Iceland Mag

13 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Visitors leave piles of trash and garbage at one of Iceland's most picturesque swimming pools

By Staff

  • Seljavallalaug swimming pool The pool, built in 1923, is one of the oldest pools in Iceland. It is a popular destination for travellers and photographers. The Photo/Páll Andrésson

Locals have grown increasingly frustrated by trash left by visitors to Seljavalllalaug swimming pool in South Iceland. The pool, which is located in Laugarárgil ravine in the Eyjafjöll mountains south of Eyjafjallajökull glacier in South Iceland, is a popular destination for travellers and photographers. Unfortunately growing numbers of visitors have brought with them unfortunate side effects: The pool, it's dressing rooms and surrounding grounds are covered by abandoned towels and swimwear and other trash.

Janeks Belajevs, a Lithuanian woman living in Selfoss in South Iceland, took the following pictures of the conditions in the pool.

Seljavallalaug, trash

At Seljavallalaug Some guests have left abandoned pieces of clothing empty beer cans, food containers and various other trash. Photo/Janek Belajevs


Seljavallalaug, trash

The changing rooms The floors are covered with abandoned towels. Photo/Janek Belajevs

The pool, which was built in 1923, is one of the oldest swimming pools in Iceland. Nestled in the hillside, deep in the valley, the abandoned pool is surrounded by black volcanic sand and moss. While it has been described as a "hidden gem", growing numbers of travellers have discovered the pool in recent years.

Maintained by volunteers
During the summer the pool is visited by hundreds of travellers. The pool is managed by the local youth organization. Volunteers from the organization clean the pool and the locker rooms at least once each year, but do not have the resources to deal with the growing numbers of visitors. 

The chairman of the organization told the local news site Vísir that the pool was not really being maintained as a regular public pool. "There is no service or monitoring at the site, and no life guard. And it's really unfortunate people treat the premises in this manner."

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