The geographical location of Iceland has create a land of active volcanoes, glaciers, and healing waters. This perfect combination of geothermal activity, pure glacier water, and volcanic heat, means that there are numerous hot springs all over the island. You can enjoy all the hot springs year-round, no matter what the weather is outside!
Here on this large island, you can find geothermal hot spring pools, spa hot springs, hot tubs, natural hot springs, and the no bathing hot springs and pools.
Here is the list for the top three in each category you must try to visit:
– Top 3 Spa Hot Springs
1 – The Blue Lagoon
2 – Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths
3 – Secret Lagoon
– Top 3 Geothermal Hot Spring Pools
1 – Seljavallalaug
2 – Grettislaug
3 – Krossneslaug
– Top 3 Hot Tubs
2 – Hoffell Hot Tubs
3 – Krauma Spa
– Top 3 Natural Hot Springs
1 – Reykjadalur
2 – Hellulaug
3 – Landmannalaugar
– Top 3 ‘No Bathing’ Hot Springs & Pools in Iceland
1 – Geysir
2 – Grjótagjá
3 – Brimketill
Out of the many pools, I visited three spa hot springs, and here is my review of each one:
1 The Blue Lagoon was named by National geographic one of the 25 world wonders in 2012, along with places such as Lake Baikal in Russia, the Norwegian fjords, and a few other incredible places around the world.
What makes the blue lagoon a world wonder is the water. First, the water here, some might say, has magical healing powers. The therapeutic water forms underneath the earth, combing a tremendous amount of geothermal seawater with freshwater. While rising to the surface, the water collects silica, algae, and minerals producing the heavenly colored blue lagoon we see on the surface. This water is excellent for anyone that is suffering from skin conditions such as Psoriasis.
The second factor that makes this spa stand out from others is the appearance and location. Located on what seems to be the surface of the moon, surrounded by black volcanic rock and snow, the blue lagoon transforms you to another planet. Among the rocks and snow, you stumble upon the milky blue lagoon.
My (winter) review:
Time of the year is going to have a significant effect on the reviews you’ll read — Because in the winter, there aren’t that many visitors compared to the summer months. Not many venture to this island in the winter, thinking it’s too cold; however, that isn’t quite the truth.
-Most of the reviews I read about the lagoon had a few thing in common: expensive, dirty, and overcrowded.
- -What I experienced was pure bliss and magic. Yes, the spa is pricy; however, if you factor in the free parking, free bath towels (as many as you want) the included face mask and a drink of choice, the cost seems to justify. Was it overcrowded? Not at all. All the guests spread out in this vast sea. Some were enjoying drinks by the bar; others were scrubbing and masking away at the other end of the lake. A few love birds were relaxing by the waterfall or sitting along the walls of this healing pool, socking in the minerals. Is it dirty? No, it wasn’t. Don’t expect it to be spotless, it is a water-based facility, where people come to relax. With that said, I do believe the blue lagoon needs to improve a few things.
- With the high prices, I believe the blue lagoon needs to add a few more perks to this (already extravagant) venue. Such as maybe snacks or more than one mask, add a scrub for free, something to enhance the overall experience. As well as add shampoo to the showers, a nourishing, cleansing kind.
- Trash cans around the pools by the evening, are full and not visible. Many visitors drink at the pools, and why not the drink is free. However, after washing down a pint of beer, the plastic cups get thrown on the boardwalk. Because it seems that no one can see where the trash cans are. Blue Lagoon needs to put a sing up or let the guests know to throw the cups away. It kills the whole esthetic of a magical place when you start noticing plastic cups scattered around the pool.
Different spa packages:
There are three spa packages for you to choose from: Comfort: Blue Lagoon, Premium: Blue Lagoon, and the Luxury: Retreat Spa. In each category, you’ll experience different price ranges (the price depends on the time you’ll want to visit) and spa options (such as masks, drinks, privet changing rooms, and other perks). I choose the comfort option, and the time 8 pm (one hour and thirty minutes before close) and the price was sixty-five dollars pp.
2 Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths located near the famous Golden Circle and next to Laugarvatn Lake. The lake is geothermal and makes for a great dip after the hot pools. This particular place is a favorite among the locals; they have been using it for cooking, heating homes, and swimming since 1929.
My winter review:
I read many poor reviews: such as filthy pools, dirty bathrooms, rude staff, and overcrowded. However, I still tried it and had a fantastic time, and here is why.
I entered the pools around 1 pm, and the place was empty, that was the best part of my visit. Having the whole spa to yourself is quite the experience. I tried out every pool, until settling at the all rocky tub with a lake view. All the pools were clean, and I mean, you could see to the bottom. Occasional algae floated by, but that didn’t bother me at all. Bathrooms were clean and had all the necessary products such as shampoo, conditioner, and a shower-gel (all smelled great.) The staff was helpful and friendly, nothing more and nothing less than what I expected.
What I loved about this spa is the location. Positioned next to the geothermal lake, it makes the perfect rejuvenating addition to the hot pool experience. It was nice to dive into the lake after every twenty minutes in the pool. If you feel adventures take a dip in the cold lake, it’s good for your blood circulation and heart.
What came true:
Five minutes before leavening, a tour bus pulled up with loads of tourists, ready to drink and swim. The overcrowded part came true at 3 pm; I was thrilled to leave.
3 Secret Lagoon is a secret that you won’t find unless you have read about it or hear about it. Tucked away and hidden from your eyes, the lagoon is part of the Golden Circle road. This place is an excellent addition to your road trip. After spending the whole day exploring the Golden Circle, the pool is a perfect way to end your day.
My winter review:
Overall, its a small facility with only one pool, size-wise nothing compared to the blue lagoon, yet it’s ideal for relaxation and rejuvenation. Even though the pool is small and most of the establishment was under construction, it was worth it for the price.
What I didn’t like:
The showers only have body soap, but nothing for the hair. Bring shampoo and conditioner with you. The biggest negative I had during the whole experience is the occasional boiling water that poured over the top every few minutes. The hot water made it impossible at times to move around and explore the lagoon. I wish they would regulate temperature better.
Things to know and do before you enter the pools:
- DON’T expect to drink your day away while swimming in one of the pools. FYI it isn’t healthy to drink alcohol within the pools. These pools are geothermal and are meant to cleanse your body of all the toxins, hens the healing effects they have on your skin. As part of your visit, you will be allowed two drinks per person, so don’t be disappointed when the staff will stop serving you drinks. My advice is don’t drink at all, except for fresh WATER. Your body will feel more cleansed and relaxed after water.
- PLEASE take a shower before entering the pools. Upon your arrival, the personnel will explicitly instruct you to take a shower “naked,” please don’t ignore the rules. What I noticed is that most ignore the rules. Keep in mind the pools are natural; therefore, they aren’t cleaned with chlorine, and not talking a shower is unsanitary.
- STORAGE If you are like me and worry about a safe/clean place for storing your belongings, then let me put you at ease; every facility has free lockers.
- SHOES Bring flip flops to wear around the pools. Trust me in the winter; they will come in handy. Also, it’s nice to have footwear while using the bathroom and shower.
- Bring a towel; not all places provide towels, some charge a fee.
- Bring food with you to eat after your swim, or eat at the restaurants- but keep in mind that the food is expensive.