The Mythical Seltún

  • On the road to Krýsuvík, you will pass the beautiful solfatara field at Seltún.
    On the road to Krýsuvík, you will pass the beautiful solfatara field at Seltún.
  • On the road to Krýsuvík, you will pass the beautiful solfatara field at Seltún.
    On the road to Krýsuvík, you will pass the beautiful solfatara field at Seltún.
  • On the road to Krýsuvík, you will pass the beautiful solfatara field at Seltún.
    On the road to Krýsuvík, you will pass the beautiful solfatara field at Seltún.

On the road to Krýsuvík, you will pass the beautiful geothermal area at Seltún. The main area is a fascinating hot spring field to the southwest, recognizable by the mud pools and steaming ground. Through the steam, you'll notice the yellow, green and red-orange colors, as well as the white and brown colors of the sulfates. The sulfates dissolve in water and become mottled. Thus, when it rains they disappear altogether, leaving only the bright yellow, green and red colors of the sulfur. It is a mythical sight to see.

A source for green power production?

In the mid-20th century, there were plans to utilize the geothermal field for power production, and Seltún then became one of the main drilling targets. Old drill pads are still in situ near the path along the creek.  During the winter of 2010, one of the boreholes started erupting intermittently with a few days between the eruptions. Another old drilling well blew up in 1999 forming a crater of approximately 30 diameters, now filled with mud except where a flow of steam keeps the boiling pits open. The explosion debris covers the surrounding slope like a carpet of yellowish mud up to about 100 meters.

Access is easy by the road

Walking the easy planks and steps through the area is quite an experience. Climbing to the top platform is a must. The view from this living, breathing corner of the earth is simply stunning.  To access you take a turn south from the main road between Reykjavík and The International airport at Keflavík, by the Aluminum Plant on Road Nr. 42. After about 20 kilometers you will arrive at Seltún.  Seltún is also part of the one day Road Trip around the Reykjanes Peninsula we recommend if you have a day in the capital Reykjavík. By taking that road trip you can see and discover many other magnificent places.