There’s nothing quite like soaking in the warm, soothing waters of a natural hot spring while gazing upon awe-inspiring scenery. The Nordic country of Iceland is one of the best places in the world for this ultimate outdoor experience. The country’s geothermal activity has created bountiful hot springs, making it one of the top things to do while visiting the “Land of Fire and Ice.”
With approximately 50 hot springs and more than 200 pools in Iceland, there are more than enough opportunities for everyone to enjoy the healing waters. Wherever you travel around the country, you’re sure to encounter a hot pool. Every local has their favorite, from larger, well-known hot pools to smaller, hidden treasures.
Unwind in these incredible Iceland hot springs.
The Blue Lagoon
The most famous geothermal pool in the country is the world-renowned Blue Lagoon on southwestern Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula. One of the best hot springs in the world, this iconic attraction has all the bells and whistles for a resort-style experience, complete with a swim-up bar, locker and changing rooms, saunas, and a spa menu.
Created in the mid-1970s and heated by energy from the nearby geothermal power station, the Blue Lagoon is one of the most popular attractions in the entire country. With its close proximity to the capital city of Reykjavik, this hot spring is one of the easiest to access for visitors and locals alike. Its location makes it easy to combine a visit to the lagoon with other attractions in southern Iceland such as the Golden Circle.
Filled with mineral-rich (such as silica) seawater that is renewed every 48 hours, the restorative lagoon is said to promote positive health benefits, particularly for your skin. People with psoriasis are said to see improvements in their condition after visiting the Blue Lagoon.
Marvel at the milky blue water as you enter the warm, healing bathing lake that stays a comfortable 102 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. Wander on the walking paths and over footbridges; the lagoon is a massive 93,646 square feet.
Visit the “mud bar” and get yourself a silica mud mask or algae mask for extra skin treatment while soaking in the lagoon. Feel stress melt away as you enjoy the warm waters and beautiful surroundings in the Blue Lagoon, one of the top Iceland hot springs you can visit. An on-site shop sells Blue Lagoon beauty products if you want to take home a souvenir of Iceland.
The Secret Lagoon
Head to the oldest natural pool in Iceland for an authentic hot spring experience. Located in the southwestern region near the village of Fludir and the popular Golden Circle, the Secret Lagoon, or “Old Swimming Pool,” (Gama Laugin) has been open since the late 1800s.
Location of the very first swimming lessons in the country in the early 1900s, this pool has a rich history. It actually went unused for almost 60 years before its resurgence in the early 2000s.
The Hveraholmi geothermal area is also peppered with geysers and hot springs, which provide all of the lagoon’s water supply. This is a fantastic place to get the true hot pool experience while surrounded by starkly beautiful Icelandic nature.
Watch the small geyser erupt every five minutes or so from the comfort of the 100-degree pool. Relax in the curative waters as steam rises from the lava fields around you, and enjoy the mystical experience.
Onsite amenities include a locker and changing room, showers, and refreshments. The Secret Lagoon is a unique experience to visit a historical hot spring and some of Iceland’s natural magic—it’s sure to be an unforgettable day.
Read: What to Pack for Iceland
Myvatn Nature Baths
Venture to northern Iceland, the location of another memorable and popular hot spring. Situated a little over an hour from the city of Akureyri, Myvatn Nature Baths have milky-blue waters with healing properties, just like the south’s Blue Lagoon.
The mineral-laden waters of Myvatn are said to help with not just skin conditions, but also respiratory issues and muscle pain.
Less high profile than the comparable Blue Lagoon, Myvatn offers visitors a healthy combination of hot springs as well as outdoor activities such as hiking in the dramatic landscape of lava flows.
Gaze at the mountainous terrain as you soak in the alkaline bathing lagoon with geothermally heated waters that fluctuate between 96 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Step into the steam baths, where steam comes through the porous floor, and admire the otherworldly vista.
Facilities include an onsite cafe and sauna, as well as showers and a changing room with lockers, in addition to the hot spring pools.
Lake Myvatn and the surrounding area is part of the north’s “Diamond Circle” which includes the impressive Icelandic waterfalls of Dettifoss and Godafoss. Both of which are worth visiting while touring the region, making it an ideal combination with the nature baths.
For a more secluded hot spring experience, look no further than southern Iceland’s Hrunalaug. This small hot spring near Fludir is not as well-known as some of its rivals, making it an ideal spot to visit if you’re in search of soaking in a more private and tranquil setting.
Situated just off the Golden Circle route, Hrunalaug is fairly easy and convenient to reach. It’s actually a business sideline for a local farmer, who maintains the site. Hrunalaug is a set of three pools, one smaller, concrete pool, a shallow section, and one rectangular pool that is slightly bigger, created with a stone wall.
The larger of the two fits just six or seven people, while the smaller takes four comfortably, so you’ll most likely have it to yourself. This hot spring offers a rustic experience, with no facilities.
It’s a place to appreciate the unspoiled beauty of Iceland, gazing upon the distant mountains while relaxing in 100-degree water. Due to its close proximity to the Secret Lagoon, it’s possible to combine both hot spring visits in one trip for a little Icelandic hot pool hopping.
Reykjadalur Steam Valley
This hot spring destination offers one of the best hikes in Iceland, which requires a one-and-three-quarter mile trek through the country’s lunar landscape. Translated to “smoky valley,” the Reykjadalur Valley is popular due to its proximity to the capital city of Reykjavik, although there’s enough space to accommodate many people along the river.
A 45-minute drive towards the Golden Circle will land you just outside of the village of Hveragerði, where a short hike provides access to this geothermal river with multiple hot pools.
Along the canyon trail, you’ll have the chance to spot the ribbon-like Djupagilsfoss waterfall and several mud pools with steam rising in cinematic fashion. You may even see some Icelandic horses, a unique local breed, as this is a trail used by horseback riders as well.
The relatively easy hike is beautiful, with swaths of lush green and wildflowers dotting the volcanic landscape, dependent upon the season.
When you arrive at the hot springs, you’ll see a wooden boardwalk skirting the river, with several platforms for putting your belongings on while you soak. There are a few changing stalls available as well.
The springs are shallow, with rock pools made of stones throughout. For those who prefer a hotter soak, it’s recommended to soak in the designated pools further into the valley near the geothermal source.
Kvika Geothermal Footbath
Perched on the coast, just outside of Downtown Reykjavik, this small hot spring is known for its perfect temperature and amazing views.
A favorite of locals, the Kvika geothermal footbath is within walking distance of the city and the nearby Grotta Lighthouse adds to the allure of the already enticing panorama. As the name suggests, this is really just a footbath so don’t arrive expecting full immersion.
A 40-minute stroll along the paved Sculpture and Shore Walk will land you at the hot pool, and along the way, you can marvel at various sculptures by Icelandic artists. Designed by artist Olof Nordal, the man-made pool is carved into a rock.
At just under a foot in depth, it’s best enjoyed by sitting on the edge and soaking your feet in the hot water, which usually stays around 100 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Enjoy the expansive coastal vista, which includes Reykjavik’s skyline, Faxafloi Bay, Esja Mountain and the Snaefellsjokull glacier.
Pair your visit to this tiny hot spring with a walk to the lighthouse, accessed at low tide.
Grettislaug/Grettirs Geothermal Pool
One of northern Iceland’s most scenic hot springs, Grettirs geothermal pool is located seaside, on the scenic Skagafjordur, approximately two hours from the city of Akureyri. The two pools are located on private land but are open to the public.
They are named after Grettir the Strong, an outlaw who lived on nearby Drangey Island. Legend has it that he swam ashore one night when his fire went out and warmed up in the geothermal pool.
Although the original pools were destroyed in a fierce storm, they were rebuilt in the 1990s and have been enjoyed by locals and visitors alike since then. Soak in the 102-degrees-Fahrenheit waters while gazing out at the striking Icelandic mountains, sea, and Drangey Island. Onsite facilities include a cafe and changing rooms.
Hveravellir Hot Spring Fields
For one of the most remote and scenic hot spring experiences in Iceland, head into the western Highlands, where you’ll find the Hveravellir Hot Spring Fields. The region can be accessed off F35, the route connecting south Iceland to northern Iceland.
Reach Hveravellir in just under three hours from Akureyri; it’s a long drive but the journey itself passes extraordinary scenery. Situated on a nature reserve, this geothermal area is located next to the Kjalhraun lava field, and between Langjokull and Hofsjokull glaciers, with sprawling views of Iceland’s wild interior landscape. The hot pool in the river is the perfect place to unwind after road tripping to this region.
The water temperature varies from 70 to 103 degrees Fahrenheit, and it’s wise to take care near the intake pipe as the water coming straight from the source is extremely hot. A plethora of hiking trails are located in this area, making for a fantastic way to spend the day.
Complete one of the scenic hikes and then soak in the hot spring for the ultimate Icelandic experience. The Hveravellir Hot Spring Fields are one of the most amazing Iceland hot springs.
Sky Lagoon is Iceland’s newest geothermal lagoon destination, having just opened in spring of 2021, approximately 15 minutes outside of Reykjavik. This oceanside property offers a full wellness experience, the main attraction being the large infinity pool filled with mineral-rich water, overlooking Karsnes Harbor.
Spend time in the sauna and steam room before dipping in the warm water, which fluctuates in temperature between 100 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
For the full experience, take part in the Sky Lagoon’s signature seven-step treatment. “The Ritual” features soaking in both the warm and cold pools, a visit to the sauna and cold fog mist room, a cleansing scrub, followed by the steam room and the last step, a shower.
An onsite bar and high-end restaurant serve local fare, and a café is available for a quick bite. Sky Lagoon is perfect for those in search of a luxury hot spring experience while visiting Iceland and have perhaps already done the Blue Lagoon.
Relish in the restorative waters offered by one of the country’s best-loved natural features on a luxury cruise to Iceland. Browse itineraries and book your Iceland escape today.