The 10 Best Hot Springs in Iceland

The 10 Best Hot Springs in Iceland

James Taylor James Taylor
1. Oct 2018 (Updated: 2. Nov 2022) ∼ 10 min. read

Where to Find Iceland's Best Hot Springs

Iceland is a country lucky enough to enjoy a wealth of hot geothermal water, bubbling forth from beneath the country’s surface. Thanks to its position over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the resulting geothermal and volcanic energy in the country, there are a whole lot of hot springs to discover in Iceland.

Whether it’s a pool in a remote valley, a riverside geothermal hot spring, or a more professional spa, spending some time soaking in an Icelandic hot spring is one of the best ways to enjoy the unique Icelandic nature. From the Instagram-famous spots to some more secluded hot springs, below we’ve rounded up what we think are the 10 best hot springs in Iceland.

In the end, we’ve included a Map of Hot Springs in Iceland.

1. Seljavallalaug

63.5656° N, 19.6076° W

The beautiful hot spring of Seljavallalaug is the oldest man-made swimming pool in Iceland, originally built in 1923 as a place to teach the local Icelanders how to swim. Nestled at the base of Eyjafjallajökull, it has great views up towards the surrounding mountains. Thanks to its scenic location and flurry of posts on Instagram, the popularity of this hot spring on Iceland’s south coast has exploded.

To get to the hot spring, take road 242 (marked Raufarfell) off the main route along the south coast. Follow it towards its end and you’ll eventually find a small parking area for cars and campers. From here, walk northeast into the valley for about 30 minutes, and you’ll find it hiding behind a corner. The closest campsites are at Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss.

The water isn’t especially warm, as there is only one pipe that channels hot water into the pool. There are changing rooms on site.

2. Hellulaug

65.5726° N, 23.1716° W

Despite being one of the least volcanically active areas in Iceland, the Westfjords region is full of wonderful hot springs, dotted throughout the remote peninsulas stretching their way into the ocean. One of the more popular and easier to get to hot springs in the Westfjords is Hellulaug.

This hot spring in Iceland is one of the country’s most natural: hot water is piped into a beautiful rock pool on the edge of a large and quiet fjord. At 40 degrees, it’s the perfect temperature to sit in and look out at the gorgeous landscape, watching as the birds sail overhead.

To get to this hot spring in Iceland, you need to take road 60 into the Westfjords. Looping around the bottom of the fjord, the road then begins to take you up its western edge. Look out for a small sign indicating where Hellulaug is; it’s right before Hotel Flókalundur. Behind the hotel is where you’ll find the closest campsite, offering great views and good indoor cooking facilities as well.

3. Pollurinn

65.6491° N, 23.8949° W

For hot spring number 3, we’re going to continue deeper into the Westfjords all the way to the small town of Tálknafjörður. With one of the smallest populations in Iceland, this little fishing town is often overlooked. But the heath behind the town is home to one of Iceland’s coolest hot springs, well worth the drive out here.

Industrious locals have diverted hot water spilling out of the mountain into a series of pools, set into the hillside overlooking the fjord. You’ll be rubbing shoulders with the locals here, as these pools are a favourite with those in Talknafjordur and the other nearby fjords. Cold winter nights in the pool are especially magical, and the Westfjords are a great place to spy on the mystic northern lights or a spectacular starry sky.

To get there from the town of Tálknafjörður, drive out to the other side of town. After a few minutes you’ll find it – just keep an eye out for the changing rooms. The closest campsite is in Talknafjordur, or across the mountain in Patreksfjörður.

4. Geosea – The Geothermal Sea Baths

66.0522° N, 17.3620° W

A recent addition to the great array of hot spring spas across the country, the Geothermal Sea Baths are in the town of Húsavík. Famed for its whale watching (and the setting for the recent Will Ferrell film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga), this town is well worth the detour off the ring road.

The pools themselves are a series of infinity-edge hot pots, located at the cliff's edge overlooking the beautiful fjord. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to spy some whales in the water from the warmth of the pool. Views of the nearby mountains are also impressive.

Like most of the more organized spas, there is an entry fee (4900 ISK). But you can spend as much time as you like in the water, and there’s a swim-up bar to enjoy as well. Make sure to spend a night at the Húsavík campsite down the road.

5. Hörgshlíðarlaug

65.8310° N, 22.6288° W

Another hot spring in the Westfjords, this small rectangular pool is recognized easily from the road by the green shed. On the shores of Mjóifjörður in the Westfjords, this Icelandic hot spring has a prime position overlooking the calm waters of the fjord. This quiet area is one of the most secluded in the country, which means you’ll often have this pool all to yourself.

To swim here, visitors must ask permission at the farm up the road. There is nearby camping at Hólmavík open from the 1st of May until the 9th of September, otherwise, the next closest spot is in Ísafjörður or Súðavík.

6. Grettislaug

65.8822° N, 19.7365° W

You can find this hot spring up in the northern region. The pool there today was built by the farmer who still lives on the land, Jon Eiriksson, but there has been a hot spring there for quite some time. Grettislaug is named after Grettir, a legendary Viking from the Icelandic Sagas who swam to this spot from the island Drangey across the water to the north and bathed in the spring while he recovered.

Nowadays there is a campsite there with an indoor kitchen on site as well, and it’s a wonderfully remote spot to spend the evening in a camper. From the ring road, head north from Varmahlíð towards Sauðárkrókur on road 75, and then continue north on road 748.

7. Landmannalaugar

63.9830° N, 19.0670° W

For those lucky enough to be travelling Iceland in a camper van during the summer, the highlands hold the most dramatic and exciting landscapes of the whole country. While they’re only accessible via 4x4 (rent a 4x4 camper from us), if you don’t have the necessary vehicle then don’t worry – you can catch the bus. If you’re doing that, it’s best to leave your camper van at the campsite in Hella.

Landmannalaugar is one of the most famous locations in the highlands, known for its astounding-colored mountains and as either the beginning or end of the 5-day Laugavegur trail. This is also the home of one of the most famous natural pools in Iceland, a large hot spring etched into the ground with the campsite on one side and a lava field on the other.

8. Reykjadalur – The Hot Spring River

64.0321° N, 21.2156° W

One of the most popular hot springs in Iceland is Reykjadalur, also known as the hot spring river. This beautiful natural hot spring is in south Iceland, right near the town of Hveragerði. Reykjadalur is the name of the valley that the river runs through, reached via a 1-hour trek up into the mountains behind Hveragerði.

Along the way to this hot spring river, you’ll pass steamy geothermal fumaroles and bright blue pools – be careful, as the temperatures of these are scalding hot. You’ll know you’ve reached the part of the river ideal for bathing as it’s quite popular, so there will likely be a lot of people. A few partitions have been erected allowing you to get changed out of view, and boardwalks meander up both sides of the river.

The further up the river you go, the warmer the water gets. If you like it to be extra hot, spend a few minutes wading up the river to find your ideal temperature. The nearby campsite at Hveragerði will allow you to skip the crowds and head up either very early in the morning or later in the evening; most people will go during the day.

9. Vök Baths

65.1811° N, 14.2647° W

One of the newest additions to the beautiful hot springs in Iceland is the Vök Baths in East Iceland. Built over Lake Urriðavatn to the northwest of Egilsstaðir since its recent opening it has quickly become the hot spring to visit for travellers in the east of the country.

The hot spring itself bubbles up from the bottom of the lake; locals noticed its presence when during the winter, ice never formed in a certain part of the water. The pools ‘float’ out on the lake, fully immersing you in the warm water and the stunning surrounding scenery. There’s also a restaurant on-site if you work up an appetite lounging about in the warm water.

To get there, simply follow route 1 out of Egilsstaðir heading towards North Iceland. You’ll quickly come upon Road 925 veering off towards the lake (it’s also well-marked with signs so you can’t miss it). Tickets start from 5500 ISK.

10. Djúpavogskörin

64.6532° N, 14.3421° W

Rounding out this list is another hot spring in East Iceland, this one closer to the town of Djúpivogur. Locals have set up a beautiful hot tub just next to the ring road, filled with steamy hot water from a nearby hot spring. Enjoying a soak here is incredible – especially since not many other people have discovered this spot. From the warm water, you can admire views out towards the icy ocean, making you even more grateful for the warm water.

This hot spring is located to the west of Djúpivogur, right off the ring road. To get there, simply follow Route 1 from the glacier Vatnajökull and you should see the small parking area right before you pass the town. To help, you can plug the GPS coordinates into your map.

Check out our selection of campers in Iceland

More Natural Hot Springs in Iceland

What this article hasn't touched upon are some of the country's most famous hot springs. There's of course the mineral rich and famous Blue Lagoon near the airport, listed as one of National Geographic’s 25 wonders of the world, the Mývatn Nature Baths up near Lake Mývatn, the Secret Lagoon, also known as Gamla Laugin, on the Golden Circle, and the newly opened Sky Lagoon in Reykjavik itself. Over in the East, there's also the Vök Baths, while another newly opened hot spring near Akureyri is the Forest Lagoon. Finally, we can mention Geysir on the Golden Circle, a geyser that erupts every few minutes, but this one is not for bathing as it is extremely hot.

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