“We are extremely pleased with the interest these parties are showing in Hveragerði and have been waiting for someone to see the possibilities for more development in the area,” says Aldís Hafsteinsdóttir, the mayor of Hveragerði in South Iceland.
A company called First ehf. has been granted a six-month priority window to build a new health spa in Ölfusdalur valley, near the town.
“The idea fits well with the municipality’s efforts to develop health related tourist services,” Aldís says.
The land Aldís hopes the spa will be built on is surrounded by thousands of planted trees, which it is hoped will become part of the area’s natural appeal.
The marketing and development manager of First ehf, Ólafur Sigurðsson, says that the company has been hoping to open a spa resort in Iceland for a while and that Ölfusdalur is an ideal location for it, “For a whole variety of reasons.”
“Hveragerði is on the way to many tourist hot spots and there are a lot of beautiful walking trails there.”
The business idea includes a 65-room hostel and extensive provision for bathing in the area’s abundant natural hot water.
The planned hostel will offer inexpensive accommodation, and access to hot pots, steam baths and relaxation therapies.
Banks and other financiers are enthusiastic about the idea, Ólafur reports, and it is already being worked on by engineers and architects.
“Today 150,000 people visit the valley annually and we estimate we’ll get 225,000 gusts a year visiting us,” Ólafur told Vísir—adding that the target audience is people aged 18 to 50.
If all goes according to plan, the spa will open in May 2017.