Bathing in hot springs is one of my favorite things about Iceland, so I’m delighted to be able to provide you with some information on this topic today. There are many hot springs or man made lagoons you can visit in Iceland and you can find many of them in the north part of Iceland – in Westfjords.
The Westfjords are favourite location for tourist visiting Iceland, however because of distance from airport and more difficult access, you will not meet there as many tourist as in South.
There is a numerous amount of smaller or bigger hot springs in Westfjords, which you can visit (and most of them for free).
Here is the list of 9 best hot springs in Westjords:
- Birkimelur (Krosslaug)
GPS Location: 65.57287398025676, -23.171517769315596
One of the best and in the same time secret pool and hot spring in Westfjords is Hellulaug hot pot in Flókalundur.
You can´t compare it to any major lagoon in Iceland, as is famous Blue lagoon or recently opened Forest Lagoon near Akureyri, but it can be bonus and the reason, why should you visit this pool.
Eventhough the pool itself is not very big, the diameter is no more than 4 meters and depth 60 cm. But as it is with these small natural hot springs in Iceland, you usually share the place just with few other travelers or if you get lucky, you can even be there alone. There you can just enjoy the nice views to the beach and ocean in the warm water with temperature 38°C.
Although there is no charge for entry, there is a donation box to help with ongoing maintenance and cleaning costs.
GPS Location: 65.78146, -21.52166
Eventhough the Gvendarlaug/Laugarhóll hot spring is not open for everybody and it´s part the of the hotel Laugarhóll we wanted to add it to our list of Westjords hot springs, for those, who can´t decide, where to stay in the north fjords and looks for unique experience of icelandic hotels with hot springs.
You can find one man made swimming pool just next to the hotel and then small hot springs around the place.
This pool is no bigger then just mentioned Hellulaug, but because the remote location, there is higher chance, you will have it just for yourself.
The pool itself is just under the hotel Laugarholl, so if you are looking for accommodation in Westfjords with unique experience of icelandic hot springs, this will be the great place to stay.
Unfortunately you cannot take a bath in this place, but no need to be worry. There is a pool just next to the spring and not far away are hot tubs in Drangsnes, where you can take a bath after visit the waterfall of Gods – Goðafoss.
GPS Location: 65.68820940177545, -21.448253078286232
The hot tubs in Drangsnes are just 22 kms far away from the Gvendarlaug pools. The place itself is maybe not in such a beautiful area, as it can be seen on many photos. There are 3 hot tubs in this hot spring, each with different temperature so you can choose the most comfortable hot tub for you, or just switch to warmer/colder if the temperature of pool doesn´t fit to you.
Eventhough these three hot tubs is located just next to the “main” road, which goes around all the fjord and just behind you is the village Drangsnes, you can find here toilet and small changing rooms.
Eventhough, there is no official opening hours and you can take a bath there almost anytime, there is a maintenance every Monday between 9:30-10:30.
The entrance here is free, but you can donate to the box next to the changing room, to support locals who take care about the toilet, changing rooms and maintenance/cleaning the hot tubs.
GPS Location: 65.622813, -23.467903
There is one of my most favourite hot spring in west part of Westfjords in the area call Reykjarfjörður.
As it is almost everywhere in Westfjords, this hot pool is located in remote area with the calm atmosphere and pure nature. There is actually more then one hot pool, which is easily accessible (in the summer time) from the main road.
The hot spring coming from the hill leads to the small natural hot spot, which have temperature between 50 – 60 °C. The water then flows to the another pool, man made where it cools down to the warm, but more comfortable temperature.
The pool itself is much bigger than the natural pools above, so you can fit there with many friends or another tourist.
You can find there toilets and changing rooms, but the entrance is free/voluntary. You can always support the locals who take care about the place and keep it clean.
If you stop by here, we recommend to visit the hidden waterfall Fossfjordur or the abandoned barn just few minutes from Reykjafjarðarlaug.
GPS Location: 65.84528, -22.61212
Imagine driving to between the mountains, in the north of Iceland in the middle of nowhere and then noticing a small concrete pool just next to the pool, completely abandoned. This is how it could feel, if you drive next to the Hörgshlíðarlaug without knowing of its existence.
This not a huge pool, which you can find while driving in around the small fjord Mjóifjörður.
The temperature around 40 °C is perfect for a chill and having a short bath, and those who like to keep their body fit can even use to ocean nearby to cool down.
The size of the pool might not look very big on the photos, but the lenght of 6 metres and depth around 80 cm is enough to fit you and some other visitors.
The entrance fee is not needed and you can use there the shared toilet. Only thing you need to have with you is the swim suite and towel and enjoy the relax in Hörgshlíðarlaug.
GPS Location: 65.84360 -22.67947
Just across the fjord Mjóifjörður is another geothermal hot springs, you can take a bath in. One more curious than other, this one has not only pool, but two of them (plus one across the river).
You can find one natural hot pot outside and then, there is a second one man made geothermal pool in the greenhouse.
There is an absolutely stunning pool and hot tub inside a greenhouse at Hotel Heydalur, where geothermal energy is also used to grow vegetables and fruits. Finally, outside the hotel, there is a natural hot tub where hot water is pumped from the ground. Overall, this location is ideal for bath enthusiasts.
If you want to enjoy all three hot springs, we recommend to stay at hotel Heydalur, where you can get full access the pool inside, hot spring outside and from there it´s a just short walk to the last natural pool.
GPS Location: 65.83975203542835, -22.677561372661817
Galtahryggjarlaug is the name of the third hot spring in the Heydalur area. You will the small hot spring a bit more far away from Heydalur hotel, so you can visit it eventhough you are not guest of the hotel.
GPS Location: 66.05625, -21.50852
One of the most intriguing ponds in Iceland is this one at Krossnes by Strandir in the West Fjords peninsula. It is in a far-off location, and the scenery is beautiful with mountains on one side and the ocean on the other. Up there near the arctic circle, everything is just a joy. The pool and changing facilities are kept up; there are showers that allow for a long shower.
Whale sightings from a swimming pool are uncommon, but they occasionally happen. There is also a hotter hot tub, and the water is from the neighboring mountains.
The feeling of being on the edge of the earth and the breathtaking views that come with it make this site amazing despite the lengthy trip on a dirt road to get there.
GPS Location: 65.51942561444599, -23.40528210189397
If you are looking for the real hidden gem in the icelandic Westfjords, we just found it. The area Birkimel (or Birkimelur) has two secret pools, which you can visit a relax in.
The Krosslaug hot spring is a small natural hot tub just next to the ocean with the beautiful view to Snaefellsnes peninsula. With the same view just few meters from the hot tub is man mad pool, much bigger. You can take a bath in both of them and if you´ll be lucky, you can use the changing rooms nearby (it´s not always open).
The man made swimming pool in Birkimelur is 20 metres long, 1,5 meter deep. In this pool, there is an entrance fee (you pay to post box) which is:
- Price for adults: 1500 ISK
- Price for kids: 500 ISK
If you want to find the place, just make sure, you put the right adress in your navigation and you really drive to the Westfjords. There are similar pools in Iceland and if you choose the wrong one, the navigation can take you to very different part of Iceland.
How can I get to the Westfjords and where are they?
A journey to the lonely and stunning Westfjords has to be one of our favorite off-the-beaten-path road journeys. This undiscovered gem may be explored by car and provides a range of adventures. not least the opportunity to drive along its picturesque and blatantly desolate roads.
The Westfjords’ entrance is around a two-hour drive from Reykjavik in terms of travel time. From there, you could choose to travel through the town of Bardalur and along the southern coast.
Given that it is the least populated, this region presents additional driving challenges. The result is a little bit harsher roads. There are many gravel road segments in this area, as well as some challenging high mountain passes.
Rules for bathing in hot springs in Iceland
However, a rule that you would not think of makes sense. If the bottle were to inadvertently break, no one would want to stand on the pieces that would remain there. Bring bottles or cans if you already plan to bring alcohol.
Respect if the place is closed
Be respectful if entering hot springs is forbidden. You will undoubtedly claim that you are a small group and that nothing will happen if you go off there. How many of Iceland’s millions of visitors will likely say the same thing, and how will it play out?
Access to hot springs
After you arrive by car, please park it in the designated space; do not park outside, such as on the Icelandic moss that we are attempting to preserve. In any case, make an effort to stay on the designated pathways and avoid stepping on areas that are not necessary.
You don’t necessarily own the hotpot just because you arrived there first. Make place for others if you can, but don’t limit them in any way (noise, smoking, etc.)
Take what you’ve brought
A fundamental, uncomplicated rule that is applicable across Iceland. Always take all of your trash with you and never leave anything behind (except perhaps the voluntary entrance fee). Before and after you arrive, the location need to have the same appearance.
Recommended man made lagoons in Iceland:
Visitors and locals alike enjoy Iceland’s hot springs; friends often gather there to catch up, and the heat keeps us warm during the cold winters. When using one of these hot springs in Westfjords, be sure not to leave any trash behind so that others can enjoy them as well. There are numerous hot springs and swimming holes in this geothermally active country, so we hope you enjoy cooling off!