Westfjords are one of the most spectacular regions in Iceland. When you are planning a visit to this amazing area, remember to bring your hiking boots and… a swimsuit.
In the Westfjords, a remote corner in northern Iceland, shrouded in mystery, a great surprise is waiting for you. During your trip not only will you have an opportunity to admire breathtaking landscapes, but also to have a bath in first-rate natural hot pots. What’s more, these hot pots have wonderful health properties. Both your body and soul will be really grateful. Oh gosh, it’s such a bath!
Without any doubt, it’s the best spa in the world. And it’s all natural. Just imagine deserted, fairy-like landscape. In the distance majestic fjord stands proudly, filled with flickering water, which surface stretches as far as the horizon. And you are sitting in a pleasantly warm pool admiring this tremendous view. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? It’s a vision like from a dream, but it’s nothing uncommon in the Westfjords. There’s nothing more relaxing than ending a day full of adventures in a way like this. Some tourists even change their travel schedule to spend some more time soaking in the jolly water.
Some of the hot pots are situated near hotels or guesthouses, but most of them are located in the pure wilderness. You’ll be really surprised with some locations. Well, it goes without saying – finding them is an adventure in itself. In the Westfjords every bath enthusiast becomes a true detective, especially that some of the hot springs can be easily missed. You must keep your eyes wide open.
When you are planning to visit the Westfjords, check out the website hotpoticeland.com, as it will be very helpful in your hot pot search. The authors have listed almost all hot pots and pools, which you can find in Iceland. Remember also to drop by to one of the tourist information centres and pick up a handy map (Westfjords. The Official Tourist Map), where many major thermal pools are marked.
Recommended article: Roadtrip in the Westfjords.
Have a look at our original Icelandic fine art prints!
Many hot pots look simply fabulous, as they perfectly fit in the surroundings. It’s all thanks to the natural materials used to build them. These are definitely our favourite ones. Other, which look like a traditional jacuzzi, are made of concrete and they are a bit less eye-pleasing, but we agree that they are almost equally extraordinary. Next to many hot springs you will find changing rooms, which can be closed after the season.
Every hot pot has got different temperature. Some of them are just perfect, but there are others which we had to leave after several minutes of bathing. They were so hot! Of course, it’s all matter of taste. Some hot pots were excellent for us, but other bathers regarded them as too cold.
All these pleasant and heavenly warm baths are available all year round. Nothing compares to sitting in them in the autumn or in the winter. It’s crazy cold outside, and when you jump into the warm water, it’s like entering a different world. Just remember that in the summer time there are lots of people who are also crazy about them, so it can get pretty crowded. If you want to relax just on your own or with 2-3 other people, choose the offseason for a visit.
During our two-week journey in the Westfjords, we visited most of the thermal pools you can find there. We present you our choice of the best of the best. Your hot pot experience will be at its most sublime in the following ones:
Hellulaug, Flókalundur (GPS: 65°35′16.67″N 23°8′29.32″W)
If we had to choose only one hot pot, we think it would be this one. Its location is just perfect, right by the ocean, hidden behind a crag like a hidden gem. When you sit there you can have an impression that you are drifting to some fairytale. It looks exactly like elves’ bath. The ocean view is not half bad (read: jaw-dropping). Just arrive there late in the evening, soak in the water and wait for the spectacle to begin – Northern Lights. Pure poetry!
Birkimelur, Barðaströnd (GPS: 65°31’10.4″N 23°24’21.5″W)
Another fabulous hot spring located in amazing scenery by the fjord. There is a swimming pool next to the hot pot. Very close, on the other side of the road, you can find a modern fenced swimming pool. Don’t confuse them!
Gvendarlaug, by Hotel Laugarhóll (GPS: 65°46′53.98″N 21°34′5.60″W)
This hot pot is located by Hotel Laugarhóll. It was the first hot spring which we encountered during our trip in the Westfjords, so we are especially fond of it. We arrived at Hotel Laugarhóll after the season, so almost no guests were there and we had the hot pot just for ourselves. It is believed that it has healing, magical powers. Its location is not as stunning as the other listed here, but come on, staying in a hotel which has its own natural hot pot – you can’t complain. Right next to it is a nice swimming pool and another hot spring, which dates back to medieval ages. Just imagine that the Vikings were bathing here. Because of its historical importance, it’s not allowed to bath in this one.
Reykjafjarðarlaug, close to Bíldudalur (GPS: 65°37’23.52″N 23°28’8.04″W)
Here in the middle of nowhere, by the fjord, you can find three small hot pots, which are connected with each other like a cascade. The uppermost turned out to be too hot for us – the water has 45-46 degrees C, but the other two are really pleasant. There is a small swimming pool right next to the hot spring.
Become a true detective, find your own favourite hot pot and soak in the warmth!