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Hot springs are a major tourist attraction in Iceland. Aside from offering absolutely breathtaking views, hot springs also have a multitude of health benefits including helping those who suffer from psoriasis, acne, and eczema, and it can soften dry and rough skin.
Hot springs are also known to boost blood circulation, reduce stress, promote better sleep, and relieve skin problems. There are a variety of different experiences you can have while visiting hot springs in Iceland.
On one end, there is the luxurious experience that is akin to visiting a spa, and on the other is a more rustic and adventurous experience. Below are some of the best hot springs you should add to your list if you are planning on visiting Iceland.
The Blue Lagoon
Location: Nordurljosavegur 9, Grindavik 240 Iceland
Price: There are a variety of different booking options for those looking to visit The Blue Lagoon. Below are a few of the common package options guests can choose from:
Comfort $45 USD: Entrance, silica mud mask, use of towel, 1st drink of your choice.
Premium $68 USD: Entrance, silica mud mask, use of towel, 1st drink of choice, second mask of choice, slippers, bathrobe, table reservation at Lava Restaurant, 1 glass of sparkling wine at the restaurant
Luxury $372 USD: Four hours at the Retreat Spa, private changing suite and unlimited access to the Retreat Lagoon (subterranean spaces) and the Blue Lagoon
Why Visit: The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions. As a result, be prepared to enjoy the lagoon with other visitors present and don’t expect to see a lot of locals during your trip.
While it is more touristy than some of the other options on this list, it is still definitely worth a visit. The milky blue water stands at around 102°F year round and at only 30 minutes from the capital, it is an excellent and easy first stop for your trip to Iceland.
In addition to offering visitors the hot spring experience, The Blue Lagoon also offers a full spa experience for those who are looking to indulge. With hotels, banquet halls and restaurants all on site, The Blue Lagoon is truly a full experience. After all, where else can you experience a full blown massage in the water? Whether you are looking for a basic experience, or a luxury experience, The Blue Lagoon offers it all to visitors.
Myvatn Nature Baths
Location: Jarðbaðshólar, 660 Mývatn, Iceland
Price: Entrance to the Myvatn Nature Baths are around $45 USD. However, if you want a towel ($7 USD), swimsuit ($7 USD) or bathrobe ($15 USD) they will be at an extra cost. Unlike The Blue Lagoon, Myvatn Nature Baths doesn’t have a variety of different packages to choose from and gives visitors a more intimate experience.
Why Visit: If you are not one that enjoys crowds, the Myvatn Nature Baths are a great way to enjoy the beautiful experience hot springs offer without having to deal with the crowds at other more popular destinations. While these hot springs are smaller than The Blue Lagoon, they do still have a restaurant on site for those seeking to enjoy a full experience.
Myvatn Nature Baths are absolutely beautiful and offer a scenic yet rustic surrounding for guests to enjoy. The water here is high in sulfur, which is excellent for those suffering from respiratory and skin problems.
Whether you are interested in seeing a hot spring cave, bubbling mud pits or simply enjoy the serenity of the hot spring, you will not regret your trip to Myvatn.
Location: Hvammsvegur, Flúðir, Iceland
Price: Entrance to the Secret Lagoon is around $25 with swimsuit rental ($6) and towel rental ($6) paid for separately.
Why Visit: The Secret Lagoon is the oldest swimming pool in Iceland. Made in 1891, the Secret Lagoon features an active geyser which guests can witness every few minutes. With water that stays around 104°F year round, this is the perfect place to enjoy the benefits of hot springs.
The Secret Lagoon is simple and traditional which is perfect for those seeking true tranquility. In addition, the buildings in the area around the Secret Lagoon have been kept natural and historical for those interested in seeing traditional Iceland. Smaller hot springs surround the main pool which offers visitors multiple experiences in one.
GeoSea Sea Baths
Location: Vitaslóð 1, 640 Húsavík, Iceland
Price: Entrance at GeoSea Sea Baths is $35 USD for adults. However, if you bring your student ID, you will be offered the discounted admission of $22 USD. Towels cost $7 USD to rent, swimsuits are $6 USD and bathrobes are $12 USD.
Why Visit: The hot seawater of GeoSea Sea Baths is kept just above 100°F year round. The mineral rich seawater has been known to help visitors who suffer from psoriasis and other skin ailments.
GeoSea is perched along the western-facing cliffside which allows visitors to overlook the Skjálfandi Bay and the Arctic Circle. Whether you are interested in whale watching or viewing the northern lights, GeoSea is the perfect place to view all the beauty in Iceland.
The GeoSea Sea Baths have been featured in Vogue and Time Magazine. However, they still tend to be less crowded than The Blue Lagoon, offering visitors the best of both worlds. In addition, guests are able to enjoy some light snacks and drinks at the restaurant located on site. Geosea Sea Baths are the perfect place for an intimate and beautiful hot spring experience.
Location: Skogar, Vik and Myrdalsjokull, Iceland
Price: Free entrance and free parking.
Why Visit: For those travelers looking for a hot spring experience at no charge, Seljavallalaug is the place for you! There is an easy 20 minute hike required to reach the hot spring, but is worth the time and energy. Fortunately, there will likely be other people on the hike so the route is easy to follow.
One thing to be aware of is the temperature of the water. It is closer to 68 to 86°F, which is much cooler than other hot springs, and the pool is not kept as clean as other options on this list. However, for a free experience, you cannot expect the same level of care that is shown in paid experiences. Regardless, Seljavalla is worth a visit for the beautiful hike and rustic experience.
Reykjadalur Steam Valley
Location: Near Reykjakoti 2, 816 Olfus, Iceland
Price: Free. Extra cost if you are interested in doing a guided tour.
Why Visit: This is another hot spring that requires a bit of a hike. The hike is typically done leisurely in 45-60 minutes with plenty of time to stop and take photos. If you don’t feel like walking, there are a variety of guided horse tours that can take you to Reykjadalur Steam Valley instead.
Once you reach the steam valley, you will look over vast hills and grass with pots of steam coming out. There is even a hot spring that is similar in color to the Blue Lagoon. The stream of hot water is located in the middle of beautiful Icelandic mountains and is every nature lover’s dream.
Reykjadalur Steam Valley is an excellent option for those looking for a little extra adventure. Whether you are interested in taking a guided tour, or exploring the hiking trail on your own, this is an amazing stop for those looking to see an authentic hot spring that has not been heavily influenced by mankind.
Viti Geothermal Lake
Location: Skútustaðahreppur, Northeastern, Iceland (N65° 43′ 2.750″ W16° 45′ 13.668”)
Price: Free. Extra cost if you are interested in doing a guided tour.
Why Visit: Viti Geothermal Lake is a big crater filled with opaque blue water that sits around 86°F. While absolutely stunning, conditions do not always allow visitors to go for a swim in the lake. Keep your fingers crossed the crater is swimmable, with manageable water levels when you plan your trip. This massive crater was created by a large volcanic explosion in 1875. The hike around the crater takes about 1 hour and the hike down to the lake is about 2 hours.
Due to the remote nature of where Viti Geothermal Lake is located, you will likely not experience many people in the area. Summer is the best time to visit if you want a chance of swimming in the lake. The views at Viti Geothermal Lake are also too surreal to put into words.
While it can be difficult to find, this hot spring is worth the effort. If you are worried about the rugged terrain, there are plenty of paid tours visitors can join to make the experience more pleasant.
Grjotagja Geothermal Spring
Location: Reykjahlíð, Iceland
Why Visit: Grjotagja is a small lava cave with natural thermal springs inside. The water in the cave is typically around 109°F, which is hotter than most of the other hot springs on this list.
If you’re lucky you may experience a period of time with the cave all to yourself. Even when other visitors are present, it typically is not an overwhelming amount like you may see at some of the more popular hot springs. Don’t forget to bring your own towel and flashlight or headlight as Grjotagia isn’t built to be a tourist attraction.
If you are planning to visit this lava cave, be sure to check whether or not it is open prior to going. While this cave still isn’t known by all tourists, too many tourists visiting would cause problems and were beginning to lead to the deterioration of the site.
As a result the cave does close down at certain points to avoid any more damage. In addition, keep in mind the cave does not allow for bathing. While you may see some people bathe during your visit, please respect the rules so Grjotagja remains a place for all to enjoy.
Fontana Geothermal Baths
Location: Hverabraut 1, 840 Laugarvatn, Iceland
Price: Entrance costs $20 USD for 2 hours. $12 USD for a bathrobe, $7 USD for a towel and $7 USD for a swimsuit. For an additional $12 USD you can add on a Geothermal Bakery Tour.
Why Visit: Fontana Geothermal Baths offers guests a luxury hot spring experience. In addition to hot springs, guests can enjoy traditional steam rooms that are heated from the ground through grids in the cabin floors. The steam is typically between 104°F and 122°F.
In addition to traditional steam rooms, hot outdoor mineral baths are available for guests to enjoy. With panoramic views of the scenic surrounds, visitors can have a true mind and body wellness experience. Next to the steam room is a Finnish-style sauna. The temperature is between between 176°F and 194°F, but has less humidity than the steam room.
For guests that want even more adventure, the lake is available for visitors to experience during their stay. Coupled by a walk on the black sandy beach, Fontana is an all around invigorating experience.
A cool dip in this lake will make you feel refreshed and rejuvenated. In addition to the healthy water you’ll be bathing in, there is a geothermal bakery on site as well. In this unique bakery, fresh bread is baked in the black sand. At the end of the tour, guests are offered a taste of this uniquely baked bread. Fontana Geothermal Baths is a place you won’t want to miss.
Location: 8H33+G5 Fellabær, Urriðavatn, Iceland
Price: There are a variety of different booking options for those looking to visit. Below are some of the common options.
Standard $45 USD: includes a tisane brewed from the spring water and local herbs at the infusion bar
Comfort $52 USD: includes a tisane brewed from the spring water and local herbs at the infusion bar and a drink at the outdoor pool bar
Premium $72 USD: includes a tisane brewed from the spring water and local herbs at the infusion bar, a drink at the outdoor pool bar and tasters from the restaurant.
Swimsuit and Towel Rental: $7 USD
Why Visit: Vok Baths are Iceland’s only “floating pools” which are surrounded by the lake. Created with a deep respect for the environment, you can be assured the beautiful wooden features at Vok are made from ethically sourced trees which help to uphold sustainability in the business.
In addition to the natural luxury that is Vok, there is also a restaurant onsite for guests to enjoy. Be sure to enjoy a tea made from the lake water and locally sourced organic bites at the restaurant. Don’t forget to try Vokvi and Vaka, craft beers that are brewed using hot water from the lake.
Vok offers guests private indoor changing rooms with showers and a reception area. For those guests who are on the more reserved side, this is a great alternative to some of the other hot spring options that are more rustic in nature. The Vok Baths are not filled with the same minerals found in other hot springs. However, the baths are unique in that for this same reason, the water is actually drinkable.
There are a variety of different hot spring options when visiting Iceland. Some people are ultra adventurous and are interested in experiencing a hot spring off the beaten path, and more rugged in nature. These types of hot springs are often free, but can be difficult to find or require an extra hike. But, if you are interested in visiting these hot springs with a little more security, there are often tours available to help guide you along the way.
Conversely, some visitors prefer a more luxurious visit to the hot springs when they are in Iceland. For these visitors, there are a variety of options that allow for not only an easy time finding the hot spring, but also the option of other spa treatments, food and even lodging options for those wanting a multi-day experience.
When it comes to visiting the hot springs in Iceland, there truly is something for everyone. No two trips will look identical and it would take many trips before you can see all the hot springs.
The best advice when planning a trip to Icelandic hot springs is to first decide on the type of trip you are interested in, then decide what area will be most convenient, then make your decision on which hot spring to visit.
Some people enjoy tacking on the hot springs to a day long excursion, while others enjoy spending an entire day or two at the hot springs. Regardless of what your preference is, this list of the best hot springs in Iceland has something for everyone.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.