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Dip your toes into Icelands hot springs and geothermal pools on your next holiday adventure. From the famous Blue Lagoon to the hot Reykjadalur River, a trip to Iceland isn’t complete without experiencing the country’s warm and healing waters.

But why does Iceland have so many hot springs? It’s due to location. Iceland is located on the Mid-Atlantic ridge and sits on two tectonic plates. The plates move from each other, causing a lot of geothermal activity. This causes hot springs to appear on the surface.

The geothermal warmth in Iceland is in no short supply, and all around these red volcanic zones, you will find hot water sources that Icelanders have used to bathe in since settlement. The water in Iceland is all geothermal. Initially, it’s boiling hot and needs to be cooled down for people to use it at home.

Thanks to this endless source of warm geothermal water, a certain culture of swimming formed in Iceland. Today, Locals and tourists alike enjoy the activity. It is often said that a village needs no more than 50 residents for there to be a reason to build a swimming pool.

seljavallalaug hot spring in the mountains

ICELAND’S HOT SPRINGS

In simple terms, a hot spring is a natural pool where water comes from the ground itself. The best part? It’s already naturally heated. You won’t need to use other resources to heat it. Also, this water contains natural minerals such as algae and silica.

They act as a tourist attraction and a place to relax after a long day of hiking. They are found both at remote locations and near Reykjavík. Note: Some hot springs are fumaroles, geysers, or bubbling mud pits and are unsafe to bathe in. This is true for the great Geysir and Strokkur, for example.

HOT SPRING HEALTH BENEFITS

Hot springs also have health benefits. A clear-cut one is the relaxation factor. People tend to melt into the hot water, like an ice cube in a cup of tea. Muscles tend to relax, and stress levels fall. Hot springs are even prescribed as a wellness activity by some doctors.

According to studies, prolonged exposure to hot water improves a person's cardiovascular health. Also, don’t worry about the natural smell of the water. It’s sulfur, a mineral that helps ease arthritic pain and digestion problems.

ICELAND’S HOT SPRINGS MAP

TOP 10 HOT SPRINGS IN ICELAND

You can’t leave Iceland without soaking in the waters of hot spring. To save some time, we compiled some of the better ones in the list below. Find the right one and dip into the world of relaxation.

1. THE BLUE LAGOON - THE CROWN JEWEL

The blue lagoon, the crown jewel

The Blue Lagoon is a world-famous hot spring spa facility known for its magical blue color and healing powers. The water is very rich in silica and other skin-nurturing minerals, so much so that Icelandic doctors even write prescriptions for psoriasis patients to go to the Blue Lagoon.

The changing rooms are luxurious. There are two fabulous restaurants, a cafeteria, and an in-water bar. You can even order an in-water massage. The lagoon is in the middle of a lava field, and the pitch-black rocks are covered in white silica, making the place even more authentic.

Price:  The Adult price starts at 9821 ISK or about 70 USD
Location: Blue Lagoon: Norðurljósavegur 9, 240 Grindavík
Bath Season: All year round

2. HVERAVELLIR - THE HIGHLAND NATURE POOL

Hveravellir the highland nature pool

Hveravellir is an amazing hot spring pool between Hofsjökull and Langjökull, 57 miles (92 kilometers) North of Gullfoss. The pool is located in a small nature reserve and has basic changing facilities.

Both hot and cold water flow into the pool, regulating the temperature, and with this constant flow, the water remains nice and clean. The pool, location, and surroundings make the Iceland bath even more memorable and a must-do for anyone exploring the area.

Price: The price is 500 ISK or about 3 USD
Location: Central Highlands near Kerlingarfjoll Mountains
Bath Season: All year round

3. LANDMANNALAUGAR HOT SPRINGS IN CENTRAL HIGHLANDS

Boiling water surges up from deep within the earth. It is then cooled down, sometimes by naturally blending with a source of cool water in a pool or a river. This happens at Landmannalaugar and is perfect for relaxation.

The pool is located right under a wall of the lava field Eldhraun, adding even more magic to the bathing experience. The views of the colorful mountain peaks give this place an idyllic, otherworldly feel. Changing facilities and showers (fee to be paid) are functional but bare and situated about 164 feet (50 meters) from the pool.

Price: Free
Location: Southern Highlands near Þjórsárdalur and the Valley of Tears
Bath Season: All year round

4. REYKJADALUR - THE HOT RIVER ABOVE HVERAGERÐI

Reykjadalur, the hot river above Hveragerdi

At Reykjadalur, the hot spring valley behind Hveragerði, a river flows beautifully through with a blend of hot and cold water.

The further up you go in the valley, the warmer the water gets. The further down, the colder. You need to hike until you like the temperature of the water and want to bathe! Good to know, “the Hot River” has no proper changing facilities and requires an hour’s hike to get there.

It’s perfect for a winter hike. A tip: check the weather before you hike up the valley. If you time everything right, you might see the Northern Lights as you bathe in the natural hot river. Bring a headlight and sturdy hiking boots, preferably with ice spikes underneath!

Price: Free
Location: Right above the town of Hveragerði, near Hengill geothermal area
Bath Season: All year round

5. MYVATN NATURE BATHS - THE BLUE LAGOON OF THE NORTH

Myvatn nature baths the blue lagoon of the north

Mývatn Nature Baths are like a smaller, less crowded version of the famous “Blue Lagoon.” It is located in the North near the hot Lake Mývatn and would best be described as a cross between a hot spring and a man-made pool.

The excellent facilities include changing rooms with plenty of showers, two steam baths, a restaurant, and a small souvenir shop. The water is alkaline and enriched with minerals known for their extraordinary healing powers and soothe skin problems. No chlorine or chemicals are added to the water, which is instead filled with silica, algae, and microorganisms that keep it clean.

Price: The Adult price starts at 5000 ISK or about 35.30 USD in winter, 5500 ISK or about 38.90 USD in summer
Location: In the North East near Lake Mývatn
Bath Season: All year round

6. LANDBROTALAUG ON THE SNAEFELLSNES PENINSULA

Landbrotalaug on the Snaefellsners Peninsula

Landbrotalaug is Iceland’s natural hot spring on Snæfellsness Peninsula that fits about two people. It is quite hidden, but once you find it, you will feel like you just found your own secluded hot spring paradise.

Due to its rather hidden location, there are no facilities for changing, and there is barely anything there but the hot tub itself, so it is best to have your swimwear underneath.

Price: Free
Location: On the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, after passing Eldborg on Road 54, turn onto a dirt road with the sign marked “Stóra-Hraun.”
Bath Season: March – October

7. GRETTISLAUG - THE POOL OF VIKING GRETTIR THE STRONG

Grettislaug the pool of viking Grettir the strong

Grettir was a famous Viking in the Icelandic Sagas. It is believed that he dipped into this pool after swimming across from island Dragney to the center of Fjord Skagafjörður. He swam to the fjord with a sheep under each arm, so it’s easy to imagine the smell.

After it was ruined in a storm, the pool was restored and used ever since. It’s a must-see place for a northern vacation. The view over the in-famous island is a real added treat. There are changing facilities, a small shop and outdoor showers.

Price: The price for adults is 2000 ISK or about 14 USD
Location: In the fjord, Skagafjörður about 25 min from Sauðárkrókur driving along road 748 on the East side out from the bottom of the fjord
Bath Season: Not open in winter

8. HRUNALAUG - THE POOL AND TURF HOUSE

Hrunalaug the pool and turf house

This is one of the most authentic pools in Iceland, but it is hot, so you need to dip into it carefully. Located near Flúðir in the Hruni area, this gem is one of the older pools in Iceland.

There are pretty much three different pools you can bath in - one right outside the “changing hut,” one at the side of it, and another at the bottom of the hill above.

Price: The adult price starts at 2500 ISK or about 17 USD
Location: Around 62 miles (100 kilometers) East of Reykjavík, near Flúðir
Bath Season: All year round

9. STRÚTSLAUG - HIGHLAND POOL

Strutslaug, highland pool

Also known as Holmsarbotnalaug, it is a geothermal pool in the Southern highlands North of Mýrdalsjökull and East of Torfajökull. If you want to reach this remote pool, rent out a 4x4 and drive to it.

There are no changing facilities, so you must be ready to change out in the open or have your swimsuit underneath. The pool is quite muddy, so don’t splash around the water.

Price: Free
Location: The Southern Highlands next to Torfajökull, about 5 hour's drive from Reykjavík, includes heavy hiking.
Bath Season: All year round

10. BORHOLAN IN KERLINGARFJÖLL MOUNTAINS

Borholan in Kerlingarfjol mountains

There are two separate pools or tubs at Borholan. In 2002, locals drilled down to open gates for the hot water known to rest underneath the field, and it burst up and into the pool at the perfect temperature of 104 °F (40°C).This is a popular bathing spot, and the surrounding scenery makes it even more unique.

Price: Free
Location: In Kerlingarfjöll mountains in the central highlands, best visited on a tour
Bath Season: All year round

GEOTHERMAL POOLS IN ICELAND

Geothermal pools in Iceland are like swimming pools. The surroundings are man-made, and the water temperatures are controlled. They are usually associated with luxurious amenities. A geothermal pool might have changing facilities, restaurants, and even cafes. On a rare occasion, there might be a spa that provides massages.

Icelandic geothermal pool prices depend on their size and the amenities included. Their locations vary from inside small towns and villages to completely remote locations.

TOP 10 GEOTHERMAL POOLS IN ICELAND

If you want to enjoy the perfect warm water, Iceland’s geothermal pools are the way to go. Looking for the right one? Check out our list of the top 10 geothermal pools in Iceland.

1. SECRET LAGOON - THE OLDEST SWIMMING POOL IN ICELAND

Secret lagoon the oldest swimming pool in iceland

The Secret Lagoon at Flúðir is a magnificent hot spring pool. Its charming Icelandic name is “Gamla laugin”, meaning The Old Pool. This pool is close to the Golden Circle and makes a perfect stop on a day of sightseeing. The facilities include seating, comfortable changing rooms, showers, and a café/bar serving drinks.

Footpaths lead to various areas around the lagoon, including a small hot spring. When you bathe, you are immersed in Icelandic nature as trees from the nearby forest scent the air.

Price: The adult price is 3600 ISK or about 25 USD
Location: In the Geothermal town of Flúðir, which can be found on Google Maps
Bath Season: All year round

2. SELJAVALLALAUG MOUNTAIN POOL

Seljavallalaug mountain pool

This remote pool, Seljavallalaug, is located at the end of a valley near Eyjafjallajökull. It was built in 1923 and is one of the oldest swimming pools in Iceland. The pool is around 82 feet (25 meters) long and has basic changing facilities.

Seljavallalaug is a popular choice, so be prepared to bathe with strangers. Also, it’s an old swimming pool, so don’t be surprised if it's unclean. In time, algae, ash from the surrounding volcanoes, and other microorganisms build up in the water.

Price: Free
Location: In the South, inland from Seljavellir
Bath Season: All year round but best in summer

3. LAUGARVATN FONTANA SPA

Laugarvatn Fontana spa

The Laugarvatn Fontana Spa offers an unusual experience. A hot spring sauna built over a hot spring is the pinnacle of relaxation. Sauna guests can hear the water bubbling away as it steams gently! 

There are bathing pools and the option of a refreshing plunge into the cool lake. The changing rooms and showers are comfortable. A licensed restaurant offers drinks, snacks, and yummy meals.

Price: The price per adult is 4990 ISK or about 35 USD
Location: At Laugarvatn between Þingvellir National Park and Geysir Hot Springs
Bath Season: All year round

4. KRAUMA GEOTHERMAL BATHS AT DEILDARTUNGUHVER

Krauma geothermal baths at Deildartunguhver

One of the newer hot pools in Iceland, Krauma, is located next to Deildartunguhver, the most powerful hot spring in Europe. Krauma uses the power and water of the spring to create some relaxing baths for guests. About time!

The baths include a lot of amenities. There are several hot tubs, an indoor relaxing area, fantastic restaurants, and two incredible natural steam baths. It's the perfect place to relax.

Price: The price per adult is 6800 ISK or about 32 USD
Location: Next to Deildartunguhver in Borgarfjörður
Bath Season: All year round

5. GEOSEA SEA BATHS AT HÚSAVÍK

Geosea sea baths at husavik

It’s hard to rival the beauty of the Geoseo Sea Baths located at Húsavík in the North. The location is pristine, an important factor behind the uniqueness of the place. The pools have a wonderful marine view. And who can rival with that?

Private showers and lockers are included in the admission ticket. Also, visit the in-water bar to relax even more. People can purchase refreshments while enjoying the warm water.

Originally, workers were drilling down for hot water for house heating. However, when mineral-rich water came up, the locals decided to utilize the source in another way. While they used old cheese tubs, the Geosea Baths use more modern ones today.

Price: The price per adult is 6490 ISK or about 46 USD
Location: In the town of Húsavík in Eyjafjörður near Akureyri.
Bath Season: All year round

6. KROSSNESLAUG IN THE WESTFJORDS

Krossneslaug in the westfjords

If you’re all into views of the Arctic Circle, Krossneslaug is perfect for you. It’s located at Strandir in the Eastern part of the Westfjords. Getting to it might be the hardest part. You have to drive about 55 miles (90 kilometers) from the town of Hólmavík on a gravel road.

However, is the journey worth the reward? Absolutely! Besides the incredible views, you can also get some yummy meals, snacks, and even drinks. While the changing rooms and showers are simple, they are comfortable enough for a small stay.

Price: The price per adult is about 700 ISK or 5 USD
Location: Eastern Westfjords. Follow road F643 to the pool from Hólmavík
Bath Season: All year round but very difficult to reach in Winter

7. HOFSÓS - THE INFINITY POOL IN THE NORTH

Hofsos the infinity pool in the north

How can you have an Icelandic town without a pool? Located in Skagafjörður, the Hofsós pool was a gift and, since 2010, one of the town's main attractions. It was a gift from two Icelandic sisters who believed there was a real need for a pool.

And they were right! You’ll get lost in the beautiful view from start to finish. It adds to the overall experience. If you’re up for a long swim, you can rest assured that the water temperature is perfectly balanced.

Price: The price per adult is 1175 ISK or about 8 USD
Location: at Hofsós, Skagafjörður, North Iceland
Bath Season: All year round

8. HÖRGSHLÍÐ THE RUSTIC HOT POOL

Don’t judge a book by its cover. Hörgshlíð might not look as nice as most of Iceland’s hot pools, but it sure outshines them with the surrounding view. Situated in Mjóifjörður, it faces a beach and rocky hills. It is a perfect spot to capture your next profile picture.

While free, you’ll have to ask permission from the landowners at Hjörgshlíð, as the pool is within their land. A small green rustic changing room shed is right next to the pool. Don’t be scared of the growing algae. At this point, it’s part of nature.

Price: Free
Location: Down from the farm Hörgshlíð in Mjóifjörður in the Westfjords
Bath Season: All year round

9. THE POOL AT ION ADVENTURE HOTEL NESJAVELLIR

A remarkably Nordic designer hotel with a natural spa, including a sauna and an outdoor hot pool. Located at the geothermally active Nesjavellir, there is no shortage of hot water, and the scenery is very remote.

You will find the perfect zen and tranquility only a short distance out from Reykjavík but still in a complete no man’s land. You can order a massage before dipping in the peaceful pool, which adds even more luxury to the experience.

Price: Per adult 5000 ISK or 41 USD with the sauna and the relaxing room
Location: Nesjavellir near Þingvellir National Park
Bath Season: All year round

10. POLLURINN AT TÁLKNAFJÖRÐUR

Yet another gem in the Westfjords, Pollurinn in Tálknafjörður, has been a local treat for years. Pollurinn, or the puddle as it would be called in English, is located a few minutes away from the town just above road nr. 617.

A small changing hut is located beside the pool for you to change. Sitting in the “puddle,” you will have beautiful views over the fjord and surrounding mountains.

Price: Free
Location: South-Western Westfjords near the town of Tálknafjörður
Bath Season: All year round

BEST HOT SPRINGS NEAR REYKJAVÍK

There are some hot springs and geothermal baths around the greater area of Reykjavík. However, due to their proximity to the capital, they are likely to be filled to the brim with tourists and locals. So it is best to plan ahead and book your visit in advance.

SKY LAGOON

Woman swimming in sky lagoon, Iceland

The Sky Lagoon is just a few minutes from the capital city. If you’re vacationing around Reykjavík, add the lagoon to your list. It has stunning landscapes that keep you in the water. You can either pay an extra and have your changing room or use the public one.

ÁSVALLALAUG

It’s one of the biggest swimming and thermal pools in Iceland. Located at Hafnarfjörður, Ásvallalau has a 164-feet (50-meter) pool that is divided into two. Also, the water is around 82.4 °F (28°C), so it’s perfect for a calm swim. The cost of entry for adults is about 1,200 ISK or 8.58 USD.

HVAMMSVÍK HOT SPRINGS

Hvammsvik hot springs in iceland

Hvammsvík Hot Springs, located only 45 minutes from Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, is a perfect relaxing oasis. Here, you will find eight geothermal pools with temperatures ranging from 99-104 °F (37-40°C), an on-site bar and restaurant, outdoor showers, and a steam bath.

OTHER GEOTHERMAL BATHS AND HOT TUBS IN ICELAND

There’s still much more to experience regarding warm geothermal waters. We listed the more popular ones above. However, if you’re adventurous, we suggest checking out the ones below.

1. LAUGAFELLSLAUG

Laugafellslaug pool, central highlands, Iceland.

Located in the central highlands, in between glaciers, is the extraordinary Laugafellslaug pool. Around the pool, you can find a few huts, one with a changing facility, which can come in handy, especially if visiting in winter.

2. GVENDARLAUG

Gvendur pool, Iceland

This pool of Gvendur is one of many pools named after Guðmundur Góði (nicknamed Gvendur), who is believed to have blessed the pool. It is located in Bjarnafjörður on Strandir, in the Westfjords, about 100 steps away from Hotel Laugarhóll in the old schoolhouse at Klúka. Perfect to dip your toes and relax after a good day of adventures.

3. HVERABORG

Hveraborg pool, Iceland

Credit: https://www.travelblog.org/

Hveraborg is one of these extraordinary pools found in the center of a running river. The river Siká is located in the Northern moorland of Tvídægra.

A car track from Ring Road 1 just East of the river must be followed until you reach a locked gate. This is where you need to start the hike to the pool, which can take about an hour each way. The path is marked.

4. HELLULAUG

Hveraborg pool, Iceland

Credit: https://www.westfjords.is/

Hellulaug is a geothermal pool located at a beach in the Westfjords. The view from the pool is breathtaking over both the ocean and Vatnsfjörður fjord. They cannot be seen from the road, but there is a good path down the road.

The pool is less than a meter deep, and the temperature is around a comfortable 100 °F (38°C). There are no changing rooms on-site, so it is best to be prepared to strip or wear the swimwear under your clothing.

OTHER INTERESTING BATHING SPOTS IN ICELAND

Beer spa north Iceland
  1. The Beer Baths in Eyjafjörður
  2. Nauthólsvík, a geothermal beach in the heart of Reykjavík
  3. Reykjafjarðarlaug swimming pool and natural hot spring in a remote setting
  4. Lýsuhólslaug an authentic pool at Southern Snæfellsnes
  5. Drangsnespottarnir hot tubs at the beach in the Westfjords
  6. Hoffellspottanir  hot tubs with glacier views near Höfn í Hornarfirði
  7. Spa pools and beautiful views at Iceland’s Wilderness Center

Lýsuhólslaug an authentic pool at Southern Snæfellsnes

NO-BATHING HOT SPRINGS IN ICELAND

Some hot springs exist for the views alone. You can’t bathe in them, but you can explore them. The compiled hot springs and pool below are just for the views and photos. In some cases, people can touch the surface of the water.

Grjotagja natural cave pool in Iceland
  1. Grjótagjá Hot Spring and Cave near Mývatn North Iceland
  2. Snorralaug at Reykholt in Borgarfjörður
  3. Brimketill in Reykjanes Peninsula
  4. Víti Crater North East Iceland near Mývatn
  5. Scolding hot Blahver in Hveravellir National Reserve

FAQs About Hot Springs in Iceland

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HOT SPRING AND A GEOTHERMAL POOL?

A hot spring is as natural as it comes. It’s a hot tub that wasn’t changed by people.

A geothermal pool is the opposite. It is heated naturally, but the water gets pumped into an artificial pool.

The difference between them is thin but clear - natural vs artificial.

WHAT IS THE ETIQUETTE FOR HOT SPRINGS IN ICELAND?

Respect others and follow the rules we talked about before. This way, you’ll have a fun time in spring and won’t bother other people too.

HOW HOT ARE HOT SPRINGS IN ICELAND?

The majority of Iceland’s hot springs are lukewarm. On average, their temperatures reach around 97-104 °F (36-40°C). However, you should still take your time and start from a small dip before dunking into the water. 

HOW MANY HOT SPRINGS ARE THERE IN ICELAND?

There are around 45 hot springs in Iceland. In addition to that, there are over 200 swimming pools around the island.

WHAT ARE LAGOONS IN ICELAND?

Glaciers created Icelandic lagoons. Unlike the hot springs, the water in these lagoons is cold. As glaciers melt, the water collects and sometimes mixes with seawater. This creates lagoons. The best example is Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.

Spa and geothermal pools are something else. Blue and Sky lagoons, for example, have warm water. They’re lagoons in name, mostly.

CAN YOU SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS FROM HOT SPRINGS IN ICELAND?

Absolutely! Enjoy the Northern Lights as you soak in a hot spring or geothermal pool. Visit a hot spring between the months of September and April, when the Northern Lights are more common and vibrant. However, take the time to pick the right hot spring.