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people swimming in the sky lagoon

24 Top Hot Springs & Geothermal Pools In Iceland

Last Updated: 20/05/2024

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, admire the scenery or all of the above!

You could 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.


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.

Friends swimming in the Sky Lagoon

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 various 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.

Blue Lagoon covered in snow in winter

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 smaller, more remote springs have no facilities, while others come with changing rooms, toilets and eateries. We recommend that you bring swimwear, a towel and some warm clothing.

Relaxing in a geothermal pool in Iceland

Reykjavík & the Reykjanes peninsula hot springs

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 located on the Reykjanes peninsula, between Reykjavík and the international airport. This makes it the perfect place to unwind at the start or end of your Iceland trip.

Visit for the day, and you can choose between tiered packages offering various extras. 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.

Lava Cove at the Blue Lagoon Retreat
Lava Cove at the Blue Lagoon Retreat ©Blue Lagoon

2. Nauthólsvík geothermal beach

Iceland may be famous for its craggy lava fields and soaring mountains, but it’s also home to beautiful beaches. Head to Nauthólsvík geothermal beach, a 10-minute drive from the centre of Reykjavík, and you can savour a little slice of paradise.

This unique beach 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).

Sauna with an ocean view at the Sky Lagoon

3. Sky Lagoon

One of the most luxurious pools in Iceland, 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 lagoon's warm waters, designed to blend into nature with its infinity edge that unfolds towards the sea. Swim between the rock boulders and connect with your tranquil surroundings.

Not only can you enjoy a soothing dip at Sky Lagoon, but also “The Ritual”. This involves 7 steps to leave you fully relaxed and rejuvenated:

  1. Swim in the outdoor lagoon
  2. Plunge in the cold pool
  3. Sit in the ocean-view sauna
  4. Cool off in the cold mist space
  5. Exfoliate with a sea-salt body scrub
  6. Hydrate your skin in the steam room
  7. Shower and re-enter the lagoon

Couple relaxing in the Sky Lagoon

4. Hvammsvík hot springs

If you're craving a secluded experience among Iceland’s natural beauty, Hvammsvík hot springs is the spot for you. You’ll find this idyllic set of pools sat on the edge of the Atlantic coast, just a 45-minute drive from Reykjavík.

Arrive at the black sand beach, and you’ll be treated to majestic mountain views beyond the water. Soak in some of the 8 natural pools that merge seamlessly into the shore. Then, go for a refreshing dip in the cold sea before relaxing in the steam room.

The water temperatures vary from a stimulating 10°C (50°F) to a soothing 42°C (107°F). Each pool is made with rocks from the surrounding area, blending with the coastal scenery.

Even though you’re in a natural setting, you'll find convenient amenities like changing rooms with private showers and an onsite bistro.

South Iceland hot springs

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 famous 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.

People swimming in the Secret Lagoon

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, is slightly elevated, providing you with exceptional views of the lake and beyond.

Featuring a café and a 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 unmistakable scent of sulphur. Don’t let that put you off though, as the water is perfectly safe to bathe in!

Once you arrive, you can slip into the warm waters to marvel at 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.

Reykjadalur hot spring river

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 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 basic, so it’s a good idea to come prepared and to take any rubbish away with you.

Seljavallalaug pool in South Iceland

5. Landmannalaugar natural pool

The Fjallabak Nature Reserve is a rugged, mountainous region that encompasses lakes, canyons, and waterfalls that are 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.

Landmannalaugar natural pool in the highlands

East Iceland hot springs

On a journey around Iceland’s Ring Road, you’ll 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.

Floating geothermal pools at Vok Baths

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.

The quality of the roads limits access to this incredible spot, 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.

Woman bathing in the Myvatn Nature Baths

North Iceland hot springs

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.

Entry to the baths is not timed, so you can stay until closing once you're inside. But most people visit for around 90 minutes.

It’s worth noting that the waters here have a high sulphur content. This means that it’s perfectly safe to swim here, but it gives off a distinctive smell and can damage brass and silver jewellery.

People swimming in the Myvatn Nature Baths

2. Geosea Geothermal Sea Baths

For a truly unusual geothermal bathing experience, head for the coastal town of Húsavík in the northeast. Here, you can visit 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 charming fishing village is the best place to look for whales in Iceland!

GeoSea thermal baths 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 on a romantic getaway and 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.

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 after 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 sweeping sea views here.

Grettislaug hot pot pool in Iceland

5. Forest Lagoon

Nestled among lush green trees on a hillside, Forest Lagoon offers a luxury geothermal retreat that will be sure to bring you deep relaxation.

The lagoon is conveniently located 3.6 kilometres (2.2 miles) southeast of Akureyri. So you’ll find it easy to access.

When you get here, you’ll be spoiled for choice with the selection of luxurious facilities, including infinity pools, swim-up bars, a sauna, a cold tub, and a restaurant. Plus, thanks to the lagoon’s location, you’ll enjoy views of Iceland's longest fjord, Eyjafjörður, as well as the nearby mountains.

What sets this spa apart is that despite its modern amenities, the building blends into its woodland setting. So you have a chic experience while feeling connected to the local nature.

Westfjords hot springs

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.

Drangses hot pots overlooking the sea

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.

The pool temperature ranges 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).

Person bathing in a hot spring pool with a view of the sea and mountains

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’s 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 which is closed in winter.

Krossneslaug geothermal pool with snow covered mountains

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 for 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, a 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.

Hot thermal pool in the Westfjords at sunset

West Iceland hot springs

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 5 heated pools, as well as a cold tub. The water that runs through Krauma Spa originates in Europe’s most powerful hot spring, Deildartunguhver. The pools are mixed with glacial meltwater to create the ideal bathing temperature.

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.

Krauma Geothermal baths complex

2. Guðrúnarlaug hot spring

Guðrún, one of the most important figures in Icelandic legend, is said to have lived in the Dalabyggð region, where you’ll find this hot tub.

Guðrúnarlaug is free to enter and is open at all hours. It’s a charming, stone-sided circular pool nestled 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 you can have in Iceland comes courtesy of Hotel Húsafell. There are 3 pools, of varying temperatures, set in a scenic canyon with views of glaciers and mountains. There’s also a cold pool if you can brave it!

The baths and changing rooms were built in Húsafell using locally sourced or upcycled materials. The idea is 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.

Husafell Canyon Baths at sunset

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 itinerary to someone else, travel with 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 suggest 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 will visit.

Get in touch with the Iceland experts to come one step closer to your dream getaway.

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Post by: Emma Gillies

Wanderlust has taken Emma across much of the world, but it was Scotland that she made her adopted home. Aside from enjoying countryside walks, campervan weekends and gigs in Glasgow, you’ll often find her writing about European travel and plotting her next trip.

More posts by Emma Gillies

Getting there

We'd love to give you the same amazing travel experiences as you read about in our blog! To visit the destinations and attractions mentioned in this post - and to discover a few new highlights along the way - check out these recommended Nordic Visitor tours.