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Natural Wonders

29 September 2023

Our top 4 public pools in Iceland

In case you didn’t know, but Iceland can be a rather cold place. So, when planning a trip here we understand that keeping warm is a matter of priority.

There are of course many ways to keep warm in Iceland. Some are however more interesting than others. In our opinion the best way to warm up in Iceland is getting into a pool and let the warm water do the work.

Luckily, there are countless of hot springs in Iceland and the geothermal heated water is used to fill up hundreds of public pools, which you can visit.

Let´s look at our picks for Iceland´s best public pools.

Blue Lagoon – Reykjanes Peninsula

The most famous pool in Iceland is the Blue Lagoon so it must be on this list.

Known worldwide for its unique features, especially the glooming blue water. It also has incredible surroundings where the hot water has carved a lagoon into the lava field. The color actually arrives from the minerals in the water.

This makes the Blue Lagoon not only beautiful but also extremely healthy as the minerals in the water are great for the skin.

In 2012 it was listed as National Geographic 25 wonders of the world and a must visit when in Iceland.

The Blue lagoon is located just 20 minutes drive from Keflavik International Airport and about 30 minutes from Reykjavik. A short and easy drive from the airport or the capital area. Just follow the white smoke, you can´t miss it!

The town of Akranes in Iceland.

Guðlaug Baths – Akranes

On Langisandur Beach overlooking Faxaflói Bay are the amazing Guðlaug Baths.

Guðlaug Baths is natural pool, located in the town of Akranes in the West of Iceland.

It consists of two pools which sit on the cliffs at Langisandur Beach. The water is heated by a hot spring and visitors can enjoy an incredible view of bay. Seeing in the distance Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Reykjanes Peninsula and straight across the sea is Reykjavik City.

Guðlaug is on three levels. At the top level you have a fantastic view over the bay. On second level is the larger pool and hotter pools, plus shower and storage space. On the lowest level is a wading pool from which visitors have an easy access to the beach.

The baths are very popular with swimmers which swim in the cold Atlantic Ocean. So, if you dare to take a dip, you can warm up in Guðlaug.

Guðlaug Baths is about 30 minutes drive from Reykjavik. Just follow the sign towards Akranes and from there head to the ocean and you will be sure to find Guðlaug Baths.

Laugardalslaug – Reykjavik Capital Area

Laugardalslaug is one of Icelands most popular public swimming pools. It is located in Laugardalur in Reykjavik. About 10 minutes drive from the down town area.

It is the only pool on this list which has both an indoor and outdoor pools and a waterslide. Within the pool area are hot tubs. Many with different features such as size and temperature.

Hot tubs are extremely popular with locals in Iceland. It is where they meet and socialize. There no topic is too big or small. Discussing everything from highly political matter to sports and gossip.

If you want to get to know the locals and socialize with the natives in Iceland, Laugardalslaug is the perfect place for you.


Sundhöllin – Downtown Reykjavik

One of the most iconic buildings in Reykjavik. Sundhöll Reykjavikur, (e. Reykjavik Swimming Hall) most commonly known as just Sundhöllin, or the Swimming Hall, has been an unseparated part of Reykjavik´s identity and cultures for almost a hundred years.

Located in the downtown area and in walking distance from Reykjavik main shopping street, Laugavegur.

Designed by Iceland´s most famous architect Guðjón Samúelsson, the building captures the spirit of Iceland´s path to modernization in the early 20th century.

Going there is great for getting an exercise, relaxing or see an important part of Icelandic history.


Getting in the pool

What these pools have in common is that they are all within or less than one hour drive from Reykjavik or Keflavik Airport. Meaning they are easily reachable by car when traveling in Iceland. We of course recommend getting a rental car and visit all of them.

There you have it these are our top picks for public pools in Iceland. There are of course many others well worth visiting. Do not forget to pack your bathing clothes when you travel to Iceland.

For more great travel tips and articles on Icelandic Culture, please visit Our Stories.