7 Best Hot Springs In Iceland

best hot springs in iceland

There are not that many things more quintessentially Icelandic than jumping into a steaming hot spring surrounded by fresh white snow. That is why you need to know where to find the best hot springs in Iceland for your next visit!

Nicknamed the Land of Fire and Ice, Iceland is one of the northernmost countries in the world. 

You might be thinking: well, I understand the ice, but what about the fire? 

Iceland is situated in a very geothermally active area. Despite a total land area of just 100,000 km2, it is home to over 200 volcanos, 30 active volcanic systems, and numerous hot springs and geysers.

A visit to Iceland is not complete without taking a dip in one of these natural hot pools, as they are strongly related to Icelandic culture. Soaking in Iceland’s hot springs is believed to have other health benefits in addition to relaxation. The minerals found in water are said to improve blood circulation, heal aching joints and help with eczema. 

If you’re ready to discover all the best hot springs in Iceland, let’s get started!

Iceland Hot Springs At A Glance

Among hot springs in Iceland, you will find everything from luxury outdoor pools with hefty entrance fees to remote pools under the open sky that are free to enter. 

In this article, we will cover a range of different thermal pools in Iceland, seawater and freshwater, small natural pools and luxury complexes, each unique and worth a visit. 

Here are the best hot springs in Iceland:

1. The Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon

It’s impossible to start this list with any other than the most famous hot spring in Iceland. Swimming in the Blue Lagoon became a synonym for visiting Iceland, and it is so popular that it’s usually fully booked throughout the year! 

If you’re planning to tick this luxurious experience off your bucket list, remember to book at least a week in advance.

The lagoon got its name from the vibrant milky blue mineral waters. The pools in the Blue Lagoon have an ideal temperature of 38-39 ℃ and a large area to swim in, so it doesn’t feel crowded even at full capacity. 

As it is the most popular spa resort in the country, there are multiple cafes and restaurants on-site, as well as a complete spa experience, including a variety of massages.

The Blue Lagoon is located between Reykjavík and the international airport, about 50km from the capital.

2. Mývatn Nature Baths

Mývatn Nature Baths
Mývatn Nature Baths

Mývatn Nature Baths could be best described as the budget-friendly version of the Blue Lagoon. Featuring the same incredible milky blue-coloured water, Mývatn offers that mystical, luxurious experience you can get in the Blue Lagoon for a fraction of the price. 

This outdoor pool is surrounded by nature, with the steam rising from the water creating a magical atmosphere. The pool is large, and it never feels crowded as there is a lot of space for people to spread out. It is particularly stunning at sunset, as you can admire it from the pool’s infinity edge. 

You will need to pay an entrance fee to access the pools, and there is a shower, lockers, steam room, and a bar on site. Mývatn is located in the north of Iceland, about 80km from Akureyri.

3. Sky Lagoon

Sky Lagoon is one of the newest additions to Iceland’s thermal pool scene. It only opened in 2021, and yet it is already one of the most popular luxurious hot springs in Iceland. This is another man-made lagoon, but it blends seamlessly with the surrounding landscape, using dramatic black rocks for a waterfall that divides the swimming area. 

Sky Lagoon features a 70 m-long infinity edge pool with unobstructed ocean views, and it is popular for its signature 7-step ritual. It includes a dip in the ice pool, sauna, scrub, and more! 

You don’t have to worry about facilities here. There is a bar and a cafe for food on site, changing rooms, and showers. Sky Lagoon is located just outside Reykjavík.

4. Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River

Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River

Unlike the spa hot springs you’ve seen so far, Reykjadalur is a thermal river that is free to visit and bathe in! As you approach the river, you’ll quickly understand why it is named the “Valley of Steam” as you marvel at the white steam rising from the water.

You’ll have to go on a roughly 3km uphill hike from the parking lot to reach this hot spring. The trek is not challenging, but it takes about an hour. A part of the trail is on the wooden path along the river, and since the stream is shallow, you can jump in whenever you please!

There aren’t any facilities around apart from a couple of basic changing rooms along the river. Reykjadalur river is located about 50km from Reykjavík.

Despite not being a long hike, it can get very cold, so be sure to pack appropriate clothing!

5. Landmannalaugar Hot Spring

Landmannalaugar Hot Spring
Landmannalaugar Hot Spring

Landmannalaugar is also a thermal river and is said to be one of the most stunning hot springs in Iceland. As you observe the steaming hot creek running under dramatic mountains with sheep roaming around and nibbling on grass, you can’t help but agree!

This hot spring is popular with hikers, as it is on a hiking trail. Luckily, you don’t have to hike to the pool, it is just next to the Tourist Information Centre. It is only possible to visit this hot spring during the summer months, as the road gets inaccessible with snow. 

It is free to swim in Landmannalaugar Hot Spring, and the only facilities around are changing rooms. 

6. Guðrúnarlaug Hot Spring

Guðrúnarlaug Hot Spring
Guðrúnarlaug Hot Spring

Guðrúnarlaug looks like it came straight from a historical fairytale. It makes sense once you know that this hot spring was reconstructed to look like the original pools from the settlement era. 

A stone-paved path leads to the circular tub, lined with stones to lean on and relax. The serene surroundings only add to the whimsical vibes this pool has. There is a small wooden changing room next to the pool, making this site look like a Viking cottage. 

This picturesque hot pool is free to visit! The closest town is Búðardalur, about 150km from Reykjavík.

7. Geosea – Geothermal Sea Baths

Geosea
Geosea – Geothermal Sea Baths by Frank Kovalchek

Unlike other hot springs in Iceland, Geosea thermal baths are filled with geothermally heated seawater! This combination makes for an interesting blend of salt and minerals, providing a relaxing, exfoliating bath. Since it’s filled with seawater, there’s no sulphur smell that many other hot springs around the country have. 

Geosea thermal baths are an especially popular spot to watch the sun sink into the sea over the edge of this unique infinity pool. It is recommended to book your time here in advance, as they stop letting people in when it gets busy. 

This hot spring is well-maintained, but keep in mind that you have to buy a ticket which gives access to the showers, changing rooms with lockers and a bar.

Geosea is located in the north of the country, close to the small town of Húsavík.

Summary: The Best Hot Springs In Iceland

With hot springs all over Iceland, it’s easy to incorporate them into your itinerary! While you will certainly find luxurious hot spring complexes like the Blue Lagoon, many hot springs around Iceland are completely free to visit!

There is no excuse to miss out on this experience during your trip to Iceland. 

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