Einar Páll Svavarsson
Krossneslaug geothermal pool in Strandir West Fjords
Updated: Dec 6, 2022
Iceland has many natural pools because of the abundant hot and cold water in the ground, blending in places out in nature. There are also pools where boiling water emerging from the ground mixes with cold spring water before it is streamed into the pool. Icelanders have tapped into these wonderful natural resources for centuries. Sometimes the pools are in natural surroundings, such as Landmannalaugar and Strútslaug in the Highland, and sometimes we construct nice swimming pools and hot tubs. The natural pool at Krossnes on the east coastline of Strandir in the West Fjords peninsula is one of the most interesting pools in Iceland. It is a remote location; the surroundings are stunning, with mountains on one side and the ocean on the other. The pool and dressing rooms are well-maintained; showers allow for a long shower, and the whole experience near the Arctic Circle is just a joy. Although rare, sometimes whales from the pool are spotted swimming by in the ocean. Not often, but when it happens, it is dreamlike.
Krossneslaug and the drive to Norðurfjörður
The geothermal pool at Krossnes on Strandir is a bit north of the fjord Norðurfjörður near the Arctic Circle. It is one of Iceland's most spectacular and unique destinations. It is a very peaceful and relaxing environment with beautiful landscapes. However, the drive is rather long and challenging, and the gravel road nr. 643 is both grueling and, at some points, a bit scary. It is a 90-kilometer drive from the small village of Hólmavík and the road nr. 61. Unfortunately, you need to drive the same road back, as there is no possibility of a ring road option here. From the middle of May until the middle of September, it is accessible by most cars, small and large, and anyone can drive this road, but caution is needed, especially if you find yourself enveloped in a dark fog that often lays its dark hand over the area. But if you get a clear day, the whole drive is exquisitely scenic by the beautiful coast, through stunning fjords, enormous mountains, and steep slopes consistently towering over your car. But if you want something remote, exotic, and different, Krossneslaug is the place. The pool is, of course, very relaxing and drains the stress of your drive. It is also an excellent place to prepare for a good night's sleep in a tent, a caravan, or hotel, not to mention preparing you emotionally for the drive back.
A two- or three-day stop in Norðurfjörður is recommended.
If you choose to take this challenge, you should consider a day or two in the land. It offers exciting hiking trails and a beautiful landscape. The stronger your car is, the more you can see, so I would recommend an excellent 4X4 car here so you can drive to the more remote areas and hike to your heart’s content. It is a stunning place for photographers with its stacks and pillars by the shore and incredible mountains and valleys. It is a paradise for birdwatchers also, with a large variety of species. Convenient accommodation is available at Urðatindur and a good campsite. You can even dine at a nice restaurant and enjoy some delicious Icelandic cuisine at the restaurant/café Kaffi Norðurfjörður.