The Icelandic landscape contains many wonders—active volcanoes, mighty glaciers, mysterious ice caves, and beautiful black sand beaches. However, one of Iceland’s most unique features is the vast supply of geothermal pools and natural hot springs. Just about every Icelandic town has its own heated pool, open year-round. Many Icelanders visit the local pool for a soak and a good chat with friends and neighbors. There are also many beautiful natural hot springs located right amidst the gorgeous Icelandic landscape. Below you can find the top 10 hot springs and swimming pools in south Iceland.
1. Hotel Rangá Hot Tubs
The first on the list of top 10 hot springs and swimming pools in south Iceland are our very own hot tubs. After a long day spent adventuring, take a moment for yourself to relax. Soak in one of Hotel Rangá’s outdoor hot tubs with beautiful views of the stunning Rangá River. In the summertime, you can enjoy Iceland’s famous midnight sun and sip a refreshing drink while you soak. And in the wintertime, there is nothing like the contrast between cold and hot. In fact, you can even enjoy the hot tubs where there is snow on the ground. And don’t forget about the twinkling stars and dancing Northern Lights—what could be better than soaking in a cozy hot tub while you enjoy the majesty of the skies above? The hot tubs are open to all between the hours of 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM. If you forget your swimsuit at home, we have swimsuits you can borrow or purchase in reception.
2. Landmannalaugar Hot Springs
Taking a Super Jeep tour to visit Landmannalaugar is one of the most popular day trips our guests have the option of experiencing. This unique pearl of the interior is situated in a valley between colorful, steep mountains at the high and dark edge of the rhyolite lava field Laugahraun. The landscape is beautiful, filled with hiking trails and geothermal pools of varying temperatures. While many pools alongside the hiking trails are too hot to enter, there is a large pool of the perfect temperature right beside the Landmannalaugar campsite. There is nothing so rewarding as taking an adventurous hike in the fantastic Icelandic highlands followed by a nice soak in the famous Landmannalaugar hot spring.
3. Seljavallalaug Pool
In a short and a narrow valley near the farm Seljavellir at the foot of the Eyjafjöll Mountains you will find Seljavallalaug. From the parking area near Seljavellir farm, there is a 25-minute hike to access the pool. The local Youth Club built the old and unique pool, where a still older and smaller one stood before. The pool is rustic—one of its long sides is the sheer mountainside, where natural hot water trickles into the pool. It has a splendid view of the nearby stream cascading down from the mountains and must be one of the most beautiful settings for a naturally heated pool – anywhere. The pool located is approximately 40 minutes from Hotel Rangá. Please note that there are no bathrooms or trash receptacles at this hot spring and that the changing facilities are rudimentary.
4. Hrunalaug Hot Spring
Located close to the town of Flúðir, this natural hot spring is the perfect place for a nice dip. After a short hike from the parking area, you will find a small soaking pool surrounded by stones where the hot water originates; it then flows into a small stream, ensuring that the water is constantly being replaced. It is good to note that the pool is on the smaller side and can comfortably hold only about 8 people. Just beside the hot spring, there is a small building where you can change clothes. However, there are no trash receptacles or bathrooms. Hrunalaug is located on private property, and the landowner asks that all guests donate 1000 ISK to help with property maintenance. Please take care of this beautiful hot spring. For example, you can provide a donation, take all trash with you and treat the surrounding area with care.
5. The Secret Lagoon
The Secret Lagoon is a geothermal hot spring pool located in the town of Flúðir. Created in 1891, the Secret Lagoon was Iceland;’s first public swimming pool. The pool has a rustic feel, surrounded by natural stones and even a small geysir that erupts every 5 minutes. Now, the pool has been modernized with indoor showers and changing rooms that all guests are required to use prior to bathing in the pool. A small fee is required to enter the pool, and the facilities also include a small café with drinks and snacks. Soaking in the Secret Lagoon is a great thing to do after visiting sights along the Golden Circle.
6. Reykjadalur Hot Spring River
Not far from the town of Hveragerði is the beautiful Reykjadalur Valley, home to one of Iceland’s most unique geothermal feature—a hot spring river. To access the river, there is a moderate hike with some uphill sections. It takes approximately 1-1.5 hours to hike each way. As you walk, you will see geothermal steam rising from pools and a beautiful waterfall. The hike finishes at the hot spring river where you can take a nice soak. The river is somewhat shallow, but you will find smaller pools where you sit and relax. There are no bathrooms or proper changing facilities at the river. Therefore, it could be a good idea to wear your bathing suit under your clothes and bring your own towel. It is best to do this hike when there is no snow on the ground, as ice can cover the path and make it rather slippery.
7. & 8. Hella and Hvolsvöllur Pools
If you are looking for a nice activity close to Hotel Rangá, why not visit the pool in the nearby towns of Hella or Hvolsvöllur. These pools are great options for families—each features a fun waterslide and shallower pools for younger children. The pools are geothermally heated and always the perfect temperature—even when there is snow on the ground. Both pools also have hot tubs for lounging and a sauna. Check with us in the reception and we can tell you the hours, as they change every season.
9. Selfoss Pool
Another pool can be found in the town of Selfoss, approximately 30 minutes from Hotel Rangá. The Selfoss pool is a nice place to visit after your visit to The Lava Tunnel. The pool is large, with a waterslide, hot tubs, sauna, and steam room. Spending some time at the pool, even on a rainy day, is a great option for families.
10. Laugarvatn Fontana Spa
Laugarvatn Fontana Spa is an oasis of relaxation conveniently located along the Golden Circle. The spa offers steam baths, relaxing hot pools, and a Finnish-style sauna. Visitors also have the option to take a cold plunge into Lake Laugarvatn. This is a common practice for hardy Icelanders seeking health benefits from the contrasting temperatures. What’s more, the spa also offers a special geothermal bakery experience. Visitors can witness the traditional Icelandic practice of baking bread with geothermal steam. The bread is cooked inside a pot and buried underground for 24 hours, where geothermal energy bakes it to perfection.