It is well documented that we Iceland have a lot of water hiding away deep in the earth. We tap into it and use it to make electricity, heating and to fill up our ridiculous amount of public pools. But there are places where the water has found a way up to the surface on its own. We call those places Náttúrulaugar, but we’ll just call them hot springs or hot pots. They can be found all over the country, some of them can be quite easy to get to like the one in Reykjadalur. It’s about a 40 minute hike to get to this place and the terrain is not steep at all.
Going into one of these bad boys is incredibly fun and something that we Icelanders have been doing for a millennia now. That’s why I want to tell you about a website called https://hotpoticeland.com/
This handy dandy website is just the thing you need if you want to find the hidden gems of Iceland. Above you can see a screenshot of the website. At the top you can select what you want to see, hotpots, gas stations or public bathrooms. It also has the bathing rules which we recommend you read before you go off looking for warmth in the highlands.
The blue icons represent a natural geothermal pool, and as you can see, we have a lot of them. The further you get away from the city, the likelier it is that it’ll be just you and a couple of birds, so go on and explore.
If you’re traveling on the south side of the Island, you might find a place called Hoffell. There, the hot pots are nestled up against a cliff of a sort and can fit quite a few people. It is owned by guesthouse, therefore you’ll have to pay 500kr to get in.
The yellow icons are public pools and going swimming in one in a small rural community is great fun. Some of the natural pools have been made into public ones, where they simply cover the source with a jacuzzi and let it overflow.
A good example of that is the hot tubs of Drangsnes. Located north in the westfjords the hot tubs are situated right in front of the ocean, you only have to take four steps before your swimming in the ocean. We highly recommend that you do just that, take a nice dip in the cold nordic ocean after enjoying yourself in the warm water.
The red icons are the gas stations, they are usually not too far apart, but if you’re driving the south beach, it’s good to be aware of their location.
Remember that these are natural pools, therefore it is very important that you take everything with you that you brought. Also, since no one is maintaining them, don’t expect to come out of them squeaky clean, we recommend that you take a good shower afterwards.
So go forth and find some hidden hotpot somewhere out in the middle of nowhere!