Soaking in one of the hot springs Iceland is one of the activities in Iceland you have to experience. Iceland is a hotbed of geothermal activity, and this has created dozens of places to relax in healing water around the country. Even better, most hot springs in Iceland give you a front-row seat to jaw-dropping scenery that includes fjords, mountains, waterfalls, glaciers, and more.
Whether you like the full spa treatment or wish to seclude yourself within nature, Iceland has a natural hot spring for everyone. You’ll find everything from luxurious retreats to geothermal pools filled with a hose. Luckily, thermal pools can be found in nearly every region of Iceland, and you rarely have to travel far to find one.
In this guide, we’ve collected the best hot pools in Iceland based on various categories. Our list features the fanciest spas, natural hot springs, hidden pools, and even unusable ones that still take your breath away. After reading through each group, you’ll know exactly where to find the best thermal pools in Iceland.
What are natural hot springs?
Hot springs also known as geothermal and thermal springs are springs of water that flows from the ground and have a temperature from at least 37 degrees celsius (98 degrees Fahrenheit). So this means that the spring is warmer than the air temperatures and the ground surrounded by the spring. Some hot springs are good for a bath, but please always make sure it will be safe before you dive in.
Where to find the best natural hot springs in Iceland
A visit to Iceland means at least one swim in one of the natural hot springs, swimming pools or hot pots. You can find them all around the country and there is not a specific place where you will find the most.
Why does iceland have so many hot springs?
Hot springs are formed because of geothermal/volcanic activity and as Iceland lies across two tectonic plates (North American and Eurasion plate). The point between the plates is also known as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and volcanic activity is typical alon tectonic rifts. This activity will heat the underground waters. This process is called geothermal activity, which creates hot springs.
Best Time Of Year To Visit Hot Springs Iceland
Spring and Summer are in my opinion the best time to visit Iceland for hot springs. As in winter, not all the swimming pools, hot pots and hot springs Iceland are accessible because of snow and icy roads. Even when it’s freezing and windy outside the hot springs in Iceland it is more challenging to relax and enjoy the moment. Wanted to know when is the best time for the Northern Lights, Whale Watching, Hiking and more, click here for the best time to travel Iceland.
Average ICELAND Hot Springs Temperatures
Hot springs in Iceland have a temperature between 35° and 44° degrees celsius ( 95° – 111° Fahrenheit). The Blue lagoon is all year around 39° degrees celsius (102° Fahrenheit).
What Are the Benefits of Soaking in a Hot Spring?
Having a bath in a hot spring can have some skin benefits as it is a natural detox, but it also helps blood circulation and much more. As I’m not a medical professional I won’t dive deep into this, but just wanted to inform you about it.
What Are the Different Minerals Found in Hot Springs Iceland?
The health benefits are formed by the minerals in the water, the most commonly found minerals in the hot springs in Iceland are:
- Sulfur: Treating skin irritations and infections, digestive disorders, arthritic pain and dermatitis
- Sodium: Helps for a good circulation in the body, lower the blood pressure
- Magnesium: Helps to clear your skin
- Potassium: Helps to clear your skin, tissue elasticity, regulating heartbeat
- Calcium: Treating skin health and relieve of pain
ICELAND hot springs map
To give you an idea where the hot springs in this guide are located below you will find a hot springs Iceland map.
Best hot springs in iceland
Hot springs Iceland – Luxury Thermal Pools
1. Blue Lagoon Iceland
Located near Grindavík in Southwest Iceland, the Blue Lagoon takes the prize for the most famous geothermal pool in Iceland. In fact, the Blue Lagoon might be the most instagrammable attraction in the entire country. The extravagant spa is only about 20 minutes from Keflavik International Airport and 45 minutes from Reykjavik.
Soaking in the medicinal waters is an unbelievable feeling as you’re surrounded by lava fields. The retreat can be just as incredible visiting beneath the night sky as the Northern Lights twinkle above you. With world-class hotels, spotless changing facilities, and delicious on-site cuisine, the Blue Lagoon offers a five-star thermal pool experience.
Bookings are often sold out weeks in advance, and it’s important to secure your tickets well before your trip. Prices online start at $44 USD, but other premium packages are available.
2. Secret Lagoon
Established in 1891, the Secret Lagoon is the original Iceland geothermal pool and continues to spoil visitors over 100 years later. You’ll find this natural beauty in the town of Flúðir about 1 hour and 30 minutes from Reykjavik. From Ring Road 1, turn onto Route 30 in the Golden Circle area to the carpark.
The surrounding area is filled with geothermal spots and Litli Geysir that erupts every few minutes. Advanced bookings start at 3,000 ISK (about $23 USD) for ages 15+. Secret Lagoon not only preserves its authenticity but includes showers, changing rooms, a bar, and a restaurant.
3. Mývatn Nature Baths
The most well-known thermal bath in North Iceland, the Mývatn Nature Baths treat visitors to healing waters and natural beauty. Its alkaline bathing water is wonderful for your skin, and the warm temperature soothes your body. Around the turquoise pools, moonscapes and rising mountains create a breathtaking panorama while you soak.
Mývatn is often compared to the Blue Lagoon, and many visitors notice the smaller crowds due to the greater distance from Reykjavik. The lagoon rests just off Ring Road 1 and also includes steam baths, showers, changing rooms, lockers, and a café. Bookings start at 5,500 ISK (about $41.50 USD) for adults.
4. Geosea Geothermal Sea Baths
Located in the whale watching utopia of Húsavík, the Geosea Geothermal Sea Baths are a unique Iceland geothermal pool. The blissful spa sits on a cliffside beside the sea, offers jaw-dropping views of the distant snow-capped peaks, and gives you the chance to spot whales. Using mineral-rich seawater, Geosea revitalizes your body with healing properties.
Advanced bookings start at 4,500 ISK (about $34 USD) for adults and 2,900 ISK (about $22 USD) for senior citizens. To reach the North Iceland spa, turn onto Route 85 from Ring Road 1 and then on Höfðavegur in Húsavík.
Hot springs Iceland- Where you can’t bathe
The Geysir Hot Spring Area is one of the famous stops on the Golden Circle for its geothermal activity. Located just off Route 35 and 1 hour and 30 minutes from Reykjavik, Geysir includes bubbling mud pits, hot springs, and erupting geysers. Don’t miss the grand spectacle of Strokkur and its streaming water that soars upwards of 100 feet into the sky.
Bathing was allowed at Grjótagjá until the 1970s, and the dark cave was once a hideaway for bandits. Located a few minutes from Lake Mývatn, the pool inside the lava cave is entrapped by ice and jagged rocks. Due to volcanic eruptions, the water became boiling hot, and the unstable temperature made it unusable for bathing.
The mesmerizing location gained lots of fanfare in recent years thanks to an appearance in Game of Thrones. To reach the cave, turn onto Route 860 from Ring Road 1 in North Iceland to find the carpark. You’ll have to hike a rocky path to reach the cave.
7. Bláihver (Hveravellir)
Situated in the central Highlands, Hveravellir has some of the most visually stunning natural hot springs Iceland. The dramatic landscape features multi-colored pools of bubbling water. Bláihver dazzles visitors with its shades of milky blue and adjacent lava fields.
There’s a well-maintained walking path that meanders through the geothermal hotspot and offers tons of incredible photos. You’ll need a 4WD to drive down F35 and F735 to reach the hiking area.
Hot springs Iceland – Best Thermal Swimming Pools
Located near Welcome Hotel Lambafell in South Iceland, the Seljavallalaug Swimming Pool is a piece of Icelandic history. The 10m x 25m pool is nearly a century old and one of the first pools constructed in Iceland. To reach Seljavallalaug, turn off Ring Road 1 onto Route 242 to the carpark. You must hike north for around 15-20 minutes to reach the pool.
Seljavallalaug has changed little in the past 100 years, and the pool is free to the public. The facilities aren’t maintained like other geothermal pools, and the water is sensitive to algae. However, the beautiful scenery around the pool makes the journey to Seljavallalaug worth the visit.
Although it requires a challenging and sometimes scary drive, the Krossneslaug geothermal pool rewards you with stunning images of the Westfjords. Situated on gravel road 643, you’ll need a 4WD vehicle to reach this peaceful seaside location. The journey to Krossneslaug is magical itself as you twist and turn around sparkling fjords and rugged mountains.
Krossneslaug requires a fee of 1,000 ISK (about $7.50 USD) per person, but the clean facilities include changing rooms and showers. If you don’t have time to make the return trip on road 643, you can spend the night at the nearby Urdartindur Guesthouse and Cottages.
10. Nauthólsvík Geothermal Beach
Just outside of Reykjavik, Nauthólsvík is a golden-sand beach offering a geothermal swimming pool and small hot springs. The beach rests beside the Atlantic Ocean and provides a delightful place to soak while exploring the capital.
Nauthólsvík is free of charge and has all the facilities you need, including changing facilities, showers, a snack bar, and nearby parking. The geothermal beach is popular amongst Reykjavik locals, but going on weekday mornings can help beat the crowds.
Hot springs Iceland – Best Cozy Hot Pools
11. Grettislaug and Jarlslaug
Situated in North Iceland, Grettislaug and Jarlslaug is a seaside Iceland hot pool connected to an Icelandic saga. Made from natural stones, the pool provides fantastic views of the surrounding mountains. You’ll also find nearby campsites with authentic turf houses and a small coffee shop.
To reach the pool, turn onto Route 75 from Ring Road 1, onto Route 744, and head north on Route 748. Showers and changing facilities are available, and an entry fee of 1,000 ISK (about $7.50 USD) is required.
Guðrúnarlaug thermal bath is intimately connected with the Laxdæla Saga and located where the saga is said to have occurred. Just a short drive off Route 60 south of the Westfjords, Guðrúnarlaug feels like you’re soaking inside a Viking tale. Turn onto Sælingsdalsvegur from Route 60 and drive nearly 3 km to reach the swimming basin.
There’s a small changing room near the hot tub, and the public bath doesn’t require a fee. The adjacent Laugar Campsite offers primitive camping if you wish to spend the night in the area.
If your Iceland trip is a romantic occasion, Landbrotalaug should be at the top of your Iceland hot spring list. Located beside a rustic farm on the Snaefellsnes peninsula, Landbrotalaug gives you spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and has just enough room for two bathers comfortably.
There are no showers or changing facilities, but the entrance to the pool is free. To reach Landbrotalaug, turn onto Route 54 in Borgarnes from Ring Road 1 and take the side road to the carpark.
My absolute favorite and most romantic secret natural hot spring in Iceland is Hrunalaug. With a small idyllic wooden changing room between the mountains offers this place a small pool in the front and a bigger one on the side.
Entrance is free of charge, and its picturesque location beside the water makes soaking here a surreal experience. There is a donation box, so please if you want to help the local for maintenance leave a small tip.
Just up the road from the gorgeous Fitjarfoss on Route 52, Krosslaug is a hidden hot pot surrounded by Icelandic nature. Although the spring is on private property, it is available for visitors to use. There’s enough space for only a few people, but the pool lies behind trees for seclusion. You won’t find any changing facilities, and there’s a jar that takes donations of 500 ISK (about $4 USD) to soak.
Hot springs Iceland – Best Natural Thermal Pools
Situated on a trail to the Reykjadalur Valley, Reykjadalur Hot Springs is one of the most enchanting places to soak in Iceland. Surrounded by steaming hot pots, tumbling streams, and rugged mountains, the natural beauty here is off the charts. If you’re staying in Reykjavik, the carpark is a short 45-minute drive away.
Turn off Ring Road 1 in the town of Hveragerði to reach the start of the trailhead along the thermal river. You’ll have to hike around 3.8 km to reach the hot springs and should take about an hour. The hot spring is free of charge and comes with a beautiful trek through the valley.
Found just off Route 60 in the Westfjords, Hellulaug is a hidden geothermal pool in Iceland. The natural beauty offers an incredible panorama overlooking the fjord and rocky landscape. Turn off Route 60 near Flókalundur to find the carpark and walk the short path to the thermal pool. The secluded pool includes a box for donations to maintain the magical setting.
Nestled in the Icelandic Highlands, the Landmannalaugar Hot Springs is the perfect ending to an exciting hike in this beautiful area. The trekking paradise is highlighted by its lava fields and rhyolite mountains that reveal a kaleidoscope of colors. If you plan to drive to Landmannalaugar yourself, a 4WD is required since you’ll need to use F roads.
The rejuvenating hot springs are located near the Brennisteinsalda campsite just off F224. Although there’s no fee to use the hot springs, you’re required to thoroughly shower in the nearby shelter before your soak. You must pay 500 ISK (about $4 USD) to use the changing facilities if you’re not staying at the campground.
A hidden thermal pool in East Iceland, Laugavallalaug is among the most peaceful places to bathe in Iceland. The hot spring can be found in the Laugavalladalur Valley and forms an oasis in this isolated area. As you soak in the pool, a waterfall cascades against a rockface above you while you gaze at the adjacent streams and countryside.
From Ring Road 1, you’ll have to venture down several F roads and need a 4WD vehicle to drive the gravel roads. The hot spring rests beside Kárahnjúkar, and there’s a nearby campsite that requires a creek crossing to reach. Be cautious of the water temperature here due to its unpredictable nature.
20. Víti Nature Bath
For a once in a lifetime experience, the Víti Nature Bath lets you enjoy a mineral bath inside a volcanic crater. Located in the eastern Highlands, Askja volcano is only accessible during summer, and a 4WD is required to navigate the F roads. You’ll also have to make a roughly 40-minute trek from the Vikraborgir Car Park to the crater.
Swimming in the milky blue water is an ethereal feeling, and the volcanic landscapes are unbelievable. To self-drive to the crater, turn onto F88 from Ring Road 1 and use F910 and F894 to the carpark. From there you need to hike a couple of kilometers.
21. Reykjafjarðarlaug Hot Pot
Just off Route 63 in the Westfjords, Reykjafjarðarlaug Hot Pot offers dramatic views of the Reykjafjörður fjord and adjacent mountains. The pool lies at the base of the fjord along the shoreline, and you’ll find a natural hot spring nearby. The small town of Bíldudalur is about 20 km from Reykjafjarðarlaug and entry is free. However, there are no showers to cleanse your body before your soak.
Hot springs Iceland – Best Geothermal Hot Tubs
22. Drangsnes Hot Pots
Within the village of Drangsnes, the Drangsnes Hot Pots is one of the quaint soaking spots in the Westfjords. The natural hot tubs sit right beside the shoreline on road 645 and offer dramatic images of the sea and mountainous landscape. Showers and toilets are on the opposite side of the road, and the facility operates on donations.
The three pools each have different temperatures and often provide a wonderful place to meet locals. There are guesthouses and a campground a few minutes away if you want to spend the night here in the Westfjords. This spot is incredible during a night with Northern Lights for a once in a lifetime hot springs Iceland experience.
23. Bjórböðin Beer Spa
Located near Bruggsmiðjan Kaldi Brewery in Árskógssandur, the Bjórböðin Beer Spa is tailored to beer lovers. First opened in 2017, the unique hot tubs made from Kambala wood let you bathe in beer. If you’re over 20 years of age, there’s draft beer available beside your tub.
Bookings are required at this North Iceland hot tub, and single bookings start at 11,900 ISK (about $89.50 USD). Couples baths start at 19,900 ISK (about $150 USD). Outside of the beer bath, the facility also includes a bar, restaurant, and a scenic outdoor area with traditional hot tubs. To have a hot springs Iceland experience with a grate beer taste this is the right spot for you.
24. Hoffell Hot Tubs
Situated beside Glacier World Guesthouse in East Iceland, Hoffell Hot Tubs provide respite after an adventurous hike. The five pools each have different temperatures, with two being noticeably warmer than the others. Around the pools, you’ll often spot Icelandic horses frolicking in the scenic countryside.
To reach Hoffell Hot Tubs, turn off Ring Road 1, onto 984 Hoffellsvegur, and then 983 Miðfellsvegur. You must shower outside before bathing, but your swimsuit can stay on, and bathrooms are available. There’s also a fee of 1,000 ISK (about $7.50 USD) per person.
25. Laugarvatn Fontana
Fontana is located in the center of the popular road trip circuit the Golden Circle. Dive in a world of wellness as Fontana offers multiple baths, saunas and you can even pick a wellness treatment. To have a real hot springs Iceland experience this is the right place to go!
FAQ Hot springs Iceland
Are hot springs in Iceland safe?
In Iceland you will find many hot pools, natural hot springs, swimming pools and geysers, but not all of them are available to bathe. Always make sure to ask locals, or a visitor center before jumping in, as the temperature can be too hot or the water can be dangerous.
Can you swim in the hot springs in Iceland?
When you think about swimming in Iceland, the first thing a lot of people would say: brrr too cold for me. Iceland has a wide variety of hot steamy natural hot springs so no matter the weather conditions you can always enjoy a bath. Always make sure if the water is safe before jumping in by asking locals or the visitor centre.
Are there any free hot springs in Iceland?
Iceland has so many hot springs to offer some are paid, donations or free ones. Reykjadalur Hot Spring Terminal River is in my opinion the most beautiful free natural hot spring in Iceland.
Does Reykjavik have hot springs?
Just 5 km outside of Reykjavik in the direction of the Grotta Island Lighthouse you will find the Kvika Geothermal Footbath. It’s an ideal spot to get your feet wet while enjoying a nice sunset or even the Northern Lights.
Are there any nude hot springs in Iceland?
There are no specific nude hot springs in Iceland, but especially less travelled safe natural hot springs in Iceland can be entered naked. In particular the hot springs in the North, Westfjords and East areas are not that crowded and really good if you prefer to keep your clothes dry and if you want to bathe naked.
Why do hot springs smell bad?
Coming close to a hot spring can’t be missed because of the strong sulfur smell, it’s like rotten eggs. Even though the gas from Sulphur can be considered toxic, the water is absolutely not. But keep it safe and only bathe in the water and don’t drink it.
Is the Blue Lagoon a natural hot spring?
The Blue Lagoon is not a natural hot spring, but it’s a human made structure. The Blue Lagoon dates back to 1976 when it was formed by wastewater next to the powerplant Svartsengi.
Which countries are well known for hot springs?
Countries well known for their hot springs are: Canada, Hungary, Romania, Turkey, New Zealand, Fiji, Honduras, Chile, Japan, Peru, Taiwan and the United States. Of Course there are more countries in the world offering hot springs. Keep in mind where tectonic plates meet and there is any volcanic activity in a country, there is a big chance to find hot springs.