Natural hot springs and geothermal pools in Iceland
Need some ideas for your natural hot spring exploration in Iceland? Where are the best natural hot springs in Iceland? What natural hot springs and geothermal pools are near Reykjavik?
Welcome to the country of limitless access to both cold and hot water! You can find hot water springs basically everywhere and bathe in them is simply awesome. The Blue Lagoon is probably the most famous geothermal pool but there are other ones (hidden) around Iceland that we think are definitely more worth your time. We would like to share with you some of our absolute favourite natural pools found in Iceland. All of them are well reached from Reykjavik. Click the images for directions!
Text by: April Harpa Smaradottir
Last Updated: 9. July 2018
In this blog about our favourite geothermal pools and natural hot springs in Iceland, you will find the following info:
- Our favorite local natural hot springs in Iceland
- The best Sight seeing and Natural Hot Spring tour from Reykjavik
- Where to find natural hot springs in Iceland & the best way to get there
- Admission fees for each spot
- Our best Secret local tips and recommendations
All in one: Hot Spring Tour
If you are not going to rent your own car – and want to make the absolute most of your time in Iceland. Then I cannot recommend this Golden Circle + Natural Hot spring tour highly enough!
This is the only tour of it’s kind that we know about from Reykjavik and it allows you to explore both the grandest natural wonders from Reykjavik (powerful waterfalls, erupting geothermal areas and Þingvellir national park) & dip into the beautiful Secret Lagoon Hot spring on your way back.
Read more about it HERE.
Driving duration from Reykjavik: 1.5 hours!
Directions: Assuming you are driving from Reykjavik, you leave the city heading North, crossing the Hvalfjarðargöng tunnels (small 1000kr fee) and continuing to the town of Borgarnes (which by the way has Bónus and the ÁTVR liquor shops and is perfect for loading up on some snacks or dranks!). When leaving Borgarnes, take a left at the roundabout and head North/West for Snæfellsnes.
In about 25 minutes drive you should see Eldborg – an old volcanic crater (it hasn’t erupted since the settlement age so you are safe to hike and explore it). To get to Landbrotalaug, take a left turn after you have passed Eldborg crater and drive for a few minutes on a dirt road. There you will pass a small abandoned house and in a few more minutes, in approx. 1 hour and 45 minutes after departing from Reykjavik, you will find the parking spot in front of Landbrotalaug – Easy Peasy!
… or just follow this Google Maps Link!
Tip: Basically, this tiny pool has space for about 3 souls at a time. We highly recommend you visit during low season and early in the morning when not many people are around!
Don’t forget to check out our Car Rental page before departing on your Natural Hot Spring adventure, where you’ll find the BEST deals for your Natural Hot Spring adventure.
Reykjadalur Steam Valley
NOTE: Reykjadalur was closed temporarily in early May ’18 until stated otherwise to avoid further damage of vegetation. The area has been very popular for tourists and locals alike & it was decided to give nature a few weeks-months to rest and recover.
Reykjadalur, which translates simply to ‘Steam Valley’, is truly a hidden gem. This one is SO EPIC because you actually have to do around 30-60 minutes of awesome hiking to access the springs. The hike itself is stunning with incredible scenery. We highly recommend that you start from Hveragerði and walk from there- the paths are marked so we highly doubt that you will get lost!
Driving duration from Reykjavik: 30 minutes (+30-60 minute beautiful hike!)
Directions: Drive to Hveragerði and follow the signs to “Reykjadalur”. You will have to drive through the town and up towards the hills. Park your car and start hiking for approx 30 minutes to reach the beautiful baths! …You can also just follow this Google Maps Link!
Tips: Don’t be shy to ask around! – And bring a daypack, you’re going to want to spend a whole day exploring this place. Also, bring your towel and mind your step around the pools as some areas can be hotter than others.
Entrance fee: Free
Geothermal Footbath in Reykjavik
This little cutie is super nice as a place to enjoy a warm foot bath with an ice cream. If you are kinda stuck in Reykjavik or not in a mood to do a long, full day hot spring mission but still wanna do something awesome, visit this one!
It’s small. This one is more of a simple geothermal footbath than a pool. Still, – stunning views of Mount Esja and sometimes you can even see the Snæfellsjökull glacier from far away! You can find this super duper cosy hotpot on the coastline in Seltjarnarnes. You can either drive or walk from down town Reykjavik.
Tips: TIMING IS EVERYTHING! My favorite time to visit Grótta is around sunset and of course when Northern Light activity is high. It’s, in my opinion, the best spot in Reykjavik to catch a glimpse of the mystical Northern lights!
Entrance Fee: Free
Directions: This cosy little tub is located in Reykjavik city right here. It’s a short 5-7 minute drive or 45 minutes walking from the city center area making it accessible!
Don’t Miss Our most recommended Natural Hot Spring / Golden Circle combo tour in Iceland!
Gamla Laugin (The Secret Lagoon)
Gamla Laugin is the oldest swimming pool in Iceland, translated simply as “The Old Swimming pool”. Gamla Laugin is also known as “The Secret Lagoon” and sits next to a large flowing river and even small little geysers!
Driving duration from Reykjavik: 1.5 hours
Directions: Make your way out of Reykjavik and head to a town called Flúðir. It’s very spacious and they have made very nice facilities around it too – You’ll love it! Also, here is the exact Google Maps link to make it easier to find!
Fun fact: People first started to swim in this one in 1891! Then, from 1937, it got forgotten for over 60 years until the Secret broke out around 2006.
Tips: While you’re there and hungry, and if you’re in a mood for something very different, try out this Ethiopian Restaurant out. Such a random nice place in this rural town! Also, very close is the famous & incredibly beautiful Friðheimar geothermal green house tomato farm / restaurant. Definitely worth your visit.
Also, check out the geyser that is only a short walking distance away! Apparently, it erupts every 10 minutes!
Entrance Fee: 2800 ISK
You can also check out our brilliant Hot Spring tour, that visits all the incredible highlight sightseeing spots of Iceland along with a super cozy dip in this Secret Lagoon!
One of the most beautiful natural hot springs in South Iceland is without any doubt this gem right here, Hrunalaug close to the small town of Flúðir.
Located on a small farmers land lies this small pool with a perfect temperature year round. Note that the pools are actually two -although they are right next to each other. It’s the larger pool that can easily fit 6-8 people and then there is a small old cabin where you can change and from there lies this tiny pool (that Egill, the founder of Wake Up Reykjavik is bathing in on the image above!).
PLEASE NOTE: With such a beautiful natural gem – you can only imagine that lots of fun travellers want to visit & enjoy. Please help us to protect our beautiful land by being careful and honour the environment. Not leave any trash behind. And please, leave a small donation (1000 or 2000 ISK) in their donation box. In comparison, the Blue Lagoon which is not as special as this costs 9000 ISK per person. This fee will go directly to the farmer and only spent to clean and maintain the pool and it’s surroundings.
Ask around for Hrunalaug, which sits right on the outskirts of Flúðir. It’s fairly hidden but definitely worth checking out!
Pssst … here is the google maps link to find it!
Tips: For some incredible reason, people are leaving a lot of rubbish around this natural wonder. Be the change you want to see in the world and pick up your trash and if you see anything laying around! :)
Entrance fee: 1000 – 2000 ISK to leave in the donation box. Your donation makes a huge different!
Don’t Miss This: Explore the best local beer venues in down town Reykjavik to enjoy a selection of the most delicious beers found in Iceland on The Reykjavik Beer Tour!
Many people want to think this is actually the oldest swimming pool in Iceland. But the thing is, this is actually the oldest man-made swimming pool in Iceland although the geothermal water flows naturally. Alright? Now you know!
This one is super fun as it’s also quite hidden from the main road. It takes a little beautiful hike to reach and also has a “changing room”. A nice little river flows next to it and has many cool hikes around!
Tip: Do you dare to get in the cold glacier river next to it?
Driving Distance from Reykjavik: approx. 2 hours!
Lake Mývatn Nature Baths (North Iceland)
Mývatn nature baths is a super cozy geothermal pool located in the north of Iceland. One of my favorite things about Lake Mývatn is its incredible landscape scenery that surrounds it. The water has a perfect temperature of about 36 – 40°C and contains a lot of minerals!
Driving Distance from Reykjavik: Approx. 6 hours!
Directions: This beauty is located in the north of Iceland, making it a perfect hot spring to check out for those that are visiting our ‘capital of the north’, Akureyri city. Or for those driving the full circle/ring road of Iceland. You and their exact location right here!
Entrance fee: Their standard price is 3800 ISK
Iceland is home to some of the more incredible natural hot springs that you’ll find – and we can’t get enough of them! That is why we encourage all our visiting friends to make time in their itinerary for a natural hot spring adventure. It often times results in being the highlight of their trip!
I really really really hope this blog post comes in handy! Please feel free to drop me a comment below if you’ve been to any of these hot springs to tell me about your experience or there is anything at all that I can help YOU with!
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