The hot springs of Iceland are known far and wide, with travellers from different parts of the world flocking to the country to soak and rejuvenate in the healing geothermal pools.
No matter where you go in Iceland, there’s guaranteed to be a hot spring waiting for you. Brace yourself to unleash your inner Viking on a hot bathing adventure in Iceland with this quick guide.
Why a Hot Bath Adventure is a Must in Iceland
Iceland serves as the home to some of the world’s hot springs, with geothermal energy that creates bathing spots that offer amazing health benefits and are surrounded by spectacular views.
Aside from the popular manmade Blue Lagoon, the country has an extensive selection of natural geothermal water pools that come in all shapes and sizes. You can choose from views of the ocean, mountains, meadows, or even volcanic landscapes as you soak in the hot spring water.
Just remember that some of the hot springs in Iceland have no facilities, such as changing rooms or outdoor showers.
Why Are There So Many Hot Springs in Iceland?
There’s a reason why Iceland is dubbed the land of ice and fire. The volcanic and glacial terrain of the country offers some of the most unique spots in the world for taking photos.
Iceland is located across a boundary point in the middle of two tectonic plates known as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, sitting atop an area with high volcanic activity. It explains why you’ll find plenty of natural hot springs, also known as geothermal pools, in Iceland. The super-hot or volcanic molten rocks underground heat up the water.
How Hot Are Iceland’s Hot Springs?
The Icelandic hot springs’ temperatures are dependent on the depth at which the water is heated underground, the speed of the water floor, or whether or not it combines with cold water.
Most of the pools have temperatures ranging from 36° to 44°C, or 96° to 111°F. It means that they might be a bit too hot if you’re only after a cozy soak. Some pools can get extremely hot, so make sure you always do your research before you take a dip.
Where to Go in Iceland for a Hot Bathing Adventure
Natural hot springs can be found almost everywhere in the country, most of which are near Reykjavik, the capital city. But with all the options to choose from, where should you go for a soak? Take a look at some of the perfect hot springs where you can enjoy a relaxing, refreshing, and rejuvenating soak.
- The Hard-to-Miss Blue Lagoon
No guide to the dreamy hot springs of Iceland will ever be complete without mentioning the Reykjanes Peninsula’s Blue Lagoon. Many people attest to the regenerative abilities of sulfurous water rich in silica as well as the silica mud used for face masks.
Visitors love slathering this mud on their faces for a full hot spring experience, while some love to sip their favorite cocktails during the hot soak. The average water temperature ranges from 37 to 39°C, or 98 to 102 °F. Aside from food and drink, massages and a session in a sauna or steam room are also available.
- Husafell Canyon Baths for the Ultimate Wilderness Experience
Husafell Canyon Baths offers its visitors the real deal with the ultimate soak in the wilderness. Locals built the geothermal pools snuggled in a canyon using locally sourced materials, such as the stone that came from the canyon floors themselves.
For environmental protection, guests are only allowed to visit the area as part of a tour. The tour begins with a quick bus ride from the Husafell Activity Center. This is followed by a hike down the set of 64 stairs before jumping into the hot water.
The two pools have varying temperatures between 30 and 41 °C, and it’s a pleasant experience to go for a swim after dashing to the water from the timber change room. Just don’t forget to bring your refreshments and food since no cafes or restaurants can be found here. But this is what makes the baths magical and authentic. It gives you the chance to truly soak up nature in all its glory.
- The Budding Hvammsvik
Hvammsvik is the most recently opened Icelandic geothermal pool that has become the talk of the town right away for good reasons. With eight hot springs dotting the black sand beach, mountains surround the site, and you’ll instantly feel like you’ve been transported to a different world.
You can spend your whole day hopping from one pool to the next. The site also has a steam bath, and adventure seekers are also welcome to grab their paddleboard and head to the ocean for a quick change of pace. You can also go for a hike if you want to bask in the beautiful scenery.
If you like to stay longer, four well-appointed homes are also located nearby, all offering daily spa use and unbeatable views of the scenic surroundings.
- Reykjadalur Valley for a Unique Soak
Reykjadalu Valley’s hot springs are well-loved among those who want to take a quick break from their Iceland adventure by soaking in the sulfur-blue waters before they head to the glaciers.
You can go for a hike of up to 3 kilometers on the slopes of Rjúpnabrekkur Ptarmigan, which leads to the hot steam valley of Reykjadalur and the hot streams, hot springs, and river.
After passing the bubbling mud pools, the borehole known as the Queen’s borehole or Drottningarhola, and the Djúpagilsfoss waterfall, you will arrive at a one-of-a-kind hot river.
You can also admire the pools with their milky blue water. However, since most of these pools are dangerously hot, make sure you stick to the path leading to the river, where there is a boardwalk for entering the water for free. Also, the water gets hotter as you go further up the river, so be careful.
- The Known Secret of the Secret Lagoon
Aside from being one of the most famous hot springs in Iceland, the sulfur-rich Secret Lagoon also happens to be the oldest natural pool in the country. Even though you’ll find lots of facilities in the area, such as a snack bar, it never loses its natural vibe. The active geysers also keep the pool regularly refreshed at cozy temperatures of 38 to 40°C, or 100 to 104°F.
Are you ready for your Icelandic hot bathing adventure?