Iceland is well known for its geothermal energy and hot water that come right from the underground and there is no tourist that came to Iceland and didn’t stop at a geothermal pool to relax in the warm waters of the earth. Also, bathing in a geothermal pool is a Viking tradition that became more like a lifestyle. You will see Icelanders relaxing in hot tubs and many of them have a bathtub in their garden.
There are a lot of geothermal baths and pools that are designed to offer you an entire spa experience and you can read more about them on our blog. But a true Viking bath experience you will have it in the middle of nature, far away from crowds and luxurious facilities, surrounded by mountains and nature, below the clear sky.
Hot springs can be found all over Iceland and most of them have a perfect temperature for diving in and relaxing. Also, they are well maintained and for some of the people built facilities like showers and changing rooms. You will find many hot springs in the Westfjords in western Iceland with breathtaking views over the fjords. Not many people know about those hot springs as they are quite hidden from the tourist’s eye and are located in remote areas. But that doesn’t mean you cannot go there and relax your mind and body in a quiet place.
The map below shows you the exact location of each hot spring and if you want to plan a trip there you can access this link to get directions: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1pudX4rH5cpJ_9ZSS8hTCFMCKqev_8ncM&usp=sharing
Map created with Google Maps
If you want to enjoy the beauty of Icelandic nature from a nice and cozy spot, then Hellalaug hot spring is the perfect place. This gem is hidden from the people’s eyes but that doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy your time in the hot geothermal water.
There is no entrance fee for the Hellulaug hot spring but at the parking spot, there is a canister where you can put a symbolic fee that will be used for maintaining the hot spring. The water is changed regularly and the hot spring is cleaned in order to meet the requirements and quality standards for hot pools. There are no changing facilities so you have to change in the car. Even if you probably have heard that Vikings used to bathe naked, wear your swimsuit no matter if there can be other people at the hot spring or not.
Photo source: westfjords.is
The hot spring is all-natural and it is 60 cm deep and 3 to 4 meters wide. The water is constantly at 38°C (100°F) so it is at the perfect temperature for relaxing and enjoying the view over the beach, ocean, and the mountains from Vatnsfjörður fjord. You can soak in the Hellulaug hot spring all year round as there are no restrictions of any kind. Just be careful and take warm clothes and towels with you no matter the season, Iceland is colder than a temperate country.
The Hellulaug is close to the Vatnsfjörður beach and to get there from Reykjavik you have to take the Ring Road northbound. When you pass Bifröst you have to turn left on Road 60 that will get you straight to the Hellulaug hot spring. You have to be careful when driving on this road because is a gravel road. In the end, the view and the relaxation you will get in the hot spring will be worth the drive. Follow the GPS coordinates to get there easier: 65.57715, -23.15948.
If you’re not as mainstream as other people and prefer an intimate place to relax then you have to add some hot springs from Westfjords to your bucket list. Reykjafjarðarlaug is one of that hot springs that will embrace you not only with its warm water but also with breathtaking views.
At Reykjafjarðarlaug you will find three small hot springs that are connected and one of them is a man-made concrete pool built 45 years ago. The natural hot springs have a water temperature of 50°C and 45°C while in the concrete pool the water has a temperature of 32°C. You can switch between pools and create yourself a true Icelandic ritual. The man-made hot spring is 6 meters long which means that you can enjoy a relaxing bath together with your family or friends. The views over the Arnarfjorjörður fjord complete the whole experience at the Reykjafjarðarlaug.
The hot spring at Reykjafjarðarlaug is also free but you can let some money in the box. All the money will go to maintaining the pool and the changing facilities clean. The place is open all year round so you can enjoy it either in the summer light or you can enjoy it with the sky full of northern lights during the winter. There are no guided tours that will take you to the Reykjafjarðarlaug so a self-drive tour is a perfect way to get there.
The Reykjafjarðarlaug hot spring is located in Reykjafjörður which is a little fjord in the Arnarfjörður. If you are coming from Flókalundur on Road 60, turn left on Road 63 until you get to the little Reykjafjörður where you will find the pool on the left side. If you are coming from Bíldudalur on Road 63 you will find the hot spring on the right side. The road between Bíldudalur and Þingeyri is open during summer so if you want to relax in those natural hot springs you have to take notice of this. Follow the GPS coordinates to get to the Reykjafjarðarlaug: 65.62320877605379, -23.46914278813489.
Geothermal energy can be considered a natural wonder and Iceland has the perfect examples for this. It is used for heating the Icelander’s homes, for producing energy, for thermal pools, and even for fish farms. In the Westfjords there are many hot springs and local people designed pools to enjoy the benefits of thermal water. So happened at Pollurin, where people designed a space that everyone can use to relax in the warm water.
There are three concrete pools at Pollurin, a parking spot, shower, and changing facilities all for free. In exchange for using the pools, we kindly recommend you to take care of the place and clean the place after you use it, take all the litter and put it in the bins. The size of each pool is: 2 x 2 meters wide and 1-meter depth; 1, 35 x 2 meters wide and 50 cm depth, and the other one is 2 x 2, 8 meters wide and 40 cm depth.
You can enjoy the pools all year round and the views will complete your relaxation experience. During the summer you can enjoy the polar day with its endless light and colorful sunsets while you sit in the pool and let the warm water calm your mind and body. In the winter you can warm yourself in the pool while you enjoy the dancing northern lights. The water in the pools is mostly around the temperature of 40- 45 °C.
Pollurin is located near the village of Tálknafjörður which is in the fjord with the same name. If you are coming from the north of the Westfjords on Route 60, you will see a second road on the right side. That is Road 63 that you have to follow until you will see a sign on the right side for getting to the village of Tálknafjörður. Pollurin is a few kilometers from the village. The road to the village and to the hot spring is a gravel road but is easily accessible. The views over the fjord will be worth the entire journey to Pollurin. You can also follow the GPS coordinates: 65.64908, -23.89486.
Many places in Iceland have a history or some legends related to them and Heydalur hot spring makes no exception. There are three pools located in the Mjóifjörður just a few minutes’ walk from Heydalur hotel. It is believed that one of the pools was blessed by Bishop Guðmundur in the 12th century. Also, locals say that the hot pools at Heydalur have some energy-boosting powers but you have to convince yourself about that by stopping and relaxing in the pool.
One of the pools is man-made and the views in the background will relax your mind while the hot water inside the pool will relax your body. Another pool is located inside a Greenhouse and is a traditional swimming pool. The other one has a more natural look because it looks like a hole in the ground, but is large enough so there is enough space for about 8 people.
There are no changing facilities near the pools so you better stop at Heydalur hotel while you visit the Westfjords and enjoy the hot spring together with the views over the fjord and a delicious hot meal at the restaurant. There used to be changing facilities but they were destroyed by nature.
To get to the Heydalur if you are coming from Hólmavik, you have to follow Road 61 until you will see a second road on the left side which is Road 633. From there, an unmarked road will take you to the Heydalur. If you are driving east from Súðavík follow the same Road 61 until you will have to turn right on Road 633. Follow the GPS coordinates to get there easier: 65°50’37.9″N 22°40’50.3″W.
Krosslaug is another hot spring with an interesting story from Icelandic culture. Located in the eastern coastal region of Westfjords, Krosslaug is a well-hidden hot spring-fed with water from Krossneshverar geothermal area. There are two hot springs, one man-made and one natural.
Krosslaug is well protected and maintained. It is one of the best-maintained hot pools in Westfjords. The man-made pool was built in 1948 by a youth association and it served as a pool for swimming lessons for local people. The swimming pool is 4 x 13 meters in width and 1-2 meters in depth. The water temperature is around 37°C.
Near the man-made hot spring, there is another hot spring which is thousand years old and it is known as the Hot Pool of the Cross. The name of the hot pool is linked to the period when Vikings were converted to Christianity around 1000 AD. It is said that the Vikings were baptized there and the locals believe that the water in the hot pool has healing power. Translated in English the name Krosslaug means “The Hot Pool of the Cross”. The natural hot spring is on the shore, closer to the Atlantic waters.
You have to pay an insignificant fee (about 500 isk) to use the hot springs. There are no changing facilities at the pool.
The place is less known by tourists so it will be empty and you can enjoy your time there. We kindly recommend cleaning the place after you use the pools, don’t let litter around there. You can access the Krosslaug by car. If you are driving from Reykjavik you have to follow the Ring Road then take Road 60 to Westfjords. From there you have to turn on Road 62 which will lead you to Krosslaug. You can also follow the GPS coordinates: 65.51961, -23.40533.
Hákarlavogur is a hidden hot spring in Westfjords, located between the volcanic rocks on the sea cliff near Akurvik bay. The hot spring is unknown even for locals. Also, the hot spring is on private propriety so if you want to go there you have to ask permission from the owners at the Gjögur farm.
The Gjögur bay was once a shark fishing ground and the name of the hot spring Hákarlavogur (Shark’s Bay) is related to this. The water from the hot spring sometimes goes to 65°C so you have to check the temperature before soaking in. In the hot spring can enter about 10 people at once and the views over the Atlantic Ocean are breathtaking.
The place around Hákarlavogur is accessible from the road that leads to the Gjögur airport. It is not absolutely necessary to have a 4×4 car but it is recommended as the road is not so easy to drive on. Follow the GPS coordinates to find it easier: 65.99885, -21.317.
Like the rest of the hot springs in Westfjords, Nauteyrarlaug is also a hidden hot spring that you will have all by yourself. The water at Nauteyrarlaug is between 40 and 42°C and usually is very clean.
Photo source: losangeleswimmin.com
The hot spring is made of rock and stones and it suffered some modifications some years ago. The water that used to feed the sot spring came directly from a borehole located near the pool, but because a fish company redirected the water to their fish hatchery, the hot spring is now fed through a pipe. There is a small cabin near the hot spring that can be used as a changing room.
Nauteyrarlaug is not known for tourists so if you want to connect yourself with Icelandic nature and enjoy the place for yourself you should add Nauteyrarlaug to your bucket list. The hot spring can be found close to the Arngerðareyri airport. To get there you have to take Road 635 from Road 61. Follow the GPS coordinates to find it: 65.91711, -22.34193.
This pool is located in the Mjóifjörður and it is the perfect place for a stop to recharge your batteries for your next Icelandic adventures. Surrounded by the mesmerizing view of the fjords, Hörgshlíðarlaug is a man-made, very well-maintained pool so people can have a relaxing stop to connect with nature.
Hörgshlíðarlaug is on private land and it has a changing room that you can use, bring your own swimsuit and towel as there are no such facilities. The pool is 6 meters long and 80 cm deep and the water has a temperature around 40°C that will warm you up and refresh your senses. The water from the pool came from three sources; two of them are with hot water and one of them with cold water which provides the best temperature for bathing.
You don’t have to pay for using the pool but being on private land you have to ask permission from the pool owner. Don’t be shy to ask for permission, Icelanders are very friendly and they love when tourists are interested in their culture. In exchange for that, we recommend you to leave the pool as you find it, take the litter with you, and put it in a bin. Respect Mother Nature as it gives us such amazing things like hot springs, beautiful views over the fjords, and many other natural wonders.
Hörgshlíðarlaug is located close to Heydalur hot spring and even if you came from east or from the west on Route 61, you have to turn on Route 633 which is a gravel road. Follow the GPS coordinates to find it easier: 65.845228, -22.61212.
In the Westfjords you will find a little town with about 67-70 inhabitants. The town is approximately 30 km away from Hólmavik which is another nice stop that you can take. The Drangsnes pools are the local attraction and they consist of three tubs filled up with natural hot water from a nearby borehole.
Locals discovered the hot spring in 1997 and they immediately set the pools for people to enjoy the rejuvenating warm water and the view over the Atlantic and fjords. The hot tubs at Drangsnes are aligned side by side and there is also a changing facility near them. People put also a garbage bin so people can let the place clean after they use it.
Photo source: westfjords.is
The place is in a remote area, far away from crowds and it is well maintained by the locals. Drangsnes is open all year round and it is free of charge. Local people like to go there and relax so you may find them there. Drangsnes village is located near a curvy cliff and the views from there are indescribable. If you are lucky you can spot some whales in the fjord while you rejuvenate in the hot spring.
If you are wondering about the area you can also visit Hólmavik. If you drive on Road 61, north to Hólmavik you will see a sign pointing to a secondary gravel road to get to the Drangsnes village and pools. You have to follow Road 643 until you will find another road, Road 645 that you have to follow to get to the Pools. Follow the GPS coordinates to find the mesmerizing spot: 65.6882, -21.44825.
Even if you plan to visit all those hot springs or you stop at one of them, the experience will be unique and unforgettable. Westfjords give the most beautiful views no matter if you enjoy them from a hot tub or from your car while driving. So forget about the crowded spas and adventure yourself to find a hot spring and live like a Viking for a moment.