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Optimal Time to Experience Iceland’s Hot Springs

Thanks to its intense geothermal activity, Iceland is a country with many hot springs and thermal baths.

It is the land of fire and ice, a land of extremes with many interesting places to visit and unique things to experience.

Bathing in a natural pool is a very common thing among locals a habit adopted very quickly by tourists.

As a local, you can bathe whenever you want but as a tourist, you have to know when is the best time to visit Iceland hot springs in order to plan your trip wisely.

best time to visit Iceland hot springs Iceland Blue Lagoon Spring Geothermal Spa area

best time to visit Iceland’s hot springs Iceland Blue Lagoon Spring Geothermal Spa area

Bathing in a thermal pool in autumn

First, I was not very sure if I want to bathe in a natural pool.

I did not feel very comfortable about it, especially because outside was pretty cold.

But as everybody did it I decided that it was time to try this experience, too!

I experienced bathing in hot springs in autumn and it was very interesting!

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It was cold outside, around -3 degrees Celsius and the water temperature was 30 degrees Celsius.

A deep feeling of relaxation overflows my body and I just don’t want to get out of the water!

If at first, I wasn’t going to get in the natural pool, at the end, I didn’t want to get out that relaxing and interesting was!

The main downside was the outside temperature.

Headaches are a common thing when bathing in hot springs in winter and late autumn when it is very cold.

And this is because the differences in temperatures are very high.

You sweat and there is the steam from the hot water and outside are negative temperatures, and if you generally suffer from migraines or headaches for sure you will feel the temperature differences.

Iceland Blue Lagoon Spring Geothermal Spa

Iceland Blue Lagoon Spring Geothermal Spa

In winter is even more terrible!

The outside temperature is even lower and the wind is very strong.

It is a beautiful experience but you cannot fully enjoy it!

That is why I don’t think winter and autumn are the best time to visit Iceland hot springs.

Iceland Seljavallalaug in winter

Iceland Seljavallalaug in winter

And there is another thing about winter, autumn and bathing in hot springs!

Walking from the dressing room to the natural pool in a swimming suit seems very far!

Even if between the dressing room and the pool is a small distance, because of the low temperatures that few meters from changing room to the pool seems like kilometres!

I cannot say it was a pleasant experience to walk from the dressing room to the thermal pool but somehow I had to get into the pool.

Iceland Natural Bath Summer vs Winter

Iceland Natural Bath Summer vs Winter

When I was reaching the water I was cold as ice and once I got into the water I didn’t want to get out!

The further you go from the hot spring the colder is the water from the pool.

And because it is cold, you don’t feel that comfortable to undress and to stay in a swimsuit when outside is 0 degrees Celsius!

Taking all these facts into consideration I would say that spring is the best time to enjoy hot springs in Iceland.

When is the best time to visit Iceland hot springs? is it spring?

In spring the differences between outside temperature and water temperature are not that significant so bathing is a more pleasant experience.

More than that, the wind is not that strong and the number of tourists is still reasonable so you will have a pretty authentic experience.

Iceland river snow winter

And there is another thing which I want to talk about in this article and that is the price and the seasons.

Because spring is shoulder season the prices are reasonable and the crowds did not arrive yet!

So you have the chance to enjoy the moment! I cannot say that you have the pools just for yourself, but if you are lucky you can have a big part of the pool just for yourself.

I don’t like to be surrounded by many people and I love that the prices are reasonable and the differences in temperature are not that high!

Iceland Spa Blue Lagoon Thermal spa

Iceland Spa Blue Lagoon Thermal spa

That is why I consider spring is the best time to visit Iceland hot springs!

Visiting Iceland hot springs in summer

Summer is the time of the year with the longest days of the year with almost 24 hours of light, especially at the summer solstice when is the longest day of the year.

This is the time of the year when you can see the midnight sun, which is a natural phenomenon that occurs in the summer months in places located close to the Arctic Circle or the Antarctic Circle, and defines the moment when the sun remains visible at the local midnight.

Summer in Iceland is extremely crowded, with many tourists roaming around as the weather in Iceland is warmer and the number of sunny days is high.

There are plenty of hours of daylight so tourists can explore the island and its beauties, including the natural springs from the area.

The experience of bathing in Iceland hot springs is not that intense as the difference between the water and the outside temperatures are lower and besides that, the places are packed with noisy tourists.

Is winter the best time to visit Iceland hot springs?

Winter months are quieter, as the tourists are gone and most of the country is closed because of bad weather conditions.

It is almost impossible to reach Myvatn Natural Pools and most probably you can move just around Reykjavik and if you are lucky enough visit the south coast of Iceland.

Winter weather is harsh in this part of the world during winter, so if you plan to travel to Iceland to explore the country forget about it!

The good news about winter is that during this time of the year you can spot the Northern Lights dancing on the sky.

Just imagine how beautiful can it be to bath into a geothermal pool and admire the Aurora Borealis dancing on the sky.

I mean this reason is enough to make you want to visit Iceland and its hot springs during the winter season.

You should know that the most popular natural pools from Iceland are Myvatn Natural pools and Blue Lagoon Spa.

Myvatn is located in the northeast part of Iceland and offers a more authentic experience, while Blue Lagoon Spa is located close to Keflavik International Airport.

best time to visit Iceland hot springs Iceland Myvatn Nature Baths Iceland

best time to visit Iceland’s hot springs Myvatn Nature Baths Iceland

In summer, for example, Blue Lagoon Spa is so crowded that you have to book your ticket with a few days, even a week in advance!

I don’t think is necessary to tell you that the authenticity and the Wow factor of the experience disappear!

You will be surrounded by dozens of people searching for the perfect spot in the natural pool!

Myvatn Bath Geothermal Iceland best time to visit Iceland hot springs

best time to visit Iceland’s hot springs Myvatn Nature Baths Iceland

Besides these two natural pools, there are dozens of others, but most of them do not have the facilities which Myvatn and Blue Spa have.

If you are searching for a more authentic experience and you are not very picky when speaking about facilities, then you should try the natural pools known by locals.

They are not that touristic and they have a special vibe and still keeps the authentic charm of bathing in nature!

Iceland Seljavallalaug Oldest Pool

Iceland Seljavallalaug Oldest Pool

For reaching Myvatn natural pools and other hot springs popular among locals you need to rent a car to have the freedom to move.

In Iceland, public transport outside the cities is not very well developed as most people use cars to move around.

Actually, in Iceland, everybody has a car mainly because public transport is not available outside Reykjavik and the distances between the houses and the main towns are really big.

So, renting a car in Iceland is vital if you want to visit different places.

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We rented a car and drive along the Ring Road!

We stopped to Myvatn for a relaxing bath when we reached the northeast side of the island and we booked a few hours to Blue Lagoon when we returned to Iceland capital.

I must say that it was by far the most beautiful moments from the entire trip, except the one when we saw the Northern Lights!

For Myvatn natural pools, we booked just one night at Vogafjos Farm Resort Myvatn thinking that it would be enough, but the area is so beautiful that you’ll need at least 2 nights here.

As for Blue Lagoon, we visited the pools before going to the airport and we had only a few hours to bathe and the time run very fast!

For those who want to experience everything that Blue Lagoon has to offer we recommend to book a night at their own hotel, Retreat Lagoon Blue, the most beautiful hotel from Iceland which guarantees memorable moments far from any sound pollution.

After visiting both locations I have to admit that each of them has its own beauty and charm and you have to try them both!

It was a memorable trip and each of the natural pools offer you a completely different experience that’s for sure!

Although I visited Iceland’s hot springs in autumn I still believe that spring is the best time to visit Iceland hot springs and I encourage you to plan your trip to Iceland’s hot springs in spring!

Logistical tips and tricks for your trip

Book your accommodation
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Renting a car
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We always rent our car from Discovercars as they have free cancellation 48 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.

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