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Photo: Golli. Soaking in a natural pool is one of the best things about visiting Iceland.

Hidden Hot Pools Around Iceland

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Soaking in a hot pool out in the wild nature is one of the biggest luxuries Iceland has to offer. The geothermal heat that allows for warm and toasty houses to live in has also spouted a countless number of hot springs and pools that can be found in even the most remote places in the country. For hot pool enthusiasts that want to explore Iceland beyond the traditional dip into the Blue Lagoon, here are seven hidden hot pool treasures that are worth every effort.


Krosslaug is a small pool in the middle of Lundarreykjadalur valley that lies between Þingvellir National Park and Borgarfjörður. It is said to have been a christening pool back when Iceland was shifting from Paganism over to Christianity in the year 1.000 A.C. Krosslaug is pretty hot so it’s good to be careful when first going in as it usually sits at above 40°C. The pool is quite hidden within a fenced, wooded area that gives it a nice, secluded feeling. 


In the beautiful landscape of Snæfellsnes, right on the southern edge, is Landbrotalaug, a tiny, two person natural pot, surrounded by calm springs and impressive mountains. Landbrotalaug is rather shallow at 20 cm deep, but is perfect for a nice soak, especially in late summer while watching the stars, or even better, in the fall while catching the Northern Lights.


One of the best kept secrets of the West side of Iceland is an obscure, constructed pool in Dalabyggð, not far from Búðardalur. It was built in 1956 and then seemingly abandoned but it does have consistent waterflow that reaches around 30°C. Grafarlaug is located in a valley a good distance from Þjóðvegur 1 highway so there’s almost no traffic through the area, giving visitors a serene and almost eerie “alone in the world” sensation.


After driving through the first part of the Westfjords down into Vatnsfjörður, travellers are rewarded with a gorgeous natural bath right underneath the highway, a few minutes from Hotel Flókalundur. Hellulaug is situated down at the shore, shielded by a tall rock formation that gives perfect shelter. The pool is quite large so there’s room for a number of people and it’s a blissful place to sit and listen to the crashing waves of the ocean in the fjord.


Also in the Westfjords, in the small fjord Mjóifjörður, south of Ísafjörður, is one of the smallest man made hot baths in Iceland, Hörgshlíð pool. It is situated on private land but visitors are free to use the pool as long as they leave a donation in the small changing hut on site. Hörgshlíð pool is about four meters long and located right by the waterfront so it’s an ideal warm up after a cold dip in the ocean. 


Maybe the least “hidden” of the natural baths on this list is Grettislaug in Skagafjörður, in the North of Iceland, but it is well worth a visit for the dramatic history behind it and the equally dramatic nature all around. Grettislaug is named after Grettir the Strong, a temperamental figure from the Icelandic Sagas who isolated himself on Drangey Island off the coast of Skagafjörður. At one point Grettir was forced to swim from Drangey to land in order to get more fire for his house on the island and used the hot pools now known as Grettislaug to warm up after the icy waters. Grettislaug has nice changing facilities and a tiny café to hydrate in after a good soak. 


East Iceland has some great hot pool options, most notably Vök Baths, a beautifully designed system of baths set on top of Urriðavatn lake in Egilsstaðir. But off the beaten path is Laugavalladalur pool, a truly hidden wonder of geothermal luxury located north of Kárahnjúkar. A small waterfall flows down into the hot bath, creating an idyllic experience of unadulterated nature.

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