach that "got it looks" thanks to one of Katla volcano's violent eruptions. 

DC-3 Airplane wreck – situated on the South Coast of Iceland, the remains of Super DC-3 from the crash that happened in 1973 is what you'll find on the black sand beach coast.

Skogafoss – is another breathtaking waterfall in Iceland. The waterfall is 25 meters (82 feet) in width and 60 meters (197 feet) drop and very often is adorned with a rainbow that's formed due to the spray the waterfall makes.

Where to stay near Seljavallalaug

Wish to explore the area where the swimming pool is located and perhaps stay overnight? Check out the possible places where you could stay. 


  • Umi Hotel
  • Welcome Hotel Lambafell
  • Welcome Holiday Homes
  • Núpakot
  • Hotel Skogá by EJ Hotels


  • Welcome Guesthouse Edinborg
  • North Star Cottage
  • Guesthouse Rauðafell
  • Hrutafell Guesthouse