Hot Springs in Iceland

Vanessa Locampo
Last Updated: March 14th, 2024

Iceland is an ideal travel destination if you are searching for the most mysterious and breathtaking hot springs and nature. The landscape is unique and magical!

Iceland island lies on two tectonic plates, at the spot where Europe and North America meet. This makes the island geothermally active, with numerous active volcanoes and hundreds of hot water hot springs.

In this article, we will explore the hot springs of Iceland and what makes them so alluring to tourists and locals alike.

List of Hot Springs in Iceland

Hot Springs in Iceland

As an active volcanic island, Iceland counts 45 natural hot springs. Those springs form numerous thermal pools and baths over the whole island territory, and their unofficial number is something more than 200.

Iceland-Hot-Spring​

Some of the biggest and most popular hot spring thermal baths in Iceland are inside hotel complexes and have an entrance fee. However, there are also numerous free thermal pools you can relax in without paying the sky-high entrance amounts.

No matter which thermal spa you opt for, you will have a fantastic time in Iceland.

As a cherry on top, the Northern Lights spread over the sky and offer a picturesque nighttime view at many of these locations.

Types of Hot Springs in Iceland

Geothermal Hot Springs

Iceland is a country with a significant number of geothermal hot springs. This hot spring type is common because of the constant tectonic rifts that “provoke” volcanic eruptions. The geothermal activity makes the hot underground water pop on the surface and forms basins and thermal baths.

Geothermal-Hot-Springs​

Most geothermal baths in Iceland are natural and small, spread over the whole territory, mostly near volcanoes. Other geothermal pools are man-made spas and include numerous therapeutic services, massages, and traditional spa rituals (like the popular Seven-Step Ritual).

Among the most popular geothermal hot springs in Iceland, we will mention:

  • Hrunalaug
  • Laugarvatn Fontana
  • Hellulaug hot pools
  • Hoffell hot tubs
  • Gunnuhver Hot Springs
  • Hot Spring Kerlingarfjöll
  • Hot Spring at Landmannalaugar
  • Landbrotalaug
  • Kvika Geothermal Footbath
  • Reykjadalur Steam Valley
  • Seljavallalaug

Lagoons

The dark mountains and crystal clear hot spring water have formed milky lagoons all over Iceland island. The most popular, Blue Lagoon, is a pure natural miracle and attracts millions of tourists every year.

Lagoons​
The Secret Lagoon – Iceland Via ChrisGoldNY

Other popular Iceland thermal water lagoons are:

  • Sky Lagoon
  • Secret Lagoon
  • Forest Lagoon
  • Nature Bath on Lake Mývatn
  • Gamla Lagoon
  • Hveravellir

Thermal Sea Baths

Some Iceland hot springs are near the sea, letting you enjoy the therapeutic effects of thermal waters and incredible sea views from above. Enjoy the moment and sea sight while the hot spring water heals your body and rejuvenates your skin.

Thermal-Sea-Baths​​
Coastal Landforms in Southwest Iceland Via Hornstrandir1

Some of the most visited thermal sea baths in Iceland are:

  • Hvammsvik on the Atlantic Ocean
  • GeoSea sea baths on Skjálfandi Bay
  • Brimketill Lava Rock Pool
  • Vok Baths

Best Hot Springs in Iceland

The Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is the most famous and visited hot spring in Iceland. This thermal bath is semi-natural because it was created by humans by accident. This milky basin was formed in the 1970s by a condensed discharge of the Svartsengi geothermal power plant.

The-Blue-Lagoon​​
Blue Lagoon Via diamond geezer

People expected the water to disappear, but instead, the pools continued expanding. Over the years, the Blue Lagoon became the most visited luxurious thermal spa in Iceland, welcoming millions of tourists and locals yearly.

What makes the Blue Lagoon water unique are the algae plants that can’t be found elsewhere. Combined with the natural hot spring minerals, these algae make the water a pure skincare aid, especially for individuals with skin issues (like psoriasis).

The properties around the Blue Lagoon include bars, accommodations, private spas, and many other amenities.

Additional Info

  • Location: Blue Lagoon
  • Entrance Fee:
    • $62 Comfort package for adults
    • $70 Premium package for adults
    • $475 Luxury package for adults
    • Free for children under 13 years
  • Water Temperature: 98°F to 104°F

Nature Bath on Lake Mývatn

The first option is King’s Resort and Spa, a large hotel run and owned by a local family. Additionally, there are plenty of other thermal pools on the balconies that let you soak while enjoying the beautiful sights of the island. There are also private hot tub rooms on the roof that overlook the valley.

The second option is the luxurious Onsen Papawaqa, an excellent outdoor spa that is open to guests and non-guests.

How to get there?

You can go to Tai’an by taking a day trip from Taichung. That is if you don’t have a vehicle. If you have a car, the destination is easily reachable.

If you are in Taichung and decide to sign up for a day trip to Tai’an, you will be transported to the front door of the resort. This may not be mentioned in the travel manual. The Tangye resort is in the middle of the city, and it is quite easy to get there.

The natural bath on Mývatn Lake is a relaxing spa lagoon with steam baths, a bar, and a cafe on site.

It is a popular destination for numerous tourists, so remember to book tickets online, especially if you are in a group of up to 10 people.

Nature-Bath-on-Lake-Mývatn​​
Jarðböðin Myvatn Nature Baths Via Sergii Gulenok

The water of this natural spa is the same color as the Blue Lagoon. Travelers who seek a cheaper alternative to the famous Blue Lagoon should visit the Mývatn Lake and spend a great time bathing in the natural thermal pools.

The entrance fee includes a locker and free all-day access to the thermal lake. However, there are add-on packages you can purchase for an extra fee and receive a bathrobe, towel, drink, etc.

What we like the most about this thermal lake is that it is less crowded and much cheaper. However, its location might be a drawback since it is too far from Reykjavik (about 295 miles).

Additional Info

  • Location: Mývatn Nature Baths
  • Entrance Fee:
    • $31 per adult during winter season
    • $35 per adult during summer season
    • $12 to $15 for children from 13 to 15 years
    • $21 for seniors, students, and disabled individuals
    • Free for children under 12 years
  • Water Temperature: 97°F to 104°F

Grjótagjá – the Game of Thrones Hot Spring

Grjótagjá is a cave with a thermal hot spring, near the Mývatn Lake. If you have watched Game of Thrones, you will know what this cave looks like and what treasure it hides in its depths.

Grjótagja​
Underground Reflections of Light – Grjótagjá, Iceland Via Ron Kroetz

The history of this cave dates back to the 18th century, when an outlaw, Jon Markusson, took this cave as shelter and made it “home”. After Markusson’s death, locals used to visit this cave and bathe in its thermal waters until 1970.

In the ’70s, the Krafla volcano erupted nine times, which led to increasing the spring’s water boiling. The event made this cave a dangerous place for people because of the high chance of rocks falling down from the ceiling.

Since then, this cage has been open only for a 5-minute visit. Bathing is forbidden because of safety reasons, and people can only take some quick photos and leave.

Additional Info

  • Location:  Grjótagjá
  • Entrance Fee: Free entrance. Visitors can take some pictures in no more than 5 minutes and leave. *Forbidden for swimming because of the danger of stones falling from the cave’s ceiling.
  • Water Temperature: 109°F to 114°F

Hoffell Hot Tubs

Just 12 miles north of Hofn, you will find the Hoffell hot spring tubs. These basins are built between rocks, providing spectacular sights of the surrounding snowy mountains.

Hoffell-Hot-Tubs​​
Hoffell Hot Pots Via James Brooks

The tubs are small and placed next to each other. The entrance fee is drastically lower than other popularized hot spring destinations. Because the place is not so popularized, the payment options are limited and accept only cash.

However, if you choose to stay in some of the nearby accommodations, like the Hoffell Guesthouse, you can use the tubs for free!

Additional Info

  • Location: Hoffell Hot Tubs
  • Entrance Fee:
    • $7 per adult
    • $2 for children from 10 to 17 years
    • $3.5 for elderly and disabled adults
    • Free for children younger than 10 years
  • Water Temperature: Around 140°F

Final Thoughts

A trip to Iceland would be incomplete if you don’t visit some of its popular hot springs and thermal spas. There are so many available options for everyone’s taste, budget, and needs.

So, which thermal bath are you going to add to your travel list?

About The Author

Vanessa Locampo

Vanessa is an Australian-based freelance writer and editor with a BA in Creative Writing. She’s passionate about creating travel content that inspires her readers to take a leap of faith and power through their bucket lists. When she’s not writing (with her border collie asleep at her feet), she’s devouring books, exploring the world, or planning her next trip.

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