Thirsty for some natural Icelandic spring water straight from the earth. I want to taste those Icelandic mineral springs again. Filtered by nature. Melted from glaciers. Cold. Earthy. Maybe a little bit of a metallic taste. MMM.
During our honeymoon in Iceland, the epic 9-day Iceland road trip, we veered off Ring Road to explore Snaefellsnes Peninsula. I love that area of Iceland. If you’re planning a trip to Iceland, definitely add it to your itinerary. Sure, we could barely see a thing because of Mother Nature’s foggy fury, but this peninsula is more than just pretty landscapes. There are so many cool things to do in Snaefellsnes Peninsula. It’s where we tried fermented shark (hakarl), got cursed from taking rocks, and drank mineral water straight from the ground.
Home to the frequently photographed Kirkjufell Mountain, Snaefellsnes Peninsula is also home to a less towering wild wonder: natural mineral springs where you can drink water straight from the ground.
We visited two natural springs on Snaefellnes Peninsula: Okelda Mineral Spring and Raudamelsolkeda Mineral Spring. Here’s how to find them.
But first, for your visual delight, a video.
You may notice that these names both have “olkelda” in the word. “Olkelda” translates to “mineral spring” from Icelandic.
Olkelda Mineral Spring
Ever wanted to drink magical Viking water used for hundreds of years? Olkelda Mineral Spring first sprung in 1754. It’s been cared for by the farmers who own the land since the turn of the 18th century. When it was analyzed by scientists in the 1970s, they identified it’s healthful properties: high in calcium, sodium, magnesium, sulfate, chloride, carbon and off the charts in bicarbonate. The water is beneficial for people who suffer from heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes. The water is carbonated with a strong metallic taste. Or, as my husband states in the video, the water at Olkelda tastes like “liquid nickels.”
How to find Olkelda Mineral Spring
Drive along the southern side of Snaefellsnes Peninsula on Snaefellsnesvegur (highway 54). You’ll come across a farm with white structures and a sign showing the drinking spring’s chemical properties. Actually, I think there’s an “Olkelda” road sign in the vicinity, so look out for that as a landmark. If you search “Ölkelduvatn Mineral Spring” on Google, you should be able to find it. It isn’t far off the road. Be a good visitor: drop 200 krona in the donations box at the sign. Then pump the water from the well into your water bottle. Drink up!
Raudamelsolkelda Mineral Spring
If you didn’t know it existed, you’d never find Raudamelsolkelda unless serendipity lured you to its bubbling pool. There isn’t much information about his drinking spring online; I first heard of it from Guide to Iceland. It’s a small natural spring encompassed by rocks. You’ll recognize it as soon as you see it. At first, every hygienic instinct will advice against drinking from a bubbling pool in the middle of a field of sheep. But trust me, the water at Raudamelsolkelda tastes colder, cleaner, crisper than Olkelda.
How to find Raudamelsolkelda Mineral Spring
The journey to Raudamelsolkelda is just as scenic as the water is delicious.
Not far from Olkelda, continue on Snaefellsnesvegur (highway 54). Turn at the Gerduberg Cliffs sign. You’ll be trekking down an unpaved road for quite some time. An incredible wall of basalt columns tower to the left. A large, mountainous pile of red pebbles sits to the right, like a dormant volcano. At the end of the road, there’ll be a small lot. Park there. Walk through the lava field toward the waterfall. Cross the bridge and continue on a worn path, which should lead you straight to Raudamelsolkelda.
My advice? Bring a picnic lunch or snack and spend time enjoying the beauty and exploring the area. It’s magnificent.
Is it safe to drink the spring water in Iceland?
I lived to tell the tale. *wink*
My personal opinion: the Iceland mineral springs in this post have positive reviews online, stating that they are natural springs that are safe to drink from.
According to the Government of Iceland, “water is generally unpolluted.” There is a protection of water (including ground-water) with The Act on Water Management.
Now, I did find a presentation of Drinking Water and Sanitation Iceland from November 2012 that says, “It must be stated that the water in Iceland is clean as it can be. The population has the luxury to have access to 100% pure water.” I assume this is talking about drinking water from a faucet, and not necessarily ground water from a natural spring. But this is convincing enough evidence for me.
Plus, when reading anecdotes about drinking water straight from the ground or from mineral springs, many Icelanders commented that the cold glacial water is generally safe to drink, warm water is not. That geothermal hot spring breeding all that bacteria with its warmth? Don’t use that to steep your tea leaves.
I assume the source of water for these natural springs is somehow connected to the Snaefellsjökull glacier, which is often revered by those in tune with the metaphysical as one of Earth’s most powerful energy centers. If that’s the case, I’d like to think that a drink from these natural mineral drinking springs could help you live forever. Immortality, I’m coming for you. Maybe good ole Ponce de Leon was wrong. Maybe the Fountain of Youth is actually on Snaefellsness Peninsula in Iceland.