If you’re planning to visit Iceland, hot springs should definitely be on your to-do list.
The huge variety of geothermal pools Iceland has to offer provides the perfect reward after a day of exploring. You might be there to swim, enjoy the soothing benefits of the mineral-rich water, simply admire the scenery, or all of the above!
Maybe you'll bathe in some of these hot pools while revelling in the long nights of summer. Or visit Iceland in the winter and you could even experience the magical northern lights from the comfort of a steaming outdoor pool.
For all the hot spring inspiration you need, read on. This is a comprehensive guide to the best geothermal pools around Iceland you could visit on your trip. They're ordered by region, beginning in the capital and heading in an anti-clockwise direction around the Ring Road.
- To start planning your trip, check out these Iceland vacation packages
- South Iceland
- North Iceland
- The Westfjords
FAQs on Iceland’s hot springs & geothermal pools
Here are the answers to some questions you might have about these spots in Iceland.
What are geothermal pools and hot springs?
Geothermal pools and hot springs are small bodies of water that are naturally heated by the earth. You’ll find them in areas with high volcanic activity.
Why does Iceland have so many hot springs?
Iceland lies across the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the boundary point between two tectonic plates, and sits above an area of strong volcanic forces known as a "hotspot". As a result, this island nation is home to numerous active volcanoes and hot springs.
Where are the geothermal pools in Iceland?
Because geothermal activity exists across Iceland, you’ll see hot pools and springs almost everywhere. Keep scrolling to discover the best ones in each region.
What is a hot pot in Iceland?
Hot pots are an Icelandic institution! These man-made tubs are sunk into the ground and filled with water, which is heated geothermally. The pots are constructed from a variety of different materials including stone, tin and plastic.
Can you swim in Iceland’s thermal pools in winter?
Due to their heat, Iceland’s thermal pools typically remain open year-round. In fact, it’s a popular Icelandic pastime to take to the hot water in the coldest months, so you can join the locals and enjoy the tradition too.
How warm are Icelandic hot springs?
Some hot springs and pools in Iceland are lukewarm, making them ideal for swimming, but most are as hot as a bath (around 36-40°C/97-104°F). Meanwhile, others may be too hot for you to bathe in, but are worth visiting for the spectacular views.
Are hot springs healthy?
The mineral-rich water found in many of Iceland’s natural hot springs is said to have softening and soothing benefits for the skin.
What should I bring to the hot springs in Iceland?
That depends on the facilities! Many of the smaller, more remote springs have no facilities whatsoever, while others come with changing rooms, toilets and eateries. We recommend that you bring swimwear, a towel and some warm clothing.
Reykjavík & the Reykjanes peninsula
When you’re staying in the capital, Reykjavík, you’ll be able to relax in some of the best geothermal pools in Iceland. Check out these top recommended ones in the city and the nearby Reykjanes peninsula.
1. Blue Lagoon
Iceland’s most iconic geothermal pool is the Blue Lagoon. Set in the middle of a black lava field, this sprawling complex of hot pools is famed for its milky blue, mineral-rich waters.
The Blue Lagoon is conveniently placed in the Reykjanes peninsula, between Reykjavík and the international airport. This makes it the perfect place to unwind in, either at the start or end of your Iceland trip.
Visit for the day and you can choose between tiered packages which offer various extras. Entry is timed by the hour, but once you’re in the complex you can stay until closing – so it’s worth booking an early ticket!
If you’re seeking more than a quick dip, the famous Blue Lagoon is home to spa facilities, eateries, and one of Iceland's top boutique hotels.
- Stay at the Blue Lagoon as part of a luxury tour of Iceland
- Related: Blue Lagoon geothermal spa – your complete guide
2. Nauthólsvík geothermal beach
Iceland may be most famous for its craggy lava fields and soaring mountains, but it’s also home to some beautiful beaches. Head to Nauthólsvík Geothermal Beach, a 10-minute drive from the centre of Reykjavík, and you can savour a little slice of tropical paradise.
Opened in 2001, this unique beach area incorporates a man-made, geothermally heated lagoon draped with golden sand. A seawall borders the lagoon, meaning it maintains a mild temperature year-round.
You can also soak in 2 hot tubs at the beach, one of which is kept at a toasty 39°C (102°F).
Nauthólsvík is free to enter during the summer (May to August). Outside of these months, you’d need to pay a small entry fee.
3. Sky Lagoon
One of the most luxurious pools in Iceland, the Sky Lagoon is a wellness sanctuary positioned right by the ocean in Reykjavík. It’s just minutes from downtown but will make you feel like you’re in another world altogether.
Bathe in the warm waters of the lagoon, designed to blend into nature with its infinity edge that unfolds towards the sea. Swim between the rock boulders and feel a deep connection with your tranquil surroundings.
Not only can you enjoy a soothing dip at the Sky Lagoon, but also “The Ritual”. This involves 7 steps to leave you fully relaxed and rejuvenated:
- Swim in the outdoor lagoon
- Plunge in the cold pool
- Sit in the ocean-view sauna
- Cool off in the cold mist space
- Exfoliate with a sea-salt body scrub
- Hydrate your skin in the steam room
- Shower and re-enter the lagoon
- Take a Reykjavík city break with one of these Iceland multi-day packages
The next must-see region after Reykjavík is South Iceland, where you'll encounter some of the most jaw-dropping scenery in the country. Think black sand beaches, waterfalls, volcanoes and ice caves, along with natural hot springs, rivers and some of Iceland’s oldest geothermal pools.
1. Secret Lagoon
Despite the name, the Secret Lagoon is actually one of Iceland’s most popular hot spring destinations. The lagoon is situated in the village of Flúðir, a 90-minute drive from Reykjavík. It is a great pitstop if you're taking a self-drive tour around the famed Golden Circle.
Originally constructed in 1891, the Secret Lagoon is the oldest man-made pool in Iceland. You’ll love it for the moss-covered, natural surroundings.
In addition to swimming and bathing, you could also take a stroll around the grounds, stopping to watch the small geyser that erupts every 5 minutes. There’s also an on-site café where you can pick up drinks and snacks.
2. Laugarvatn Fontana geothermal baths
This geothermal bath complex is ideally situated for when you’re exploring Iceland’s Golden Circle.
Perched on the banks of Lake Laugarvatn, Fontana houses steam baths and a sauna. You’ll also find 3 outdoor mineral pools, varying in size and temperature. The hot tub, Viska, sits at an elevated height and provides you with exceptional views of the lake and beyond.
Featuring a café and geothermal bakery (where bread is cooked in the ground), Fontana is a fantastic place to spend the day. For the ultimate experience, take a dip in the lake before heading into the sauna or steam bath. This kind of cold-water immersion is said to have numerous health benefits!
3. Reykjadalur geothermal river
Reykjadalur – Icelandic for “smoky valley” – is located just off the Ring Road, around a 50-minute drive from Reykjavík. Situated near an extinct volcano, the valley is home to multiple hot springs and mud pools. The key highlight of this region, though, is its geothermal river.
From a nearby parking lot, you can follow a well-marked trail through the valley on foot. After around 1 hour, you’ll approach the river, seeing plumes of steam and smelling the unmistakeable scent of sulphur. Don’t let that put you off though, as the water is perfectly safe to bathe in!
Once you’ve arrived you can strip off and slip into the warm waters, enjoying your incredible surroundings. This is a wild swimming spot, so you don’t need to pay anything. Also bear in mind that there are no toilets or changing facilities.
4. Seljavallalaug pool
Another free swim spot for you, Seljavallalaug is one of the original bathing pools in Iceland, dating back to 1923. It’s located on the south coast of Iceland in a cluster of hills, not far from Skógafoss waterfall.
The pool is warm rather than hot, typically at a temperature between 20-30°C (68-86°F). You’ll also notice the green colour of the water, which is caused by algae.
You can access Seljavallalaug from a nearby parking lot. The walk takes around 20 minutes, leading you through a scenic river valley. There’s an on-site changing room but the facilities are very basic, so it’s a good idea to come prepared, and to take any rubbish away with you.
5. Landmannalaugar natural pool
The Fjallabak Nature Reserve is a rugged, mountainous region that encompasses lakes, canyons and waterfalls just begging to be explored. It’s part of the southern Icelandic highlands and is a haven for walkers.
If you decide to venture here for a scenic hike, make sure you don’t miss a trip to Landmannalaugar. Here, you can admire colourful rhyolite peaks and take a dip in the hot spring.
From the Landmannalaugar information hut, follow the wooden boardwalks to reach the natural bath. There’s no charge for the pool itself, but you’d need to pay a small fee to use the changing facilities nearby.
- Stop at some of these pools and hot springs on your South Iceland tour
On a journey around Iceland’s Ring Road, you’d get to explore the fjords and seascapes of East Iceland. As well as discovering fishing villages and quirky towns, there are a couple of hot spring attractions you could check out.
1. Vök Baths
This inviting complex clutches the banks of Lake Urriðavatn in East Iceland, not far from the Ring Road. Come here to experience the only floating geothermal pools in the country.
These baths were built on the lake’s waters after locals noticed that it would only freeze over in certain areas, indicating the presence of geothermal heat.
On land, Vök Baths features a bar, steam room, cold tunnel and café. There are also 2 hot tubs, connected to the floating pools by wooden walkways. With your ticket entry you’ll get a herbal tea brewed from the spring water, which is incredibly clean and safe to drink.
2. Laugavallalaug hot spring & waterfall
The best way to describe Laugavalladalur is “Mother Nature’s take on the hot shower”. Here you’ll find a waterfall fed by the Laugavallalaug hot spring and stream, which empties over a cliffside and into the river below.
Access to this incredible spot is limited by the quality of the roads, so if you plan on driving yourself we highly recommend taking a 4x4 vehicle. Alternatively, you can opt for a guided tour of the region and have an expert lead you to Laugavallalaug.
As it’s a natural spot, there’s no entry fee for Laugavallalaug.
- Visit East Iceland for a dip in Laugavallalaug or Vök Baths
With moonlike landscapes, volcanic wonders, and some of the best whale watching in the country, North Iceland makes a drive around the Ring Road worth it. These geothermal pools and hot springs will make your trip even more special.
1. Mývatn Nature Baths
Mývatn Nature Baths is a tempting geothermal pool complex situated in beautiful surroundings near Lake Mývatn. With steam baths, changing rooms and a café, it’s the perfect stopping off point if you’re on a driving tour of Iceland.
This is the number one hot spring pool in the area, often thought of as the north’s version of the Blue Lagoon.
Entry to the baths is not timed, so once you’re inside you can stay until closing. But most people visit for around 90 minutes.
It’s worth noting that the waters here have a high sulphur content. This means that, although it is perfectly safe to swim here, it gives off a distinctive smell and can damage brass and silver jewellery.
2. Geosea Geothermal Sea Baths
For a truly unusual geothermal bathing experience, make sure you head for the coastal town of Húsavík in the northeast. Here you can pay a visit to GeoSea to unwind in the naturally heated seawater pools, comprising infinity tubs, waterfalls, and even a swim-up bar.
Admire breathtaking sea views from the gently steaming swimming pools, soaking in the hot water while you look out across the ocean. Afterwards you can relax on the outdoor terrace or in the restaurant. If needed, towels, swimwear and robes are available to rent.
When you’re done bathing, you could enjoy one of the top activities Húsavík has to offer: whale watching. This unassuming fishing village is the best place to look for whales in Iceland!
- Related: Guide to whale watching in Iceland
3. Bjórböðin Beer Spa
Beer drinkers, this one’s for you. At Bjórböðin Spa & Restaurant in Árskógssandur, you have the opportunity to kick back and relax in a tub filled with heated beer.
Why? This warm brew possesses health benefits, as it is said to gently cleanse and revitalise the skin and hair. Plus, for anyone over 20, a cold pint can be part of the experience too.
Each tub accommodates only 1 or 2 people. That means Bjórböðin is ideal if you’re a couple on a romantic getaway seeking a slightly alternative hot pool experience.
The complex has an extensive outdoor area with 2 traditional hot tubs and a sauna. You can also pop into the restaurant and bar for a meal and some locally brewed beer.
- Head to some of these baths and pools on a honeymoon or romantic trip to Iceland
4. Grettislaug & Jarlslaug hot springs
Visit these twin hot springs in the Skagafjörður peninsula and you could experience a little Icelandic history – both old and new.
The first pool, Grettislaug (“Grettir’s Pool”), is named after the strongest man in the Icelandic sagas. The second, Jarlslaug (“Earl’s Pool”), is named for a local man, Jón “Earl” Eiríksson, who led the rebuilding of the pools after they were damaged in a storm.
The pools are well maintained and have nearby changing facilities. You’ll also be treated to lovely sea views here.
You don’t need to pay an entry fee, but a donation is recommended.
- Visit some of these hot pools as part of a North Iceland tour package
Wild, remote, and sparsely populated, the Westfjords area is ideal if you’re looking for Iceland’s hidden gems. This pristine peninsula is the oldest part of the country, dating back some 24 million years. You could see puffins, discover quirky museums, and stop for dips in these free hot springs.
1. Drangsnes hot pots
Drangsnes is a fishing village east of Hólmavík in the Westfjords that’s known for its geothermal activity. The town and surrounding area are home to several heated pools, but we recommend you visit the Drangsnes hot pots, perched on the rocks overlooking the water.
These 3 naturally heated tubs are completely free to use and afford you stunning views of the ocean and coastline.
Unsurprisingly, the Drangsnes hot pots are very popular among locals, so you may have to share! And you'll find spacious bathrooms and changing facilities just across the street.
- Related: What to do in the Westfjords
2. Heydalur hillside hot pot
This natural geothermal spring is located in a remote corner of the Westfjords, not far from the Heydalur Farm guesthouse. Said to have been blessed by Bishop Guðmundur the Good in the 12th century, this hot pot offers you a delightfully tranquil bathing experience.
You can reach the free hot spring on foot from Heydalur Farm. Stay at the guesthouse itself, and you’ll also have access to their outdoor spring and greenhouse pool. This has a temperature of between 23 and 28°C (73-82°F), making it perfect for swimming. Meanwhile the hot pot water is typically very hot, at around 40°C (104°F).
3. Krossneslaug geothermal pool
Leave civilisation behind and head to the tiny settlement of Krossnes to enjoy a gentle swim in the warm waters of this charming geothermal pool.
Krossneslaug is bordered by ocean and mountains, and lies just metres from the water. It is equipped with showers and changing rooms – a necessity as there’s not much else around.
It’s worth noting that you won’t be able to visit Krossneslaug outside of the summer months, as the journey to reach it involves a gravel road.
- Related: Iceland’s hidden gems
4. Hellulaug natural pool
You’ll find Hellulaug on the Vatnsfjörður fjord, a stunning waterside location that flaunts some unforgettable views. It’s on the way to Látrabjarg cliffs and the golden-red sands of Rauðisandur beach, so you could stop here for a dip en route.
Fed by geothermally heated water from a borehole above the rock pool, Hellulaug maintains a year-round temperature of about 38°C (100°F). It isn’t the biggest of pools, and has a depth of only 60 centimetres (2 feet), making it best suited to a relaxing soak rather than a swim.
The path to the pool is well marked from the nearby parking lot, and entry is completely free. Visitors are encouraged to make a small donation to contribute to the maintenance of the pool and the surrounding area.
5. Birkimelur pool & hot pot
If you’re heading to Hellulaug, you could also pop by Birkimelur, which is just a 15-minute drive away. Overlooking an estuary and the sea beyond, this easy-to-miss spot is comprised of a swimming pool, stone-lined hot pot, and basic changing and shower facilities.
The pools tend to be open year-round, but the changing and showering facilities are only open at set times of day. Birkimelur is also free to enter, although a donation is recommended.
- Stop off at these Westfjords hot springs on an off-the-beaten-path tour of Iceland
Visit West Iceland and you’ll be spoiled with views of volcanoes, mountains, beaches and fishing villages. You can even explore inside lava caves and glaciers. Between all the adventures, relax with a warm soak in one of West Iceland's hot pots, tubs and baths.
1. Krauma Spa
This well-equipped geothermal spa in Reykholt is decked out with five heated pools, as well as a cold tub. The water that runs through Krauma Spa originates in Europe’s most powerful hot spring, Deildartunguhver. To achieve the ideal bathing temperature, it is mixed with glacial meltwater.
The pools vary in shape and size to serve different functions. You can enjoy a gentle swim, soak in the cold bath, or – on sunny days – bask in the shallows.
Once you’re finished in the pools, head into the restaurant for a bite to eat, or make use of the saunas and relaxation room.
2. Landbrotalaug hot pot
The Landbrotalaug hot spring is one of the smallest geothermal pools that you’ll find in Iceland. But what the Landbrotalaug hot pot lacks in size, it makes up for in charm. And it’s free to enter!
Situated north of Reykjavík on the Snæfellsnes peninsula, this tiny pool perfectly fits 2 people, and boasts incredible views of mountain scenery.
You can reach Landbrotalaug from a nearby parking lot – a shortcut from here takes you across a small river on a series of stepping stones.
Due to the hot pot’s small size, you may have to wait your turn to use the pool. It’s also worth noting that there are no changing or bathroom facilities.
- Related: What to see in West Iceland
3. Guðrúnarlaug hot spring
Guðrún, one of the most important figures in Icelandic legend, is said to have dwelt in the region of this hot tub.
Guðrúnarlaug is free to enter and is open at all hours. It’s a charming, stone-sided circular pool that nestles on a hillside looking down towards the Hotel Edda Laugar and Laugar Campsite.
Rejuvenate with a long soak in Guðrúnarlaug's naturally heated waters while pondering the legend of the formidable Guðrún.
4. Húsafell Canyon Baths
One of the coolest geothermal pool experiences that can be had in Iceland comes courtesy of Hotel Húsafell. Three pools of varying temperatures have been constructed in a scenic canyon, with views of glaciers and mountains. There’s also a cold pool if you can brave it!
The baths were built in Húsafell from locally sourced materials using traditional techniques, and the changing room from upcycled timber. The idea being that these pools are as sustainable as possible, merging effortlessly into their surroundings.
You can admire the view en route here too, as you need to take a guided hike from Hotel Húsafell to the baths.
- Visit these hot springs on your tour of West Iceland
Plan your trip to Iceland
Which of Iceland’s hot springs and geothermal pools would you like to visit on your Iceland vacation? With so many waiting for you, you’re spoilt for choice!
If you want to leave the work of planning your Iceland itinerary to someone else, just ask Nordic Visitor. Our Iceland travel experts are based in Reykjavík and know all the best attractions and hidden gems. They’ll craft your perfect tour and give suggestions for the top hot pools you could experience on your journey.
Whether you’d like to take a self-drive tour, privately guided trip, small group package or multi-day vacation, they’ll plan it all for you. Meanwhile you can sit back, relax, and look forward to all the hot springs you’re going to visit.
Get in touch with the Iceland experts to come one step closer to your dream getaway.