Iceland’s best geothermal pools

(CNN) — Steam-encapsulated scenic views are common when driving Iceland’s winding fjords and gravel roads.

Exploring the country’s geothermal activity, this form of energy also includes the tradition of soaking in Iceland’s thermal pools – a practice appreciated by locals and tourists alike.

From rock-encrusted volcanoes to beautifully designed pools, there are plenty of places to cool off for every type of visitor, whatever the weather.

So whether you’re driving the Ring Road or heading out in a 4×4, here’s a list of the most beloved hot springs — some of them unvisited — for your next trip to Iceland.

GeoSea

In the northern Icelandic town of Húsavik, made famous by the Netflix movie “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga,” is Geosea.

The combination of geothermal water and rock water will make your skin feel soft, but the feelings are long-lasting.

With a drink in hand, take in the snow-crested peaks of the Flateyjarskagi Peninsula and if you’re lucky a whale or two. Reserve your 4,900 ISK ($36) tickets in advance.

The Blue Lagoon is Iceland's most famous and one of its best swimming spots.

The Blue Lagoon is Iceland’s most famous and one of its best swimming spots.

Maja Smiejkowska/Shutterstock

This blue hot spring water needs no introduction. Located near the Keflavík Airport gate in Iceland, the country’s most popular spot for a silica mask and soak is frequented by the country’s public.

If your wallet allows — to the tune of 59,000 ISK (about $435) — book a day trip at The Retreat Spa for a less expensive Blue Lagoon experience.

Hellulag

This little water in the Westfjords is quite natural, with no changing areas and an “enter at your own risk” sign to boot.

Off Highway 60, this beachside hot tub won’t fit more than eight or nine people comfortably, so you’ll have to wait, but the 100-degree water is worth it.

Landmannalaugar hot spring

Known as the “People’s Pool,” these steamy, shallow pools are surrounded by some of the country’s steepest mountains. Upland, Landmannalaugar is named after the land where it is found.

Remember your clothes and towels; The pools are free, but bathrooms and changing rooms are available for a small fee.

Mývatn Nature Baths

Myvatn has hot water in a cave.

Myvatn has hot water in a cave.

Simon Dannhauer/Adobe Stock

Opened since 2004, this Northern Iceland adventure gets its name from the nearby volcanic lake.

Often compared to the Blue Lagoon because of its similar baby-blue waters, travelers can expect half the crowd for half the price.

The best time to come here is at sunset, and if you’re lucky, the Northern Lights can be seen.

These West Iceland baths are unvisited but only an hour from Reykjavik.

Five thermal pools filled with hot water from Europe’s hottest spring, Deildartunguhver.

Get a relaxing lounge with views of the lakes and hot spring steam for 4,500 ISK. Local and fresh food is served nearby in the Krauma restaurant.

Krossneslaug

Krossneslaug is a 1950s hot spring filled with hot spring water that comes with an entrance fee of 1,000 ISK per person.

The remote Strandir region in the Westfjords is worth the drive, even if the road gets muddy at the end. This lake at the end of the road is worth it.

Hidden cloud

The Secret Lagoon is Iceland's oldest lagoon.

The Secret Lagoon is Iceland’s oldest lagoon.

Visit Iceland

This spring is no longer hidden. Gamla Laugin, its local name, is a large lake built in 1891, which is the oldest in the country.

Fed with water from nearby geysers, the local hot spring experience is better than other large baths and costs 3,000 ISK.

So stop here after a bowl of tomato soup at the Friðheimar greenhouses. A reservation is highly recommended for both.

Hrunalaug Hot Springs

It should be a quick walk from the Golden Circle and five minutes to get to this small lake.

Travelers can change into a small wooden turf-room cabin and swim in one of the three small pools that vary in temperature.

Deposit an entry fee of 1,000 ISK at the box; the farmer who owns the land uses it to keep the changing room clean and tidy.

Seljavallalaug

Seljavallalaug is a secluded and remote valley lake.

Seljavallalaug is a secluded and remote valley lake.

Pencil Theft/Adobe Stock

Known to be one of the oldest swimming pools in Iceland, dating back to the 1920s, this geothermal area off the Ring Road in South Iceland is a must-see for its greenery.

However, current travelers report that the water is cold, and the changing rooms are not clean.

In the Westfjords, a 30-minute drive from Ísafjörður, is a farm called Heydalur. Guests can stay overnight, camp or try puffin at the restaurant of this quirky country hotel.

It has a heated pool and a stone wall, connected with geothermal water.

But the best pool of all is outside the flowing river of wealth. If the water is not high enough, tourists can carefully walk to the other side to find a small pool of water that is big enough for small people.

Opened before 2022, Forest Lagoon is surrounded by forest outside the northern town of Akureyri.

This sleek and sustainable spa is filled with natural geothermal water from the nearby mountains and has full spa equipment, swim-up bars and tranquil tree views.

The Sky Lagoon offers ocean views.

The Sky Lagoon offers ocean views.

Visit Iceland

This new pool is a short drive outside of Reykjavik, perched on a cliff with ocean views.

Traditional walls such as the turf-roof facade combine with modern Scandinavian practices, including a seven-step ritual. Reservations are required here, and the lowest price starts at 5,990 ISK.

Located on the coast of the Troll Peninsula, Bjórböðin is the country’s first beer spa.

Located next to Bruggsmiðjan Kaldi Brewery, travelers can reserve one of seven beer baths filled with local beer, hops, yeast and geothermal water. Brew lovers get an unlimited tap next to their bath during a 25-minute soak, which costs 11,900 ISK.

Outside there are two cedar hot springs filled with hot water and beautiful mountain views. Afterwards, travelers can head inside for a high-quality burger.

The lakes in Vok float on a lake.

The lakes in Vok float on a lake.

Gunnar Freyr/Icelandic Explorer

This hot spot of East Iceland is known for having the country’s largest floating pools. Located on Lake Urriðavatn, it has endless views of the stunning landscape and easy access to the frozen lake waters – if you dare.

On land, there are spa facilities, a cold spring, a tea and more hot pools, available for 5,990 ISK.

Laugavallalaug

Hidden in the highlands on the eastern side of Iceland, travelers need an all-terrain vehicle and possibly a local guide to help find this natural hot spring.

When travelers get there, they are the only ones there to enjoy this hot spring, complete with a warm waterfall.

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