From the bright green valleys, the fjords, black sand beaches and many impressive beautiful rivers, the natural hot springs stand out as one of the best ways to relax and truly enjoy what nature has best.
Going for a visit in any of these hot springs is just an experience you should try and it’s probably the only one not affected by the weather.
Can’t think of anything better for you to do at the end of a long day driving or hiking in Iceland, than do dip your toes at a geothermal pool full of healing properties.
I will show you four of the main hot springs I visited during my 7 day road trip and that have made my trip so much more relaxing!
You should know that before you visit these hot springs (apart from the Seljavallalaug Swimming pool) you are required to shower naked to make sure you don’t bring anything that can affect the purity and quality of the water. They have separate men and women rooms so no worries!
① BLUE LAGOON
The blue lagoon is the most famous thermal bath in Iceland and also the most visited.
It’s located quite close to both Keflavík International Airport and Reykjavík. Perfect to visit even if you only have a stopover in Iceland or a few days.
The lagoon has a characteristic milky blue colour due to its components of algae, silica, sulphur and other minerals that can be beneficial to the skin. The water temperature averages 37–39°C (98–102°F) which is just perfect for a relaxing time bathing and swimming.
I advise you to book a time slot as soon as you decide you’re going there because the times sell out really quick especially during the day when it’s busier.
For my visit I choose to go in the evening for sunset. I had already been to many other thermal baths around and this was my last day in the country so I wanted to avoid lots of people.
Really loved it, watched the sunset at about 8pm and then had some drinks at the bar until about 22pm. Also thought the silica mud mask which is included in the price was a fun activity!
Be extra careful about your hair as the minerals in the water make it really dry. They do provide you with conditioner that you can put before and after the lagoon.
② GAMLA LAUGIN – THE SECRET LAGOON
This ‘secret lagoon’ is not as secret as it was before. Less busy than the Blue Lagoon for example it’s a relaxing stopover during any road trip.
Located in Fludir within the Golden Circle area, it was kept as natural as it can be since 1891. The water ranges from 38-40°C (98-104°F).
Around the lagoon you will see steam coming out from several geothermal spots and a little geyser which erupts every 5 minutes.
There are shower facilities and a little bar serves refreshments like water, beer and small snacks.
You can book a time on-line before your visit but it’s not busy so I just got my ticket at the entrance and it was fine. Really loved it, it was not busy with hardly anyone there at the time I visited. It was the perfect end of my first day around Iceland.
③ MÝVATN NATURE BATH
Located in Lake Mývatn Geothermal area this man-made hot springs were my favourite of all the ones I visited in Iceland. It as much quieter than the Blue Lagoon (probably because it’s so far away from the capital) with a beautiful sunset.
I felt a sensation of peace and happiness while I watched the landscape of lava, craters, caves and sulphur surface mountains around me. ⠀
There are two pools with the water temperature going from 36 – 40°C (96-104°F) and a hot tub with extra warm water that I did not venture.
Similar to the Blue Lagoon, the water contains a large amount of unique minerals like sulphur, good for many skin conditions.
The baths have easy access with proper lockers, showers and even a small restaurant if you want a drink or a snack.
④ SELJAVALLALAUG SWIMMING POOL
Seljavallalaug was one of my favourite places in Iceland, a true hidden gem in the middle of so many touristic places.
It’s one of the oldest swimming pools in Iceland built in 1923 and preserved in the middle of the mountains with a jaw dropping landscape.
The access is not so easy like the previous hot springs but it’s not impossible to get there! Take road 242 until you get to a small parking lot marked as Seljavellir (you can put this name on your GPS to guide you there). From there it’s a 15 minute walk across beautiful landscapes with scenery almost like a ‘Lord of the Rings’ possible movie set.
Unlike the previous pools, the water was cold (not warm as many websites refer) but that did not stop me from going for a swim! Once inside the pool it was quite relaxing and the hard part was to get out!
The pool is free to use and there is nothing there apart from a small room in a bad condition where you can change clothes. Take everything with you – flip flops, towel, swimsuit – because there is nothing there!
Hope you enjoy your relaxing time in any of these pools and if you can try them all!
Have you been to Iceland and visited these pools? Any other suggestions that I missed? Would love to hear from you!
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