Iceland’s other-worldly landscape happens to be home to some outstanding natural hot springs. These thermal baths can be found at points all across the giant island, so for those looking for a mineral springs road-trip destination, Iceland (ISL) brings the heat! Both primitive pools and developed resorts are available. Camping and lodging too are never far off.
List of Thermal Springs in ISL
Around 366,000 people live in Iceland and even more visit annually, some of which access its dozens of natural hot springs around the country. About a forty-five-minute drive from the capital city of Reykjavík is among the world’s most iconic hot spring destinations, the Blue Lagoon. Put this on your bucket list and then escape consider looping the island to see its real mineral water gems.
Map of Thermal Springs in ISL
- Click on a blue pin to view hot springs pool.
- Click the upper right corner to view the Iceland Hot Springs Map in a new window.
Local ISL Hot Springs
Whether you’re visiting Iceland’s largest city, the capital city, or venturing out into the countryside, there’s a local hot spring to be found. When it’s time for some rest and relaxation in this northwestern European island country, there are few options better than the local thermal mineral water. From Reykjavik, you can be at a number of excellent springs, some primitive pools, some resorts.
Guide to Iceland’s Natural Hot Springs
Iceland is the land of ice and fire, the home of Vikings, and an epicenter of hot springs. This nation, which was the last major landmass to be settled by humans, has a ton of volcanic activity which makes it the perfect environment for thermal bathing.
In fact, residents of Reykjavik have nearly two dozen hot springs options within driving distance of the city. Here, you’ll find a breakdown of some of the major mineral bathing sites in both the east, central, and west areas of the country.
Near the Reykjavik Keflavik Nas airport is Blue Lagoon, a naturally occurring geothermal pool that steams in the cold air. The access to the pool is an aquatic entrance, meaning that visitors don’t have to run through the cold to get to the vast, heated water. This water is a unique, opaque turquoise dotted frequently with small rock formations, like tiny islands shivering in a cloud of fog.
Blue Lagoon includes dining options, massage and other therapeutic services, as well as a fully stocked bar with adult beverages to enjoy in the water. Unlike most other bathing spas, at Blue Lagoon you can get an in-water massage. Blue Lagoon recommends splitting up the average bathing time of four hours into two sessions with each being around two hours in length. Other Eastern thermal springs are:
- Kvika Footbath
- Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River
- Guðrúnarlaug hot spring
- Reykjafjarðarlaug Hot Pool
Toward the midpoint of the country, you’ll find Kerlingarfjoll Hot springs, a thermal pool found in the breathtaking reddish dirt of the Kjölur area. You can hike through the steam that covers the mountain where the hot springs are. Tours frequently go out to allow visitors to hike the steep terrain with a knowledgeable local guide.
Here, the mineral makeup of the hot springs turns the mostly russet soil green and sometimes yellow. For tourists looking to have that ‘reached the end of civilization’ feel, visiting these springs will provide just that. This area is uninhabited and not overrun with guests. Also in the center of the nation is:
- Secret Lagoon Iceland
- Hrunalaug Hot Spring
Near the coast is Vök Baths, which include floating geothermal infinity pools suspended over a cold lake. The venue is a spa, where bathers have access to two different types of bars. One serves alcohol and one serves a variety of teas. The really awesome thing about this is that all teas are made with the same water that fills the geothermal pools, so pure it is the only officially certified hot spring water in the country that’s drinkable as is, without filtration.
The wooden deck that hugs the perimeter of the infinity pools has a built-in staircase that leads directly to the lake, something visitors take advantage of when the hot water gets a little too sweltering. Also on the western side of the country is:
- Mývatn Nature Baths
- Geosea – Geothermal Sea Baths
Iceland has a wealth of geothermal activity, leading to a ton of high-quality hot springs. It seems that there is a thermal bathing experience for every one, whether it’s a tourist traveling with a family or a single person or couple looking to really lose themselves in the stark wilderness.
You can visit hot springs in the mountains, hidden in grasslands that are home to roaming reindeer, and even ones steeped in legend, rumored to be created by sleeping trolls.
Learn more about visiting Iceland on our sister site, Leisurely Lifestyle.