NatureHot SpringsSoak and Enjoy: Reykjadalur Hot Spring Adventure
People sitting in Hot river in Iceland in winter snowy mountains

Soak and Enjoy: Reykjadalur Hot Spring Adventure

Reykjadalur Hot Spring is not just a destination; it's an experience. Nestled in the heart of Iceland's rugged landscape, this natural hot spring offers a unique blend of relaxation and adventure. It's a place where geothermal warmth meets the wild Icelandic outdoors.

What is Reykjadalur Hot Spring?

A Natural Thermal River

Photo by Olena Shmahalo

Reykjadalur Hot Spring, also known as the "Steam Valley," is a natural thermal river located in the Reykjadalur Valley in South Iceland. The name "Reykjadalur" translates to "Steam Valley" in English, and it's easy to see why.

The hot spring is a result of geothermal activity in the area, with hot water bubbling up from the ground and mixing with the cool river water. The result is a warm and relaxing river that is perfect for soaking in and taking in the stunning surroundings.

Where is Reykjadalur?

Reykjadalur is located in Iceland. Specifically, it is a valley in the town of Hveragerði. The hiking trail to Reykjadalur Hot Spring starts from the town and leads you to the valley.

Reykjadalur hot spring, thermal river and its green landscape

Reykjadalur Hot Spring has become a popular tourist destination in recent years, and for good reason. It offers a unique and unforgettable experience that can't be found anywhere else in the world.

The hot spring is easily accessible, with a hiking trail leading from the town of Hveragerði to the valley. The hike takes approximately 1-2 hours, depending on your pace, and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

What to Expect at Reykjadalur Hot Spring

A Scenic Hike

Hveragerdi Hot Spring River Trail

The hike to Reykjadalur Hot Spring is an experience in itself. The trail winds through the beautiful Reykjadalur Valley, passing by bubbling hot springs, steaming vents, and stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

The hike is relatively easy, with a gradual incline and well-maintained paths. However, it is important to wear sturdy shoes and dress in layers, as the weather can change quickly in Iceland.

A Relaxing Soak

Once you reach the hot spring, you'll be greeted by the sight of steam rising from the warm water. The river is divided into different sections, with the temperature getting warmer the further up you go.

The water is a milky blue color, and the riverbed is covered in smooth rocks, making it the perfect spot for a relaxing soak. The temperature of the water can reach up to 40°C (104°F), so be sure to test the water before fully submerging yourself.

A Chance to Connect with Nature

One of the most magical aspects of Reykjadalur Hot Spring is its location in the heart of nature. As you soak in the warm water, you'll be surrounded by stunning views of the valley, with the sound of the river and the steam rising from the water creating a peaceful and serene atmosphere.

It's the perfect opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and connect with nature.

Tips for Visiting Reykjadalur Hot Spring

Reykjadalur Valley Hot Spring Thermal River.

Timing is Key

Reykjadalur Hot Spring is a popular destination, and it can get crowded during peak hours. To avoid the crowds, it's best to visit early in the morning or later in the evening.

If you're planning on visiting during the summer months, keep in mind that the sun doesn't set until late at night, so you can still enjoy the hot spring in the evening.

Bring the Essentials

While the hike to Reykjadalur Hot Spring is relatively easy, it's important to come prepared. Be sure to bring sturdy shoes, a swimsuit, a towel, and a change of clothes.

It's also a good idea to bring a reusable water bottle and some snacks, as there are no facilities or shops in the valley.

Respect the Environment

Reykjadalur Hot Spring is a natural wonder, and it's important to respect the environment while visiting. Be sure to follow the marked paths, avoid littering, and leave the hot spring as you found it.

4 Additional Hot Spring in South Iceland

Landmannalaugar Hot Springs

First up is the “Pool of the People”, one of South Iceland’s lesser-known natural hot springs.

People bathing in the hot springs of Landmannalaugarhot, a beautiful Icelandic landscape

How To Get Here

These hot springs are located in the remote Highlands area in Southern Iceland. Which is roughly a 3.5-hour drive from Reykjavík.

The road to get here can be pretty rough once you turn off Ring Road. From there you will make your way down an F-Road, which is a gravel road with potholes and sometimes river crossings. 4X4 vehicles are the only ones allowed to drive on F-Roads.

The Pool of the People

The Landmannalaugar Hot Springs is also known as the “Pool of the People ''. It can fit over 40 individuals, due to the pool being so large. So you don’t have to worry about your space being too crowded. You will see a lot of hikers here soaking their bodies after completing one of the breathtaking hikes in the Nature Reserve Fjallabak.

The geothermal water is filled with healing minerals that your body will love. The temperature is very relaxing at 104°F or 40°C. If you want the water to be even hotter, then sit near black lava rocks. This is where the water temperature rises, so be careful when exploring the border of the pool.

The views make this hot spring even more special. You will be surrounded by lava fields and colorful mountains, including vibrant green moss around you. Marvel at the Brennisteinsalda volcano, also known as the Sulfur Wave, thanks to its red hue.

You can visit the hot springs year-round as they do not close at all. Visiting in winter can be impossible though due to the Highlands getting heavy snow. The best time to go is from June to September.

The Landmannalaugar Hot Springs are free! The only added cost is the use of the changing rooms and showers which is only 500 ISK or about $3 for five minutes of use.

Hrunalaug Hot Spring

Hot spring in Hrunalaug with a beautiful view of the snow-capped mountains in Iceland

Located an hour and a half from Reykjavik in Southern Iceland is the intimate Hrunalaug Hot Spring. A smaller hot spring, which is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

How To Get Here

You will find this popular spot by taking road number 344 until you see a sign for Hruni. Continue on the road for two miles and then turn on road 345, continuing towards Hruni.

Then you will see a road sign for Sólheimar. Once you do turn toward the sign. Then it is just a short 0.2 miles until you reach the parking lot for Hrunalaug hot spring.

There is no sign since it is a secret. However, you can look for the “No Camping” sign in the parking lot. That is how you know you are in the right place. From there it is a quick two-minute walk to the isolated hot spring.

A Small Hot Spring With Stone Walls

This is a special place since it was founded by locals a very long time ago. They even used it for healing purposes and to soak their bodies after a hard day of work. It is located on private property but the owners do allow you to use it.

The spring itself is surrounded by a small stone wall. There are two pools, a small one and a large one. Even though the hot spring is smaller, there is plenty of space for multiple people to enjoy it.

The views from Hrunalaug Hot Spring are spectacular! If you visit in summer, enjoy the mossy bright green landscape. If you are making the trek in winter, you could be surrounded by blankets of snow. You can not go wrong soaking here any time of the year.

The water in the hot spring is 40°C or 104°F. It is truly the perfect temperature for a hot spring!

Secret Lagoon

The hot spring, an incredible secret lagoon to relax and unwind in Iceland

Located just nine minutes from Hrunalaug Hot Spring is the Secret Lagoon. The interesting part is, Hrunalaug is known to be more of a secret! Yet the Secret Lagoon has gained the most popularity over the years and we will tell you why.

How To Get Here

The Secret Lagoon is located an hour and a half from Reykjavik. There are no crazy trails or gravel roads to get here either. You simply pull up to the lagoon and spend your day relaxing in the natural warm water.

The Oldest Swimming Pool in Iceland

It is the oldest swimming pool in Iceland and was created in 1891 at Hverahólmi, which is a geothermal area near Flúðir. The pool is also known as Gamla Laugin by locals.

It has been a historic area since 1909 when the first swimming lessons in Iceland were held here. This continued until 1947. The lagoon became forgotten until 2005 which is when it became loved again. Then in 2014 the Secret Lagoon officially opened to the public

The warm water in the lagoon is filled with natural resources that come from the hot springs. So how does the water get here? Vaðmálahver, Básahver, or Litli Geysir is an active geyser that spouts every few minutes.

This provides 100% of the water supply in the lagoon. Guests can even watch the geyser spout during their visit. It constantly flows which means the water replaces itself within 24 hours, keeping the lagoon clean.

The warm water sits at a comfortable 100.4°-104°F or 38-40°C all year round. Making it an immaculate Southern Iceland hot spring for you to enjoy. There is a cost to visit at 3000 kr or $20 per adult.

Seljavallalaug Hot Spring

Seljavallalaug: beautiful pool and naturally heated hot spring in southern Iceland

Is it a pool or is it a hot spring? Chances are you will hear Seljavallalaug referred to as both. Luckily no matter how you look at it, its geothermal waters make it a hot spring pool.

How To Get Here

This hot spring is even more impassive because you can only access it by hiking to it. First, you will need to drive to the parking area which is near Seljavellir and the Ring Road, in the valley below the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. The pool itself is located about six miles east of Ásólfsskáli. Seljavallalaug.

To get to the parking lot take road 242 which is marked as Rao Farfell, which is located off of The Ring Road. Then you will pass Þorvaldseyri and you will continue driving until you see a sign for Seljavellir. Once you are on that road you continue until you reach the parking area.

When you park you will realize there are also no signs for the trail. You will see the path where the hike starts. The hike is a total of 1.2 miles long, taking an average of fifteen minutes each way.

First, start hiking towards the bottom of the valley and keep going until you cross over a small flowing stream. After that, you will see the pool sitting in the distance on the side of the mountain.

A Local’s Hot Spring

The pool has a special past as it was created back in 1923 to teach the locals how to swim. Then the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted and ash filled the pool, closing it down. Thanks to the help of dedicated Icelanders, the ash was eventually cleaned out and the pool reopened. Today, you can soak it in yourself free of cost.

The hot spring is relatively large too, sitting 30 feet wide and 82 feet long. It was even the largest pool in Iceland until 1932.

Oh, and did we mention that the views from the spring are absolutely breathtaking? Large green mountains will surround you, becoming snow-capped during the winter months. The water in the pool is mid-warm than hot, with an average temperature between 66°-85°F or 18°-29°C.

This is a remote hot spring and there is no upkeep with it. Once a year volunteers will come in for maintenance. The best way to take care of this pool is to follow the “Leave No Trace” rule. Which simply means to leave it as you found it.

What To Pack for hot spring

A Swimsuit

Most of these hot springs require bathing suits. While you may not see everyone wearing them all the time, it is important to be respectful to the other visitors of the hot spring. If you forgot your bathing suit you can purchase one at a clothing store in Reykjavik.

A Towel

While it may seem obvious, a towel is so important when visiting the hot springs. You will be thankful you have one once you leave the warm water and enter the cold air.

Forgot your towel? That’s alright, you can buy one at Hagkaup. They have locations throughout Iceland that are the go-to for cheap towels.


Don’t forget to drink plenty of water when visiting a hot spring. While the waters are healing and amazing for your body, they can also dehydrate you. It is important to drink water before, after, and during your trip to the hot spring.

Iceland has some of the best natural drinking water in the world. Fortunately for you, it is free throughout the country. Bring, or purchase, a reusable water bottle that you can fill up during your trip.