5 Best Hot Springs in North Iceland
Iceland, the land of fire and ice, is world-famous for its stunning natural hot springs. These geothermal marvels offer visitors a unique opportunity to soak in warm waters while surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of Icelandic landscapes.
The Allure of Hot Springs
Ever heard of a dip that revitalizes your spirit while being therapeutic for your body? That's what a soak in a hot spring does! These geothermal wonders are high in minerals, known to have healing effects on skin conditions, stress, and more. Plus, the enchanting landscapes surrounding them add a pinch of magic to your soaking experience.
Why North Iceland?
While you can find hot springs scattered throughout Iceland, the northern region has some of the best that offer an authentic, less crowded experience. Ready to dive into the warmth? Let's explore the top 5 hot springs in North Iceland.
The 5 Best Hot Springs
There are forest baths in Northern Iceland that you need to take a soak in. They sit at the Forest Lagoon, which is opposite Akureyri, at the foot of Vaðlaheiðar. From here you can even view Eyjafjörður and all of its surroundings. Forest Lagoon has a 14-square-foot complex that includes a bistro, two infinity pools with two swim-up bars, a cold tub, and a sauna.
The facility can accommodate over 200 visitors at a time they are open seven days a week from 10:00 AM to midnight.
The hot springs are heated up with all-natural geothermal water that is sourced from the mountain behind the Forest lagoon location, Vaðlaheiði. The water was discovered during a tunnel project and it is now popular for its healing benefits.
The Forest Baths are known for the tranquility that is accompanied by the energy surrounding the forest. The area is quiet, set right in the heart of nature. Making it an exquisite place to shut off for a while as you bask in your surroundings.
There is an admission fee of 5,990 ISK or $41 for adults, 2,990 ISK or $20 for children aged 6 - 15, and children aged 5 and under are free. Towels are not included in the entrance to the Forest Baths, but you can rent towels for 900 ISK or $6. This award-winning spa and Lagoon was featured in CNN Travel, Condé Nast Traveler, and Travel and leisure!
How To Get Here
If you are staying in downtown Akureyri, you can drive five minutes to Forest Lagoon. If you want to give your rental car a break, take the Forest Lagoon Bus. The Forest Lagoon bus operates from Hof Menningarhús in the heart of Akureyri's Centrum and is free of charge! View the week's schedule and see if it matches your plans.
Mývatn Nature Baths
Located about 65 miles south of the Arctic circle are the Myvatn Nature Baths. They are situated near the famous Lake Mývatn, one of Europe's greatest natural gems. This area is a designated nature reserve and is known for its bird life and gorgeous surroundings.
So how did the water get here? The lagoon water runs straight from the National Power Company´s bore hole in Bjarnarflag. The temperature reaches about 266°F or 130°C when it arrives at the huge basin beside the lagoon.
Don’t worry, that temperature cools down significantly in the lagoon due to it holding around 3.5 million liters of water. The temperature of the lagoon then sits at a comfortable 96–104°F, or 36-40C°, perfect for soaking.+
The lagoon is man-made with a bottom covered by sand and gravel. The healing water contains a large number of minerals. Most geothermal waters contain sulfur and Myvatn Nature Baths has a high amount of it.
Sulfur is known to help with asthma and other respiratory diseases. It is also amazing for the skin and can be healing to those with skin complications. Due to the chemical makeup of the water, bacteria and vegetation do not succeed in the lagoon.
The lagoon even has a swim-up bar! Grab an alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverage to enjoy while you bathe your body. Then, end your day by relaxing in the steam bath.
The steam rises directly through the floor and is completely controlled by the weather. The temperature sits at 113°F or 35°C, with the humidity close to 100%. Enjoy the views of Iceland from the large steam bath windows at the breathtaking Myvatn Nature Baths.
How To Get Here
The Mývatn Nature Baths are easy to get to since they are located only a few minutes off Ring Road. They are about an hour east of Akureyri and six hours from Reykjavik. They are a must-see during your visit to North Iceland.
Visit Grettirs Pool, a famous attraction in North Iceland. The pool is named after Grettir Ásmundarson, who was known to be the strongest man in the Icelandic Sagas.
The pool is unique as it was constructed with stones. The water is very warm at 100°F or 37°C, making it a restful stop. Since the pool is technically located on private property, there is an entrance fee to access it which is only 2000 ISK or $13 per person
There are two geothermal pools here. The older one, Grettislaug, is named after Grettir the Strong, and the other called Reykjalaug, was used for washing clothes. Both of these pools were ruined in a storm in the 20th century, but locals decided to rebuild them in 1992. Reykjalaug was renamed and is now called Jarlslaug, which is known as the “Pool of the earl”, in honor of Jon Eiriksson, who led the rebuilding of the pools.
How To Get Here
The pools are just north of the town Saudarkrokur in Skagafjordur fjord. You can reach them by going two hours west of Akureyri or four hours north of Reykjavik.
You can take Route One or Ring Road to Blönduós, before continuing north on Route 74. The location of Grettir’s Pool is in a remote yet captivating part of Iceland. Which is best to visit during the summer months due to the heavy snowfall that the area gets during winter.
GeoSea Geothermal Sea Baths
Experience the “Heat of the North” at Geosea Geothermal Spa! Over the last century, hot water was drilled on the peninsula of Húsavíkurhöfði. The water was not suitable for central heating, but it was known to be ideal for bathing.
The bathing water was known to be enriched in minerals when it came to the surface. It does have a combination of clear rock water and ground sea, which is known to improve your health. The Húsvíkings used GeoSea as their bathing spot, which has since become a popular destination for both tourists and locals.
Today, this world-class spa is not only known for its relaxing pools, but also its gorgeous design. Take in the view of Skjálfandafló with the Arctic Circle in the distance. You can even order a drink from the bar directly and bring it into the sediment pool.
The mineral-rich ground waters are perfect for soaking your sore body. The warm water sits at 100-102°F or 38-39°C, which is the ideal temperature to stimulate blood flow. After you soak, appreciate the sauna before taking a relaxing shower. They even offer complimentary organic products from Sóley Organics in the showers.
The entrance fee into the spa is 5.990 ISK or $45. You can rent towels, a swimsuit, and even a bathrobe. On sunnier days, they open up their terrace for a stunning dining experience. Geosea is a must-see when visiting Northern Iceland, whether it is winter or summer.
How To Get Here
GeoSea is located about one hour north of Akureyri in Husavik. You would take Ring Road to Route 85, which will bring you right to the spa. It is an easy route! Just be sure to check road conditions when visiting in winter, since it is far north.
The Beer Spa
While The Beer Spa is not technically a hot spring, it is still a soaking experience that has to earn a spot on our Northern Iceland list. This is because they showcase Beer Baths!
That’s right, their seven bathtubs are made from Kambala wood and are filled with beer. You can soak either by yourself or with one other person. There is no age limit for the beer bath because the bathwater is undrinkable, but there is a beer draught at every tub for anybody over 20 years of age.
When taking a beer bath, you bathe in a big tub filled with beer, water, hops, and yeast. So are there any benefits to soaking in a beer like there are soaking in a hot spring? Yes, there is, because the beer they use for the bath is in the early stages of fermentation, and at that stage, the beer has a very low pH. This will tighten and soften your hair follicles while also cleansing your hair and skin.
Brewers yeast which has gone through the process of fermenting beer is a great source of Vitamin B, which refreshes the skin and hair. It is also a fantastic source of protein, potassium, iron, zinc, and magnesium.
The beer hops are rich in antioxidants and alpha acids. The oils and minerals from the plant have an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin, decreasing the surface of blood vessels. Hops are even proven to have soothing effects on muscles and the body. So as you can tell, bathing in beer is just good for you!
The temperature of the Beer Bath is 98.6-102.2°F or 37-39°C. They are refilled with a new blend after each guest, keeping it very sanitary. After 25 minutes of soaking, you can get up from the tub and go to a relaxation room for another 25 minutes.
Don’t forget to take advantage of the beer during this entire process.
How To Get Here
Getting to the Beer Spa is easy! Just take Route 82 for 29 minutes north of Akureyri. Once you reach the town of Árskógssandur, you will reach your destination.
It is a great day trip to venture from Akureyri or detour off of the famous Ring Road or Route One. If you are coming from Reykjavik, the Beer Spa is a five-hour drive.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I pack for a hot spring visit in North Iceland?
You should bring a swimsuit, towel, waterproof bag for your belongings, flip flops, and water to stay hydrated.
Are all hot springs in North Iceland suitable for bathing?
No, not all hot springs are suitable for bathing due to varying water temperatures. Always follow posted guidelines and recommendations.
Can I visit hot springs in North Iceland during winter?
Yes, many hot springs are accessible in winter, making for a magical experience as you soak in warm water surrounded by snow.
Are the hot springs free to visit?
Some hot springs are free, while others may require an entrance fee. Always check beforehand.
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