Where are the top hot springs in Iceland and just what makes them so special? Which ones are natural hot springs and which ones are geothermal spas? Can you bathe in them all year long? Read on to find out everything you wanted to know about Icelandic hot springs.


Contents

   - Hot Springs in Iceland

   - Top 5 Spa Hot Springs in Iceland
     The Blue Lagoon
      2 - Mývatn Nature Baths
      3 - Secret Lagoon
      - Krauma Bath Resort
      5 - Fontana Geothermal Baths

   - Top 5 Geothermal Hot Spring Pools in Iceland
      Seljavallalaug
      2 - Grettislaug
      3 - Krossneslaug
      4 - Guðrúnarlaug
      5 - Kvika Foot Bath

   - Top 5 Hot Tubs in Iceland
      1 -  Drangsnes Hot Tubs
      2 - Hoffell Hot Tubs
      3 - Ostakarið
      4 - Bjórböðin Beer Spa
      5 - Nauthólsvík

   - Top 5 Natural Hot Springs in Iceland
      1 Reykjadalur
      2 - Hellulaug
      3 - Landmannalaugar
      4 - Laugavallalaug
      - Víti in Askja

   - Top 5 'No Bathing' Hot Springs & Pools in Iceland
      1 -  Geysir
      2 - Grjótagjá
      3 - Snorralaug
      4 - Bláhver
      5 - Brimketill

Hot Springs in Iceland                

Iceland is the land of ice, fire and water, water, WATER! The country is situated on a 'hot spot' on the earth, resulting in a lot of geothermal activity, but there are also glaciers dotted all over the country. This mixture of geothermal activity, ice and fire, means that there are numerous waterfalls, lakes and hot springs all over the island that can be enjoyed all year round, no matter what the weather is like!



One out of two natural hot spring pools by Laugarfell mountain hut in East Iceland.Photo from Eastern Landscapes | Super Jeep and Hot Spring Tour

All warm water in Iceland is geothermal; it comes boiling hot, from the ground, and straight into people's homes. Rather than needing to warm up the water it needs to be cooled down in order to enjoy it.

This results in dozens of swimming pools which are dotted all over the country - with a total of 17 in the greater Reykjavík area alone! All of these pools will provide you with soothing, warm waters that are perfect to relax in.



Unlike the swimming pools, the hot springs occur naturally. Some of Iceland's hot springs are boiling hot fumaroles, bubbling mud pits or spouting geysers, but others are calm pools of water that have the perfect temperature in which to bathe. Many of those have been transformed into popular bathing spots.

In some places, there is natural hot water coming from the ground but no suitable area to bathe in, so locals have built a pool to contain the water, and sometimes the water is too hot for a dip, but by mixing it with cold water it becomes just the right temperature.

You can't bathe in all of Iceland's hot springs!

So in Iceland, you can find hot springs of all sizes and shapes, fully natural ones or natural ones that have had a little help. In fact, the term 'hot spring' is a little problematic. People sometimes have different opinions on what can be considered a hot spring in Iceland, as some can be described as warm pools, hot tubs, spas, geothermal lakes, swimming pools or even geysers.

Bathing in Iceland's warm waters is, however, equally popular with travellers and locals alike, and the versatility is so great that they should cater to all types of travellers. So here you are presented with a few options. Note that the best way to reach most hot springs in Iceland, especially the natural ones that are off the beaten path, is to rent a car and drive there yourself.



Top 5 Spa Hot Springs in Iceland           

The Blue Lagoon is Iceland's most famous spa

Iceland boasts some natural hot springs that are free to enter but they lack any type of facilities such as changing rooms, showers or bathrooms.

Therefore, a number of other hot springs and pools charge entry, but in return have great guest facilities, and have consequently become the most popular hot springs in Iceland. These would, by many people, be classified as spas, although they all have a hot spring element.

Here you can read about Iceland's most popular spa-like bathing spots, and find out what makes them unique.

1. The Blue Lagoon           


The Blue Lagoon is by far the most known and popular hot spring in Iceland. The light blue, milky waters are the perfect 38-39°C in temperature, and this attraction has been named 'The Top 25 Wonders of the World' by the National Geographic. 

Although the water itself is fully natural, and full of rich minerals such as silica and algae, the lagoon didn't form naturally. It appeared by accident in 1976, caused by a man-made construction. It wasn't until 1981 that the first person tried bathing in it, and ever since then, it's soothing qualities and healing waters have only increased in popularity.

Today, the lagoon is world famous and by far the most impressive spa resort in Iceland, featuring several restaurants, cafés, in-water bar, hotel, a gift shop as well as private facilities, a relaxing area and massage facilities.

The lagoon is ever-expanding in size and entry to the lagoon is limited, so even though it's sold out it never becomes jam-packed. However, you will need to book your entry well in advance - and it comes with the highest price tag of all the bathing options in Iceland.

The Blue Lagoon is on the Reykjanes peninsula, only a 20-minute drive from Keflavík International airport and a 30-minute drive from Reykjavík, making it a popular first or last stop for arriving and departing guests. If you have a short stop in Iceland, then you shouldn't miss out on this great bathing spot.



2. Myvatn Nature Baths          


Another lagoon that's similar in texture and has the same blue colour as the Blue Lagoon is the Mývatn Nature Baths. This is northern Iceland's answer to the South's famous spa, and it is just as, if not more, appealing.

The Mývatn Nature Baths are a cheaper alternative that has become the preferred option for some that still crave that milky blue water, but feel that the Blue Lagoon may have become a little too popular.

Probably the only thing preventing some people from going there is how far it is from Reykjavík, about a 6-hour drive one way, so only suits those that are on longer journeys and planning on visiting the northern part of Iceland.

On-site, you'll, of course, find good shower and changing facilities, as well as a sauna and a café where you can grab some refreshments before or after your soak. And as a plus, the surrounding nature is stunning, making a trip to Lake Mývatn well worth the journey any time of year.



3. Secret Lagoon               

Secret Lagoon is one of Iceland's most popular hot springs

The Secret Lagoon near the village Flúðir is one of Iceland's oldest swimming pools, dating back to 1891. For years it was abandoned, but renovated and reopened in 2014 with brand new shower and changing facilities.

The pool itself is a comfortable 38-40°C, so just like a very large hot tub, and it is located not far from the popular Golden Circle, making it a great place to stop before or after a visit to this popular sightseeing route.

Aside from being a fantastic spot in which to take a dip, the scenery surrounding the lagoon is well worth the visit. Right next to it are bubbling hot springs, steaming fumaroles and even a small geyser that erupts every few minutes.



4. Krauma Bath Resort               

Krauma Spa is located in the West part of IcelandPicture from Krauma.is

Krauma Bath Resort is the newest member on this list, as it was only opened in late 2017. This modern spa is located right next to Europe's most powerful hot spring, Deildartunguhver, where it gets all its hot water from.

However, as Deildartunguhver is much too hot to take a dip in, the water at Krauma must be cooled down, and they do that by mixing it with cold glacial water from Iceland's smallest glacier, Ok. 

You can relax in beautiful black marble hot tubs, with a view towards Deildartunguhver or enjoy the soothing saunas on the premises. There are several hot tubs to choose from, 5 warm ones with varying temperatures and 1 cold one that's 5-8°C to boost your blood circulation.

There are also great shower and changing facilities as well as a modern restaurant on site. And as the place is brand new, it's still a bit of a secret amongst travellers, so there may not be many other visitors about.



5. Fontana Geothermal Baths               

The sauna at Fontana Spa is built over a natural hot spring!Photo from The Golden Circle & Fontana Geothermal Baths | Sightseeing & Hot Springs

Fontana Geothermal Baths are located right next to Laugarvatn Lake, about a ninety-minute drive from Reykjavík. Like the Secret Lagoon, it is also situated near the Golden Circle, making it a great addition to your trip of the famous trail.

The Laugarvatn area is located on a hot zone and the people in the namesake village have been using the hot water from the ground for heating their houses, cooking and bathing since 1929. 

In fact, one of the saunas at the Fontana Baths is the same one villagers of the past used (although renovated now). It is built over a steaming hot spring, and if it gets too hot inside then guests simply need to open the door to cool it down.

Adventurous guests can also wander down to Laugarvatn lake itself to cool off, even in the wintertime, as the lake is geothermal. The sand between the baths and the lake is warm due to this activity and at places, it is ideal for cooking traditional rye bread by burying it in the sand. You can taste freshly baked bread from the ground at the café located at the entrance to Fontana Spa.



Top 5 Geothermal Hot Spring Pools in Iceland     

Hofsós swimming pool in North IcelandHofsós swimming pool in Iceland. Picture credit: Mike Kelley

Besides all the man-made, concrete swimming pools with showers and bathroom facilities you can find dotted around Iceland's countryside (some of which are truly spectacular such as the infinity pool at Hofsós), there are also several pools that are a cross between a man-made pool and a hot spring.

The water might be all natural, but someone needed to pile up some rocks or make a concrete structure around it in order for people to enjoy it as a bathing location.

These are often in rural locations, only looked after by volunteers, a little hard to get to, and may or may not offer some changing facilities. It's unlikely you'll come across showers, bathrooms or trash cans, so remember not to leave anything behind when visiting.

1. Seljavallalaug               

Seljavallalaug pool by BiT from wikimedia commons

Seljavallalaug is on the South Coast of Iceland, between the waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. Although this is a man-made 25-metre long and 10-metre wide construction from 1923, its surroundings make you feel like you're in the middle of nowhere. 

You'll find it in a narrow valley with breathtaking natural surroundings. The hot water that trickles into it is completely natural and the pool is built into a mountainside that acts as the fourth wall of the pool. The water, however, isn't very hot and in wintertime, it's only lukewarm, but on nice summer days, it's just perfect.

Seljavallalaug has two small rooms where people can leave their clothes. Please leave these as tidy as you can as they are only attended to by volunteers very infrequently. The water in the pool is also only cleaned once every summer so it may look a bit dirty but the tranquillity and beauty around the pool make up for a bit of natural dirt.

In 2010, Seljavallalaug got completely covered with ash from the big eruption in Eyjafjallajökull, and a large group of volunteers spent days cleaning and restoring the pool to its former state.


The pool is a couple of hours drive from Reykjavík. To get there you just need to head south on the main Ring Road, past Selfoss and Hvolsvöllur. Slow down just before you reach Skógafoss and turn left to go towards 'Seljavellir' on a dirt road. Then it's about a 10-15 minute walk along a gravel track to the pool itself.

If you want to go with a tour group, this South Coast Tour is currently the only one that goes there. On this 14-hour outdoor tour, you will also get to see the deserted DC3 Plane Wreck. 



2. Grettislaug               

Grettislaug is a popular hot spring in North Iceland, named after the Viking Grettir the StrongPhoto by Vegahandbókin

In North Iceland, on the west side of Skagafjörður fjord, you can find two pools right by each other, Grettislaug and Jarlslaug. They are both circular with piled rocks surrounding them, and with fantastic views over the mountains and the sea, where the island Drangey stands tall.

Grettislaug is named after Grettir the Strong, a famous Viking from the Icelandic Sagas. Here you have access to an outdoor shower and the changing facilities are inside a little turf house. These pools are on a private property, so there is a small entrance fee.

3. Krossneslaug               

The views from Krossneslaug pool in Iceland's Westfjords are incredible!Photo from Siggi Mus at Flickr

At the end of the road number 643 on the eastern coast of the Westfjords, you'll find the stunning Krossneslaug pool. The pool is fed with warm water from hot springs in the nearby mountains, and there is also a slightly warmer hot tub to the side of it. 

There are simple changing and showering facilities here, and an honesty bucket to pay 500 ISK for entry and to keep the facilities clean.

Despite the long and slow drive on a gravel road to reach it, this pool is loved by its visitors because of its fantastic views and the isolated feeling of being at the edge of the world.



4. Gudrunarlaug               

Relaxing in a historic hot spring in West Iceland, GuðrúnarlaugPhoto from local blog Guðrúnarlaug Hot Tub | The Saga Hot Tub in West Iceland

Guðrúnarlaug is a reconstructed historical hot pool, named after Guðrún Ósvífursdóttir, one of the most well-known women from the Icelandic Sagas. These thermal baths have existed in this location for more than a thousand years, but for 140 years they were blocked due to a landslide. The reconstruction opened in 2009, to much delight of visitors.

It's situated in West Iceland, on the way to the Westfjords. To reach it you have to rent your own car as there are no scheduled buses or tours going here. Head north from Reykjavík on Ring Road 1, turn into road 60 towards the Westfjords and turn left onto road 589 until you reach Hotel Edda, which is located right by the hot spring. Entry is free and there is a small changing room on site.



5. Kvika Foot Bath               

Kvika Foot Bath is found on Reykjavík's shoreline, with a mountain viewPhoto from Vegahandbókin

Found near the lighthouse Grótta in the greater Reykjavík area is the little footbath Kvika. This man-made hot spring was designed by artist Ólöf Nordal and it sports one of the best views in town; over the city mountain Esja and the mighty Snæfellsjökull glacier.

Ólöf carved a small bathing pool, about 80-90 cm wide and 25-30 cm deep, into a large rock. The water, which is a constant trickle of warm water, comes from a nearby borehole and is cooled down to around 39°C. 

Both Kvika and the lighthouse Grótta are popular locations for locals to watch the sunset or the Northern Lights, perhaps with a beer in one hand. No changing facilities are in the area, as Kvika is only designed as a footbath, but entry is free.



Top 5 Hot Tubs in Iceland               

One of several hot tubs to be found in Laugardalslaug swimming pool in ReykjavíkOne of many hot tubs in Laugardalslaug swimming pool. Photo from Reykjavik.is

You've read about the geothermal pools, but there are also hundreds of scenic hot tubs to be found within Iceland as well. Each public swimming pool in Iceland boasts at least one hot tub, in some cases up to 6 or 7 of them, and hot tubs are also not uncommon in private residences and at hotels.

If you'd like your own private hot tub, then you could look into renting a private summer cabin, but a large percentage of Icelandic summer cabins come with a hot tub.

Following is a list of man-made tubs, but ones that are in spectacular settings, often with views towards the impressive mountains or the enchanting sea.

1. Drangsnes Hot Tubs               

The hot tubs by the seaside at small town Drangsnes have no entry feePicture from 15 Day Summer Hot Spring Hunt Self Drive | Iceland in Depth

Right by the seaside, in the centre of the small town of Drangsnes on the Westfjords, you'll find three hot tubs. These tubs have free entry, and you can go in there at any time of the day or night.

The temperature varies from one hot tub to the next, but they are somewhere between 38-42°C. Across the road is a small changing facility, and you'll be sure to meet some friendly locals once you get into the tubs.

When you get too hot, then you can cool off in the sea right next to it. Just be careful on the rocks.

2. Hoffell Hot Tubs               

Hoffell hot tubs in East Iceland are surrounded with gorgeous sceneryPhoto from Hoffell Accommodation

There aren't many hot springs to be found in East Iceland, but the Hoffell hot tubs make up for it. The tubs are all neatly submerged into a bed of rocks, and the views of the surrounding snow-capped mountains are spectacular.

There are four different hot tubs located right next to each other. There is a small fee for entry but those staying at the nearby Glacier World accommodations can take a dip for free.

The hot tubs are situated 20 km west from the town of Höfn in East Iceland. Turn from the Ring Road onto road 984 towards Glacier World Guesthouse to reach them.

3. Ostakarid               

Ostakarið geothermal hot tub is popular with locals in Húsavík in North IcelandPhoto by Bergljót Snorra

Popular with the locals in the northern village of Húsavík, this free-entry tub, which sits around 20 people, may often be filled with Icelanders having a good chat about the weather, some local gossip or politics. It is situated just a little way out of town and any local can point you the right way to get there.

Ostakarið is made from iron and is nearly 7 metres long, 1,5 metres wide and 60 cm deep. The naturally heated water comes from a nearby well and is said to have great healing properties for people with psoriasis.

There are changing facilities on site and entry is free (although donations in an honesty box are welcomed).

4. Bjorbodin Beer Spa               

Bjórböðin Beer Spa in North Iceland

For a hot tub with a twist, why not try the Bjórböðin Beer Spa at the Kaldi brewery in Árskógssandur in North Iceland? Here you can enjoy the views of Eyjafjörður fjord and Hrísey island, with a cold one in your hand, soaking in hoppy, warm beer!

The warm beer is said to do wonders for your skin, and after a good soak, you're tucked in at a relaxation area. There is no age limit to the spa as the bathwater is undrinkable. Who would want to drink warm beer anyway?

You can book your entry and find out more here: Bjorbodin Beer Spa in North Iceland.

5. Nautholsvik               

Nauthólsvík geothermal beach in Reykjavík can be enjoyed all year round!

Besides the numerous swimming pools with all their hot tubs found within the larger Reykjavík area, there's also the city's own geothermal heated beach Nauthólsvík. Here you'll find both a hot tub at the edge of the seawater, as well as a larger but shallower warm pool by the changing facilities. Next to the changing facilities are also bathrooms, showers, a sauna and a small café.

The water in the hot tub by the sea varies in temperature, from 30-39°C, but the shallower pool is a constant 38°C. Even the sea right by the beach here is heated during the summer months and is about 15-19°C within the rock fence.

Entry is free throughout the summer months (from 15th of May until 15th of August). In winter the opening times are shorter, and a small fee applies to use the changing facilities.



Top 5 Natural Hot Springs in Iceland               


What about the natural hot springs out in nature, where there's no entry fee? There are a few dozens of them (some of which locals still want to keep secret so they don't get ruined!) But the question remains: Which ones to pick?

To get an idea of their differences read about these top 5 natural hot springs in Iceland, but keep in mind that there are several others to choose from, some with harder accessibility than others.

You can reach these hot springs by joining a hot spring tour or by renting a car and driving there yourself.

1. Reykjadalur               

Reykjadalur valley by Hveragerði town.

Reykjadalur (literal translation: 'Steam Valley') is one of the easiest hot spring areas to reach from Reykjavík. A short drive (45 minutes) brings you to the town Hveragerði and from there you can hike up to the warm river that flows down Reykjadalur valley.

The hike is not very demanding, although it is mostly uphill. It's not recommended for people that are afraid of heights since at one point you'll be hiking along the top of a deep gorge. 

Scenery en route to Reykjadalur hot spring river in IcelandPhoto from Regína Hrönn

If you are in good shape and don't make many stops along the way you should reach the river after about 45-60 minutes. However, the hike could take up to 90 minutes one way.

This obviously depends on how fast you walk and how often you stop to take pictures of the waterfall in the gorge and all the pretty bubbling muddy hot springs on the way. There are no facilities for changing your clothes when you get up there as this is real nature.

You can reach the Reykjadalur river on this hiking hot spring tour.



2. Hellulaug               

Hellulaug hot spring in Iceland's WestfjordsPhoto from Visit Westfjords

Hellulaug can be found in the Westfjords, just about 500 metres east of Hotel Flókalundur. If you are crossing Breiðafjörður fjord with the ferry Baldur, perhaps making a stop at Flatey island, then this hot pool is only a 5-minute drive from Brjánslækur where the ferry docks.

The pool is not seen from the road but is right by it. The water is a comfortable 38°C, and the pool is about 60cm deep, and if you get too hot you can always cool down in the sea which isn't far off! No changing facilities, bathrooms or showers are in the area.



3. Landmannalaugar               

Landmannalaugar hot spring poolsPicture from Landmannalaugar Super Jeep Tour

Landmannalaugar is an area that's known for its extremely beautiful multi-coloured landscape and is a very popular hiking destination.

Everywhere you look you'll see sandy mountains in red, blue, green, yellow, purple and black - and the best thing to do after an exhausting day of hiking is to relax in the hot geothermal pools that are waiting for you next to the campsite.

The pools stay consistently warm throughout the summer and have a steady stream of hikers relaxing in them. It is the perfect highland oasis.



Landmannalaugar colourful mountains

Take note that some parasites that bite guests have been found in these pools, but they are considered harmless. If you are allergic to mosquito bites then you may want to abstain from entering the pools.

Landmannalaugar is only accessible during the summertime, and only accessible with a 4WD car. To get there you'll need to cross some rivers, so if you're not used to driving in the highlands you may want to take a bus (special highland bus) or go on a super jeep tour to get there.

If you do drive yourself, then drive carefully and make sure you cross rivers where they are at their widest (as they are deeper and run faster where they are narrow). Ask other drivers you meet where is best to cross, as the rivers are constantly changing.



4. Laugavallalaug               

Laugavallalaug hot spring waterfall in East IcelandPicture from East.is

Not just a natural hot spring to bathe in, but a natural hot waterfall as well! Situated high into the eastern highlands, this natural pool is harder to reach than others. You'll need a good car to get near it as you need to drive up a 7km F road that's only passable for 4WD cars. Then there is a short 200-metre walk to reach the pool.

Alternatively, you can drive a 2WD car to Kárahnjúkar dam, then hike alongside Hafrahvammagljúfur canyon to the warm waterfall. The hike takes around 7 hours (with time for bathing included).



There are also two very nice natural pools, with a circular stone wall at the highland cabin Laugarfell that isn't too far away (and easier to reach). The perfect place to spend the night when exploring the area. Super Jeep tours and hiking tours operate from here or from the nearby town of Egilsstaðir.



5. Viti in Askja               

Víti hot spring in Askja by Henrik Thorburn from Wikimedia Commons

Also in the east part of Iceland, and relatively close to Laugavallalaug is the Víti crater in Askja, not to be confused with Víti in Krafla. The literal meaning of Víti is Hell.



Bathing in the hot spring Víti in Askja, IcelandPicture from Askja hiking and hot springs

The temperature of the water varies from 20°C to 60°C and the bottom is muddy. The volcanic crater can be dangerous because in some places the mud is scolding hot (east part of the crater). There is also a lot of sulfur in the water and sulphuric steam can cause people to faint.

But the place has been described as one of the most awesome and magnificent spots in Iceland and whoever stands on the edge of this crater will never forget the experience! 

Top 5 'No Bathing' Hot Springs & Pools in Iceland               

You don't want to enter any of the hot springs at Námaskarð geothermal area!

If you are not familiar with hot springs, then it may be hard to tell the difference between the ones that are safe to enter, and the ones that are not. Especially if there are no warning signs, or if the pool or spring in question looks perfectly safe to enter.

There are plenty of hot springs, pools, hot tubs and geysers, both natural ones and not natural ones that should not be bathed in when in Iceland. There are many, and various reasons why. Most of the time it's because it's simply too dangerous, either because the water is too hot, too unstable or too cold.

It should go without saying that any hot spring that has large boiling bubbles in it is too hot to enter. In the most popular geothermal areas, these hot springs are fenced off and will have a warning sign telling you to take care. That may not be the case with all hot springs in Iceland however. 

Any lake with icebergs floating in it is too cold to enter, don't bathe there and don't stand on the bergs as they can tip over at any given time and trap you in the water.

Other hot springs are on private property and the landowners do not care for masses of people going through their backyard, and some springs may be protected due to their historical importance.

Some of those look very appealing, however, and you might be tempted to have a dip. So it's always good to read up on the hot spring or pool you'd like to enter before jumping straight in. Here are a few ones that may look deceiving.

1. Geysir               

The hot springs around Geysir geothermal area are too hot to enter!

Although it has almost entirely stopped spouting water into the air, the geyser Geysir still contains extremely hot water which is way too hot to enter. 

The geothermal area surrounding Geysir has a variety of smaller geysers, including the famous Strokkur which erupts every few minutes. There are also several steaming pools or springs that look alluring, especially on a cold winter's day.

As this is one of the most frequently visited areas in Iceland, these hot springs are all fenced off, and warning signs can be found detailing that they are indeed up to 100°C hot.

However, in the year 2000 Geysir had an unexpected big eruption, and a large gathering of people that had been standing too closely had to run for their lives, with a couple of them burning their feet or legs on the scalding water. The earth surrounding the geysers can also be extremely hot, which is why people are asked to keep to the paths as to not sink their feet into the burning mud.

So it's always wise to take care at any geothermal area you may visit in Iceland.



2. Grjotagja               

Grjotagja cave and hot spring, picture by Chmee2 from wikimedia commons

Made famous around the world in a steamy scene between the characters of Jon Snow and Ygritte from Game of Thrones, Grjótagjá may look like the ideal place to take a warm bath. However, that's not the case.

The temperature of the water in Grjótagjá varies and became too hot for dips in the late 1970's (about 50°C). It's been cooling down since but may still be too hot to bathe in, depending on days and the earthquake activity.

Because of the varying heat of the water, loose rocks in the cave, and extremely slow water flow, it is now forbidden to bathe in the water. Just seeing it because of its spectacular beauty is well worth it though, and you can always go around the corner and bathe in Mývatn Nature Baths! 

Grjótagjá (Rocky Cleft) is not close to Reykjavík. If you happen to be travelling in the North of Iceland, staying in Akureyri and want to explore the stunning nature around Lake Mývatn, then you're not far away from Grjótagjá.

To get there: Drive east from the village Reykjahlíð (that's on the Ring Road), for a couple of kilometres, then turn right just before you reach the road to Mývatn Nature Baths.



3. Snorralaug               

The Reykholt village in west Iceland is one of the most important historical locations in the country. It is here where the medieval historian, poet and lawmaker, Snorri Sturluson, lived and, apparently, bathed as well because it is here where you can find his pool, Snorralaug.

The pool is one of Iceland's oldest structures and since this is a historical location, bathing is forbidding. The temperature in the pool is said to vary, becoming extremely hot at times and so bathing there could also be dangerous.

The pool is very small, only around 4 metres in diameter and 0,7-1 metre deep. It would therefore not handle swarms of bathers and would quickly become dirty and unappealing for visitors. 

However, visitors don't come here to bathe. They come here to visit the nearby Snorrastofa museum and learn about history, Norse mythology and the man who lent his name to the pool, Snorri Sturluson.

4. Blahver               

Bláhver hot spring in Hveravellir geothermal area

With that beautiful blue colour, Bláhver looks like the ideal spring in which to bathe, appearing calm and showing no signs of geothermal activity. Your mind might instantly think of how great a picture you relaxing in the azure waters would look, but this hot spring is perfectly hiding its deadly hazards.

Not only is Bláhver scolding hot and any bathing attempt would result in severe burns, but its edges are fragile and could break if trodden on, making an escape hard if one would enter.

This hot spring, along with several others nearby in the geothermal area of Hveravellir near Lake Mývatn, is luckily fenced off so guests can only enjoy its beauty (and smell) from afar.

However, there is the perfect bathing pool close by which uses natural hot water from the area that has been cooled down.

5. Brimketill               


This natural feature looks ideal for bathing, and some daredevils have entered its waters, such as can be seen in the video above. The clip is however shot years ago (on a very calm, nice and sunny day), before a ban was put up due to the incredibly dangerous surroundings of this natural pool.

Brimketill is not a hot spring, and its waters are far from being anything on the warm side. What you will get here is the ice cold Atlantic Sea, cold enough to give people hypothermia if they stay in for too long. On top of that, the slippery rocks are constantly being sprayed with seawater and these rocks are not a place you want to slip and fall.

On a beautiful, sunny day the water may look appealing, but the majority of the time this area has strong winds blowing through, with towering waves crashing on the rocks. Nice and sunny days in Iceland are also far and few between.

The name Brimketill means 'Whitewater Cauldron', due to the constant white horse of the breaking waves on the surrounding rocks. The sight is impressive to see, from a safe distance.

You can reach Brimketill by driving along the Reykjanes peninsula or joining a tour of the area.



What is your favourite hot spring? Do you have any favourite bathing spots in Iceland which were left out? Let us know in the comments below!