Marteinslaug Hot Spring Travel Guide
Marteinslaug hot spring is a hidden gem near Geysir geothermal area that few tourists discover while touring the Golden Circle.
Most standard Golden Circle tours overlook Marteinslaug hot spring. Renting a car is one of the best ways to visit this geothermal spring. Travelers could also book a self-drive tour and adapt their itinerary to include a stop at Marteinslaug. Try this eight-day self-drive camping trip or this self-drive summer tour, including the Golden Circle attractions.
Most tourists move to the Gullfoss waterfall after visiting the Geysir geothermal area, so Marteinslaug is a lesser-known spot for travelers to enjoy. The hot spring is an excellent Golden Circle add-on for travelers who like to explore off the beaten path and discover Iceland's hidden hot springs.
Photo by Regina Hronn Ragnarsdottir
About Marteinslaug Hot Spring
It is one thing to visit a tourist attraction with beautiful scenery and exhilarating activities. But when the location is a secret unknown to many, the experience of witnessing nature's marvels offers added excitement.
Marteinslaug hot spring is one such location. From its algae-covered rocks and the poolside timber, Marteinslaug boasts a rugged setting for a hot spring soak surrounded by nature.
Marteinslaug hot spring is a shallow pool with a depth of roughly two feet (60 centimeters). The temperature ranges from a bearable 102 F (39 C) to a very hot 109 F (43 C) at the source.
The hot spring is 10 feet (3.1 meters) long and 3.9 feet (1.2 meters) wide. It has sufficient space for between three and five people.
This hot spring is ideal for travelers eager to try the famed therapeutic Icelandic thermal waters. Visitors can dip their feet, and those who enjoy higher-end water temperatures can sit in the spring.
The hot spring can be very slippery in places, so it may not be the best option for older tourists or those with mobility issues. Visitors should be cautious in and around the hot spring.
Getting to Marteinslaug Hot Spring
Just over a mile (two kilometers) from the Geysir geothermal area, the Marteinslaug hot spring lies in the shadow of the great Strokkur geyser, which shoots superheated water into the air.
If weather conditions are poor, Marteinslaug's secret location is only accessible by an offroad vehicle. In the height of summer, all vehicles can access the gravel road to get there.
Marteinslaug hot spring is just under 68 miles (109 kilometers) from Reykjavik. Leaving Reykjavik, head to Geysir geothermal area and turn left onto the F333.
From the Strokkur geyser, drive 1.2 miles (two kilometers) along the road until you reach the Haukadalskirkja church. A gravel road leads you to the Haukadalsskogur woods, a beautiful forest area.
Visitors can park and ask for directions at the visitor information center. Or, follow the walking path to the Kaldilaekur stream. You'll find the Marteinslaug hot spring next to the stream.
Photo by Regina Hronn Ragnarsdottir
Why is Marteinslaug Hot Spring a Favorite for its Visitors?
Marteinslaug hot spring is secluded, making it ideal for those who like to get away from the crowds. There are no facilities in the area aside from the small information center. The lack of facilities is a small price for the chance to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy a serene experience.
Without buildings and artificial lighting, it's easy to appreciate the area's untouched beauty. During the winter months, Marteinslaug hot spring is a beautiful place to watch the northern lights since no light pollution obstructs the view.
Travelers will find other lesser-known attractions on the road to Marteinslaug hot spring.
Take time to discover the Haukadalsskogur forest, where you parked your car for the hot springs.
This national treasure is one of the country's most significant cultivation and revegetation projects, representing efforts to combat land erosion. Walking between the towering and lush trees of the forest is a nature lover's paradise.
On your way back along the road, check out the quaint Haukadalskirkja Church. Built in the 1800s, the church lies on the foundations of an even older church dating back to the year 1100 or earlier.
Kualaug hot spring
Just 142 yards (130 meters) back along the road to Geysir lies the Kualaug hot spring. If you fancy trying another lesser-known hot spring, this one consists of two separate small pools at comfortable temperatures. Sometimes muddy, they are best for those who like a rustic experience amid nature.
The Golden Circle
The ever-popular Golden Circle route boasts three of Iceland's top attractions. You'll pass the Geysir geothermal area when you drive to Marteinslaug hot spring. Explore the boiling mud puts and impressive geysers, and grab a meal at the restaurant before you head on to the next adventure.
Then visit Gullfoss waterfall, impressively dropping in two tiers to the river Hvita. It's gorgeous any time of the year. Whether it's coated in snow and ice with the northern lights rippling above or shimmering in mist-made rainbows under a midnight sun, it's sure to impress.
Finally, stop by Thingvellir National Park to explore the rolling rivers, gorges, and glorious cliffs forged by shifting tectonic plates. Adventurous souls may scuba dive or snorkel in the impressively clear waters of Silfra. Others can enjoy meandering the path between the Eurasian and North American plates.