While traveling around in a new country, most of us want to discover “secret spots”, places off the beaten path, to enjoy something only with your traveling partner(s). There are plenty of hot springs, natural baths in Iceland that can do just that, give you an exclusive experience, giving you the feeling of having traveled far away. The question is where to find these places. Here is a list of many of these hot springs, with descriptions and GPS coordinates. The list is not in any particular order.
Seljavallalaug might be one of the more well known pools/spring in Iceland and it’s also the oldest pool in Iceland. Fed by a natural hot spring close by, it keeps a temperature between 20° to 30°C (68°-86°F). There is a crude changing facilities but fully functional.
If coming from Reykjavik on route one, you will pass a body of water (the ocean) on your right side. From there is roughly 5 km (3 miles) before you turn to the left. If you look at the picture to the right, you will see this mountain when you have to turn left, on to road nr:242. You keep on this road for about 2,5km (1.5 miles). When you reach a camping site, you go slightly left until you reach the end of the road and a few summer houses. From there it’s a 15 to 20 minutes walk along the river. You will see it clearly when you are closing in on it.
During summer there will be tourists there, less so during winter. Remember to bring all your trash with you and leave the place nice and clean.
GPS Seljavallalaug: 63°33’55.92″N 19°36’28.33″W
Read more: Swimming in Iceland
This hot spring holds a perfect temperature all year around. There is also a changing room next to it so you can change your clothes. Remember this lies on private property so make sure you don’t leave anything behind. The farmer who owns the grounds walks around there weekly, just to pick up trash from visitors which should be totally unnecessary. Actually, there has been so much vandalism that the owner is considering to bulldoze over the place so please remember, you are a visitor. Behave accordingly!
To get to Hrunalaug, you drive to Flúðir and just before you reach the village, you make a right turn onto road nr: 344. You drive some 3km (1.2 miles) before you take another right turn onto road nr:345. There is also a sign that says “Hruni” there. You pass the church on your left (see the pic to your right) hand side and very shortly after that, you make another right hand turn. There is a small wooden sigh saying “Sólheimar” where you turn. From there it’s just around 400m (0.26 miles) to where you park your car on the left side. Remember there is no camping there and take your trash with you so the landowner will not close this wonderful hot spring.
GPS Hrunalaug: 64° 8’2.64″N 20°15’25.76″W
Read more: Camping in Iceland
Landbrotalaug is one of the more romantic hot spring with easy access too but requires a little bit of a search when you have arrived at the parking space. The spring is small, only fits two to three people tops which makes it even more special. The temperature is excellent for some relaxation in wonderful nature. The temperature is usually from 36° to 40°C (97°-104°F). As usual, take care of the place when you arrive. Do not leave trash around and you can even do better, pick up trash from others. Nature is something we are all caretakers of, no matter what country you find yourself in. Does anyone like to arrive to a gorgeous place, only to find cluttered with garbage? We only have one earth, let’s take care of it together.
It’s very easy to find. You take road nr:1 (from Reykjavik) north to Borgarnes. Just north of Borgarnes you take a left turn at the first and only roundabout, on to road nr:54 to Stykkishólmur. After roughly 40km (25 miles), you take a left turn on to road nr:5644. There is a sign there saying “Stóra Hraun”. (See the pic to the right) to the farm Skjálg. You drive 1.3km (0.8 miles) until you see another smaller road to your left. Drive this road to the parking lot, about 300m (0.2 miles). From there you walk about a 100m on an unclear path, just north of Eldborg. There is no changing room there. You either change in the car or by the hot spring.
GPS Landbrotalaug: N64 49.923 W22 19.130
Hellulaug is on the south side of the Westfjords and boasts a stunning view over the sea. It’s easy to access and to find. The temperature is usually around 38°C (100°F) so absolutely perfect for bathing. There is no changing rooms there so either you change in your car or by the cliffs when you reach the hot spring.
When coming from the south, you drive around the fjord Vatnsfjörður (road nr:60). Before you reach Flókalundir, you will see this road to the left (look at the pic on the right), drive down there and park your rental car in the parking lot. You will see a plastic hose leading to the ocean, follow that and you will find the hot spring Hellulaug.
GPS Hellulaug: 65°34’37.78″N 23° 9’37.34″W
Read more: Roads in Iceland
According to this author, this is one of the more stunning and best hidden hot springs in Iceland. This is not for everyone for you have to climb down two sets of ladders to get down there but it is well worth it. Crystal clear warm water. A totally surreal feeling and we bet something you have never experienced before. Highly, highly recommended. You have to change to your swimwear in your car or by the stairs down to the hot spring.
It is very easy to find the hot spring. When you drive on the ring road and if you come from the west, driving north of lake Mývatn and you are just about to turn left in Reykjahlíð, it’s just right there. The sign says “165 Egilsstaðir” where you turn to continue on the ring road. Look at the picture to the right, you see where you park your car. It’s just 40m to your right after the left turn. Park the car and walk south among the rocks. It’s not very well marked when you arrive so keep your eyes open. The GPS coordinates below is not exactly by the spring. When you find it, climb down and immerse yourself in paradise!
GPS Stóragjá: 65°38’18.39″N 16°54’35.45″W
This hot spring is close to the airport and Reykjavík. It’s a naturally shaped little pool and was once called Oddnýjarlaug because a troll woman called Oddney once occupied the spring. It’s just by the ocean as can be seen in the pic to the left and is easy to find too.
From Gríndavík, take road nr:425 to the west. From Gríndavík to Brímketill is about 9km (5.6 miles). There is no sign telling you when to turn left so you have to keep an eye for the road you see the picture on the right.
GPS Brímketill: 63°49’13.07″N 22°36’30.21″W
IMPORTANT UPDATE 25/7, 2017 You may not swim in this hot spring anymore. There is a warning sign there telling you so. It’s too cold and the currents, waves and undertows has proven to be dangerous!
Grjótagjá is another spectacular natural hot springs in Iceland. It’s almost next door to Stóragjá (look above) so please visit this one too while you are up north. It’s also in a cave but doesn’t require any climbing on ladders as with Stóragjá. It has been forbidden to swim in the cave for years now but it’s well worth to check out the status of the cave while up north, if not, just to see it!
Finding Grjótagjá is very easy. If you follow the directions above to Stóragjá, you just continue on that road east for 2.1 km (1.3 miles) until you come to the road you see on your right, it’s marked too. You turn right there and just keep on driving until you see a parking lot which is also marked. The road is fine for small cars too so you can drive there even in a two wheel drive. The GPS coordinates are not exact.
GPS Grjótagjá: 65°37’31.32″N 16°53’4.28″W
This whole area is very lush and it’s not only a hot spring, it’s a whole little river you can bathe in very comfortable temperatures. I’ts a short distance from Reykjavík so it makes it a perfect daytrip away from the city. There is no facilities to change clothes there. It’s a bit of a hike (around an hour) from the parking lot but definitely well worth it.
To get there you drive east from Reykjavík, on the ring road for about 45 minutes. Drive to the village Hveragerði and at the roundabout (see the pic to the right), go left, into the village and just follow that road until you reach the end where you will find the parking lot. It’s about 4km from the roundabout. (2.5 miles) The trail to the geothermal area is well marked.
GPS Reykjadalur: 64° 1’21.13″N 21°12’42.86″W
These three hot springs have the most magnificent view mountains, glaciers and the valley. They have facilities for changing your clothes and the drive from the ring road is easy too.
The road to take to get there (Hoffellsvegur road nr: 984) is just north of Höfn. You drive about 3km (1.2 miles) and you will see it when you get closer. If you are coming from the east (Reykjavík), you will see this (look at the pic to your right) just before you are going to turn left. You turn left just before you pass the bridge ahead.
GPS Hoffell: 64°23’32.21″N 15°20’33.07″W
There are many more, some harder to find, some harder to reach like up in the highlands. Make sure you dip your toes before entering any hot springs for you might find them too warm or maybe even too cold. Don’t leave any kids unattended even if the springs can be shallow. We also need to emphasize the need of not leaving anything behind. Bring your trash with you and most importantly, enjoy for you will have a very special experience.
Safe travels! #GoIceland
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