Iceland is known as the land of fire and ice for good reason. It’s unique location of being on a geo-thermal hot spot as well as so far north that it has permanent glaciers, means that natural forces have created a land dotted with hot springs and geysers. The hot springs in Iceland range from boiling hot pools and explosive, scalding water blasts to perfectly warm bathing spots, so no matter what sort of experience you are looking for, Iceland is the perfect destination for hot spring enthusiasts!
Many of these locations are free to use, though some of the more popular ones do charge but these tend to provide changing and shower facilities and so are perfect for the more modest visit. Visiting a hot spring is one of the top things to do in Iceland for sure and no trip here would be complete without a quick dip!
Hot Springs in Iceland Map
We’ve put together this quick map of the top hot springs in Iceland you can swim in. At least 3 are all within an hour or two of Reykjavik and Myvatn is up in the far North.
Top 3 Hot Springs to Visit in Iceland
The Blue Lagoon
The best know of all hot springs in Iceland is the famous Blue Lagoon which offers not only the expected bathing experience but a whole range of other activities and treatments. You will have to pay but it is best to think of this as a health spa and beauty treatment centre that just happens to be outdoors. Finding The Blue Lagoon is easy as it is just off of a main highway and is less than 50km from the capital, Reykjavik. It is serviced by public transport and the roads are kept open and passable even on the snowiest of days.
Once there the site offers the usual spa amenities and skin treatments, in and out of the water, there is a sauna and steam room area, obviously, a man-made water-fall and any number of lounge and relaxation areas. You can take a guided tour which will unlock the secrets of the site and you can even book rooms for business meetings and seminars.
Namaskard Geothermal Area
If you are looking for something more rugged, a more outdoors experience then a trip through the Namaskard region is a great option. It combines a more adventurous exploration of the area with the Myvatn Nature Bath as the final destination and is conveniently located along Iceland’s Golden Circle.
Tours will generally take in the Godafoss waterfall, considered one of the most stunning natural features in the country, a place of powerful primal forces, mist and rainbows, followed by the Myvatn Bird Sanctuary, one of the largest in Europe and home to over 2000 birds at any one time. The millennium old lava formations of Hofdi and the mud springs and hissing steam vents of Namaskard are a must before ending the day at the Myvatn Nature Baths.
These baths offer luxurious steaming waters set around the quintessential Icelandic landscape, a patchwork quilt of fields in summer and a frost cracked landscape and the breathtaking Northern Lights in winter.
The Secret Lagoon
This secluded pool is one of Iceland’s oldest bathing sites and takes the form of a natural rock pool adjacent to a hot spring, a combination which makes for the perfect bathing experience. But like most bathing sites it is probably best enjoyed as the final destination after exploring the landscape around it. Here you will find the Pingvellir National Park home to the largest lake in Iceland from which it takes its name and Gullfoss, the Waterfall of Gold, a cascade of glacial water so powerful you can feel the vibrations.
And whilst these are the three most well-known hot springs in Iceland there is no shortage of alternatives. There is Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths, one of my personal favourites, which features saunas built right over the steaming hot springs and is conveniently located on the Golden Circle. Krauma Bath Resort, which is located right next to Europe’s most powerful hot spring, Deildartunguhver, is another great place to visit.
But of course there are also swimming pools and smaller springs dotted all over the country — a total of 17 in the greater Reykjavík area alone, so exploring for yourself off of the beaten track can also be a very rewarding experience.