Iceland is currently one of the hottest travel destinations in the world, and understandably so! Iceland is a photographer’s dream and provides plenty of opportunities for stunning photos (just search #Iceland on Instagram). One of the biggest draws is the number of hot springs in Iceland. Iceland is situated between two continental plates, resulting in a lot of geothermal and volcanic activity. The Blue Lagoon is the most famous hot spring. However, there are plenty of other options available, each with their unique character and significantly less expensive.
Hot Springs In Iceland
Here we outline some of the best hot springs in Iceland that are more spa-like with changing facilities and admission fees.
- Myvatn Nature Baths
- Krauma Bath Resort
- Fontana Geothermal Bath
- Gamla Laugin/Secret Lagoon
- Geosea Geothermal Sea Baths
- Bjórböðin Beer Spa
Myvatn Nature Baths
The Myvatn Nature Baths is another lagoon similar to the Blue Lagoon with the same blue, milky water. Located six hours north of Reykjavik, this is a stop that we highly recommend on our Ring Road self-drive tours. The Myvatn Nature Baths are cheaper and less crowded than the Blue Lagoon, and the scenery overlooking the surrounding countryside is spectacular. On-site, there are showers and changing facilities, as well as a sauna and a cafe.
Krauma Bath Resort
The Krauma Bath Resort is relatively new as it opened in late 2017. This modern spa has a total of six baths, five warm, and one cold. Visitors can relax with the backdrop of Deildartunguhver, Europe’s most powerful hot spring, where Krauma gets all of its hot water from. The water from Deildartunguhver is too hot to take a swim in so it is cooled down by adding cold glacial water from Iceland’s smallest glacier, named Ok. There are also saunas, a relaxation room, showers, changing facilities, and a restaurant on site.
Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Bath
Located right next to Laugarvtan Lake, about a 90-minute drive from Reykjavik and situated near the Golden Circle, Fontana Geothermal Baths are a perfect addition to an Iceland self-drive tour. Enjoy the healing powers of Fontana’s steam baths where the steam used is not man-made but instead rises naturally out of the ground and into the steam baths. There are also relaxing outdoor mineral pools and a Finnish-style sauna on the premises. Visitors can wander down to the lake and jump in the invigorating cold water, although some parts of the lake have hot geothermal water bubbling up. Freshly baked bread can be enjoyed at the geothermal bakery, and you can pay for a tour to see the process. They also offer a tasty lunch and dinner buffet. Laugarvatn Fontana is often included as a stop on our Iceland Highlights tour.
Gamla Laugin a.k.a. Secret Lagoon
This is Iceland’s oldest swimming pool, and although no longer much of a secret it’s still one of our favorites! Some people even prefer the Secret Lagoon to the Blue Lagoon. This hot spring has a more casual feel with noodles available to float around. The abandoned changing room and the natural geyser that erupts a couple of feet into the air before flowing into the pool create an awesome setting that you will surely enjoy.
Geosea Geothermal Sea Baths
Geosea Geothermal Sea Baths are the newest additions to Iceland’s hot spring scene, having just opened in summer 2018. Located in the northern town of Husavik (the whale watching capital of Iceland), these baths have a prime location on a cliff overlooking the ocean. They are beautifully constructed with several infinity pools, and the views are spectacular. If you are lucky you may even see whales while soaking and relaxing in the hot geothermal water! Geosea has a very upscale feel, and due to its location off the Ring Road as well as its recent opening, Geosea receives far fewer visitors than any of the other hot springs mentioned here.
Bjórböðin Beer Spa
Although technically not a geothermal hot spring, we feel like this Bjorbodin deserves an honorable mention on this list. Located in Northern Iceland not far from Akureyri, Bjorbodin has done a fantastic job of creating a unique experience in Iceland. The main attraction here is the beer baths, which are wooden bathtubs filled with beer, water, hops, and yeast. These types of baths grew in popularity in the Czech Republic, and this is the first of its kind in Iceland. Enjoy a relaxing soak in the warm mixture with unlimited cold Kaldi beer on tap right next to the tub. Guests can book one or two people per tub. After soaking, lay down in the relaxation room. They also have an infrared sauna and outdoor hot tubs with panoramic views of the fjord and bay. Although it may sound like a gimmick, it is a delightful and relaxing experience!
The Blue Lagoon
Known for its blue, milky waters, the Blue Lagoon is one of the most popular and most visited hot springs in Iceland. The tourist attraction was named one of National Geographic’s 25 wonders of the world. The water, usually between 98-104°F, is rich in minerals and contains silica and algae, which has been known to help alleviate certain skin conditions. The Blue Lagoon can be experienced as either a day trip, often visited when traveling between Keflavik International Airport and downtown Reykjavik, or as a luxurious spa retreat with accommodation available at two Blue Lagoon hotels.
What many people might not know about The Blue Lagoon is that it is not entirely a naturally occurring hot spring, but rather an unplanned result of the Svartsengi geothermal plant located right next to it. The plant uses superheated water that is vented from the ground near a lava flow and used to run turbines. The steam and hot water pass through a heat generator to provide heat for a municipal hot water heating system. After the water is used to provide heat for the water system, it flows out into the lava field. However, the high silica content in the water mostly clogged up the usually porous lava, creating what is now the Blue Lagoon.
Small Group Tours To Iceland With Carpe Mundo
Carpe Mundo specializes in designing small group tours to Europe to incredible destinations like Iceland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Croatia, and Montenegro. We custom tailor our small group tours and self-drive tours to accommodate all your travel needs. Our travel specialists work with every customer to create the perfect trip itinerary with a balance of scheduled activities and free time to explore and relax. Our Iceland small group tours are some of our most popular, especially visits to some of the hot springs in Iceland. Whether you want a guided tour or prefer the complete freedom to create your itinerary and experience Iceland at your own pace, we will plan your perfect vacation. Our small group tours to Iceland have a maximum group size of only 7-12 travelers, enabling us to provide a more personalized experience with individual care and attention. Book your tour now, or if you would like to speak to one of our trip specialists contact us via phone or email.