Six hot springs in Reykjavik you have to visit

From the most iconic lagoon to a picturesque geothermal bay, this round up of Reykjavik’s best hot springs will lead you to total bliss in Iceland.

Six hot springs in Reykjavik you have to visit

From the most iconic lagoon to a picturesque geothermal bay, this round up of Reykjavik’s best hot springs will lead you to total bliss in Iceland.

BC23-ARTICLE-HOT-SPRINGS-REYKJAVIK-HEADER.webp

A trip to Reykjavik is one of the most magical experiences on the planet. Among the Icelandic capital’s unique highlights are the incredible hot springs within easy reach of the city. While some of them, like the fantastic Blue Lagoon, are landmarks in their own right, others are more of a hidden gem, like the Secret Lagoon which is as picturesque as it is soothing.

Whether you’re looking for romantic things to do or just want to experience Icelandic bathing culture for the first time, a dip in some thermal water is a must in the Land of Fire and Ice. This list will help you find the very best hot springs near Reykjavik, including an unusual hot river and a remarkable natural spa in an active volcano. Grab your bathing suit and get ready for a spa experience with a difference.

BC23-ARTICLE-HOT-SPRINGS-REYKJAVIK-Blue-Lagoon.webp

1. The Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon may just be the most famous geothermal spa in the world. You've probably seen photos of its vivid blue waters, but nothing will prepare you for the real thing. Book your Blue Lagoon tickets and slip into a world of warmth, well-being, and wonder.

What makes it so special?
Set against the dramatic backdrop of a black lava field, this mineral-rich lake is said to have incredible healing powers.

How far is it from Reykjavik?
Approximately 30 miles (50 km) southwest of Reykjavik.

BC23-ARTICLE-HOT-SPRINGS-REYKJAVIK-Reykjadalur.webp

2. Reykjadalur Hot Springs

Known as the Valley of Steam, Reykjadalur is a stunning valley with a hot river running down the center. The hills here are dotted with dozens of springs spouting boiling hot water. This thermal water trickles down to the river, creating a warm, soothing stream perfect for a soothing dip.

What makes it so special?
This is one of the most popular spots for hiking in Iceland. Choose your perfect bathing spot: go upriver for hotter water and downriver for a milder temperature.

How far is it from Reykjavik?
31 miles (50 km) southeast of Reykjavik.

BC23-ARTICLE-HOT-SPRINGS-REYKJAVIK-Sky-Lagoon.webp

3. Sky Lagoon

Nothing says luxury spa like an infinity pool, and the Sky Lagoon’s was built by nature. This oceanside hot spring has incredible views over the Atlantic Ocean, which is made even more dreamy as this geothermal pool steams around you.

What makes it so special?
Although the hot water and lava rock surroundings are all-natural, the Sky Lagoon’s facilities are all about luxury. Book a Sky Lagoon entry ticket that includes its signature seven-step ritual for the full experience — a cold plunge, full-body scrub, sauna, and steam, in addition to the hot soak. There’s a cafe serving Icelandic classics and a swim-up bar too.

How far is it from Reykjavik?
5 miles (8 km) south of Reykjavik.

BC23-ARTICLE-HOT-SPRINGS-REYKJAVIK-Secret-Lagoon.webp

4. The Secret Lagoon

The Secret Lagoon is Iceland's oldest swimming pool. This is not like any pool you know, though: it's filled with mineral-rich, naturally warm water. It might be man-made, but it’s completely powered by nature. Follow the walking path around the pool to see the incredible local geysers in action.

What makes it so special?
100% of the pool's water supply comes from the geysers in the area. It is continuously flowing, and is fully replaced every 24 hours, so you'll always enjoy clean, fresh water when you swim here. For the best experience, hop on a full-day bus tour of Golden Circle, Secret Lagoon, and Gullfoss waterfall from Reykjavik.

How far is it from Reykjavik?
65 miles (105 km) east of Reykjavik.

BC23-ARTICLE-HOT-SPRINGS-REYKJAVIK-Hverageroi.webp

5. Hvammsvik Hot Springs

With eight hot springs surrounded by breathtaking, unspoiled Icelandic landscape, it’s little wonder why Time Out Magazine named visiting the Hvammsvik Hot Springs the number one thing to do in the world in 2023. Each natural thermal pool varies in temperature, so you can choose the one you feel most comfortable in, or jump between them all.

What makes it so special?
Some of the pools are so close to the ocean that they disappear at high tide, but only for around an hour. This gives them their changing water levels and temperatures, and unique mix of hot geothermal and cold, salty seawater. Discover their unique healing properties with a trip to the Hvammsvik Hot Springs, including pickup in Reykjavik.

How far is it from Reykjavik?
34 miles (55 km) northeast of Reykavjik.

C23-ARTICLE-HOT-SPRINGS-REYKJAVIK-Landmannalaugar.webp

6. Landmannalaugar

Prepare yourself for a landscape that seems to come from another planet on the Landmannalaugar and Hekla Volcano hiking experience. You'll wander through a field of active volcanoes before reaching the Landmannalaugar pool, heated by volcanic activity. Its name roughly translates to “pool of the people,” and it’s one of the most rustic on this list.

What makes it so special?
This is a large hot spring, with plenty of space for around 40 people, and it gives you some amazing views of the surrounding volcanoes like Brennisteinsalda as you bathe. Get closer to the black lava rocks at the edge of the water if you want more heat.

How far is it from Reykjavik?
114 miles (183 km) east of Reykjavik.

FAQs

Are hot springs safe to bathe in?

Yes, although you shouldn't stay in the water for too long. It's often a good idea to enter for a 15-minute burst and then spend some time out of the water. Many hot springs have geysers nearby. Do not attempt to touch geyser water, as it is boiling and will scald you.

What should I bring when visiting a hot spring?

You should bring your own bathing suit and towel. Towels are often available to rent, but they can be expensive. If you want to wear a swimming cap and goggles, you'll need to bring them too. Some visitors also like to bring flip-flops to wear while walking around the spring. However, they are not obligatory, and Icelanders rarely bother with them.

Can I visit hot springs in winter?

Yes. The Blue Lagoon is particularly popular in winter, thanks to the contrast between warm water and cold air. Be warned, though: some of Iceland's natural hot springs require a bit of hiking to reach. These hikes may be easy in summer, but in winter, they can become significantly more complicated, requiring crampons and ice axes. You might prefer to stick to locations like Blue Lagoon and Secret Lagoon, which are easily accessible.

Do I need to make reservations for hot springs?

Spa-style hot springs like the Blue Lagoon require reservations, particularly if you're visiting in the high season. In particular, the Blue Lagoon often requires reservations months in advance. If you're not that organized, sign up for a full-day tour and let someone else take care of the reservations for you, so you can focus on enjoying your vacation.

Are there any health benefits to bathing in hot springs?

Yes. Bathing in warm spring water can help to relax your muscles, improve your circulation, relieve stress, and boost your immune system. In addition, most of Iceland's hot springs feature particularly mineral-rich water. This can work wonders for your skin, leaving you revitalized and ready to go.