Let’s start with mentioning how incredibly amazing the spas in Iceland are. Completely other wordly. The more I think about it, the more I’m certain that my week in Iceland last year was the best holiday that I have ever been on. That is a massive call as I’ve never been able to nail down one absolute favourite place/country/city that I’ve visited, until Iceland.
What’s so great about it you ask? Everything. No really. It’s all great, from the epic and completely unique scenery right down to the petrol station hot dogs.
One of my favourite things are these amazing spas in Iceland, something they have in abundance because all those active volcanoes have created these incredible, naturally heated geothermal pools and rivers all around the island. A fun fact for you – thermal baths are ingrained in Icelandic culture and public bathing is a local tradition that dates back to first settlement, so it would be rude not to indulge, really.
I made it a little mission to find a new one each day of my trip and as hard as it was to strip down to my bikinis outside in the middle of winter, it was surprisingly a relaxing way to spend a few hours (or a few minutes in some of the colder ones).
So to celebrate their greatness, here are some of the best spas in Iceland and where to find them. Scroll to the bottom to find some important spa tips too!
The first Iceland spa that always springs to people’s mind is the Blue Lagoon, which is no surprise given that it’s the ultimate spa haven. Order a glass of champagne from the swim up bar, or grab a mud face mask from the in-pool mud bar and find a cosy corner to relax in.
My boyfriend surprised me with an in-pool massage here and it was pretty brilliant. You lie on a water mat with a towel over you to keep warm and are massaged from underneath.
What I loved about this spa other than all the features, was that it was so big that you could go and explore different areas and find some more secluded places to enjoy.
Tip: Don’t forget to book ahead as reservations are required! Also, bring a GoPro or underwater camera with you so you can get some great snaps when you’re there.
This is another modern spa but located north of Iceland, a great place to stop by if you’re travelling around the Ring Road and it’s also much quieter and cheaper than the Blue Lagoon.
This was our own little spot of paradise when we found it. We walked for about 30 minutes in the rain, took a wrong turn and jumped over 2 fast-flowing rivers to find it, but when we did, we had it all to ourselves and it was absolutely brilliant. I even braved up the courage for a cheeky skinny dip (honestly easier than changing outfits in the freezing cold), but the water was too cold for me to stay in for long. I imagine it could be a little easier to bathe in the summer rather than the middle of winter.
This bubbling hot spring near Flúðir is also one of Iceland’s oldest. It’s lined with natural rock and the water sits at a pretty perfect 36 – 40 degrees celsius. Pretty much heaven.
You’ll find this one in the middle of the Golden Circle. It has a natural pool, a steam room with a bubbling hot spring inside, saunas and a cold lake to dip into. It’s a little more relaxed than the Blue Lagoon in terms of tourist numbers too.
Tips for spas in Iceland
- Don’t go in with your jewellery – the mineral-rich silica water can be stronger than you think.
- Take a small quick-drying towel with you in case you find any impromptu spots for a swim or to save some money at the spas that charge extra for a towel
- Avoid dipping your hair in the water if possible as it will really dry it out. Coat your hair in loads of conditioner and leave it whilst bathing to protect hair from the silica. If you’re really worried about your hair and not afraid of a bad selfie, take a shower cap.
- Lots of hotels have their own geothermal spas so if you’re a spa lover, look for the right hotels, like Frost and Fire (photo above) which is where I stayed on my first night