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Top 12 Natural Hot Springs in Iceland

Imagine this: You're standing in the heart of Iceland, surrounded by jaw-dropping landscapes. The chill in the air makes you crave warmth, and that's when you hear the magical words – 'Iceland hot springs.'

Oh yes, Iceland is home to some of the best hot springs in the world! You can find everything from geothermal pools and natural, free hot springs to resorts with private hot tubs and sulfur springs. In this ultimate guide, we'll explore everything you need to know about hot springs in Iceland.

So, grab your swimsuit and immerse yourself in the wonder of Iceland's top natural hot springs. It's time to make unforgettable memories in these bubbling, mineral-rich havens!

iceland hot springs

What Are Natural Hot Springs?

Natural hot springs are nature's luxurious spas, gifted by the Earth's geothermal activity. These wondrous pools of warmth are created when underground water is heated by the Earth's mantle and rises to the surface, bringing a rich infusion of minerals.

The result is a therapeutic haven that beckons relaxation and healing. For those who have wondered how hot are the hot springs in Iceland, the answer is around 37°C to 40°C (97°F to 104°F).

Unlike artificial hot tubs, these geothermal wonders maintain a consistent temperature, ranging from comfortably warm to delightfully hot. As you dip into these Icelandic mineral springs, you can expect various benefits for your body and mind. We'll explore these in detail later in this guide.

What Types of Hot Springs Will I Find in Iceland?

When it comes to hot springs, Iceland has it all. From luxurious resorts and geothermal pools to natural wonders and hidden gems, each of its hot springs has something unique to offer. Here are some of the most popular types of hot springs in Iceland you'll find:

Hot Spring Resorts

Iceland's hot spring resorts offer a luxurious spa experience. They often have amenities like showers, saunas, and massage therapy rooms. Guests can enjoy an array of treatments while soaking in the hot springs. These resorts are also great for socializing and catching up with friends or family.

Iceland thermal baths

Geothermal Pools

Geothermal pools in Iceland, or geysers, are a favorite among locals and tourists. These steaming outdoor pools boast temperatures of up to 36-104°C (97-104°F) and are perfect for swimming and relaxing. Some geothermal pools even have Jacuzzis, slides, and other fun features.

 geothermal pools iceland

Hot Tubs

The perfect way to enjoy Iceland's hot springs in a more intimate setting is to rent a hot tub. These wooden tubs are filled with heated spring water and offer breathtaking views of the Icelandic landscape. Plus, you can add ingredients, like essential oils and Epsom salt, to make your Iceland hot tub experience even more special.

 iceland hot tub

Natural, Free Hot Springs

Free hot springs in Iceland are scattered all over the country, and some of them are even located close to major cities. These natural hot springs are free to access and often have limited amenities, so you must bring your own towel and bathing suit.

Natural hot spring in Iceland

'No Bathing' Hot Springs & Pools

These hot springs are safe to visit, but no bathing is allowed because they are part of a protected area. You can take in the beauty, but between keeping it clean and respecting nature's boundaries, these hot springs are off-limits for swimming.

 free hot springs iceland

Why Are There So Many Hot Springs in Iceland?

The abundance of Iceland's hot springs can be attributed to its unique geological setting. The country sits on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a tectonic boundary where the Eurasian and North American plates diverge.

As a result, there is intense geothermal activity beneath the surface, causing the Earth's mantle to heat the groundwater. This heated water then rises to the surface, creating numerous hot springs around the island. So, how many hot springs are in Iceland? There are over 45 natural hot springs in Iceland, making it a paradise for geothermal enthusiasts.

This geological phenomenon has not only blessed the nation with breathtaking landscapes but also provided locals and visitors with a soothing and revitalizing experience in these naturally heated pools.

What Are the Benefits of Soaking in a Hot Spring?

Apart from the unforgettable views, Iceland hot springs offer numerous benefits. Here are some of the primary advantages of taking a dip in these Icelandic mineral pools:

  • Relaxation – Hot springs can help you relax and reduce everyday stress. The warm water helps to reduce tension in the muscles and promotes a feeling of well-being.

  • Pain Relief – Soaking in hot springs helps to ease muscle pain, arthritis, and joint pain. The heat also helps to reduce inflammation in the body.

  • Skin Health – Hot springs can help improve your skin health, leaving you feeling softer and more hydrated. The minerals in the water can also help to reduce acne and eczema symptoms.

  • Circulation – Soaking in a hot spring can help to improve circulation, as the heat encourages oxygen and nutrients to flow more efficiently in the body.

  • Mood – Immersing yourself in a hot spring can help improve your mood and mental health, as it can reduce depression and anxiety.

Iceland sulfur springs

What Minerals Are Found in Hot Springs?

One of the reasons why hot springs are so beneficial is due to the minerals they contain. Here are some of the most common minerals found in Iceland's hot springs:

  • Silica – Silica helps to improve skin health and can reduce signs of aging. It is also said to increase hair growth and boost circulation.

  • Sulfur – Sulfur is a naturally occurring mineral that helps to reduce inflammation in the body. It also has antiseptic properties, which can help to treat skin conditions and reduce acne symptoms.

  • Sodium – Sodium is known for its ability to soften the skin and promote cellular regeneration. It also helps to reduce stress and relax the body.

  • Magnesium – Magnesium has calming properties, making it ideal for reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. It is also known to boost energy levels and improve mental clarity.

Iceland's 12 Best Natural Hot Springs

Now that you know all about hot springs in Iceland, let's explore some of the best ones. From secret hideaways to natural wonders and geothermal pools, here are the top 12 hot springs in Iceland:

1. Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon hot springs in Iceland are by far the most popular destination for tourists. Situated in the otherworldly Reykjanes Peninsula, just a 50-minute drive from Reykjavik, this geothermal wonder draws travelers from all over the world.

The Blue Lagoon is a man-made lagoon fed by geothermal seawater rich in silica, minerals, and algae, renowned for its therapeutic properties. Its milky blue waters, heated to a comfortably warm temperature year-round, provide a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.

The Blue Lagoon is also the ideal spot for a day trip from Reykjavik, with amenities like a spa, restaurant, bar, and even an in-water massage.

2. Fontana Geothermal Spa

The Fontana Geothermal Spa is a hidden gem in the charming town of Laugarvatn. This geothermal wonder offers a unique and authentic Icelandic bathing experience. The spa is situated on the shores of Lake Laugarvatn, providing stunning views while you soak.

The Fontana hot springs in Iceland boast a series of interconnected pools, each naturally heated by geothermal energy. Visitors can take a leisurely dip in the warm waters, relax in the steam baths built over natural hot springs, or even try their hand at the age-old tradition of "Rye Bread" baking, where bread is slowly cooked using the Earth's natural heat.

With its serene ambiance and geothermal delights, Fontana is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a truly Icelandic hot spring experience.

3. Secret Lagoon

The Secret Lagoon is a captivating natural hot spring in Flúðir, Iceland, offering a more secluded and authentic bathing experience. As one of the oldest geothermal pools in the country, the Secret Lagoon has a rich history dating back to 1891.

Surrounded by enchanting natural landscapes, this hidden gem provides an idyllic setting for relaxation and rejuvenation. The water is heated naturally by geothermal energy, and visitors can enjoy the warm, mineral-rich waters while admiring the steam rising from nearby hot springs.

With its unspoiled beauty and tranquil ambiance, the Secret Lagoon is a must-visit destination for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience in Iceland's secret hot springs.

4. Landbrotalaug

This charming natural hot spring in Iceland is located in a remote area of the Westfjords, and it's one of Iceland's best-kept secrets. With its rustic surroundings and stunning views of the adjacent mountains, Landbrotalaug offers a secluded bathing experience like no other.

The hot spring, which is heated by geothermal energy, is only big enough for one or two people at a time. There are several steps leading up to the pool, making it a great spot for sunbathing and admiring the views.

If you're looking for a peaceful and tranquil escape, Landbrotalaug is the perfect destination. Enjoy the warm, mineral-rich waters while soaking in the stunning scenery and panoramic views of Westfjords.

5. Grjótagjá Cave

Grjótagjá Cave is a unique natural hot spring near Mývatn in northern Iceland. This enchanting cavern is home to a thermal pool that has been used for bathing since the 18th century.

It was also featured in Game of Thrones, making it one of the most famous hot springs in Iceland. The thermal pool is heated naturally by geothermal energy and offers a serene setting for relaxation.

Visitors can enjoy the warm, mineral-rich waters while admiring the mesmerizing cave walls. If you're looking for an unforgettable experience, Grjótagjá Cave is the perfect destination. Enjoy a peaceful and tranquil dip in one of Iceland's most unique natural hot springs.

6. Mývatn Nature Baths

The Mývatn Nature Baths, often regarded as one of the best hot springs in Iceland, is a geothermal oasis located in the mesmerizing Mývatn area. Surrounded by stunning volcanic landscapes, these natural baths offer a unique and relaxing experience for visitors.

The water in the Mývatn Nature Baths is sourced from a borehole, rich in minerals like silica and sulfur, known for their skin-nourishing properties. As you soak in the warm, soothing waters, you'll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding lava fields and geothermal activity.

Whether you're seeking relaxation or connecting with Iceland's natural wonders, the Mývatn Nature Baths is a must-visit destination on your Icelandic adventure.

7. Reykjadalur Hot River

Reykjadalur Hot River is a free hot spring in Iceland, located just a 50-minute drive from Reykjavik. Situated in the beautiful Hveragerði Valley, this natural hot spring offers a unique and unforgettable experience.

Visitors can take a leisurely hike up the valley, admiring the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and nature, before reaching the hot river. The natural geothermal water is heated to a perfectly comfortable temperature for bathing and relaxation. Just follow the sign posts as there are areas that are bit too hot for swimming.

Whether you're seeking a unique hiking experience or just want to take a dip in an off-the-beaten-path hot spring, Reykjadalur Hot River is a must-visit destination.

8. Krauma Geothermal Baths

Krauma is a modern and luxurious geothermal spa located near Reykjavik, Iceland. Situated in the picturesque town of Reykholt, this hot spring retreat offers a unique blend of nature and comfort.

The spa features a series of interconnected hot springs, naturally heated by the nearby Deildartunguhver, Europe's most powerful hot spring. Visitors can indulge in various relaxing experiences, from soaking in warm geothermal baths to enjoying rejuvenating steam rooms.

Krauma's design embraces the natural surroundings, offering panoramic views of breathtaking landscapes. For those seeking a tranquil and sophisticated hot springs experience near Reykjavik, Krauma promises an unforgettable and indulgent retreat.

9. Sky Lagoon

Sky Lagoon is a Reykjavik hot spring experience like no other. Situated in the vibrant harbor area of the capital of Reykjavik, this is a geothermal pool unlike any other in Iceland.

The pool is heated naturally by geothermal energy and maintained at a comfortable 40°C (100°F) year-round. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the nearby harbor, mountains, and Reykjavik skyline as they soak in the warm waters.

Sky Lagoon also features a bar, restaurant, and unique geothermal saunas for a truly indulgent experience. Whether you're looking for relaxation or an unforgettable night out, Sky Lagoon is an ideal destination.

10. Laugardalslaug Swimming Pool

Laugardalslaug Swimming Pool is a Reykjavik thermal pool in the city's heart. This popular swimming pool is heated naturally by geothermal energy and offers a wide range of activities for visitors.

In addition to swimming and soaking in the warm, mineral-rich waters, visitors can take advantage of a range of facilities such as:

  • A hot tub

  • Water slides

  • Steam rooms

  • An artificial beach

Laugardalslaug is a great spot for both relaxation and adventure. Enjoy the warm geothermal waters while soaking up the sun, or dip in one of the exciting water slides. Whether you're looking for a peaceful experience or an exciting adventure, Laugardalslaug Swimming Pool has something to offer everyone.

10. Hrunalaug Hot Spring

Hrunalaug is a hidden, hot spring in Iceland, located on the Golden Circle route near Thingvellir National Park. This secluded pool is surrounded by stunning views of the peninsula's mountains and glaciers, making it the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Visitors can enjoy a peaceful soak in the warm geothermal waters while admiring the breathtaking views of the nearby mountains. The thermal pool is heated naturally by geothermal energy and offers a tranquil experience for visitors.

If you're looking for a hidden gem to escape the crowds, Hrunalaug is the perfect destination. Enjoy a peaceful and tranquil dip in one of Iceland's most breathtaking hidden, hot springs.

11. Vök Baths

Vök Baths is a natural hot spring retreat located near the city of Akureyri in east Iceland. This small pool is situated in a stunning valley surrounded by lush green hills and snow-capped mountains.

The thermal pool is heated naturally by geothermal energy and offers visitors a peaceful and tranquil experience. Enjoy the warm, mineral-rich waters while admiring the stunning views of nearby landscapes.

Whether you're seeking a peaceful retreat or want to soak up the beauty of Iceland's natural wonders, Vök Baths is a must-visit destination. Enjoy an unforgettable experience in one of Iceland's most beautiful natural hot springs.

Before You Go: Hot Springs Etiquette

Before visiting a hot spring in Iceland, it's important to follow proper etiquette. Hot springs are generally family-friendly environments, so it's important to be respectful of other visitors and maintain a peaceful atmosphere at all times.

Here are some guidelines to help you enjoy your hot springs experience:

  • Keep your clothes on – There is generally no nudity in Iceland's hot springs, and visitors are expected to wear appropriate swimwear at all times.

  • Practice good hygiene – Shower before entering the hot spring and use biodegradable soap.

  • Keep the water clean – Hot springs in Iceland are naturally heated and contain minerals beneficial for your health, so it's important to keep the water free of pollutants and other harmful contaminants.

  • Respect nature – Make sure to stay on marked paths and not disturb any of the local wildlife.

  • Be mindful of others – Respect other visitors' privacy and keep noise minimal.

Unforgettable Memories in Iceland's Hot Springs

Iceland's natural hot springs offer a unique and rejuvenating experience that should not be missed. From the famous Blue Lagoon to the hidden gems like Hrunalaug and Krauma, each hot spring has its magic.

To fully immerse yourself in the wonders of these geothermal havens and explore the breathtaking landscapes of Iceland, renting a car is the perfect choice. With the freedom to follow your own Iceland itinerary and discover off-the-beaten-path treasures, a car allows you to create unforgettable memories and indulge in the true spirit of adventure.



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