Whichever season you decide to go on a trip to Iceland, there is one thing you will always need to bring with you: your swimsuit.
It may seem strange to you, but it really is.
Le spas in Iceland they are part of the local tradition and customs: in addition to some magnificent equipped establishments, you will find hot pools, warm rivers and pools everywhere where you can immerse yourself and relax.
The territory characterized by volcanoes and geysers, in fact, has given rise to numerous thermal springs whose beneficial effects can be "exploited" in man-made establishments and SPA centers or by reaching real natural pools.
Natural hot springs have been part of Icelandic culture since the time of the earliest known settlements. In fact, since the beginning of the centuries, Icelanders have known the benefits of bathing in the hot thermal waters, where they go to relax after hard days of work or travel.
But not only that: the pools are even considered one of the most important places to socialize, train and relax.
Swimming or bathing is not just a summer thing but if you come to visit theIceland in winter, you will not have to miss this opportunity.
Sitting in a hot tub on a cold, dark night, feeling the snowflakes gently settle on your nose while observing the starry sky or the Northern Lights, is nothing short of. an amazing experience!
Here 15 spas in Iceland which I suggest you reach during your stay on the island.
- 1 - Laguna Blu
- 2 – The Secret Lagoon
- 3 – The Fontana Spa Laugarvatn
- 4 – Myvatn Nature Baths
- 5 – Retreat Spa
- 6 - Krauma Spa
- 7 – Geosea Sea Baths
- 8 - Vok Baths
- 9 – Bjorbodin Beer Spa
- 10 - Vesturbaejarlaug
- 11 - Grafarvogslaug
- 12 - Spinal cord
- 13 - Reykjadalur
- 14 – Hoffell HotPot
- 15 - Grettislaug
- Map of spas in Iceland
- Tips for Spas in Iceland
1 – Blue Lagoon (Laguna Blu)
La Blue Lagoon is definitely the most famous of Iceland's spas.
The pools are immersed in a landscape with a mythical atmosphere: lava rocks covered with moss and lichens and high volcanoes in the distance. The steam that comes out of the water helps to make the place even more enchanted.
The blue waters that strike tourists so much have healing properties and are perfect for those suffering from skin problems.
In the establishment, in addition to the swimming pools where you can immerse yourself, you will find steam baths, a Finnish sauna, a artificial waterfall perfect for a natural neck and shoulder massage and a exclusive water bar.
La spa also has three restaurants, a cafeteria it's a Retreat Hotel (which I'll tell you about later, with a private SPA). The Moss restaurant offers fine dining, while the Lava restaurant serves classics for lunch and dinner.
La Blue Lagoon is located on the Reykjanes Peninsula, the stretch of land that connects the international airport of Keflavík and Reykjavík: you could take the opportunity to visit it before your return to conclude your trip in Iceland in a relaxing way.
Precisely because of its position it is perfect for stopping before resuming the plane.
Many bus transfers that ferry guests between the two locations stop here, as it's a fantastic place to relax and rejuvenate after or in preparation for a long flight.
The suggestion is to book your entrance ticket well in advance because the Blue Lagoon is always very busy and you may not be able to enter.
You can buy the ticket online of the Blue Lagoon with the red button below:
BLUE LAGOON TICKET
TRANSFER in BUS per LAGUNA BLU
If you want to enjoy the experience at your own pace, know that there are also two hotels on site to spend the night: the Silica Hotel and the Retreat Hotel.
How to get to the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is located just 20 minutes from Keflavík Airport and 50 minutes from Reykjavík.
To arrive by car: from both of these destinations, simply take the Reykjanesbraut (highway 41) for Grindavíkurvegur (highway 43) e follow the signs for Blue Lagoon.
To arrive by bus: there are buses and transfers that take you to the Blue Lagoon.
CLICKING Here you will find the return transfer from Reykjavík by bus.
Arrive with a tour: There are also here many tours that lead to the Blue Lagoon or that combine the Blue Lagoon with other attractions:
☞ Click to see the Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon Tour: Tour from Reykjavik - In my opinion the best budget tour. Includes the Golden Circle and the Blue Lagoon.
THE BEST -> ☞ Circolo d'Oro, crater Kerið e Laguna Blu: tour da Reykjavík - See the incredible Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon in one beautiful day. Visit the Þingvellir, Geysir and Gullfoss National Park. Relax in the waters of the Blue Lagoon with the included entrance ticket
☞ Click to see the tour Excursion to the Blue Lagoon + Northern Lights - Good in the winter months. You can relax in a warm thermal pool and contemplate the Northern Lights in a truly unique setting.
From Reykjavik: Reykjanes volcanic hike and Blue Lagoon option
OTHER TOURS to the BLUE LAGOON
2 – The Secret Lagoon
Although it's not really that secret anymore, the Secret Lagoon is one of the oldest swimming pools in Iceland and was built in 1891.
For a few years it was a swimming school, but in 1947 the place fell into neglect. Only in more recent times, in 2005, it was decided to give it a new life. It took several years to get this place back on track: its reopening was celebrated in 2014.
The supply of the swimming pool is formed by a small geyser which is located nearby and which gushes out every few minutes. The water flows continuously and its temperature is constant between 38 and 40 degrees.
Unlike other spas, the Secret Lagoon does not offer saunas, steam baths or massages: it was decided, in fact, to keep it as natural and respectful of local customs as possible.
On site, you'll find a simple bistro serving snacks and drinks, but no hot dishes.
It is recommended that you purchase admission to the Secret Lagoon in advance, especially in the summer when a lot of people go there.
As with the Blue Lagoon, visits are often included on other tours, such as the Northern Lights hunt and the Golden Circle sightseeing tour.
SECRET LAGOON TICKET
The Secret Lagoon is open every day from Monday to Saturday from 12:00 to 20:00
Closed on Sundays.
How to get to the Secret Lagoon
La Laguna is located in the beautiful villaggio di Flúðir, which is located very close to the Golden circle, Iceland's most famous tourist route. This path covers Þingvellir, a National Park between two tectonic plates with over a millennium of history; Gullfoss, the most famous waterfall in the country; and thegeothermal area of Geysir, a place renowned for its explosive hot springs.
As it only takes half a day to cover these sites, a visit to the Secret Lagoon is highly recommended, a fantastic way to unwind after your adventure.
To arrive car rental is recommended, or of take a tour from Reykjavik.
Below you will find one selection of recommended tours including the Secret Lagoon:
☞ Click to see the Secret Lagoon tour, dinner and Northern Lights - Treat yourself to a unique experience at Secret Lagoon: a bath in thermal waters, one Dinner and the prodigious phenomenon ofnorthern Lights!
☞ Click to see the tour From Reykjavik: Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon in 1 day - In my opinion the best tour from Reykjavik. In fact, you will see the Golden Circle and then you will relax after the "fatigue" of the day.
3 – The Fontana Spa Laugarvatn
Among the spas in Iceland that I recommend there is also the Fontana Spa a Laugarvatn, right on the shores of the lake of the same name.
The first thing I noticed upon entering Laugarvatn Fontana was the lack of people, despite the jaw-dropping views surrounding this spa. Having already visited the Blue Lagoon, I was bracing myself for long lines and quarrels with German tourists. No, not here, it didn't happen here, there were very few people (maybe because we were in winter?)
The pools here are three, they are connected to each other and vary in height and temperature.
On site you will find a sauna, but the best experience is to take advantage of the natural steam baths: the steam, in fact, comes directly from the earth through some grids in the floor.
After the experience, to cool off, just dive into the lake (if you're brave, I didn't).
FONTANA SPA TICKET
How to get to Fontana SPA Laugarvatn
The car is the best way to get to Laugarvatn Fontana on your own. I assure you that if you do the Golden circle it will be very easy to get there to spend a couple of hours of absolute relaxation.
Below, find the time and distance between Laugarvatn Fontana and the main nearby locations:
- Laugarvatn Fontana to Geysir Distance - 23 minutes (29,1 kilometers)
- From Laugarvatn Fontana to Gullfoss - 32 miles (38,8 kilometers)
- Laugarvatn Fontana to Thingvellir Distance - 29 minutes (31,8 miles)
- From Laugarvatn Fontana to Reykjavik - 1 hour and 7 minutes (77,6 kilometers)
If you don't have a car but are based in Reykjavik, there are tours you can take part in:
☞ Click to see the Golden Circle and Spa Fountain tour: tour from Reykjavík - Discover the natural wonders of Iceland's Golden Circle on a 9-hour tour from Reykjavík and see sites such as Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir Geothermal Area and Þingvellir National Park. After that, relax in Fontana's natural saunas.
☞ Click to see the Northern Lights Tour + Spa Laugarvatn Fontana - granted a Northern Lights tour after relaxing at the Spa Laugarvatn Fontana: it will be an experience you will always remember!
4 – Myvatn Nature Baths
The pools of Myvatn Nature Baths are located in the north of the country just an hour east of the regional capital, Akureyri and share with the Blue Lagoon, which I told you earlier, the same blue waters and the natural landscape of extreme beauty.
Although Myvatn Nature Baths is a man-made lagoon, the location in a near-arid land, the blue water rich in silica and other minerals, pleasantly warm, and recently rebuilt structures like the sauna all work great together, and the visit will certainly exceed your expectations.
Myvatn Nature Baths is a short drive from Hverir, which is a geothermal area, where you can get a feel for what the surrounding landscape looks like and how warm the water is below the surface.
Although the locals bathed in the area in their simple pools thousands of years ago, the Myvatn Nature Baths opened in 2004 and this place has been a true gem of northeastern Iceland ever since.
The pools are smaller than in the Blue Lagoon, but there are fewer tourists and the price is also lower.
The water of Myvatn Baths originates 2500 meters underground, but when it reaches the surface it is around 130 ° C. Don't worry, the pool water is around a pleasant 36 - 40 ° C.
The deepest point of the lagoon is 1,3 meters deep.
Water contains many minerals, including silicates, so it has calming effects on the mind and skin.
On site you will find some natural steam baths and a café where you can refuel with a sandwich or hot soup.
In winter, the Myvatn Nature Baths are a great place to see the Northern Lights.
You'll also find two steam rooms here, located on hot rock pools like at the Fontana Spa, and an on-site restaurant, Café Kvika, where you can grab a range of soups and sandwiches.
Again, it is recommended that you book your entrance to this geothermal spa in advance. If you take a car tour or package holiday that reaches the north of Iceland, you will have the option to purchase your ticket at the time of booking.
BIGLIETTO MYVATN BATHS
How to get to the Myvatn Nature Baths
The closest town to Myvatn natural baths is Reykjahlid, and it is also the place where you can take thebus number 56 from the nearby lake Myvatn or from Egilsstadir.
In case you don't have your own transport, the cheapest option is to reach Reykjahlid and from there walk about three kilometers to the swimming pool.
If you're traveling around Iceland in a rental car or campervan (like we did, getting to Myvatn Nature Baths is super easy.
Just follow the street number 1, then turn onto an asphalted road (it has no number or name, but is well signposted) which is three kilometers before Reykjahlid (in case you are traveling counterclockwise) - the sign says Jardbodin.
Parking is free.
Although many local agencies offer tours on the Golden Circle, it is quite rare to find a company that includes the Myvatn Nature Baths on a day itinerary.
In this case, the best option if you want to join a tour is to choose an operator that offers pickup from Akureyri or join a multi-day tour of Iceland.
5 – Retreat Spa
The Retreat Hotel is probably the most luxurious hotel in Iceland (and certainly one of the most expensive) and it has its own Private SPA. This is definitely less crowded than the Blue Lagoon and is characterized by the same mythical landscape.
A spa within a spa, the Retreat Spa is perhaps Iceland's most exclusive venue. The Retreat Lagoon is much less busy than the Blue Lagoon itself. Protected by spectacular lava rock walls, it is a destination for VIPs and has been visited by some of the most famous celebrities in the world, in particular Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé.
Like at the Blue Lagoon, there are a wide range of treatments and massages on offer, within a series of sanctuary spaces called Ritual.
You will immerse yourself in a swimming pool protected by high lava rocks, you will find an underground cave where you can enjoy a steam bath and you can book a relaxing massage.
For the most demanding there is also the Lava cove, a swimming pool with private SPA.
You will also find a restaurant on site.
6 - Krauma Spa
Among the most luxurious spas in Iceland is the Krauma SPA which is fed by the waters of the highest thermal spring in Europe, Deildartunguhver. Before the water reaches the pools, it is mixed with cold water from Ok, Iceland's smallest glacier, and that's how it reaches the perfect temperature for swimming.
The Spa is small and always guarantees a sense of exclusivity and peace, not surprisingly it is defined as one Luxury SPA.
Krauma includes five natural hot pools, a cold tub, two saunas and a relaxation room with panoramic windows and a fireplace.
Krauma's architecture and design deserve a special mention. The pools are elegant and softly shaped and from here you can observe nature while enjoying the intimacy of being inside.
On site you will find a relaxation room to rest and a restaurant.
The Krauma Spa is also quite close to the magnificent Snæfellsnes peninsula: Visiting Krauma will also offer you the opportunity to explore some of the highlights of West Iceland, including the waterfall Glymur, the archipelago of Breiðafjörður and the mountain Kirkjufell.
Given the size, it is always best to buy tickets in advance.
KRAUMA SPA TICKET
How to get to Krauma Spa
Address: Deildartunguhver, 320 Reykholt
Krauma is located in West Iceland, a Deildartunguhver, on Route 50 and 97 miles from Reykjavik.
7 – Geosea Sea Baths
Among the Icelandic spas I've told you about so far, i Geosea Sea Baths they are really special: they are pools with salt water that are geothermically heated.
Mass tourism has been and still is a big problem for Iceland: its iconic Blue Lagoon masses visitors and as I wrote in my post on the Blue Lagoon, it's really a shame.
But about 300 miles north in Husavik, this new SPA offers guests plenty of room to breathe.
It is in fact one of the most recent spas in Iceland: GeoSea opened its doors in 2018 and is already so famous that deserved an article in Vogue.
GeoSea has four geothermal baths filled with mineral-rich seawater. Hot water flows in a steady stream through two holes from the sea into the bathrooms and then back into the sea. Due to this process, it is not necessary to use chemicals to clean the water
The salts contained in the water are healing and the minerals have regenerating effects on the skin.
Part of the charm of this place is due to the beautiful ocean view.
There are no saunas or steam rooms here, but you will find a restaurant.
business hours: Monday - Sunday 11:00 - 23:00
How to get to Geosea Sea Baths
Address: Vitaslóð 1640 Húsavík, Iceland
GeoSea is located just outside Husavik, in northern Iceland and is 77 km from Akureyri and 464 km from Reykjavik.
8 - Vok Baths
I Vok Baths were inaugurated in 2019 and are located in the eastern part of Iceland, on the lake Trout lake.
Over the centuries, the people who lived around Lake Urriðavatn have noticed some spots on the lake that curiously did not freeze even during the coldest months of winter.
The Icelandic name given to these ice-free areas is Vök (plural Vakir) and legends theorized that some kind of sea creature prevented the water from freezing, but we now know that the reason they don't freeze are underwater hot springs that gush out to heat the surface.
The Vök baths are the only "floating" geothermal baths in Iceland. Visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in pools created within the confines of the lake that reflect these points where the waters never freeze.
Here you will find two swimming pools, a sauna and a cold water tunnel inside the lake.
The water of these spas does not contain silica or sulfur so it is odorless and clear and is even drinkable.
There is a café on site where you can refuel with a sandwich or a hot dish.
These spas at the moment are less known than the others and you will hardly find crowds.
How to get to the Vok Baths
Address: Lago Urriðavatn, Route 925 Hróarstunguvegur, 701 Egilsstaðir
Vök Baths are close to the largest city in eastern Iceland, often nicknamed "the capital of the east", Egilsstaðir.
To reach the baths from here, you have to drive northwards by car Route 1 (the road around Iceland) across the lake Lagarfljót e turn right on Route 925. Urriðavatn will materialize on the left and you will find the toilets shortly after.
9 – Bjorbodin Beer Spa
Il Bjorbodin Beer Spa it is a very special place and I recommend it to you for a unique experience.
Bjorbodin may seem to you to be a spa like any other. Clean, minimalist decor, soothing music, and great views.
So the spa is beautiful without a doubt. But what makes Bjorbodin so unique is that you won't find facials and scrubs, and inside the tubs you won't find mineral-rich waters, but water, hops and yeast.
The latter, in fact, boast beneficial properties. There are 7 private rooms, each with its own oval wooden tub for two. The tubs are all made from the delicious Ghanaian Kambala wood and are large enough for each adult to lean against one end of the tub.
After the dive you will be advised to rest in a relaxation room to let the yeasts take effect.
During the baths, if you are over 20 years old, you can take the opportunity to draw a cold beer from the barrels provided.
Outside there is a whirlpool (containing normal water) and a sauna.
There is also a restaurant on site - all beer-themed, of course.
How to get to Bjorbodin Beer Spa
Address: Ægisgata 31, 621 Árskógssandur
Opening time: Tuesday to Saturday 12:00 - 21:00
Bjorbodin Beer Spa it is located in the small village of Árskógssandur, about 25 minutes north of Akureyri.
10 - Vesturbaejarlaug
Vesturbaejarlaug is a public swimming pool in Reykjavík which, like all swimming pools in the country, is heated with geothermal energy.
Inside you will find a swimming pool for adults, one for children, some whirlpools, a Turkish bath and a sauna.
The swimming pool is not very popular with tourists and is very popular with locals.
With the Reykjavík City Card you are entitled to free admission.
Address: V. Hofsvallagata, 101 Reykjavík
11 - Grafarvogslaug
Another neighborhood pool, also in Reykjavík, is that of Grafarvogslaug.
Here you'll find indoor and outdoor pools, some whirlpools, and a steam room.
Children will be happy thanks to the pool dedicated to them and a couple of water slides.
Here too, with the Reykjavík City Card you are entitled to free admission.
Address: Dalhús 2, 112 Reykjavík
12 - Spinal cord
If you are looking for a decidedly more "wild" experience, Back pain is the one for you.
This artificial pool is located on the slopes of the volcano Eyjafjallajokull and can only be reached on foot.
Surrounded by hills and not very crowded, this place will make you feel lost in nowhere and in complete harmony with nature.
When you visit the Seljavallalaug swimming pool, it's like stepping back in time and you can imagine people in the 20s learning to swim here hidden from prying eyes.
The path to reach the pool takes about 20 minutes.
Admission is free.
How to reach Seljavallalaug
Per raggiungere Seljavallalaug da Reykjavík, drive east along the Ring Road which surrounds the town for just over an hour and a half, before turning onto the Route 242 for parking. The swimming pool is a short walk away.
Once you've parked your car in the Seljavallalaug car park, pack your things and get ready for a mountain hike.
La distance is approximately 2 miles round trip and it takes about 20 minutes each way, depending on how fast you are walking. The hike to Seljavallalaug is all the time flat, but follows a very rocky river bed, so you have to walk slowly and be careful not to get twisted.
13 - Reykjadalur
Reykjadalur translates as "Valley of the steam". The reason for the name of this place is easy to understand once you arrive there: it is a long warm river that flows placidly between the hills giving life to one of the most evocative natural spas in Iceland ever.
To reach the so-called "hot river" it is necessary to walk for about an hour, but the effort will be rewarded once you arrive. Even the landscapes encountered along the way, however, are worth the walk.
14 – Hoffell HotPot
Not far from Port, at the base of a rocky outcrop and overlooking the Icelandic plain, there are these five pools of hot water that have a different temperature from each other.
You can immerse yourself and relax while looking at the view.
To access the area you will have to leave a small contribution of about 500 ISK in a small box that you will find at the entrance.
15 - Grettislaug
Finally, another swimming pool little known by tourists is that of Grettislaug, in Skagifjörður, in the north of the island.
The pool is linked to one of the protagonists of the Icelandic sagas, Grettir Ásmundarson. It is said that after a swim of more than 7 km, the outlaw rested in this pool.
The water temperature is about 39 ° and it is pleasant to dive and let yourself be carried away by the panorama of the ocean.
The swimming pool is located on private land and a small fee is required to access it.
Map of spas in Iceland
Below you will find the map of spas in Iceland I told you about in this article.
Tips for Spas in Iceland
1 - Book tickets in advance
Some spas such as the Blue Lagoon or Myvatn are well known and often sell out days or even weeks in advance. As soon as you know the dates of your trip and when you want to go I recommend that you buy the entrance, so as not to miss the opportunity and not have to wait for an available time slot.
2 - Bring your costume even if you can rent it
If you left for Iceland without thinking about going to the spa and didn't bring your bathing suit or towel, don't worry, in most spas you can buy or rent them.
However, the prices are quite high, then it is better to pack everything you need before leaving to leave.
That said, you will also find shower caps, bathrobes, slippers, skin care products and other items in the establishments that can be rented or purchased on site.
3 - Take care of your hair
A common complaint from visitors is that substances like minerals in the water can seriously damage your hair. Even the most lush manes often come out of the lagoon water dry as straw, matted and unmanageable. Water can be particularly harsh on those with dyed or colored hair.
Water doesn't damage your hair permanently, but it can leave your hair dry and unmanageable for a few days. But there are several things you can do to prevent it and help heal your hair later on.
To protect your hair, rinse it off and coat it with plenty of conditioner before going in. Gather your hair in a ponytail or bun and try to keep it out of the water.
The best way to protect your hair, and what's recommended by spa staff if you really want to prevent your hair from getting wet, is to wear a swimming cap. If you don't own one, they can be rented or purchased at the Blue Lagoon.
After soaking make sure you shower and wash your hair thoroughly using conditioner to soften it.
4 - Remove jewelry and contact lenses
Be sure to remove jewelry, glasses, watches, and other valuables before bathing. This is for two reasons. First, geothermal water can damage some types of jewelry, so it's best to leave them at the hotel or in the locker.
Secondly, you don't want to lose or drop anything into the water because you may never find it again. The water is full of minerals and the water is not clear.
5 - Try to stay hydrated
Hot baths, saunas, and steam rooms can be extremely dehydrating, so be sure to drink plenty of water. You can bring a reusable water bottle with you to save on drinks within the complex. The tap water in Iceland is safe to drink.
6 - Take a shower before and after
Remember to shower BEFORE and AFTER entering the pools. Shower first as a matter of hygiene and afterwards to get rid of the minerals that will remain on your body.
7 - Take your time and relax!
A visit to the spa should be a relaxing experience. Once inside, you can stay as long as you like (until closing), so take your time to explore and dive.
Don't book an entry time too close to closing. Try not to rush things. when you are in the spa you will want to stay there as long as possible, trust me!5 / 5 ( 7 votes )