Iceland’s geothermic activity which results into geysers and springs has made it into one of the most unique places in the world. And it’s long been a tradition of the Icelandic people right from the Viking days to bathe in these sulphur-rich natural hot springs. The richness of sulphur and other mineral present in the water are very beneficial to the skin and include other health benefits as well.
Here let us look at the list of top 10 hot springs in Iceland.
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1. Blue Lagoon
During the construction of a geothermal power plant people began to notice the therapeutic qualities of the water and the mud. Since then the Blue Lagoon has transformed into an iconic place in Iceland. And it attracts a lot of business through the hundreds and thousands of tourists visiting every year. The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most popular geothermal spa and tourist attraction. The pale blue water contrasted with the black lava rocks is absolutely gorgeous. And the silica mud mask is known for its healing power and working miracles on the skin of its bathers.
Located just about 45 minutes from Reykjavik, lies the beautiful valley of Reykjadalur. The translation of Reykjadalur means ‘Steam Valley’ and it is fitting name because the valley is filled with hot springs and mud pools. But the major attraction is no doubt the steaming hot river that flows through the Reykjadalur Valley. The river is a popular place for tourists and locals to bathe and enjoy the warm water flowing through the mountains. It is worth to note that the water gets warmer as you go further up to the stream.
Viti means ‘hell’ and with a nest of calderas surrounding in all directions of the Askja Highland, it sure does live up to its name. This one is a smaller volcanic crater which was created during a single massive explosion in the late 1800’s and later turned into a lake. Though the name is anything but inviting, the warm geothermal lake with blue and mineral-rich waters is a tempting prospect for visitors. It is one of the most intriguing natural wonders that Iceland has to offer. It is always advisable to watch out for the smoking sulphurous outlets across the shoreline when taking a dip in the lake.
Landmannalaugar is truly a magical place and the Multi-coloured Mountains covering the area is a sight to behold. The Rhyolite Mountains serve up diverse shapes and textures and are a treat for the eyes. This is a very popular hiking destination and relaxing in the nearby hot springs after a day’s hiking is an inviting proposition for hikers. It can be a tough task reaching this destination. And for people looking to drive there, only a 4WD can access these ‘rough and tough’ terrains.
Iceland is a mysterious and magical place and a hot spring located inside a cave is nothing short of magic. Grjotagja is a hot spot for both tourists and locals alike. The natural forming rift is formed over geothermic activity and it heats up just to the right temperature which allows people to take a dip. But in 1975 after a volcanic eruption the water temperature rose too high for swimmers. Though the thought of diving into a hot spring inside a cave is tempting, it is best to practice caution. And due to varying pressure in the earth’s crust it is suggested to consult locals if you wish to take a dip.
6. Gamla Laugin
Gamla Laugin also known as the ‘Secret Lagoon’. It isn’t very remote from Reykjavik. It is humbly located behind a building in the small town of Fludir in the Southern part of Iceland. The name translates to ‘old pool’ and the term might hold true because it is one of the oldest swimming pools in Iceland made for public usage. The good part about this ‘not so secret’ location anymore is that it is located in the tourist route of the well-known Golden Circle. The Secret Lagoon has been modified in the current days and can accommodate a lot more people than its olden counterpart. It is also well worth to know that the water temperatures stay around 40 degrees throughout the year.
If you want to experience the Blue Lagoon but in a less touristy and relatively cheaper manner, then the Myvatn Nature Baths is the place to visit. Located in the Northeastern part of Iceland, Myvatn offers blue and mineral rich hot water as well, minus the commercial aspect. Though the travel is about 500 km’s from Reykjavik, the adventure could be an experience in itself.
This natural geothermal pool in the Highlands is another impressive hot spring. But it can be quite the task accessing this place as it is remotely located. And reaching there means taking a hike through the mountains or taking a long drive on a 4WD vehicle. But once you reach your destination you’ll appreciate that it truly is a hidden gem. Funnily the name translates as ‘Ostrich Pool’ and one wonders because Iceland is rarely known for ostriches.
It would be incomplete if we don’t involve any Viking folklore when we talking about Iceland. And Grettislaug provides just the ammunition. According to the folklore, once an infamous Viking outlaw Grettir swam the tormenting ice cold waters from Dragney and finally managed to find refuge in this hot spring. Now famously known as Grettislaug or translated as ‘Grettir’s place’, it is the perfect place to relax and revel on some Viking history. It is located at Reykir in the Northern part of Iceland.
Landbrotalaug is a tiny natural hot spring which offers a ginormous view of the Icelandic landscapes. Located in the Snaefellsness peninsula it takes about 2 hours to reach there from Reykjavik, the capital. And it is tiny by all means because it can fit a maximum of three people comfortably. But if you’re looking for getaway from the crowded places and wish to spend a quality time with a partner, this would be an ideal location.