Iceland has got more hot springs and swimming pools than you could visit in a lifetime! Many natural hot springs are too hot to bathe in safely, so make sure you do your research before jumping into any steamy water!
This article will tell you everything you need to know about Hot Springs and Swimming pools in Iceland, no matter your budget.
1. The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is the most famous hot spring in Iceland. The mineral waters are an amazing milky blue, and the constant flow of freshwater means that the pool can be kept free from chlorine. The Blue Lagoon is very much a luxury experience, offering spa treatments and high-quality facilities.
Alongside it’s developed facilities comes a hefty price tag. This is one of the most expensive hot spring experiences in Iceland. To avoid overcrowding, there are a limited number of tickets available each day. Because of this, pre-booking is essential. You can book your tickets via this link.
- Changing rooms and showers
- Geothermal pools
- In-water bar
- Sauna and steam rooms
- Treatment rooms
- Mask bar
The Blue Lagoon is just a 20-minute drive from Keflavík Airport and a 50-minute drive from Reykjavík. For this reason, it is a great hot spring to visit if you don’t have much time in Iceland. It is also possible to take a taxi, public bus, or organized tour to the lagoon.
An adult ticket starts at 43 dollars (37 euros) at the time of writing. Admission for under 13s is free, but children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Spa treatments and luxury packages are also available for an added cost.
It is possible to hire swimsuits, robes, and towels. Up to date price information to be found at The Blue Lagoon website.
2. Myvatn Nature Baths
The Myvatn Nature Baths are a lovely alternative to the Blue Lagoon. They offer the same mineral-rich water and have an onsite cafe.
It is helpful if you pre-book a ticket, but walk-ins are also accepted.
The temperature of the water is 130 degrees celsius (266 degrees Fahrenheit) when it comes out of the borehole. Still, it is constantly cooled to maintain a comfortable temperature or between 36 to 40 degrees Celsius (97 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit).
Being further from the capital, these baths are less expensive and less crowded than the Blue Lagoon.
As the name suggests, they are surrounded by beautiful, peaceful landscapes. However, they are getting more famous each year, so don’t expect to have the baths all to yourself!
- Changing rooms and showers
- Geothermal pools
- Steam baths
The Myvatn Nature baths can be found in the North East of Iceland, A 6-hour drive from Reykjavik.
41 dollars (35 euros) for an adult ticket at the time of writing. Various discounts are available for disabled people, senior citizens, students, or teenagers between 13 and 15 years old.
Swimsuit and towel hire is possible, and young children can go free. Up to date price information to be found on their website.
The Secret Lagoon first opened in 1891, making it the oldest swimming pool in Iceland. It reopened to the public after a complete refurbishment in 2014.
This naturally heated outdoor swimming pool is surrounded by lush grass and steaming geysers. It is a very relaxing and peaceful place.
The pool is much smaller and more basic than the Myvatn Nature Baths or Blue Lagoon, but it is much cheaper.
It is an excellent idea to book tickets in advance. Walk-ins are sometimes accepted, but the tickets do sell out.
- Changing rooms and showers
- Eating area
- Basic bar with snacks and drinks
The Secret Lagoon is based in the small village of Fludir. It is located near the world-famous Golden Circle, so it’s the perfect place to unwind in between all the crazy sightseeing.
At the time of writing, an adult ticket costs around 22 dollars (19 euros). Up to date prices can be found on their website.
Towels and swimsuits are available for hire, and children below the age of 14 can go free. (They must be supervised by an adult).
The Geosea Baths are perfect for Ocean lovers.
Relaxing in the geothermal seawater, you will gaze out at the ocean and the Arctic Circle. The waters here are teeming with whales, so keep your eyes open for these unique creatures!
- Heated seawater pools
- Changing rooms and showers
- Cafe with outdoor terrace
The Geosea baths are located at the base of a bright yellow lighthouse, so they are hard to miss! They can be found in the North of Iceland, near the traditional whaling village of Husavik.
At the time of writing, an adult ticket costs around 33 dollars (28 euros). Under 12s go free, and there are discounts available for senior citizens and teenagers.
Towels and swimsuits can be hired on site. For up to date prices, check the website.
Photo By Bradley Rentz
Icelanders have enjoyed the geothermal waters at Gudrunarlaug for over a thousand years!
However, after a huge landslide, they were inaccessible for 140 years.
Not to worry, in 2009 they opened again to the public!
This natural hot spring is not a fancy tourist resort. You can expect a simple, hot tub sized natural hot pool, surrounded by nature. There are no showers, but there is a turf-covered wooden changing room to give you some privacy.
- Small natural hot tub
- A changing room
This hot spring is situated in the beautiful wild west of Iceland. To get there you should drive to Hótel Edda in Laugar. Once parked, you can walk the short distance up the hill to the pool.
Like many of Iceland’s countless hot springs, Gudrunarlaug is free to enjoy.
6. Hoffell Hot Tubs
Photo from Hoffell Accommodation
Hoffell Hot Tubs are very simple. They are surrounded by beautiful mountains and offer the most basic of facilities. You will have 5 different hot tubs to choose from, 2 of which are warmer than the others.
These hot tubs are not very touristy, so they are a good option for people looking to meet local Icelanders.
- Changing room
- 5 hot tubs (2 are warmer than the others)
The Hoffell Hot Tubs are located in the East of Iceland, around 15km west of Höfn.
Don’t forget to bring cash with you when you visit the Hoffell Hot Tubs. At the time of writing, there is a donation box where you are asked to leave the equivalent of 500 IKR (around 4 dollars.) This goes to maintaining the hot tubs.
Photo from Hoffell Accommodation
7. Bjorbodin Beer Spa
Photo from bjorbodin
Have you ever dreamt of bathing in a pool of beer? Well, your dreams have been answered!
At Bjorbodin Beer Spa, you can enjoy a hot tub filled with beer.
There is no age limit for the Beer Spa because the beer in the bath is not drinkable. You can either go as a pair or as a single person. If you are over the age of 20, you can enjoy beer straight from the tap next to your beer bath!
The experience is more than just a novelty.
By bathing in the hot beer, you can enjoy a wide range of minerals that will feed your hair and skin. The beer also has an anti-inflammatory effect on muscles.
After half an hour in the tub, you can unwind for a further 25 minutes in a relaxation room. You are not recommended to shower for a good few hours after the beer bath, so your skin and hair can benefit from the minerals.
Unlike in the other hot tubs and hot springs mentioned, the beer baths are freshly changed for each user.
- 7 beer baths made from Kambala wood
- Changing room
- Relaxation room
The Bjorbodin Beer Spa is located in the North of Iceland, not far from Dalvik.
At the time of writing, a single person’s bath costs the equivalent of 90 dollars. A bath for two persons costs around 150 dollars. You can check up to date prices on the website.
8. Reykjadalur Hot Spring River
Reykjadalur is also known as the valley of steam.
You will find many amazing hot springs here, including a river heated by geothermal energy. Although you do not have to pay to enter this amazing river it is about an hour’s hike from the nearest place you can park.
Make sure you keep to marked paths. This both protects the local vegetation and protects you from the boiling hot water that escapes the earth in places. You will know where it is safe to bathe because a collection of small changing rooms have been constructed.
For outdoor lovers who want to unwind after a lovely walk through the Icelandic scenery, this is the perfect hot spring location!
- basic changing huts
Reykjadalur is in the South of Iceland, conveniently located near the town of Hveragerði where you can stick up on snacks for the hike.
It is free to enter the river. But it will cost you a bit of effort to hike there!
If you enjoyed the challenge of hiking to Reykjadalur, you will love Laugavallalaug!
Not only can you bathe in the natural hot waters, but you can also stand underneath a hot waterfall for the ultimate massage! The temperature of both the pool and waterfall is a comfortable 40 degrees celsius. (104 degrees Fahrenheit)
You can drive to the Kárahnjúkar dam, then set off on foot via Hafrahvammagljúfur canyon. It is around a 7 hour round walk, including time for relaxing under the hot waterfall.
Alternatively, you can get much closer to Laugavallalaug (about 200 meters away) if you have a 4 wheel drive. You would not be able to do this journey in a normal 2 wheel drive hire car, as it is not possible to get these insured for driving on the F roads.
For more information about exploring Iceland by car, check out our article about the Icelandic Ringroad.
Laugavallalaug is located in the East of Iceland. It is up in the highlands, which is why you will need a 4 wheel drive to get there via car.
There is no charge to enter Laugavallalaug. After a 7 hour hike, you will deserve it!
Grjotagja is one of many Icelandic hot springs that is not safe to enter.
Following several volcanic eruptions, the temperature is too unpredictable and it would be extremely dangerous to attempt to bathe here.
Nonetheless, the beautiful hot spring cave is still worth a visit.
You may recognize the beautiful cave complex from the HBO series Game of Thrones. Historically, it was also the home of a notorious outlaw who lived and bathed in the caves.
If you would like to learn more about caving in Iceland, check out this article!
- None. It is not possible to enter the water!
The caves are in the North East of Iceland. To get to them, you drive East away from the village of Reykjahlid. After a couple of km, you turn right just before the turning for Myvatn Nature Baths. From here, you should see signs!
There is no charge to visit the caves.
What’s That Smell?!
When we see images of Iceland’s hot springs on Instagram, we don’t experience the full picture. Although beautiful, the hot springs have an undeniably eggy smell. You will soon get used to it, but pulling up at a hot spring for the first time can be a shock.
The eggy smell is due to the mineral called sulfur. Though not particularly pleasant, it is one of the reasons the water is so nourishing for your skin.
Can I use the hot springs if I’m pregnant?
Lots of pregnant women enjoy bathing in hot springs and swimming pools.
Listen to your body. If you feel unwell or dizzy with the heat, it is a good idea to leave the pool. Just take it gently and make sure you drink plenty of water.
Pregnant women and the very young or elderly people may want to avoid the smaller natural pools at the end of the summer. Bacteria can sometimes build up in them thanks to lots of summer visitors. This will not be a problem in the bigger managed pools like the Blue Lagoon or Myvatn Nature Baths.
What should I wear in the hot springs and swimming pools?
We can’t speak for all hot springs and swimming pools, but here is some general advice:
Wear what you would to a normal swimming pool.
Most hot springs and swimming pools require that you wear a swimsuit. At the most popular hot springs and pools, it is often possible to rent a swimsuit for your stay.
You should remove any jewelry (including wedding rings) before entering because it is possible that they could be damaged by the high mineral content of the water. Burkinis are generally welcome in Iceland.
For specific advice, you should double-check the dress code for individual hot springs and swimming pools.
Insider Tip: It is a good idea to bring or hire a warm dressing gown if you are visiting the hot springs in winter. If not, you will find it hard to build up the bravery to get out of the lovely hot water!
Is nudity accepted in Iceland’s hot-springs and swimming pools?
Icelandic people have a very relaxed approach to nudity compared to many other countries. It is not illegal to be naked in public. At the same time, you can’t just run up and down the shopping mall in your birthday suit.
If you are visiting the hot springs in the middle of nature, and you aren’t surrounded by families wearing swimsuits, you will probably find that no one cares if you swim in the nude. When in doubt you can always ask, or you can choose to go in the summer evenings when the natural pools are less crowded.
Whilst most of the managed hot springs require you to wear a swimsuit, it is also mandatory for you to shower naked before you get into the pool.
Don’t worry, this is done in the changing rooms, and there are cubicles available for people that prefer their privacy. Nonetheless, don’t be surprised if you see people walking naked around the changing rooms!
Insider Tip: Although swimsuits are required on the bottom half, women are usually allowed to bathe topless if they feel more comfortable with this. The men don’t have to wear a bikini top, so it’s only fair!
If you would are a woman who would like to bathe topless, you can always double-check at reception if this is accepted practice at the hot spring you are visiting.
Which is the closest hot spring or pool to Reykjavik?
The Blue Lagoon is the closest famous hot pool to Reykjavik. It is about a 50-minute drive.
However, there are also plenty of swimming pools in the city. These are also heated by Iceland’s geothermal waters, though they are a lot more basic (and cheaper) than the Blue Lagoon.
For a full list of swimming pools in Reykjavik, check out this website.
Which is the cheapest hot-spring?
If you are traveling on a budget, there are plenty of natural hot springs and rivers that are completely free to enter.
You won’t find many facilities here, so be prepared to get changed in the open air in some cases.
Our favorite free hot springs are:
- Reykjadalur Hot Spring River
You will find more details about these locations earlier in this article.
How many hot springs are there in Iceland?
There are around 800 different hot springs in Iceland.
The average temperature is 75 degrees centigrade (167 degrees Fahrenheit). Many of the popular hot springs and pools have to be constantly cooled down with fresh water in order to be safe to use.
For this reason, it’s important you do your research before entering a hot spring that isn’t managed.
Are the Icelandic hot springs and swimming pools safe to use?
There are, of course, some risks involved with entering hot springs.
Like we mentioned above, some of the hot springs are too hot to use without seriously burning yourself.
Occasionally, bacteria build up in the smaller pools after a busy summer. If you are pregnant or have a compromised immune system, you should avoid using the smaller natural hot springs at this time.
What are the health benefits of geothermal water?
The hot springs of Iceland are packed full of vitamins and minerals.
These will nourish and soften your skin. There is also an anti-inflammatory and relaxing element to bathing in the hot springs and swimming pools.
Will the hot springs ruin my hair?
Hot Springs are brilliant for your skin, but the minerals can make your hair quite matted and difficult to manage.
Use plenty of conditioners after you have a dip, or wear a swimming cap to protect your hair.
See you soon!
We hoped you enjoyed this article about the hot springs and swimming pools in Iceland! We look forward to welcoming you to the land of fire and ice.