Seltun, A Geothermal Area In Iceland

31st December 2014

On our last full day in Iceland -New Year’s Eve- we headed back towards Reykjavik where we were staying that evening for the fireworks. On the way back from Selfoss we took a detour to stop at a geothermal area we had read about, Seltun.

Located in the geothermal area of Krýsuvík, Seltun is an easily accessible volcanic area in South Iceland. Seltun looks how I imagine Mars would. It’s covered in hot springs, mud pots and fumaroles. The soil is brightly coloured yellow, red and green.

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If there were such a place as hell, it would look like this. Sulfur was previously mined here in the 20s and it smelled so disgusting, I was retching the whole time we were there. Imagine a million gone off eggs and you’re still not close.


A sign points out that there is no hospital for some way and to exercise caution. The water is boiling hot so it would be easy to injure yourself if not taking care.


A viewing platform lets you get close to the mud pods and springs.

mud pots
mud pots

Mud Pods

Mud boils in puddles on the ground, reaching insane temperatures.


Lake Kleifarvatn

Further down the road is lake Kleifarvatn. A lake with black sands which at it’s deepest is 97 m. Used for lots of car adverts, it’s a stunning landscape but quite eerie.

Seltun is quite close to the airport and Blue Lagoon so it’s worth stopping off at. Whilst it’s not a far drive from the main road, the road is an F road made from gravel. So a 4×4 is advisable.

Seltun is one of my favourite sights in Iceland. It’s smelly, weird but so out of this world. When it’s covered in snow it really emphasises Iceland’s famous fire and ice combination. And the raw power of nature.

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