Hidden Gem: Grettislaug Hot Springs in Iceland


It is amazing what adventures you will come across when you just let things happen. I always feel like I’m missing out on opportunities when we have a packed schedule.

I am so incredibly happy that our road trip mate was M. He pulled us into a million things we wouldn’t have done normally – including our romp into the land of Lord of the Rings. As we were driving across the barren and beautiful landscapes of Iceland, M pulled out a folded and wadded newspaper clipping with a grin on his face.

“This is a compilation of the best hot pots in Iceland. I circled a few that we can go to while driving around Ring Road.”

It definitely wasn’t in our plans but – why not? I’m always down to finding hot springs in Iceland.


We took a detour in Northern Iceland to visit Gettislaug – a point of interest on the map. A bit out of the way but we were all dying for a stiff drink and a hot pot. Keep in mind that we were battling an on coming snowstorm.

Gettislaug is considered to be on private land and the entrance fee (a whopping $4 a person) was more than reasonable. From what M said, this was one of the biggest hot pots he had seen. We were lucky.


What we weren’t lucky about was the freezing drizzle coming from the sky.

A quick wardrobe change in the changing room and I was OFF!

Running at full speed in only my bathing suit, knee high wool socks, hiking boots, and a rain coat – the adrenaline from the cold weather kept me going. In an instant I threw of the socks, shoes, and poncho and was sitting pretty in 100 degree water.


…and apparently with a naked M.


He passed me the juice and vodka filled water bottle with a grin.

I guess we’re in the “when in Rome” mentality.

It was the best 3 ½ hours of my hot springs life. Sure we got an occasional surprise wave from the Arctic sea that went over the sea wall and onto us but it was GLORIOUS.


If you get the opportunity to head out there. DO.

Although I can’t guarantee people will be fully clothed.


34 Responses to “Hidden Gem: Grettislaug Hot Springs in Iceland”

  1. Liv October 19, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    Looks fun Erica but wasn’t it nippy when you got out?

    • Erica October 20, 2012 at 4:15 am #

      OH YES…. OHHHHH SO NIPPY. I could have cut glass.

  2. Bethany October 19, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    Looks awesome!! I definitely think I need to return to Iceland and go hot pot hopping!

    • Erica October 20, 2012 at 4:16 am #

      I think that would make a fantastic series – especially because the views would differ so much.

  3. Annette | Bucket List Journey October 19, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

    What a deal for only four bucks!Just about a dollar an hour for fun!

    • Erica October 20, 2012 at 4:17 am #

      Gotta get my bang for my buck – especially in Iceland.

  4. Anis Salvesen October 19, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

    Ha! I love the image of someone running in a raincoat and bathing suit with long wool socks and hiking boots. I’ll definitely have to try it one day. Iceland’s definitely near the top of my must-visit list!

    • Erica October 20, 2012 at 4:17 am #

      Well, the imagery was there so I felt compelled to share it. There were so many absurd moment there. I love it!

  5. Maria October 21, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    Great censored tag *laugh* You’re having waaay too much fun in Iceland *grin* Keep it up!

    • Erica November 13, 2012 at 10:39 am #

      I wish I didn’t have to censor because the whiteness of his butt is hilarious. I’m going to laugh if you recognize him walking about Austin. 😛

  6. Emily in Chile October 23, 2012 at 8:15 am #

    What an incredible view straight into the ocean! Although I’ll take mine without the naked man, please 🙂

    • Erica November 13, 2012 at 10:40 am #

      HAHA! It is a really amazing view but you do have to get out of the pool in the freezing cold to see it.

      And no pool is complete without a naked man! (I kid.)

  7. Randy Kalp October 25, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    Love when things happen like that! I can’t believe that place is only $4.

    • Erica November 13, 2012 at 10:40 am #

      Which is why I had to tell people about it! Iceland is so freaking expensive that I have to relish in anything less than $10.

  8. Stephanie - The Travel Chica October 26, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

    That photo of you guys is awesome!

    • Erica November 13, 2012 at 10:41 am #

      Thank you! I’m always scared to get my iPhone anywhere near water.

  9. Neil October 29, 2012 at 5:23 am #

    Trying to decide between Iceland and northern Scotland in my quest to see the northern lights this/next year.

    Your post has me leaning heavily towards Iceland now. Great find, thanks for sharing!


    • Erica November 13, 2012 at 10:41 am #

      I think I would do Iceland but because it is so magical and different. I’m sure Scotland would be great and all but Iceland sounds so exotic (and is now one of my favorite places in the world).

  10. Abby November 2, 2012 at 4:18 am #

    LOL love it!! Before Iceland became “the” place to travel to, all I heard about where its famous hot springs. Jealous!!

    • Erica November 13, 2012 at 10:42 am #

      And there are SO MANY. Some you have to make several days hikes to even get a glimpse of (not that I would do that because Lord knows I’m LAZY as HELL).

  11. Mary @Green Global Travel November 9, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

    The hot springs look like a lot of fun! Great post.

    • Erica November 13, 2012 at 10:43 am #

      Thanks Mary! I can’t believe we were soaking for 4 hours or so!

  12. Abi January 15, 2013 at 7:49 pm #

    Love it!

  13. Ian November 24, 2015 at 9:22 am #

    Hi Erica,

    Just wanted to leave a message saying thank you very much for sharing Grettislaug with us all. When planning a road trip to Iceland this year it was one of the first places on my list once I came across this webpage and we absolutely loved it.

    Me and my fiancée loved it so much that we are currently planning to have our wedding there in February and sharing the place with 35 of our friends and family.

    Again just want to thank you

    • Erica January 29, 2016 at 5:59 pm #

      Ian! I am so so so happy that you left this comment. I know I don’t check back too terribly often but I’m so happy my experiences helped you. I live for comments like these.

      The wedding sounds like it will be a DREAM. Best wishes to you both!

  14. Heather February 12, 2016 at 4:21 pm #

    Hey, I was wondering if you stayed somewhere near Grettislaug or if you know a good place to stay nearby?

    • Erica March 16, 2016 at 11:45 am #

      Hey Heather – I apologize about the delay. I do not know of any place nearby – but if you did end up booking a place, I would be curious where you ended up.

  15. Cher Budnick October 26, 2016 at 9:02 pm #

    Hey Erica,
    What other hot pots did you find? I live in Oregon and am in love with hotsprings. Really looking forward to my trip to Iceland Nov2! I would love to hit up some amazing hot pots along the ring road.

    • Erica October 27, 2016 at 11:54 am #

      The other one we went to was called Grjótagjá but is WAAAAY too hot to go in it. Check this site out though: http://hotpoticeland.com/

  16. Campervans Iceland (@CampersIceland) March 16, 2017 at 8:22 am #

    LOL. The “censured” pic is funny! 🙂 Here is more information on hot springs in Iceland, including GPS coordinates, videos and an interactive map:
    Have fun! 🙂


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    […] Around the same time Caroline came to stay with us, so did our friends Erica and Shaun. A few weeks earlier they were in Iceland enjoying the hot springs. This picture just makes me laugh. Check out their post here: Hidden Gem: Grettislaug Hot Springs in Iceland […]

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