Iceland – hot pools paradise!

Hidden in the mountains, surrounded by lava fields, small or big, natural or built with a little help of people – Iceland has many different types of hot pools dotted around the island.

Wild hot pools in Iceland



If I was to choose three things, that I liked the most in Iceland, one of them would definitely be hot geothermal pools. That feeling of dipping in the hot water somewhere in the middle of nowhere with a glass of wine in your hand – unforgettable!

Apart from the natural hot pools, in almost every, even small Icelandic town, you will find heated swimming pools with hot tubs (small containers with water temperature ranging between 38-44 °C, where you can sit and relax). The entrance to them is really cheap and you can swim, chill out and warm yourself up if the Icelandic weather wasn’t nice to you recently 🙂

Wondering where in Iceland did we go to? Check out the previous post: Iceland – where to go in a week?

Which pools to go to?

There are also some famous artificial pools like Blue Lagoon or Secret Lagoon in the south Iceland or Myvatn Nature Baths in the north.

But I, of course, prefer the natural ones!

You can check the location of different hot pools, natural and artificial ones on the map in the website here:

http://hotpoticeland.com/

We visited quite a few during our short stay on Iceland.

Here you can see the location of those places on the map.

My favourite hot pools in Iceland:

  1. Seljavellir – “Abandoned pool”

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It’s hidden in the mountains between the Eyjafjallajökull Erupts Visitor Centre and Skogafoss. There is about 20 minutes walk from the car park until you reach the small building with the pool in front of it. It was built in 1923 (which makes it one of the oldest in Iceland!), but then it was left abandoned and now is visited by happy tourists, who like to swim in its warm waters. The water comes to the pool from the geothermal spring through the rocks. However, because it’s mixed with rain water, it’s not very hot, but still pleasantly warm. It’s the best to choose the place, where the spring drops into the pool – it’s much warmer there. The building next to the pool is used as a changing room – there are no other facilities and no toilets around either.

I was a bit surprised about the number of people visiting that place. It wasn’t crowded, but as for the “hidden place” I would have thought that there should be much less people. But I guess, if something ends up in internet it’s not hidden any more.

The pool was really nice, surrounded by mountains and deep and long enough for swimming. We enjoyed our red wine looking at the sun shining on the hills around us. The only problem was a bit of a algae floating around that made our swimming suits green after we came out of the water 😉

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  1. Hoffel hot tubs

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Those small pools are located close to Hofn and the Hoffellsjökull (Hoffells glacier), which is a part of Vatnajökull  glacier. They are 5 tubs filled with hot water. The water containers and the pipes leading to each of the pools from geothermal springs  providing fresh hot water, were built by the land owner. There is a small car park and mountains all around.

Unfortunately, when we were there the weather was quite bad with a lot of clouds and a drizzling rain, so we haven’t seen many views, but staying in the pool was nice anyway. There is an outdoor (hot!) shower and changing rooms with a toilet (no plug though if you are thinking about charging something or drying your hair).

At the entrance to the pools there is the box where you can pay 500 kronas for helping to keep the facilities in the good condition.

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  1. Hveragerði hot river

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In the geothermal area of Hveragerði, hidden in the mountains, is a special river. Its temperature goes up to 40 degrees, although it depends in which place you choose to stay – it’s much warmer on the top. To get there, you need to follow 3,5 km (1h) Reykjadalur hot spring trail, that leads you through the steaming geothermal area with bubbling hot springs and mud pots. The walk through the hills is really nice with great views. And when you reach the river, you will see that your efforts were worth it.

Around the most popular part of the river, you can find wooden platforms, that help with the muddy ground and also simple changing rooms (or rather walls). It’s probably better to not to go too far up the stream, as the water gets hotter there, but it’s good to be high enough, so you can enjoy the heat.

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  1. Laugardalslaug – Reykjavik swimming pool with hot tubs

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Picture from google images.

It’s one of the biggest Reykjavik outdoor pools with several hot tubs outside. The water in the pool has around 28°C and hot tubs are from 5-8 °C (so you can cool yourself a bit – which is really needed after spending too much time in the hot ones!), through 38, 40, 42 and 44 °C. There are also some smaller pools for kids, steam room and indoor swimming pool with other facilities. After paying entrance fee you stay there the whole day.

It’s especially handy if you are staying at the Reykjavik campsite nearby (very nice one!), so you can just walk to the pool anytime you want

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Picture from google images.

Any other?

There are some other hot pools around, worth to try, but we didn’t have time to visit all of them and we were really happy with the ones that we tried. We were hesitating if we should try Blue Lagoon, but after all we wanted to focus more on natural and not so crowded ones, and we ended up not having enough time for it anyway 😉 But I guess if you like more luxury things and don’t mind paying quite high entrance fee, or you don’t have enough time to try out the wild ones located further away – you can try it out.

Have you been to any of those or maybe you know some other ones worth to try? Share in the comments!

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