If you’re looking for *the* go-to guide to the free hot springs in Iceland, you’ve found it!

Wait a minute, does Iceland have hot springs? 

OHHH yes!

In fact, Icelanders are ALL about their pool culture, and with so many natural hot springs and geothermal pools scattered across the country, it’s no wonder. 

Iceland is renowned for being breathtakingly beautiful but infamous for being tough on the wallet!

There is good news though.

You can experience some natural hot springs in Iceland – FREE of charge. 

Now that’s a thought that’ll help you relax while soaking in the therapeutic waters! 😄

Today, I’m talking about the best free hot springs in Iceland, and answering some of your frequently asked questions about pool culture here. 

I’ve also provided resources to help you decide which suits your itinerary best.

So, whether you’re a local looking for a budget-friendly escape or a traveler searching for an authentic Icelandic experience, you’ll find something truly special in the free hot springs in Iceland.

Let’s get into it!


Why Does Iceland Have So Many Hot Springs?

Picture of Landmannalaugar, a Free Hot Spring in Iceland | Iceland with a View

Iceland is known as the land of fire and ice for good reason! 

The country sits over two massive tectonic plates, and the hot springs are caused by water being heated underground due to all the volcanic activity.

So, if you’re wondering,” Why are the hot springs hot?” 

There are currently 38 active volcanoes in Iceland! 

That’s A LOT of geothermal activity happening below the surface and the result? 

Hot springs, baby!

Where Are the Hot Springs in Iceland Located?

If you look at the map of hot springs in Iceland, you’ll notice that they’re scattered throughout the country.

However, the eastern part doesn’t have as many as the rest of the country. 

Thankfully, Iceland isn’t that big, and at some point during your stay, you’ll likely have a hot spring or geothermal pool close by worth visiting. 

This is especially true if you’re touring the more popular routes like Golden Circle and Ring Road. 

How many hot springs are there in Iceland? It’s hard to say because some pretty remote areas may not have been explored; however, it’s currently believed to be over 45. So, there isn’t a definitive count.

The Best Free Hot Springs in Iceland

These free hot springs in Iceland can be found throughout the country.  It’s important to remember that some are easier to get to than others.

Landmannalaugar Hot Spring

The most difficult free natural hot spring in Iceland to get to is the one located in Landmannalaugar. 

This is because you can only travel into this area during the summer months – therefore, June to September.

If you’re planning a hiking trip into Landmannalaugar, you’re in luck because this is one of the most awesome wild hot spring pools in the country!

The Landmannalaugar hot spring bathing place is a spot where many people hang out after a long day of hiking through the painted mountains of Landmannalaugar. It’s definitely worth checking out!

Heading to Landmannalaugar? This adventure needs careful planning. Find out all you need to know in this blog post 👇

➡️ READ: Landmannalaugar: What You Need To Know For An Epic Highlands Adventure

Westfjörds Hot Springs: Hellulaug

Next on the list of free hot springs in Iceland, are the hot spring pools in the Westfjörds. 

These are difficult to get to because not many people are traveling to this region. 

However, if the Westfjörds are part of your itinerary, there are so many different hot springs that you can enjoy in this area.

What makes this region so special are the incredible views of the fjörds and landscapes around you. 

I recommend putting the Westfjörds on your itinerary, even if it’s just for exploring the hot springs! 

One of the best free hot springs in Iceland (and my favorite) is Hellulaug.  

With its stunning ocean views, it’s easily one of the most picturesque free hot springs in Iceland to unwind.

Plus, it’s accessible in winter, just keep in mind that road closures in the Westfjörds are common due to heavy snowfall. 

✅ If you’re planning to visit the remote hot springs, just a heads up that tours aren’t typically available, and renting a car is the best way to reach them. 

I’ve had great experiences with Blue Car Rental. They’ve got all types of vehicles for Icelandic roads, including electric cars for the eco-conscious traveler. 

Need more details? I can hook you up with a 👉 5% discount!

Banner Shop That Takes You to Blue Car Rental With a 5% Off, No Code Needed | Iceland with a View

3. Reykjafjarðarlaug, Westfjörds

You’ll find Reykjafjarðarlaug in one of the most beautiful fjörds in Iceland, Arnarfjörður.

If you’re planning a visit to the magnificent Dynjandi waterfall, then Reykjafjarðarlaug is just around 25 miles / 40 km away. 

When you get there, you’ll find both artificial and natural pools. 

And there’s a bonus: If you want to visit Iceland’s hot springs in winter,  Reykjafjarðarlaug is open year-round, so you can even enjoy it during the colder months!

4. Hörgshlíðarlaug, Westfjörds

The views here are beautiful!

This hot spring is located on private property though, so you’ll need to ask permission to use it. 

What’s nice is that there’s a changing area for those who prefer to keep their birthday suit under wraps!

Don’t forget to add Hörgshlíðarlaug, a hidden gem among Iceland’s free hot springs, to your itinerary!

Exploring the Westfjörds? Get prepared by reading the full post here👇

➡️ READ: The Breathtaking Westfjörds: Discover One of the Best Areas in Iceland

5. Reykjadalur

Picture of Reykjadalur. a Free Hot Spring in Iceland | Iceland with a View

If you’re staying in the capital and looking for Iceland’s hot springs near Reykjavík, then this is about 31 miles (50km) away, perfect for a day trip. 

The Reykjadalur hot spring thermal river is trickier to reach because you have to hike to get there.

It’ll take about an hour to get to the hot spring and while you don’t need to be an experienced hiker to make it, the trail does get challenging in certain places.

Once you get there, the hot spring river is amazing! It’s so beautiful to be out relaxing in the middle of nature.

Accessibility:  You’re technically able to access it year-round, but I don’t suggest tackling that hike in the winter. Better to stick to summer! 

If you want to learn more about Reykjadalur’s hot spring, check out the full blog post here👇

➡️ READ: Reykjadalur Hot Springs: The Perfect Day Hike & Hot Spring Experience!

6. Seljavallalaug

Picture of a Free Hot Spring Called Seljavallalaug, Located in Iceland | Iceland with a View

This hot spring is a free thermal pool that’s set at the base of Eyjafjallajökull glacier in South Iceland. 

To reach it, you’ll need to drive a little bit off of the beaten path and then walk for about 20 minutes. However, it’s still relatively easy to get to.

Seljavallalaug does have a changing room area, but it’s a free pool, so there’s no one maintaining that changing room. 

As you can imagine, it can get quite dirty.

Unfortunately, some people leave their dirty socks and underwear in there and maybe their garbage bags. 


That’s why I ALWAYS recommend flip-flops!

Pro Tip: When planning on visiting the free hot springs in Iceland, remember that they don’t always have amenities and changing areas. 

There have been times when I’ve had to change in the back seat of my car because there was nowhere to change. Make sure you have underwear or clothes that are easy to get back into when you’re ready to leave.

7. Grotta Lighthouse Footbath

You can find this hot spring in Reykjavík, located on Seltjarnarnes, a small peninsula area just outside downtown. 

Grotta is also known as Kvika footbath and it’s the easiest to get to.

While you can’t fully submerge yourself in the Grotta Lighthouse Footbath, it’s still a unique experience right in Reykjavík. 

It’s so nice just to watch the sunset while soaking your feet. Best of all, it’s free and incredibly easy to get to – a true hidden gem! 

If you’re looking for more free things to do in Reykjavík, you’ll want to read this blog post👇

➡️ READ: 10 FREE and Awesome Things to Do in Reykjavík

8. Guðrúnarlaug 

Picture of Jeannie and Friend inside the Guðrúnarlaug Free Hot Spring in Iceland | Iceland with a View

This free geothermal pool in West Iceland is steeped in history dating back 1000 years!

It was reconstructed in 2009 and the water temperatures range from 100-104°F (38-40°C). 

You’ll also see a little waterfall behind the pool, and a Viking hut, making this setting even more picture-perfect while you soak in the natural beauty!

9. Hveravellir

This is technically a geothermal field area in the west Highlands of Iceland, but the campsite does have a hot spring that you can soak in – even in the winter.

Hveravellir Nature Reserve can be found between Hofsjökull and Langjökull glaciers. 

There are three main hiking trails you can explore here: The Orange, Red, and Green Trail.

Can you imagine, soaking in the warm water after your hike and enjoying the Northern Lights?! 

Iceland really is out of this world!

  10. Viti

When you’re visiting the Highlands, expect to drive – A LOT!

In order to get to Viti in Askja, you’ll need to drive on the F-roads – which is an adventure in and of itself.

When you arrive in Askja, it’s about a 30-minute walk until you get to the crater. The path down can be wet, muddy, and slippery.

The water in the crater of Viti is a beautiful milky color with a moderately warm temperature of roughly 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit (24-28 degrees Celsius). 

It’s not easy to get to, but totally worth it!

If you’d like to see it for yourself, I vlogged all about it here.👇

FAQs About the Free Hot Springs in Iceland

Here are some of the questions I get asked about visiting the geothermal pools and hot springs. Let’s take a look.👇

What to Wear to the Hot Springs

You’ll need to wear a swimsuit and bring a towel to dry off. Don’t forget to bring your flip-flops along as well. However, you’ll need to remove your shoes before entering the pools and hot springs. 

Do Hot Springs Smell?

There is definitely a smell associated with hot springs. 

The underground rocks contain sulfur deposits and when the sulfur comes into contact with water, hydrogen sulfide is formed, hence the smell.

Not all hot springs have the same ‘pungency’ though.

Generally, the hotter the water, the smellier it is.

But I promise you, it’s totally worth it. After a little while, you don’t even notice it, because the surroundings are just so beautiful.

Honestly, all I smell is sweet victory and relaxation! 😄

Should You Shower At The Hot Springs?

There are certain rules and etiquette that go along with using the hot springs and pools in Iceland. 

Part of that is taking a shower before entering. 

The pools aren’t treated with chlorine or harsh chemicals, so one way to ensure the water doesn’t get contaminated is to make everyone shower beforehand.

Some places even have shower police to make sure you’re squeaky clean before getting into the water!

If the hot springs you visit are out in nature and there are no showering facilities, then you won’t need to shower. Just climb in and enjoy!

If you want to find out more about showering in Iceland and the shower police, you don’t want to miss this post!👇

➡️ READ: Showering In Iceland | Do I Have To Get Naked?

Can You Swim In All The Hot Springs?

No. Some of the hot springs are too hot to swim in, like Grjótagjá in North Iceland.

(You may recognize this as Jon Snow’s cave from Game of Thrones).

Sometimes, they’re located on private land or are off-limits to preserve the natural environment,  which determines whether swimming is allowed.

However, there is usually a sign informing visitors of this.

Other Geothermal Pools + Hot Springs in Iceland

Picture of Geosea, a Free Hot Spring in Iceland | Iceland with a View

When I said Iceland has a huge pool culture, I wasn’t kidding!

If you’re eager to immerse yourself in this experience and benefit from relaxing in these pools, here are a few more options to consider.

However, please remember that these are NOT the FREE geothermal pools in Iceland.

Check out my videos and blog posts on the other hot springs, lagoons, and geothermal baths in Iceland worth visiting here:

  • Golden Circle 

👉 Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Hot Springs (Golden Circle)

  •  North Iceland

👉 Arctic Henge + Geosea Hot Spring + Husavik | Northeast Iceland

  • East Iceland 

👉 Vök Baths in East Iceland | Egilsstadir Hot Spring

  • Southwestern Iceland 

👉 Sky Lagoon | NEW spa in Reykjavík

👉 Is The Blue Lagoon Worth It? Everything You Need To Know About Iceland’s #1 Attraction

  • West Iceland: 

👉 Hvammsvík Hot Springs in West Iceland

Hot Springs in Iceland: Map

Ever wish you had a magic map that could lead you straight to the coolest hot springs in Iceland? 

Well, guess what? I’ve got just the thing! 

My Iceland Guidebooks + Maps are packed with must-have information on never-talked-about locations, including hot springs. They also include planning worksheets, where to find the clinics and grocery stores, and even tips on family travel.

Plus, you can SAVE if you bundle 3 or more products with essential guides and maps like this one 👉Bundle C – Ring Road, Reykjavik, Westfjords

Banner Shop for Iceland Guidebook and Maps | Iceland with a View

Trust me, it’s a game-changer! Just check out what Brittany had to say:

Jeannie’s guides and maps are probably the best investment you could make when planning a trip to Iceland. 

The maps come in handy when planning your route and I love all the hidden gems throughout! 


She has put so much time into making the guide and maps and it’s very much appreciated. There is no Iceland travel blog like hers and I’ve researched A LOT! Thank you for all you do, Jeannie!

I hope you get to experience the hot springs in Iceland because they’re such an important part of the culture here. 

Grab your Iceland Guidebooks + Maps now and let the adventures begin!

Happy Planning,

Picture of Jeannie's Signature

Pin it for later! 👇

Pinterest Pin Image of 10 Best Free Hot Springs in Iceland Blog Post | Iceland with a View

Similar Posts