When in Iceland, you have to visit the hot pots. It’s a must, really. What better way to experience Icelandic culture than to do as the locals do and take a dip in a hot, steaming bath? There are so many spotted around the island, there is no excuse for anyone to miss out. So pack your bathing suit and towel- maybe some sandals- and let’s get this party started!
I’ve previously written about the do’s and don’ts of swimming etiquette as well as recommended some great pools in Reykjavík. However, I also believe there is plenty more to try outside the capital. Although I haven’t splashed my feet in all of the pools, here is a list of my favourite hot pots in Iceland (so far):
There’s nothing secret about this destination in Fluðir and I think it’s a great place to experience during your time in South Iceland. Built in 1891, Gamla Laugin was the first swimming pool in Iceland and the first swimming lessons began in 1909. There’s a lot of history here, including the original changing rooms seen in this photograph.
When most tourists think of Iceland, one of the first things that pops into their heads is “the Blue Lagoon!”. There’s reason for it’s immense popularity and I can personally attest as it made a great impression on me. Think of all the pictures I took! I loved it and it was a luxurious experience, although expensive. However, if it’s on the top of your Iceland bucket list, I say go for it.
Myvatn Nature Baths is the Blue Lagoon of the North. I prefer it the most of all the natural hot springs where you need to pay to enter. My visit to the north wasn’t complete without taking a dip under the midnight sun with a side of a waterfall massage. Who wouldn’t like this?!
Hofsós was a lovely surprise on my road trip in the north. The local pool of the town by the same name was simplistic with only one lap pool and a single hot tub. What was spectacular, though, was the view out into the fjords. A definite must-visit destination.
Located just a couple of minutes from the town’s campground, Drangsnes hot pots are the perfect place to relax and end another long day of driving. The shower is right across the street and the three tubs go from comfy, quite warm, to way too hot (in my opinion!). In any case, there’s a temperature perfect for everyone to embrace the stunning surroundings.
It was almost as if we had made it to the end of the world. Well, technically my camp mate and I swam right along the coast on the eastern side of Westfjords. Because it was a long trek to the pool, only the courageous and adventurous will be seen floating in a warm swimming pool.
If you’re heading clockwise along Westfjords, make a stop at Flókalundur’s hot spring, Hellalaug. It looks very natural with stones and large rocks surrounding the area. However, like many hot pots you visit, there won’t be any change rooms or bathrooms to visit. If you’re uncomfortable changing out in the public, just hop into your camper!
A little bit slimy, but one of the more unique hot pots found around Iceland. Pollurinn is hidden up a hill in Tálknafjörður. What’s excellent about this location is it has a shower and enclosed changing areas, so you can stay warm after hopping out of the pools.
Surprisingly, it took me over a year of living in Iceland (and my sister to visit) to finally check out Seljavallalaug, the famous hot pot in the southern region. I definitely liked the location set in a valley as if you’re in the middle of nowhere.
There’s no better way to enjoy the perfect day in Iceland- sun shining, no wind, first visit from mom- than dipping into the foot bath at Grotta near the tip of Seltjarnarnes. It’s located just outside of donwtown on the peninsula, and on a great day there’ll be killer views like this one.
Only a 3km hike from the parking lot, this hot spring river in Hveragerði is an excellent way to experience the nature of Iceland. The freezing cold and hot water is a perfect mix that will truly be an event to remember. One word of advice is to go early in the morning and I guarantee you’ll miss the crowds!
Have you been to any of these hot pots and natural hot springs? Did I miss something on the list? Let us know in the comments below.
Until next time, safe and happy travels!
To check out Lea’s adventures, follow her on Instagram @coolitchcowski
To read more about Lea’s Happy Camper Adventures in Iceland check out these articles:Rules of the RoadWestfjords and What to ExpectHappy Camper’s Official Packing List for a Great Road Trip