Ultimate Guide to The Best Hot Springs in Iceland
Updated: Aug 9
Iceland is known as a cold and rainy country with lots of wind. There is something though that seems to be a consolation for all of this. I am talking about hot springs. Everywhere you step there is a public swimming pool, in every bigger city. Where there is no swimming pool, you can find a hot spring. For Icelanders, the swimming pools and hot pots are something more than just entertainment during free time. As the Icelandic climate was always quite rough, the typical European city markets will not fulfill the tasks. That is why the hot springs and later swimming pools became the social, common space.
Friends and family get together to spend their time enjoying the warm water at the same time. You can always meet someone you know there. It is said that the warm water of the geothermal springs is the secret of Icelanders’ happiness. Remember then to pack your swimming suit because you will definitely need it and not only once while visiting Iceland. Star your rental camper in Iceland, we are heading to some amazing hot springs!
Let’s first see how it is that there are so many hot springs in Iceland. Iceland as you already know is a volcanic island. The formation of thermal springs is associated with areas or volcanic activity. You can even say that the hot springs are proof that Iceland has many geothermal areas. Icelanders learned how to use the geothermal areas and change it into energy they use for heatings homes and creating swimming pools. Hot springs occur naturally. Some of them are with boiling water and others have the perfect temperature for a swim. Is there any better feeling than that when after a long, rainy day, you enter a warm hot tub or a pool where you can relax while admiring the rough mountains around you? In this article, we will focus on best hot springs in Iceland so you know exactly which one you should put on your bucket list!
We are not able to speak about all of them as this amount is enormous, so let’s talk about the most famous ones. For sure you heard already about the Blue Lagoon, Mývatn Nature Baths, and the Secret Lagoon. Those were built by humans and you need to pay the entrance to get there but it is definitely worth it.
Here though, you can check all the natural hot springs which you will not be able to find on Google Maps.
The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most beautiful attractions. When you look at the turquoise-colored waters, it is quite easy to understand why. Only observing the people immersing in the water you feel like taking a dip. The Blue Lagoon is a world-renowned complex. It is the most impressive spa in Iceland. You will as find several restaurants, cafes, hotel and a souvenir shop here. You can also enjoy the relaxation zone. You should definitely treat yourself with a massage which you can get even inside the water.
Although many people think that the Blue Lagoon is a natural pool, it is actually man-made. Overheated water rich in minerals flows from nearby soil. After passing through the Svartsengi geothermal power plant, the water is directed into the lagoon. The water is in constant circulation which makes it always fresh.
You can easily reach it from Keflavik airport. There are many companies offering transport from the terminal. It is located in Grindavik just 20 minutes drive from the airport. That is why many tourists start or finish their trip around Iceland there.
We do recommend to get your tickets online in advance to make sure you will enter this amazing pool and will be able to enjoy its amenities.
The cost of the tickets start from 9990 ISK and it is a free entrance for kids from 2- 13 years old.
Myvatn Nature Baths
Heading on the Ring Road towards the North you will get to our famous Lake Myvatn. After visiting the lava formations and the lake, you will want to get some relaxation right? Myvatn Nature Baths is a perfect place for that. It is called the Blue Lagoon of the North. It is open all year long and during the summer it stays open until midnight. Who knows, maybe you will be lucky enough to see the Northern Lights while having a relaxing dip?
The Myvatn Nature Baths are located in the heart of northeastern Iceland about 105 km (65 miles) south of the Arctic Circle. It was opened in June 2004. This is one of the newer complexes in this region. The water here contains a unique blend of geothermal minerals and microorganisms. It is not as popular as the Blue Lagoon. As many of the tourists do not decide to circle the whole island that is why it is more possible to meet there Icelanders rather than hundreds of tourists.
The complex itself is quite modest and does not make the same impression as the Blue Lagoon. It also does not offer such a great view of the mountains. But it has some advantages as well as lower admission price and attractive discounts. It remains open all year long every day and there is no need to book tickets in advance.
The ticket cost depends on the time of the year and it is 4200 ISK - 4700 ISK for adult and 1600 ISK - 2000 ISK for kids from 13- 15 years old.
The Secret Lagoon
For those who decide to go with the Golden Circle route we have good news! You can a hot spring swim to the trip. It is located in Fludir around 1.5 hours from Reykjavik. It is a beautiful pool located in the active geothermal area along with a small geyser. The location is really peaceful and having a dip here is really relaxing for the body and the soul. It is one of the oldest pools in Iceland. For most of the Icelanders, it was known as The Old Pool. As not many tourists used to go there, it also took the name of the Secret Lagoon.
It was open since 1891. In 2014 it was renewed and opened again for the public. The temperature of its water reaches 38 - 40 degrees and being a part of the Golden Circle, it is a perfect stop for many tourists travelling around this part of Iceland.
The surrounding is really amazing as you have steaming hot springs all around and a small geyser which you can observe erupting while having a dip in the pool. If you travel with backpacks, there is nothing to worry about as you will find there changing rooms, lockers, and even a restaurant if you get hungry.
Before getting into any of these three pools you should know a few things about the etiquette.
1. You need to shower, (it is required you do this with no swimsuit) carefully before entering the pool. It is very important as there are thousands of people using the pool and it should be kept as clean as possible. I know that for most of you it might sea strange but it is not. You will realize when you enter to the showers area and see everyone does that and there is nothing weird about it.
2. Do not go our from the shower wet as you will make the floor slippery for other visitors, and leave your shoes on the side.
3. Take off silver jewelry and keep it in your locker. It is not only for the safety as you might lose it in the water but also make sure you do not damage it. This can happen due to geothermal water rich in algae, silica, and minerals.
4. Stay hydrated, drink water before entering. The water here can be really warm and staying long in the pool might get you to dehydrate. You can always get something to drink at one of the pool’s restaurants.
5. Remember that most of the people come here once in their lifetime to relax and would like to remember that as a very pleasant time. Do not ruin it by running, making noise and hassling fellow bathers. It is time to relax and chill out!
Ultimate Guide to The Best Hot Springs in Iceland
As you can see there are three types of hot springs in Iceland. Those made by humans around geothermal areas, using the hot water coming from the soil, the natural hot springs like the one you can swim in Landmannalaugar, and those like Geyser in the Golden Circle. The last ones are though not for swimming as the water inside is too hot. Actually it’s boiling.
In this article, we recommended you three best man-made hot springs in Iceland. The visit to any of them will be unforgettable and magical and for sure much relaxing. Treat yourself well during your trip to Iceland and put a visit in one of them on your to-do list. It is well worth it and you will definitely not waste your time there. What is more, I think you might even want to stay there longer than you initially planned. Enjoy our hot springs and have a great time!