Dipping into a hot spring, or blissing-out in the Blue Lagoon, are unique experiences to be savored during your Iceland vacation. Imagine seeing the Northern Lights, watching the light show streak the sky with wild colors, while sinking into a hot spring. It doesn’t get much better than that. Hot springs are formed by geothermal activity deep within the earth. Iceland’s springs are a happy result of volcanoes’ heat rising to the earth’s surface. Many have mineral waters with healing qualities. Relax, renew, and rejuvenate in Iceland’s natural gift to us.
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Gamla Laugin or The Secret Lagoon
This natural hot spring is in the Golden Circle. It plays a major role in Iceland’s history, and it’s one of the country’s oldest swimming spots. The setting has been kept pristine, and it is pure, iconic Iceland. There are several geothermal spots in the area, and a small geyser that erupts every few minutes. This is a magnificent place to be during the winter for viewing the Northern Lights.
This is one of the most luscious hot springs in Iceland. Inside the Hveravellir Nature Reserve, one of the last great wilderness areas in Europe, there are several warm pools of a brilliant blue. You’ll also find steamy fumaroles and bubbling water holes. This location is breathtaking—there’s a backdrop of glaciers and lava fields. While there, you can take a hike. Be amazed.
Tucked between two perfect mountains, this water is rich in iron. Dip in and delight in a natural world of bird song, native sheep, and foxes, the sound of wind rising off the land, and the deep relaxation of flowing rivers. You can also climb one of the surrounding mountains for wide vistas, or go into a narrow gorge to see only the bright blue sky above and hear the hissing geysers. This is a pure, sensory experience.
About two hours north of Reykjavik, and quite a bit of exploration, you’ll come across one of the most romantic hot springs in Iceland. It’s small, and it’s just right for two people. This is the hot springs that’s little more than a hole in the earth, but it’s serene and the scenery is awesome. This hot spring is an intimate and adventurous experience. Enjoy!
Reykjadalur Steam Valley
This valley, not far from Reykjavik is a must-see and must-explore. It’s a huge area dotted with boiling hot pots. Perhaps its most amazing feature is the river—it’s hot and you can bathe in it. At times steam covers paths, making it an almost mystical experience. If you climb up a steep trail, you’ll come to a roaring waterfall. For a larger experience of the land, consider a guided horseback riding tour in this geothermal valley. Stop and imagine what the first people who saw this valley thought.
This is a small hot spring in southwest Iceland, near the capital, and it’s one of the most unique. The temperature is ideal, and it’s a good place to connect with nature. The stone walls make it cozy, and the scenery is splendid. Hrunalaug is on a private farm, so guests are asked to be particularly respectful. (The owner welcomes guests, and asks that they keep the land tidy.) Long ago the spring was used as a sheep-washing station. Today, only human animals bathe in the waters.
The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is a purposely-created hot spring paradise. Dip in, and you’ll experience the glory of superheated sea water plus fresh water. It’s rich in mineral salts and fine silica mud, and all make your skin soft. Stand under the steamy-hot waterfall, and the powerful water gives you a good shoulder massage. Indulge in the spa offerings, and you can opt for an underwater massage. Take a break, with extraordinary views, and dine in the restaurant built into a lava wall. It’s popular, yes, but there’s a reason people make pilgrimages to this lapis-blue lagoon in a surreal black-lava field. Experience it!
Iceland’s hot springs hold tales of medical miracles and folk legends. Heated water holds more dissolved minerals than cold water, so the springs often have high mineral content. They are said to ease respiratory problems, boost circulation, increase oxygen flow, remove toxins, and reduce painful joint inflammation, and that’s just for starters. We believe that the landscape and mystic qualities of the hot springs are healing in themselves, and everything else is a beneficent bonus.
Interested in exploring the land of Fire and Ice? Discover our Iceland itineraries.