Five Hot Springs in the South of Iceland

While visiting the land of fire and ice, finding hot springs to relax in is a must. And lucky for you, there are more hot springs in Iceland than the typical, tourist-packed Blue Lagoon. After visiting Iceland, we’ve come up with five hot springs in the south of Iceland for you to enjoy… and get this… our favorite one is free!

Southern Iceland, Golden Triangle, Hot Springs, Secret Lagoon, arboursabroad, Iceland

Free Hot Springs in the South of Iceland 


Free hot springs in Iceland are definitely the way to go. Especially since most of them involve some sort of hike to get to, making the experience more than just a quick dip in a thermal bath. With fewer crowds and ease on the wallet, we suggest visiting the free hot springs over the paid for ones! However, we must say, the paid one we visited was much warmer than the free hot springs we experienced.


Reykjadalur Thermal River | Hveragerdi, Iceland

43 km from Reykjavik

Spend 3-4 hours here, including the hike

The Reykjadalur hot springs were by far our favorite hot spring experience in Iceland. These hot springs are found just outside the town called Hverager∂i, in a dammed up warm river. We say warm here because we don’t want you to get the wrong impression. The Reykjadalur hot springs were not as hot as we were hoping for, however, visiting in the winter may have been the cause for this with the snow melting right into them.

To access the Reykjadalur hot springs, you must complete a 3 km hike to and from the springs. The hike is breathtaking (as are most things in Iceland), and is relatively moderate taking us only one-hour hiking in the dark to get there. You’ll know when you’re getting closer when you can start seeing the steam come up from the water in the distance, and upon arrival to the springs, you’ll see boardwalks and little changing areas too!

READ MORE : Hiking to Reykjadalur Hot Springs | A Hot Spring Hike in Southern Iceland

(coming soon)

{Travelers Tip… If you’re going to hike in the dark, don’t forget a flashlight and some sort of map! We used our app, and found our way completely fine – however, something more than our phone flashlights would have been nice!}

{Traveler’s Tip… After coming off the trail, stop at Pasta and Panini for killer food at a great price. It’s on the left side of the road in Hverager∂i and can be easily missed if you aren’t looking for it.  Pasta and Panini is owned by the sweetest couple, and has the best prices we found in our whole time in Iceland… And yes.. they offer more than just pasta and paninis!}


Seljavallalaug Swimming Pool | Near Vik

150 km from Reykjavik

Spend 1-1.5 hours here, including hike


Seljavallalaug is actually a swimming pool fed by a natural hot spring. In fact, it’s Iceland’s oldest swimming pool. In our experience, the water wasn’t hot at all because the snow was melting in on one side of the pool while the spring was feeding the other. However, the water coming out of the spring was really hot, so we’d imagine this place would be much more enjoyable without the snow melt!

With an easy 20-minute hike both in and out of the valley where the pool is found, it’s worth a quick hike even if you don’t actually get in the water. Be forewarned here, you may have to cross the river a couple times, and the river is COLD, like ice COLD, so be prepared for your feet to get wet!

READ MORE : Hiking to the Oldest Swimming Pool in Iceland (coming soon)

{Traveler’s Tip.. Take the road in and out slowly. There are loads of potholes and large rocks that you don’t want to damage your rental car. We had a small car and managed the road fine, but seriously, take it slow.}


Kvika Footbath | Grotta Walking Path

12 km from Reykjavik

We didn’t actually make it to this hot spring because we never went into Reykjavik. Grotta hot spring is tucked away on the edge of the ocean just outside of Reykjavik, and, from what we’ve read it’s so hidden, you may walk right by it.  The spring itself is only big enough for two to four people, making it the perfect escape from tourism!

Since we didn’t actually go to Grotta Hot Springs, we don’t have any photos to share with you, but head here for photos and details on the place. If you go, don’t forget to let us know how it is!

Southern Iceland Hot Springs


When traveling on a budget, it’s a bit nerve-wracking throwing out over 20 USD for some kind of experience. However, we must say, if your budget allows, visiting one of the paid for hot springs in Iceland is worth it. In our experience the water was warmer, there were showers and changing rooms, and it gave us a great opportunity to meet other travelers.



Blue Lagoon | Near Keflavik Airport

49 km from Reykjavik

Assigned one-hour arrival time slot

The Blue Lagoon is probably the most well-known place to visit in Iceland. With the close proximity to the Keflavik airport, it’s easy to access and is a hot spot for a quick relaxation time before jumping on a plane. We’ve even heard of people that take an extended layover here and simply go to The Blue Lagoon for the day before boarding their next flight.

After reading about how touristy the Blue Lagoon is, and learning that you have to pay a hefty price for a specific time slot to visit, we decided to skip the Blue Lagoon and find other hot springs to enjoy. However, we will say, it’s a tourist hot spot, so if you feel so inclined – visit this place! If you want more information like opening times, prices, and how to book your slot visit the Blue Lagoon website here.

Since we did not visit the Blue Lagoon, we don’t have any pictures to share with you, but check out photos of the Blue Lagoon here.



Secret Lagoon (Gamla Laugin) | Golden Circle

98 km from Reykjavik

Spend 2-3 hours here, or pack a lunch and stay longer!


Found on the east side of the Golden Circle, Secret Lagoon provides a great escape – if you can beat the tour bus crowds! After driving in a snow storm, and canceling our plans to actually complete the Golden Circle, we decided we would spend some time at the Secret Lagoon to let the storm pass.

The Secret Lagoon was the only hot spring that we paid for, and man was it worth it! With extremely hot water, with even hotter “hot spots” throughout, relaxation was at its finest! At 24.50 USD, the price was a bit high, but you can stay as long as you want, and even at that price, it’s still cheaper than the Blue Lagoon. Accessing the Secret Lagoon is easily done just off the highway of the Golden Circle – We even managed to access it during the winter in a storm, however, do so at your own risk!

{Traveler’s Tip… Before visiting the Secret Lagoon, check what time the tour buses arrive and how long they stay, then plan your trip around that time. To get the Secret Lagoon’s contact details and more information on opening times and prices, head to the Secret Lagoon Website here.} 

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*Prices and experiences are from our trip to Iceland in January 2017. If prices have changed, please let us know! 
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