Experience Iceland’s unique natural beauty with a cruise. Soak in a geothermal pool, explore a lava field, and spot wildlife.
Gallons of water gush over the horseshoe-shaped Godafoss every second, creating one of the country’s most dramatic waterfalls. The vivid green of the water paired with dark lava rocks makes this sight even more striking.
In the heart of Iceland’s famous Golden Circle lies a little-known gem that’s sure to delight. The Secret Lagoon (Gamla Laugin) is the country’s oldest pool, and it’s located in the picturesque area around Fludir, where local people have kept this natural hot spring as their very own secret for as long as possible.
The pool is fed by a natural hot spring, and the water is between 38 and 40 degrees Celsius. It’s a relaxing setting where you can let your worries slip away as you take in the stunning scenery and surroundings.
If you visit in winter using the Iceland travel guide, take the chance to bathe under the Northern Lights. It’s a spectacular sight, making for an experience you’ll never forget.
If you’d like to add the Secret Lagoon to your trip, we recommend joining a guided tour of Iceland’s Golden Circle from Reykjavik. Get picked up from your accommodation and enjoy a full-day tour of the country’s highlights, including Thingvellir National Park, the iconic Gullfoss waterfall, and the bubbling Geysir hot spring. You’ll also have the opportunity to go snowmobiling across Europe’s second-largest glacier, Langjokull, and finish your tour with a reviving soak in the Secret Lagoon. Be sure to book your tour well in advance to secure your spot! This unforgettable adventure is best done with a group of friends.
Myvatn Nature Baths
The Myvatn Nature Baths are known as “The Blue Lagoon of the North” and offer visitors a relaxing and peaceful place to soak in a volcanically-heated lake. Located on Lake Myvatn, these artificial hot pools are cheaper and less crowded than their southern counterpart, making it the perfect spot to unwind during your visit to the North. In summer, the collection is open late into the night, allowing guests to relax under the Midnight Sun, while winter offers the unique opportunity to stay warm in the baths while watching for the Northern Lights.
A bath at the Myvatn Nature Baths is an incredible way to end a day spent exploring Iceland’s otherworldly landscapes. Spending the afternoon soaking in the waters sourced from depths of up to 2.500 meters makes for an unforgettable and rejuvenating experience. The water has a high concentration of minerals and is essential, making it ideally suited for bathing.
The baths have a restaurant open all year round, meaning you can add a soak to your trip in the winter as well! Just remember to bring a swimsuit, towel, and, if desired, a bathrobe. Packaging a waterproof camera or smartphone for photos of the natural beauty surrounding the hot springs is also a good idea.
Aside from the Blue Lagoon, Seljavallalaug is another hot spring worth checking out. While it isn’t heated like the other pools in Iceland, it has warm water, making it perfect for swimming. It’s also a great place to relax and enjoy the views of the mountains around you. The pool was filled with ash after the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajokull, but with some hard work and dedication from volunteers, it was cleaned and opened again in 2011.
You can get to this unique thermal pool by driving along The Ring Road to Road 242 (marked as Raufarfell) near Thorvaldseyri (Iceland Erupts Museum). From there, you will have to hike about 20 minutes through fields of lava ash and little streams flowing through the valley to reach the secluded hot spring.
When you reach the trail’s end, you will find a small wooden cabin where you can change and leave your belongings. Then, you can swim in the beautiful hot spring and enjoy this historic pool’s natural beauty. The geothermal waters of the hot spring have a calming effect on your body and can help you relax, ease muscle pains, and promote healthy skin. Soak in this magical natural pool and create memories that will last a lifetime. This is a must-do activity when traveling to Iceland!
Skaftafell National Park
Skaftafell National Park is one of the crown jewels of Iceland’s Vatnajokull region, where visitors can experience the stunning contrast between white glaciers and black sands. The area is home to an extensive network of hiking trails, including the famous Svartifoss waterfall surrounded by columns of black basalt.
While you can rent a car and explore on your own, booking a guided tour that includes visits to these natural wonders as part of a broader sightseeing package is also best. This way, you’ll have the flexibility to stop and spend as much time as you wish at each destination and will be provided with all the essential equipment, such as ice crampons, a harness, an ice axe, and a headlamp.
Guided tours typically include a hike on the glacier, allowing you to hop across crevasses and discover new landscapes around every corner. You might even taste some glacier water straight from the source!
Those interested in glaciers can join a guided tour that takes you on a full-day ice-climbing adventure. Alternatively, you can see the glacier on a shorter walking tour, which usually leaves from the visitor center. Depending on the length of your time, you’ll see various areas of the ice sheet, from Hvannadalshnjukur to Morsardalur.