11 Hot Springs in Iceland You Must Visit
There's nothing quite as rejuvenating as soaking in a hot spring after a long, cold tour in Iceland. The country is a hotbed of geothermal activity that has created hundreds of exquisite places to relax in healing water. Iceland is a land of contrasts. On one side, you have volcanoes, lava fields, and hot springs, while on the other, you have beautiful glaciers, waterfalls, and lakes. The unique combination of geothermal, volcanic, and glacial activity have created a landscape of incredible contrasts. Whether you wish to seclude yourself in nature or revitalize in a full spa treatment Iceland has got you covered. You don't even have to travel far to find one either!
Most Popular Hot Spring in Iceland.
The Blue Lagoon is almost as, if not more famous than Iceland itself. It is also one of the most well-known hot springs globally, attracting visitors all year round. Because of that, the lagoon is a bit expensive compared to others on this list.
The story of the lagoon began in the late 1970s when locals started bathing in the reservoir formed at the Svartsengi geothermal power plant. The milky blue water that came up from the deep chasms of the earth was packed with minerals. As residents continued bathing in it, they noticed that it had some health benefits – apart from just having a good time. The Research and Development center in Iceland began studying and researching the lagoon because of this.
Ultimately, the Blue Lagoon we love and revere today was formed. Updates have been made to it a few times, but what remains true today is that the mysterious sky blue hot spring never ceases to amaze you. Visiting it is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Iceland. The lagoon has everything you need to relax, including a relaxation room, mask bar, steam room, in-water bar, massages, and sauna. You’ll also find two hotels, a skincare shop, a restaurant, and a café.
Mývatn Nature Baths
Mineral-Rich Geothermal Pool in North Iceland.
Mývatn Nature Baths hot spring is the mini version of the Blue Lagoon as it also boast mineral-rich, milky blue water. What’s great about the thermal pool is it’s less crowded and less expensive, making it a more attractive option for visitors. Mývatn Nature Baths is located in a nature reserve in North Iceland, about 6 hours from Reykjavik.
Unlike other hot springs where you’ll have to hide in the wild to change, this one has a luxurious changing room and shower area. You’ll also find two steam baths, a restaurant, and facilities for families. Mývatn Nature Baths is accessible all year-round. And the temperature of the water is between 36°C to 40°C (96.8°F to 105°F) regardless of the season. The water in the pool is drawn from nearly 2.5 km (1.55 miles) underground and is believed to be beneficial for several skin ailments.
Oldest Man-Made Swimming Pool in Iceland.
Seljavallalaug Hot Springs is a hidden Icelandic gem tucked away between South Iceland's mountain ranges. If you’re looking for an easy hike before unwinding in a geothermal spring, this is your best option. Your shoes will get wet as you're going to have to cross a few small rivers. So make sure you read the article on what to pack for Iceland in the summer to see the best shoes and clothing to bring.
Seljavallalaug Hot Springs is the oldest artificial pool in Iceland, so it’s not as fancy or modern as the others. What makes it alluring are the jaw-dropping views you get while immersing yourself in mineral-rich waters. The pool is always open, but I found that in the wintertime, the water temperature tends to lower, making it difficult to enjoy the experience. That being said, Seljavallalaug Hot Springs is still one of the best hot springs in Iceland to visit in the summer.
Geosea Sea Baths
Blissful Spa in North Iceland.
Geosea Sea Baths is located on a cliff overlooking the ocean in Húsavík, North Iceland. The place is very popular for whale watching, so you might catch a humpback whale diving while relaxing in the pool! Geosea Sea Baths offers multiple raised and infinity pools for adults and small shallow pools for young children and babies. This hot spring looks like a bunker from the outside, but it swiftly transforms into a modern architectural spectacle once you enter!
The changing rooms are of the highest standard. The view of the distant snow-capped peaks, fjords, and sometimes whales is totally out of this world. To reach the top-rated Icelandic spa from Ring Road 1, turn onto Route 85 and then Höfðavegur in Húsavík.
Reykjadalur Steam Valley
Unique Natural Hot Springs in Iceland.
If you want to delve deep into some Icelandic nature, Reykjadalur Hot Springs is the best hot spring for you! Unlike other thermal pools and hot springs in Iceland that look like a pool, this one is literally just streams of little rivers!
Also known as the Reykjadalur Steam Valley, this geothermal spring is a vital component of Iceland’s tourism and one of the rare attractions in the country! When planning to go there, make sure you schedule time for the 30 to 60-minute hike you’ll need to take to get there.
The river varies in temperature, so please beware of the signs, so you don't get cooked! You'll recognize the areas to soak by the wooden platforms. Find a spot and claim it for yourself. If you’re looking to stun your followers with mesmerizing photography, this is the right place. Take a few snaps of the hot streams surrounded by snow or the nearby geyser that erupts every 10 minutes!
Luxurious Geothermal Spa in Southwestern Iceland.
The Sky Lagoon is the newest lagoon in Iceland, as it recently opened in spring 2021. The Lagoon is roughly 15 minutes from the capital so it can be your first stop after a long, tedious flight from your country. This ocean-side property offers a steam room and sauna you can use before dipping in the mineral-rich infinity pool overlooking Karsnes Harbor.
The temperature of the Sky Lagoon fluctuates between 37.8°C and 40°C (100°F and 104°F). For an immersive experience, don’t miss out on "The Ritual.” This is Sky Lagoon’s seven-step signature treatment that features:
- Soaking in a warm pool, then
- A cold one,
- Visiting the sauna, then
- A fog mist room,
- A cleansing scrub,
- Followed by the steam room, then the last step
- A shower.
During your heavenly encounter, you have the chance to grab a bite of local cuisine at a high-end restaurant and café. If you’re seeking a luxury hot spring experience and might have already visited the Blue Lagoon, Sky Lagoon is your next best option.
The Secret Lagoon
The Oldest Natural Hot Spring in Iceland.
Seljavallalaug Hot Springs is the oldest artificial hot spring in Iceland, while the Secret Lagoon is the oldest natural pool in the country. If you take part in the Golden Circle tour with Wake Up Reykjavik, you’ll get the opportunity to soak in the exclusive lagoon and see some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland.
Locals from the nearby town of Flúðir started visiting the Secret Lagoon back in 1891 to wash up and swim. Swimming lessons were held here until the late 1940s. The pool was then forgotten for 60 years, until 2006, when it was rediscovered. Recently, the geothermal spring has been updated and given a bit of a lift from its humble beginnings. The Secret Lagoon now has a shower area, changing room, and small lounge that serves drinks and snacks!
A walking path encircles it and gives you the chance to view the bubbling waters creeping into different sections throughout Hverahólmi geothermal area. You’ll get to see the lagoon feeding the geysers with water and erupting every few minutes, creating unforgettable views. The Secret Lagoon is located next to Hrunalaug Hot Springs, also on this list. Visiting them both would be a fantastic idea.
Kerlingarfjöll Hot Springs
Sensational Natural Spa Surrounded by Mountains.
The Kerlingarfjöll Hot Springs is located in the Kerlingarfjöll Mountains, also known as the “Old Lady Mountains.” This mountain range has a tale of an old female troll cursed with a spell of doom while wandering on it for a long time. Trolls can’t wander under sunlight. If they do, the sun's rays instantly turn them into stones, which happened to her.
When hiking to the Kerlingarfjöll Hot Springs, beware of the wayward trolls looking for their mother! We can only assume that she might have been overwhelmed by the place's allure, much as we are! After a 20-minute hike, you’ll find accommodation and a place to grab a bite. Kerlingarfjöll Hot Springs is a flowing river similar to Reykjadalur. So walk around and find the perfect spot to soak.
When planning your trip to the springs, make sure it's between June and September, so you get there easily. Secondly, you should rent a 4×4 vehicle in Iceland because the unpaved F road you’ll be travelling on has many deep puddles, mudded-up ruts, and potholes.
Highland Geothermal Oasis in Iceland.
Landmannalaugar is another highland natural hot spring in Iceland. The pool gets its name from a popular multi-day hiking route in Fjallabak Nature Reserve. Also known as the “Gateway for Those That Want to Hike to Þórsmörk in the South” or Thor’s Valley, this oasis is a must-visit for those seeking a complete Icelandic experience making it one of the best hot springs in south Iceland.
Landmannalaugar is surrounded by colorful rhyolite mountains, with multiple natural hot springs joining together to form a warm brook you can bathe in. This spring often draws hikers headed to another popular summer trek of the same name, helping them relax their weary muscles.
The water can reach up to 40ºC so it’s advisable to examine the ground before jumping in, as the mud can overheat in some areas. Take care because you’ll need those pretty feet to hike back home! Please remember to always shower before entering the pool, as it's a local custom, be it in a wild natural hot spring or city pool.
Small Hot Spring in Southern Iceland.
If you want peace of mind during your hot spring experience, then Hrunalaug is the right pool for you. This secluded hot spring located in southern Iceland is not as popular as others on the list, making it more tranquil and private. Hrunalaug is fairly easy to reach as it’s situated off the Golden Circle route.
When you arrive, you’ll find three pools – one small concrete pool, a slightly bigger rectangular pool, and a shallow section. The large one fits seven people, while the two smaller ones take four, so you’ll probably have it to yourself. Hrunalaug is an amazing place to admire the pristine beauty of Iceland while rejuvenating in 100-degree water and gazing at a backdrop of distant mountains. This pool is close to the Secret Lagoon, so it’s possible to visit them both.