Europe, Information, Photography

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 thoughts on “Hidden Gem: Grettislaug Hot Springs in Iceland”

  1. 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!

    1. 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. 😛

    1. 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.)

  2. 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!


    1. 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).

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

    1. 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).

  4. 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

    1. 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!

    1. 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.

  5. 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.

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