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Iceland Mag

Travel

A new 120 bed hotel and travel center being planned for the highland oasis Hveravellir

By Staff

  • A hot spring in Hveravellir Hveravellir, "Fields of hot springs", is a geothermal hotspot and a oasis in the highlands, one of the most popular destinations in the Central Highlands.Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson.

A new hotel and visitor center which is being planned for Hveravellir would double the number of beds available to visitors at the Central Highlands oasis. The new hotel and visitor center, which is being planned in cooperation between the tour company Gray Line and the local municipal authority, Húnavatnshreppur, would have accommodation for 120 people, compared to the 60 beds currently available in Hveravellir.  

hótel á hveravöllum

New Hveravellir Hotel The design is intended to blend in with the surroundings. Photo/Visir.is

According to Grey Line half of the beds would be in hostel style accommodation, with sleeping cots, while the rest would be in two bed rooms with individual baths. The new visitor center will also add new facilities and quarters for staff as well as campers, a restaurant and bathrooms for travellers and an emergency shelter for travellers and campers in case of storms. The total size of the new construction is 1,700 sq m (18,300 sq ft) compared to current structures which are only 640 sq m (6,900 sq ft). A new 4,500 sq m (48,400 sq ft) parking lot.

A spokesman for Gray Line told the local newspaper Fréttablaðið that all of the construction would take place outside the protected geothermal area, and that it would significantly reduce the stress on the fragile nature, vegetation and natural features of the area.  

Hveravellir map

Hveravellir Located between Langjökull and Hofsjökull glaciers, on road 35. Photo/Iceland Magazine

Hveravellir is one of the most popular destinations in the Central Highlands, visited by tens of thousands of travellers each year. Due to insufficient facilities and poor infrastructure the entire area is under significant stress. The traffic has long outstripped the capacity of the current facilities, which are decades old. The current parking lot is unable to accommodate the traffic, and to meet the growing demand several container units have been added to the old huts, creating a ramshackle tourist center which adds little to the natural beauty of the area.

The plan is to keep the oldest of the current huts, for its historical value.  A spkekesman for Gray line told Fréttablaðið that the planned construction would help protect the Hveravellir area, as well as generate revenue to further strengthen the tourism infrastructure in that part of the highlands.

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