Before you jump in, if there are showers, it is expected that you nude up and
With proper protocol out of the way, it’s time to dip your toes into one of Iceland’s most essential experiences.
This is Iceland’s most famous hot spring: sparkling pools of turquoise water carved into the blackened debris of an ancient lava field on the Reykjanes Peninsula. Expect lots of people and astronomical entrance fees, but although it’s a well-known tourist trap, it’s an unforgettable experience.
Come here for a more charming and serene bathing experience with a marginally lower price tag than the Blue Lagoon. Overlooking beautiful Lake Mývatn (65mi or 105km east of Akureyri) and surrounded by landscapes lifted straight from a fantasy novel, it’s a favorite with tourists and locals alike.
The river running through the valley Reykjadalur is one of Iceland’s best natural springs. Get there via a 1.75mi (3km) hike beginning behind the town of Hveragerði. Boardwalks line the river on either side, and there are small partitions to get changed behind.
To really escape the crowds, head to the Westfjords and seek out this small, remote spring perched on the eastern edge of Mjóifjörður. Take road 633 along Mjóifjörður and look out for the green hut next to the rectangular pool, but remember to ask permission from the owners living on the nearby farm.
Another off-beat hotpot, this tiny pool on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is so deep that you’ll sink up to your neck, but only has enough room for two to three people. Head 1.75 hours north from Reykjavik to Borganes, then turn onto road 54. After the farm signed Skjálg, take the first left, an unassuming dirt track that ends at the holy grail of secluded springs.
Lead image was taken by Emily Kydd
Want to know more about Iceland? Check out our podcast. We chat about where to capture the best photos in Iceland, how to speak like a Viking (almost), and how a social policy got the country to the World Cup.
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Iceland is crossed by dozens of glacial rivers and surrounded by ocean. To properly explore it, you’re going to have to get your feet wet.