NatureHot SpringsReykjavik's Hot Springs: Relaxation in the Capital
Woman and a man relaxing in Sky Lagoon hot spring Iceland
Go Car Rental Iceland travel writer Leah BIlquist
By Leah BIlquistJun 4, 2024 • 9 min read

Reykjavik's Hot Springs: Relaxation in the Capital

Iceland is known for its breathtaking landscapes, dramatic scenery, and abundant natural hot springs. If you're looking for a unique and rejuvenating experience during your trip to Reykjavik, exploring the hot springs should be at the top of your itinerary. From geothermal pools to steamy rivers, there's a hot spring for every type of traveler in Iceland. In this guide, we'll explore the best hot springs near Reykjavik and how to get there with Go Car Rental.

Sky Lagoon

Sky Lagoon is a hidden gem near Reykjavik and you have to experience it for yourself when visiting Iceland! This hot spring is known to be a local favorite and is a fantastic option for beating the tourist crowds at Blue Lagoon. You can spend your whole day here by signing up for the famous 7-Step Ritual, which highlights the Iceland bathing culture.

Sky lagoon in Iceland

First, you will enter the lagoon through a stunning cave-like entrance. Which will bring you into the warm waters which range from approximately 38–40°C or 100–104° F. Then you will go from hot to cold quickly by taking their polar bear plunge, also known as cold therapy. This will stimulate your immune system while decreasing blood flow in your body.

Next, heat up by spending some time in the relaxing sauna. Admire the views of the ocean that sit outside of the large windows. Once you depart the sauna, lose yourself in the cold fog-mist that will wash over you and awaken your skin.

This is followed by the elegant Sky Body Rub! A refreshing scrub that will make your skin glow, thanks to the salts of the sea. The scrub will help your body get rid of any dead skin cells.

While your skin is still tingling, go to the steam room. The Steam will open your pores up, allowing the scrub to enter even further. Take a deep breath and unwind for a while.

The seven-step ritual comes to a close with a return trip to the lagoon. First, you will shower off any leftover scrub on your body. Then you can make your way back into the warm water. Take in the sights of Iceland that surround you.

You can even spot the presidents of Iceland’s house from here. He resides in a historic property called Bessastaðir. Don’t feel rushed when enjoying the lagoon either.

presidents of Iceland’s house

How To Get Here

Sky Lagoon is very easy to reach from Reykjavik. It is a quick 15-minute drive south of the city. If you are feeling up to it, you could rent a bike and even ride down.

Kvika Footbath

Nestled beside the sea, at the northwestern point of Seltjarnarnes Peninsula, is Kvika Footbath. This unique hot spring is, you guessed it, a foot bath!

Kvika geothermal hot spring foot bath in Reykjavik Iceland

It is a man-made pool that was designed by artist Ólöf Nordal. He carved the spring into a huge rock and it now sits 30 cm deep or .9 feet deep. It is also 90 cm or 2.9 feet wide.

The hot spring water is nearly 102°F or 39° and it comes from a borehole that sits nearby. Excellent for soaking your feet after a long hike or taking a quick dip fully in.

It is mainly known for its breathtaking views of Esja mountain and the massive Snæfellsjökull glacier. Visitors usually sit along the edge of the rock while soaking their feet and enjoying the endless view. The hot spring pool is set in an isolated area that was built on a stony landscape near the edge of the sea. This means no changing areas in the vicinity so dress for the pool upon arrival.

How To Get Here

The pool is easily accessible from Reykjavik as it is only a 10 minutes drive away.

The Blue Lagoon is one of the most popular hot springs in Iceland and is located only a short drive from Reykjavik. This geothermal spa offers a unique experience, surrounded by stunning landscapes of black lava rocks and turquoise waters. Visitors can indulge in the warm and silica-rich waters, known for their skin-healing properties, and relax in the steam room or sauna. With its easy accessibility and luxurious amenities, the Blue Lagoon is the perfect hot spring for those seeking a relaxing and indulgent experience.

Blue lagoon hot spring in Iceland near Reykjavik

The Blue Lagoon was created over 6000 feet below the ground when salty ocean water, and freshwater combined in a tectonic kingdom of sizzling heat and heavy pressure. This created geothermal water.

It then headed up to the surface through geothermal extraction wells. From here the water surfaces are enriched with algae, silica, and minerals. The combination of these three ingredients resulted in the now magical water that has been known to heal your body.

Then in the 1980s local residents began bathing in the Blue Lagoon. It is said that the lagoon formed in the lava field beside the Svartsengi Geothermal Resource Park. It became quite famous from word of mouth by residents in Iceland.

Visitors said that they left with a “sensation” after soaking in the lagoon. Some Icelanders came to heal their illnesses while others came purely for enjoyment.

The Lagoon sits at an enjoyable temperature of 38° C or 100.4°F. Its benefits are endless thanks to the freshwater and seawater combination. This means that algae plants combined with high concentrations of silica can benefit the skin. The silica can help improve skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema.

In addition to its healing powers, it is known to prevent premature aging while tightening the skin. Soaking in hot water is also amazing for sore muscles. Athletes and avid hikers make it a solid part of their weekly routine. Your body, skin, and mind will thank you.

How To Get Here

The Blue Lagoon is conveniently a 20-minute drive from Keflavik Airport and a 50-minute drive from Reykjavik.

Hvammsvik Hot Spring

Get ready to soak your body near the Atlantic Ocean at Hvammsvik Hot Springs. The property is very unique, as they do offer eight different pools with a variety of temperatures. This way you can hop from pool to pool while finding the ideal pool temperature for yourself.

Friends relaxing in Hvammsvik Hot Spring in Iceland near Reykjavik

The pools are all natural and provide gorgeous views of the sea. You can enjoy a drink in their lounge pool while the ocean mist hits your face. Or walk down to the end of the old bridge which will bring you to their rock pools. These pools allow you to soak all while being a few inches from the ocean.

The temperatures vary per pool and water levels of some of their natural pools fluctuate with the tides and the temperatures. Here is the average temperature per pool. The Lounge Pool is 38°C or 100°F, the Upper Rock Pool is 37°C or 98.5°F, and the Lower Rock Pool varies by the ocean temperature around 37°C or 98.5°F, depending on the tides.

The Ocean Plunge Pool varies by Ocean temperature, Tidal Pool varies by Ocean temperature around 35°C or 95°F depending on the tides. The Old Hot Spring is 40°C or 104°F, the Upper Beach Pool is 38°C or 100°F and the Lower Beach Pool is 36°C or 97°F.

The deepest area at Hvammsvík Hot Springs is around 1m or 3.3 ft. The pools around the ocean vary in depth depending on the tides, and can quite unpredictably become quite deep. It is very important to be cautious when visiting ocean pools.

How To Get Here

Hvammsvík Nature Resort & Hot Springs is located in the middle of the Hvalfjörður on route 47, only a 45 minute's drive from Reykjavík city center

Nauthólsvík Geothermal Beach

Soak at ‘Nauthólsvík Geothermal Beach which is known for its Mediterranean vibe in the North Atlantic. The hot spring sits in the town of Nauthóll which was built around the year 1850. It was one of many new towns that arose in the vicinity of Reykjavík at that time.

Nauthólsvík hot pool in Reykjavik Iceland

Today you can visit the town which is now home to the beloved Nauthólsvík Geothermal Beach. It is known as the “Paradise in the city” and attracts visitors from all over the world.

The lagoon has different soaking options that all provide gorgeous views of the golden sand beach and sea in the distance. First, you can spend some time in the famous Sedation Pool, which is a long rectangular warm pool that sits along the beach. There is also a Beach Pool which is a bit cooler than the Sedation Pool but it does overlook the ocean that sits right next to it.

This hot spring is extremely unique as it does provide the best of both worlds. It sits at the end of an old runway used for Sea Planes during World War Two. There were a lot of military camps and occupations by the occupying forces around the airport during that time. 

Today, you can spend your morning laying out on the bathing beach soaking up the sun before taking a dip in the geothermal waters. Nauthólsvík is also known to be a swimming beach, which is rare in Iceland. You do have to always be mindful when swimming, as Iceland’s water is rougher than a normal beach in other countries, such as the Caribbean.

How To Get Here

Nauthólsvík Geothermal Beach is only a quick five-minute drive from downtown Reykjavik. It is 3.4 km or 2.1 miles away. You can bike, walk or drive here!


Iceland is home to a variety of hot springs, each offering a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you are looking for a relaxing spa day or an adventurous soak in a natural hot spring, Iceland has something to offer for everyone. So pack your bags and book your trip to Reykjavik today for the ultimate hot spring experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to swim in hot springs in Iceland?

Yes, it's generally safe but always follow guidelines and posted safety measures at each location.

Is the Blue Lagoon near Reykjavik?

Yes, the Blue Lagoon is a 45-minute drive from Reykjavik.

What should I bring to the hot springs?

Bring a swimsuit, towel, and flip-flops. Some locations also rent out these items.

Can I visit hot springs in Iceland year-round?

Yes, hot springs are accessible year-round, though access may depend on weather conditions.

What's the average temperature of the hot springs?

It varies, but generally, the temperature is around 38-40°C (100-104°F).

Is there a limit to how long I can stay in the hot springs?

Generally no, but it's important to hydrate and avoid overheating.