Come with us on a fabulous day tour to experience one of Iceland’s famous hot spring spas!
Spending time in a geothermal hotpot is a daily ritual for Icelanders and part of the national identity, so it’s the perfect way to meet the locals and make new friends.
Before there were coffee shops and bars, this is where Icelanders got together to chat about their day!
Now you can “do as the locals do”!
Enjoy incredibly relaxing and soothing experiences in stunning locations that are easy to reach from Reykjavík, where the rejuvenating waters will nurture your body and soul.
After exploring Iceland’s natural wonders, there’s no better feeling than to immerse yourself in the warming waters of a geothermal spa and soak up the spectacular surroundings!
But which one is right for you?
There are many geothermal areas in Iceland, so you might wonder what the differences are between them?
We’ve picked three of the best, offering day tours to each of them from a convenient pick-up in the capital.
Here’s our guide to The Blue Lagoon, the Canyon Baths, and Sky Lagoon, which will help you select which hot spring day tour is the best bathing experience for you!
What do these spas look like?
The Blue Lagoon is located on the Reykjanes peninsula in a dramatic jet-black lava field, surrounded by clouds of superheated steam vapor rising high into the air.
Fueled by the futuristic Svartsengi geothermal power station, the Blue Lagoon offers an enormous milky-blue spa filled with countless rocky coves to explore.
You’ll glide on smooth silica sand between steam rooms, saunas, a swim-up bar, and a piping hot waterfall!
There’s a modern visitors complex with restaurants, a gift shop, and a rooftop viewing platform.
Geologically, this is Iceland’s youngest region, and you’ll enjoy a stunning landscape of jagged volcanic rocks while relaxing in luxury!
The Canyon Baths offer a unique opportunity to enjoy an authentic Icelandic hot pot experience deep in the Viking heartlands of West Iceland.
Inspired by the circular stone baths used by the famous medieval warrior-poet Snorri Sturluson, the Canyon Baths are located deep in a secluded mountain valley, far away from the crowds!
There are two geothermally-heated pools and a cold spring to refresh you, with simple timber changing rooms just a few feet away.
The Canyon Baths are more like the natural hot springs the Vikings would have visited, offering you a taste of genuine Icelandic hot pot history!
One of Iceland’s newest geothermal spas, the Sky Lagoon offers astonishing ocean views from a spectacular 250-foot infinity pool surrounded by towering rock formations.
Located a short drive from the capital, you’ll be dazzled by the beauty of the building and its luxurious wood-lined interiors.
Once in the waters, you’ll gaze across Faxa Bay to the glacier on Snæfellsnes peninsula and float happily between the swim-up bar, the hot waterfall, and the cold pool.
If you’ve selected a premium pass, you can access the dry sauna with its full-length ocean-view window, the steam and body scrub rooms, and the fog-mist showers!
How busy will it be?
The Blue Lagoon is located close to Keflavík, Iceland’s international airport. That makes it a very popular place for people to relax after their flights when they first arrive in Iceland or as a last treasured moment before they leave.
Named as one of the “25 Wonders of the World” by National Geographic magazine, it’s the country’s largest and most visited geothermal spa.
But there’s no need to worry about it being too crowded!
That’s because admissions are timed and spread evenly throughout the day, so your Blue Lagoon experience will be unforgettable and relaxed – the ultimate spa day!
The Canyon Baths in Húsafell are set in serene surroundings, hidden in a remote canyon in West Iceland, a couple of hours’ drive from Reykjavík.
In contrast to the Blue Lagoon, no more than 20 people are admitted to the Canyon Baths at a time.
That means you’re guaranteed a sublime and peaceful experience in unfiltered Icelandic nature, with only a few other guests for company while you soak in the soothing waters.
It’s an idyllic spot, which can only be reached on organized tours like ours, taking four-wheel drive vehicles through a spectacular mountain pass.
Sky Lagoon is one of Iceland’s newest geothermal spas, opening in 2021 and quickly becoming a top-rated destination.
It’s located in Kópavogur, just a few kilometers away from Reykjavík. The spa enjoys fabulous views from a 250-foot infinity pool overlooking the ocean.
Like the Blue Lagoon, admissions are scheduled at set times, keeping the numbers attending at any one time at relaxed levels.
Sky Lagoon operates an “adults only” policy, so no children are allowed to visit. As a result, you’ll be able to unwind in a way that has no equal in Iceland!
What’s the water like?
The Blue Lagoon is fed with superheated water from the nearby Svartsengi geothermal power station. First built in the 1970s, locals soon started bathing in the waters nearby, and the Blue Lagoon has grown in size since then.
The warming waters are a 70/30 mix of seawater and freshwater, which bubbles up from more than two kilometers beneath the surface.
Richly packed with silica, algae, and other minerals, the waters of the Blue Lagoon have healing properties. Slap on some soft white silica mud and see for yourself!
The waters are perfectly regulated at 38 degrees, with a 2.5% salt content and a pH of 7.5; you’ll find “hot spots” near the vents if you want!
The three hot pots at the Canyon Baths blend naturally into the spectacular surroundings of the Hringsgil ravine.
Environmentally conscious, the pools were constructed with locally-sourced sustainable materials. Shampoos and soap cannot be used to help minimize environmental impacts.
The two hot pots vary in temperature between 30-41°C or 86-105°F. If you need to cool off, there’s a cold-water pool and a cooling shower too.
Your visit here will echo the experience of the Viking chieftain Snorri Sturluson who lived nearby in Reykholt. His private pool looked just like this, a circular stone hot pot fed by a geothermal spring nearby.
Like many other Icelandic hot spring spas, Sky Lagoon is an artificial geothermal pool using superheated water from a nearby natural source.
Hot water is piped in from 25 miles away, arriving at Sky Lagoon at about 75 degrees Celsius.
It’s then mixed with fresh cold water to reach approximately 38–40° C (100–104° F), a perfect level for you to enjoy.
Sky Lagoon enjoys astonishing ocean views from the edge of Kársnes harbor.
Of course, there might be some windy conditions at times, but the spa is protected on three sides by towering rock formations, which keeps the wind away!
What’s the “wow” factor?
The Blue Lagoon is one of the most iconic sights in the country, a premier wellness destination, and a “must-do” for your bucket list.
Conveniently located near the airport and easily reached from the capital, it’s a place that cannot be missed on your trip to Iceland.
The country’s most famous spa is packed with the most modern facilities, including restaurants, a gift shop, and a rooftop viewing platform.
Enjoy a drink from the swim-up bar, get a massage, or slap on some of that famous silica mud and lie back in one of the world’s finest soaks at the Blue Lagoon!
The Canyon Baths offer an entirely different experience – off-grid, peaceful, and uncrowded.
In a magical setting, hidden away in a secret canyon, you’ll dip into the Viking spirit with a soothing soak in spectacular surroundings, with majestic mountains rising all around you.
With no more than twenty visitors at a time, it will be a more relaxed and serene experience. But there will be a thrilling 4WD drive to get you there from the visitors center at Húsafell, with a stop to see a thundering waterfall on the way!
Lie back and enjoy soaking up the views of the steep-sided canyon and the glittering glaciers all around!
Sky Lagoon may have the best view of all the geothermal spas in Iceland, with unbroken sightlines of the Atlantic from a 250-foot infinity pool.
The spa’s design was inspired by Icelandic nature and Viking heritage, with a turf-roofed visitors center and towering volcanic-like rocks surrounding it on three sides.
You can wade from one cove to another and enjoy a drink from the swim-up bar.
As well as that, you can opt for the seven-step Sky Ritual, which immerses you in authentic Icelandic bathing culture. And you can look out to sea from Iceland’s largest single-pane window!
As a sophisticated adults-only experience, Sky Lagoon is hard to beat!
Iceland offers you the chance to unwind in a perfect place of peace and relaxation, where you can experience the healing powers of geothermally heated waters.
With dozens of hot pots, geothermal springs, and wellness spas all around the country, we’re giving you the chance to pick the pool that suits you best.
If you want that iconic Instagram image, Blue Lagoon is your place.
Are you looking for a taste of authentic Icelandic bathing culture in a more peaceful setting? In that case, the Canyon Baths are the ideal choice.
Do you want epic ocean-side views in a child-free environment? Then pick Sky Lagoon.
Whichever hot spring day tour you choose, you’ll be guaranteed an unforgettable experience that will refresh and rejuvenate you – body and soul.