There are many natural pools in Iceland. Pools were hot or boiling water comes from the ground and is blended with cold spring water before it is streamed into the pool. Sometimes the pools are in natural surroundings, like Landmannalaugar and Strútslaug in the Highland, and sometimes we build nice swimming pools and hot tubs. This natural pool at Krossnes by Strandir in the West Fjords peninsula is one of the most interesting pools we have in Iceland .  It is located in a remote place; the surrounding area is stunning with mountains on one side and the ocean on the other side.  The pool and dressing rooms are well maintained; there are showers that allow for a long shower, and the whole experience is jus a joy up there near the arctic circle. Although rare, it is sometimes possible to spot whales from the pool swimming by in the ocean.

Krossneslaug and the drive to Norðurfjörður

The geothermal pool at Krossnes on Strandir is located a bit north of the fjord Norðurfjörður on the east side of West Fjords near the Arctic Circle. The pool is one of Iceland's most interesting and unique destinations. It is a very peaceful and relaxing area with beautiful landscape. The drive is a rather long and challenging drive, and the gravel road 643 is both difficult and at some points a bit scary. It is a 90-kilometer drive from the small village of Hólmavík and Road 61. Unfortunately, you need to drive the same road back since there is no possibility of a Ring Road option here.  From the middle of May until the end of August it is accessible by most cars, small and large and anyone can drive this road, but caution is needed, expecially if you find yourself in a dark fog. But if you get a clear day the whole drive is quite scenic by the beautiful coast, through stunning fjords and threatening mountains 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 after your drive and also prepares 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 area.  It offers exciting hiking trails and beautiful landscape.  It is a challenging place for photographers with its stacks and pillars by the shore and incredible mountains and valleys.  It is a paradise for birdwatchers with a large variety of species. There is a convenient accommodation available at Urðatindur and a good campsite. You can even dine at a nice restaurant and get some good Icelandic food at Kaffi Norðurfjörður.  


Krossneslaug natural pool is one of Iceland's most interesting and unique destinations.

Trékyllisvík in Strandir is a curious place. This remote cove, surrounded by spectacular mountains, looks benign enough. Still, it is the site that marked the start of a witch craze era in Iceland, when the local sheriff had three sorcerers burned at the stakes in 1654. They were responsible (and consequently found guilty) for the scandalous behavior of some women at mass in the Árnes church. Farfetched? Well, when was witch hunting ever logical? Anyroads, the burnings took place in a rocky rift called (quite appropriately) Kistan, The Coffin, along the seashore from Trékyllisvík.

Trékyllisvík has a reputation of being the harsh and exposed backbone of the Westfjords. Nevertheless, it has been a thriving fishing community across the centuries. It still has a lovely community with a primary school, a church and an old, remarkable church-yard.

The Cove is of a phenomenal nature and offers spectacular wildlife. On any given day, you will be able to observe seals and numberless species of birds in their natural habitat.

Creativity is a second nature to the locals, quite apparent in Kört, a museum/gallery selling exquisite local artifacts made of driftwood, stones, wool and textiles. It also has paintings and drawing based on the area's tumultuous history.


Trékyllisvík in Strandir is a curious place.

In Iceland, Norðurfjörður is as remote as remote will get without being totally lost in the arctic wilderness. It covers an extensive area but is very scarcely populated, with a population within 60. The only public transport linking the area to the rest of the world is one or two weekly flights from Reykjavík to Gjögur during the summer. Still, you will find guesthouses, a camping site, a grocery shop and an excellent café there. 

It is easy to drive to Norðurfjörður during the summer, and it has quite a number of attractions. Number one has to be Krossaneslaug, the most popular geothermal swimming pool in the Westfjords. The pool is located on a black pebble beach by the shoreline. With nothing ahead but the Arctic Ocean, it feels like sitting on the edge of the world, albeit quite comfortably.

With a grocery store, Norðurfjörður is the last place to stock up before heading off on a hiking trip to Hornstrandir, the ultimate hiking challenge in Iceland. Here is as far as you get by car. But, take your time before heading off.  The landscape surrounding the small settlement in Norðurfjörður is very dramatic. Everything is large except us mortals and our constructions.


Norðurfjörður is as remote as remote will get without being totally lost in the arctic wilderness.