Hveragerdi, Iceland, offers walking trails, health spas and an opportunity to see vegetables and fruit growing in greenhouses heated by geothermal water. It's a nice place to relax. Located 30 mi/45 km southeast of Reykjavik, the town is a popular stopover for buses taking visitors on day trips, so there are tacky souvenir shops in town. However, it's easy to escape the kitsch and hike the nearby trails, where you will find a geothermal stream trickling through the mountains. It's the perfect temperature for bathing.
The thermal activity brings a lively abundance of flowers in the spring and summer. In late June, the town plays host to a flower exhibition that attracts thousands of visitors. If you're there for a day or two, be sure to stop by the swimming pool at Laugaskard, a low-key structure with hot pots, steam baths and sunlamps.
In 2008, a 6.3-level earthquake struck Iceland just 1 mi/2 km southeast of the town. At the tourist information center, you can see and walk over a glass-covered fissure where the earth opened up. There is also a nearthquake simulator where visitors can experience firsthand how a 6-plus-level earthquake feels.
Hveragerdi is easily accessible by car or by bus from Reykjavik's Mjodd bus terminal.
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