The success of the Blue Lagoon and other premium thermal spas in Iceland has led to more new luxury bathing options in Iceland. The newest entrant (for now) is Hvammsvík Hot Springs, just under an hour outside of Reykjavik. Is Hvammsvík worth the price, and driving out of your way? And since the Blue Lagoon is closed for now because of volcanic activity in the area, is Hvammsvík a good alternative to the Blue Lagoon? We visited in October of 2023, and here’s our review of Hvammsvík Hot Springs.
Hvammsvík Hot Springs location
Hvammsvík is just under an hour away from Reykjavik by car. But it’s not really close to anything else. Take a look at our simple map:
Those arrows show Ring Road (Route 1) in both directions from the Reykjavik area. Hvammsvík is absolutely in an area that you would not otherwise visit. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. On the bad side, you need to budget extra time to get there, and to get back. But on the good side, the area where Hvammsvík Hot Springs is is simply stunning. As we were driving, a ray of sunlight was shining on the rental cottages next to the thermal baths; it was cloudy everywhere else. And it was incredibly beautiful. I couldn’t take a picture, sadly (don’t take pictures while you’re driving!) Here’s a slightly less stunning image from Hvammsvík’s website:
If you really want to relax and get off the beaten path in Iceland, staying in a cottage here would be a perfect choice.
Hvammsvík Hot Springs thermal pools
Okay, what you really want to know is how the bathing experience is. First, take a look. (All of these are our pictures from our visit.)
Each of the pools is a different temperature. There’s a handy map as you exit the locker room; if it’s cold, you may want to pick your first target pool before walking outside!
Let’s talk about the difference between Hvammsvík and the Blue Lagoon. There seem to be 2 different styles of premium thermal pools: Those with lots of smaller pools, and those with 1 or maybe 2 larger pools. Places like Blue Lagoon, Mývatn Nature Baths, and Secret Lagoon are in the latter category, with large goethermally heated pools. Here’s the Blue Lagoon:
(That’s our picture from a previous trip.) It’s enormous, and that expansive size adds to the experience. Sky Lagoon and Forest Lagoon are somewhere in the middle, with larger swimming areas that are not nearly as large as the Blue Lagoon.
On the one hand, that means that Hvammsvík is not a true alternative to the Blue Lagoon. But it’s still a premium experience in a wonderful relaxing atmosphere. Oh, and it’s half the price. And the Lounge Pool (#4) isn’t a tiny hot tub. There’s room here to walk around and explore a bit.
Note that some of the pools have very different temperatures. The Tidal Pool has ocean water spilling into it based on the tides, so it can be as cold as the ocean. And the other pools can vary by 5 or more degrees, so shop around for your favorite, or move around as you get colder or warmer. This is a place to take your time relaxing.
Is there food at Hvammsvík Hot Springs?
You can get drinks in the water at the Lounge pool; you can see the swim-up bar in the left-hand image above. Be sure to remember your locker number, since you’ll need this to charge your drink to your account.
There’s also a full-service restaurant in the main building:
It’s fairly common to find a casual looking restaurant with some gourmet food, and this is no exception. My seafood soup was very very good, and filling, but cost $25 (or a few dollars less for a vegan version.)
Not pictured: extra broth to refill the bowl!
How much does Hvammsvík Hot Springs cost?
There are 2 main options for your reservation: With transportation from Reykjavik and without. If you have a rental car, it’s a really wonderful drive up there. From Reykjavik, you can stop at Álafoss Wool Store on the way. (From their back kitchen you can see Álafoss waterfall!) There’s also a knifemaker, a wood carver, and a trampoline all in that immediate area.
The minimum cost without transportation is 7900 Icelandic Krona, or about $57 US. There is no discount for children, which is unusual for Iceland.
This $57 price is only available on certain days, and usually in the off season. In the summer, you’ll find the price to be somewhere in the $65-$75 per person range.
With transportation, the price increases to a base price of 14999 ISK, or about $109 US. That’s for a roundtrip transfer to and from Reykjavik, which seems reasonable by Iceland transportation standards. Right now you can choose to depart from Reykjavik at 10:30 AM or 5:00 PM. Hvammsvík closes at 9 PM.
But that base transportation price only takes you to and from the bus terminal in Reykjavik. If you want to catch a bus closer to your lodging, that costs an additional 1599 ISK, or about $11.50 US. It also adds to the hassle factor, since you need to transfer at the bus terminal.
Is Hvammsvík Hot Springs worth it?
If you have your own transportation, and you’re willing to take a lovely drive out of your way, I think the answer is definitely yes. But don’t try to squeeze it in to a busy touring day. I don’t think you want to head out here to only spend a few minutes swimming. Relax and spend half a day here and I think it’s well worth it.
Below are links to book tickets with and without transportation. You need to choose a time, but you are allowed to show up an hour before or after that listed time, as long as Hvammsvík is open at that time.
We may receive an affiliate commission if you book through the links below. Because of that, if you book through our links, we’ll send you a free digital copy of our Iceland guide book and free access to our Driving in Iceland Video course. This is on the honor system for now: Just e-mail us tell us you booked through the links below and we’ll send the book and video course out to you!
Hvammsvík and the Wim Hof Method
We happened to be there on a day when a local resident was offering a free introduction to the Wim Hof method. This method involves breathing exercises and cold water exposure to improve your physical health.
We happened to be there on a day when this was being offered. If you’re there on one of these days, it’s unquestionably worth the price of admission to spend an hour listening to Eva talk about her life, and maybe ways to improve yours.
Look for the activities and events page on Hvammsvík’s website, or just see if there are any events listed on the booking page when you make your reservation.