5 Iceland Hot Springs Where You Can Take A Relaxing Dip
Iceland’s unique geothermal energy creates one of the coolest… erm, hottest features of the island. While some of the hot springs are so hot that even putting your hand near the water can scald your skin (some are even far past boiling), others are the perfect temperature for a swim — even in the middle of an Arctic-feel winter.
1. Blue Lagoon
You’ve probably seen photos of the bright blue waters of the Blue Lagoon — many people come to Iceland just for this spa. But it might surprise you that the Blue Lagoon isn’t natural. It was created from runoff from a geothermal energy plant. That sounds like something you wouldn’t want to swim in, but it’s not filled with bad chemicals. Actually, the water is known around the world for containing minerals that make your skin shine.
2. Seljavallalaug Swimming Pool
This swimming pool was built in the 1920s and was used for swimming lessons for locals for years. Now, it’s a totally free spot for relaxing, although you should know that it’s a 20-minute hike to the hot spring-fed pool and it is a pretty natural environment. That means there’s algae on the sides (slippery!) and only one scheduled cleaning each year (not the absolute cleanest…).
3. Secret Lagoon
If the Blue Lagoon is too crowded (you often have to book way in advance), head to the Secret Lagoon. It’s also a short drive away from Reykjavik, but it’s powered by real hot springs instead of geothermal runoff. It’s more chill than the Instagram hot spot Blue Lagoon, and you’ll feel totally at peace floating in the hot tub-like waters.
4. Laugafell Thermal Pools
This outdoor swimming pool is heated by mountain hot springs, so it’s a delight even with an alpine nip in the air. It’s in the dead center of the country, so we suggest this hot spring to those taking Iceland by camper van so you can warm right up in fresh clothes immediately after your swim.
5. Mývatn Nature Baths
The Blue Lagoon of Northern Iceland is the biggest spring of its kind in the area and has the best of both the Blue Lagoon’s mineral-rich runoff waters and the hot spring fed ones. The water here has some of the same healthy properties as the Blue Lagoon and sits right on top of very hot hot springs, so you’ll feel incredibly pampered (without quite so many tourists).