Edit: June 8th, 2020 The Golden Circle in Southwest Iceland has for years been one of the more famous routes to go sightseeing in Iceland. The circle includes Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall or Golden Waterfall but that is where the name comes from. However, the Golden Circle has now got…
Edit: June 9th, 2020
Due to Iceland‘s position on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Eurasian and North-American tectonic plates pulling the country apart at the rate of about 2.5 centimeters a year, you can find hot springs in an abundance in Iceland. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge, also called the Reykjanes Ridge, runs under the Reykjanes Peninsula, Þingvellir and Geysir geothermal area, Langjökull and Hofsjökull glaciers and then goes up north through Mývatn and the Krafla area and then again to sea. A small part of the ridge goes under Eyjafjallajökull, Katla, and Öræfajökull in Vatnajökull glacier before joining the rest of the ridge in the north.
It is most likely you will find hot springs in the area near to or on the ridge. Check out our awesome map:
Hot Springs in Iceland
There are a few things better than to soak in a natural hot spring after a long day of hiking and activities. Color codes on map:
Easy to access Hot Spring are Blue.
Only 4×4 access to Hot Spring is Orange.
Tour operator access to Hot Springs is Black.
In West Iceland, near Húsafell, you find Deildartunguhver. The hot spring has a high-water flow rate of about 180 liters per second which makes it the highest-flow waterfall in Europe. The water emerges at 97° C, and some of it is used to heat up houses in Borgarfjörður and Akranes, 34, and 64 kilometers away.
Krauma spa is just a few meters away from the hot spring, and there you can bathe and relax in a beautiful setting. Due to the high temperature of the water from Deildartunguhver, Krauma mixes the water with cold water from Rauðsgil, which has its origins in glacier Ok which is Iceland’s smallest glacier. There are geothermal baths, a cold tub, saunas, and a relaxation room where you can relax in front of the fireplace and listen to soothing music.
At Laugarvatn you find the Fontana geothermal spa, which is built on top of a few hot springs that are on the lake’s shore. The staff of Fontana also bake bread in one of the hot springs there, and at 11:30 AM and 2:30 PM, every day you can for a small fee be able to see them take the bread out and have a taste. The baths have a few different hot tubs and pools as well as saunas and steam rooms. Those more adventurous can take a jump into Laugarvatn itself. Laugarvatn Fontana is a perfect stop while doing the Golden Circle since it is on the way to Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss waterfall.
Fontana is also a great place to relax after a long day of traveling and enjoy the hot tubs and the local style dinner buffet and possibly see the northern lights.
The Bore Hole in Kerlingafjöll
Kerlingafjöll or Old Lady Mountains in the Icelandic Highlands is a great place to visit if you want to see the Icelandic wilderness. You will need a 4×4 drive car to handle the rough F-Roads that lead there, and you can only do so in the summer. The pool you can enter was made around a borehole which was supposed to be used to heat up houses. Due to its remote location, there are no changing facilities there, so you either must do it in your camper or out in the open. If you do not have a 4×4 camper, you can take a bus trip there which is only available in the summer.
Mývatn Nature Baths in North Iceland
The Nature Baths, like the Blue Lagoon, is a man-made lagoon. The water in the lagoon comes straight from the borehole Bjarnarflag, which is owned by the National Power Company of Iceland. The water is about 130°C straight out of the borehole but is about 36 – 40°C when it flows into the lagoon.
The water is not unlike the water in the Blue Lagoon, filled with minerals and alkaline and despite the sulfur in it, it is excellent for bathing. It is not recommended you bring brass or silver jewelry into the lagoon since it can become black. The sulfur is considered to have a positive effect on respiratory diseases like asthma and other similar diseases.
In the Icelandic Highlands, you can find Landmannalaugar, a beautiful and popular area for hiking. Landmannalaugar is either the start or end of the Laugavegur hike, which is a 55-kilometer-long hiking route between Þórsmörk and Landmannalaugar.
You can find longer and shorter hiking routes in the area, along with cabins and a camping ground.
After a day of hiking, it is great to take a dip in the Landmannalaugar hot spring, from which the area is named after. The serenity of the place makes the area quite spectacular. There is no changing area there, so you either must change in the bathrooms and walk to the hot spring in your bathing suit or change by the hot spring out in the open air.
You can only go there during the summer months and only on a 4×4 wheeled camper.
The pool is the oldest swimming pool in Iceland, having been made in the late 19th century. It is situated near the village of Flúðir in South Iceland and is in the Golden Circle area. The water is a constant 38 – 40°C all year round and the natural surroundings give the Secret Lagoon a very calm feel.
It is a great place to relax in during dark winter nights and see the northern lights dance in the sky.
Other hot springs to visit:
Geysir geothermal area in South Iceland, Landbrotalaug in Snæfellsnes in West Iceland, Djúpavogskörin by Djúpavogur in East Iceland, Hellulaug in the West Fjords and the Geothermal Goldfish Pond in North Iceland.
For an in-depth look at all the Hot Springs in Iceland, check out our Ultimate Guide to Hot Springs in Iceland, where we list out every single one in Iceland, plus swimming pools and some cool bubbly ones.
Related Blog Articles
Take a look at what we feel are must-see places that aren’t talked about as much! The famous places are great, but Iceland has so much more to offer. Click to read more. So, you are making your checklist of things you want to see in Iceland. Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavík, Þingvellir National Park with…