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These swims spots are at a hotel in a remote part of the Western Fjords. The hotel is all about the people – the bones of the place are just a few degrees away from looking like a madman’s slaughter house, all random outbuildings and tin sheds. But we stayed for a few days and it was one of the favourite places for us by the end of the trip. Well worth a visit for lunch or supper as well as a swim; the homecooked food is an absolute delight and atypical in Iceland’s rural hotels.

But back to the swimming! Heydalur has a pool in an old barn, that also houses cherry trees and rose bushes, and the tin walls are painted green with a line of saddles and bridles from the hotel’s ponies tacked on. The pool is a lovely, fresh, clear affair, with geothermally heated warm water literally pouring in one side via a pipe (tapping into something on the hillside somewhere) and pouring out the other side.

Outside of the pool building are a couple of hot pots, with changing rooms, gravel bottoms and rock tors in the middle. These are probably to give guests privacy from one another, and are striking when you’re in the pool and your view is framed by rocks. But if you enter with two small children they also provide ideal objects to race around like crocodiles or friendly hippos.

We spent a good hour or so and then have lunch – lots of fruit and veggies and curry spice across the Heydal soup, meat and veggie lasagne, veggie burgers (no bun, all grated veg, served with roasted veg and salad – delicious), rhubarb crumble, apple pie and ice cream. When you’ve spent a week in remote Iceland you might understand why I go into such depth.. it can be a hungry business all that swimming, and you don’t always collide with food.
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