Hrunalaug is one of Iceland’s 45+ phenomenal hot pools. Nestled in nature and conveniently located in the Golden Circle, Hrunalaug Hot Spring is unique and delightful, and has its challenges due to its size and popularity.
Having taken a dip in it, I share firsthand, practical tips on visiting Hrunalaug Hot Spring. This post covers:
- ♨️ Hrunalaug overview
- 💡 Essential tips for visiting
- 🌡️ Blue Lagoon comparison
- 💧 Secret Lagoon comparison
Planning a trip? Here are things to know about Iceland before going.
Disclosure: Lists By Lukiih is readers-supported. If you buy through an affiliate link on this post, I may earn a small commission. Thanks!
Hrunalaug Hot Spring at a Glance
Here’s everything you need to know about the Hrunalaug hot spring to help you plan your visit.
♨️ What Is the Hrunalaug Hot Spring?
Hrunalaug is a small, natural hot spring located in the Golden Circle area. The natural spring is known for its beautiful scenery, natural surroundings, and rustic charm.
The Hrunalaug Hot Spring is one of Iceland’s oldest pools and has been maintained by the same family since the 1890s.
Due to its small size, the Hrunalaug pool was once a hidden gem, but it’s now popular with visitors. The owners expanded it a bit in 2017 to meet growing demand.
📍 Where Is the Hrunalaug Hot Spring Located?
Hrunalaug Hot Spring is located in the Golden Circle area in the small town of Flúðir. Visitors only need to drive 30 minutes off the Ring Road (aka Route 1) to reach it. See below for details on getting there.
The Hrunalaug hot spring is located near many other popular attractions:
|Attraction||How Far is Hrunalaug From It?|
|Reykjavík||67 miles (1.5-hour drive)|
|Thingvellir National Park||38 miles (48-minute drive)|
|Secret Lagoon||3.7 miles (9-minute drive)|
Hrunalaug Hot Spring is about 20 miles south (approximately a 30-minute drive) from Gullfoss and Geyser, making it a great stop after visiting the Golden Circle’s attractions.
💰 How Much Does Hrunalaug Hot Spring Cost?
The Hrunalaug hot spring has an entrance fee of 2,000 ISK (about $14 USD) per adult. This is much cheaper than the popular Blue Lagoon and somewhat cheaper than the nearby Secret Lagoon. Read on for a comparison of all three hot springs.
Here are some things to know about paying the Hrunalaug entrance fee:
- The Hrunalaug hot spring used to be cash-only before 2023, but now there’s a QR code at the entrance so you can use your phone to pay.
- During the warmer months, an attendant sitting in a car collects the entrance fee. They take credit cards or cash.
- During the colder months, there may not be an attendant at the entrance so payment is based on the honor system. If you plan to pay by cash, bring the exact change unless you want to give more as a donation.
Hrunalaug Hot Spring is located on private land and maintained by a local farmer. The entrance fee helps maintain the hot spring for visitors to enjoy.
💧 How Big Is the Hrunalaug Hot Spring?
The Hrunalaug hot spring can comfortably fit eight to ten people. The maximum capacity is around 20 people, but that will feel very crowded.
Hrunalaug has three different pools:
- “Sheep” was originally used for washing sheep. It fits one to two people.
- “Laundry” is the oldest pool and was originally used for laundry and bathing. It fits four to six people.
- “Tourists” is the newly added pool in 2017 to accommodate increasing popularity. It also fits four to six people.
☀️ When Does Hrunalaug Hot Spring Close?
There’s no physical barrier blocking you from entering Hrunalaug Hot Spring at any time, but the listed hours of operation are:
|Season||Hours of Operation|
|Spring (Apr-May)||9 am–9 pm|
|Summer (May-Aug)||8 am–11:30 pm|
|Fall (Aug-Nov)||9 am–9 pm|
|Winter (Nov-Mar)||10 am–10 pm|
Due to its small size, the Hrunalaug hot spring has a time limit of one and a half hours, which is plenty of time to enjoy the pools.
🌡️ How Hot is Hrunalaug Hot Spring?
The Hrunalaug hot spring’s three small pools range from 90°F to 104°F in water temperature. I would call the water warm and not hot.
I found it to be the perfect temperature during the summer, but can imagine how it might not be hot enough for the colder months.
🚙 How To Get To Hrunalaug Hot Spring
The Hrunalaug hot spring is inside a small valley on private property, so it can be a bit tricky to find. Here’s how to get to it:
Step 1: Drive to the Parking Lot
The parking area is located here. The roads you turn into from the 344 are not paved and are surrounded by empty land. A short drive on the unpaved roads will take you to a small parking lot.
Step 2: Park and Pay
Hrunalaug’s parking lot is small and fits approximately 10 cars and campervans. After paying the entrance fee, head down the only walking trail.
Hrunalaug Hot Spring can be easily overcrowded. If there are more than eight cars in the parking lot, it is not worth visiting as it’ll be hard to find enough space to get inside the hot pool.
Step 3: Walk Down the Trail
The Hrunalaug hot spring is a short distance (about a three-minute walk) from the parking lot’s entrance.
During the walk, you’ll cross a small bridge and see a sign about the hot spring on your left. Once you see a small hut, you’ve arrived.
Is Hrunalaug Hot Spring Worth Visiting?
With so many hot springs to check out in Iceland, it can be hard to figure out which ones to visit.
For some guidance to help you decide whether to visit Hrunalaug or not, below are some of the pool’s highlights and lowlights.
⭐️ Highlights of Hrunalaug Hot Spring
Here are some of the best things about the Ha Giang Loop:
- The surrounding area is stunning and tranquil. Unlike many other natural hot pools in Iceland, Hrunalaug is truly surrounded by nature and has no real facilities around it.
- If you’re lucky, you can have the whole place to yourself. While the hot spring is popular, it can be empty during certain times and it’s a magical experience.
- It’s very accessible. Iceland’s hot springs are fairly evenly distributed around the country. Hrunalaug is accessible from the popular Golden Circle area.
👎 Lowlights of the Hrunalaug Hot Spring
Here are some of the worst things about the Ha Giang Loop:
- There are no real facilities. There’s a small hut with an open side near the pools, but that’s about it. You’ll have to change in your car and you won’t be able to shower before or after.
- It’s easily overcrowded. If there are more than 10 people at Hrunalaug Hot Spring, it will feel crowded. People who are unlucky enough to visit during those times say it’s not worth it.
- The water may not feel clean. The hot spring is truly in nature, so you’ll find natural debris floating in the water (e.g., dirt, rocks, etc), which may not be the experience you’re looking for.
Essential Tips for Visiting Hrunalaug Hot Spring
Here are practical tips for ensuring a smooth and enjoyable visit to the Hrunalaug hot spring.
🚿 1. Bring a towel
There are no facilities at Hrunalaug Hot Spring, so don’t expect to shower, find towel service, or have privacy when changing. I brought a quick dry towel for easy dry-off afterwards that worked well.
The area has a small, open shelter that has a roof and people sometimes use it to put their clothes inside, but it’s open on one side, so don’t expect any privacy or warmth.
If you’re traveling by campervan in Iceland and are looking for a shower facility, keep in mind that the Hrunalaug hot spring doesn’t have one.
☀️ 2. Go early or late at night to avoid the crowds.
Hrunalaug Hot Spring used to be a hidden gem, but now it’s a relatively well-known small pool. Due to its small capacity, it can get easily crowded.
The best time to visit the Hrunalaug hot spring is in the afternoon and around sunset, so those are also the most crowded times.
The best time to avoid the crowds is during the mornings around opening times before all the visitors arrive after ending their Golden Circle trip. You can also try your luck and visit it at night after sunset.
It is also significantly less crowded during the winter season since you have to brave the cold with the lack of facilities.
🚙 3. Change in your car
Since there are no facilities or a private shelter at Hrunalaug Hot Spring, most people change into their bathing suits inside their car or campervan.
Once you change, remember that there will be a short, exposed walk to the hot spring, so wear warm clothes for that walk. You can leave your belongings next to the pool.
❄️ 4. You may want to skip it in the winter.
Compared to Blue Lagoon and Secret Lagoon, the Hrunalaug hot spring isn’t as hot, temperature-wise.
It may not be warm enough to visit during the wintertime if you don’t like braving the cold. One of my friends visited it in March and had to turn back around due to the bad weather.
Iceland South Coast’s Hot Springs
Here’s how Hrunalaug Hot Spring compares to the famous Blue Lagoon and nearby Secret Lagoon. All three are popular hot pools located in Iceland’s south coast.
Hrunalaug Hot Spring vs. Blue Lagoon vs. Secret Lagoon
Here’s a summary comparison table of the three Iceland South Coast hot springs.
|Hrunalaug Hot Spring||Blue Lagoon||Secret Lagoon|
|💧 Atmosphere||Surrounded by nature||Otherworldly and luxurious||A large, rectangular pool|
|💰 Price||2,000 ISK |
|12,990+ ISK |
|3,300 ISK |
|🌡️ Temperature||Warm||Warm to hot||Hot|
|🚿 Facilities||• An open-air hut||• Individual showers|
• Cafe and restaurant
|• Communal showers|
• Front-desk snacks for sale
Blue Lagoon at a Glance
Blue Lagoon is an iconic Iceland spot and one of the 25 wonders of the world, known for its unique milky-blue water.
💧 What Is the Blue Lagoon Experience Like?
Blue Lagoon runs like the well-established destination site that it is. It’s large and you feel like you’re on another planet with the milky-blue water and foggy steam. Given its uniqueness, I thought it was an unforgettable experience.
Some visitors complain that the Blue Lagoon feels too man-made and touristy, which it is, so keep that in mind if you’re looking for truly “natural” hot springs.
Given its popularity, it’s a good idea to book the Blue Lagoon in advance, especially during the summer season. Blue Lagoon has timed slots, with afternoon slots being very popular.
See more tips on visiting Iceland during the summer season.
💰 How Much Is the Blue Lagoon?
Blue Lagoon is one of the most expensive geothermal pools in Iceland. They offer three tiered packages and the most basic one starts at 12,990 ISK (~$92 USD). The basic package includes access to its pools, a mud mask, and a drink.
📍 Where Is Blue Lagoon Located?
Blue Lagoon is located in Grindavík, about a 20-minute drive away from Keflavík International Airport. This makes it an ideal stopping point at the beginning or end of your Iceland trip.
Some shuttles run from Keflavík International Airport to Reykjavík and make a stop at Blue Lagoon. You can also book a package that includes the entrance fee and transportation.
⏰ How Long to Spend in Blue Lagoon
Visitors usually spend two to three hours at the Blue Lagoon, giving them enough time to get a complimentary mud mask and drink, explore all corners of the big pool, and visit the sauna and steam rooms.
🚿 What Facilities Does Blue Lagoon Have?
Blue Lagoon offers modern facilities, which include individual hot showers, bathrooms, private dressing rooms, lotion, etc. For an extra cost, you can also go to its restaurant, cafe, or spa.
At Blue Lagoon, you’re required to shower without a swimsuit before entering the pool. It’s a good idea to leave conditioner in your hair since the high levels of silica can make it stiff and difficult to manage.
Secret Lagoon at a Glance
Secret Lagoon, also known as Gamla Laugin, is Iceland’s oldest swimming pool (made in 1891). It’s fed by naturally occurring hot springs and is a popular spot for both locals and tourists.
💧 What Is the Secret Lagoon Experience Like?
Secret Lagoon is not known for its surroundings (it can feel like you’re in a rich person’s large backyard pool), but the water temperature gets very hot and it’s a great pool for its value.
💰 How Much Is the Secret Lagoon?
Secret Lagoon costs 3,300 ISK (~$24 USD) for the entrance fee. Towels and swimsuits are an extra 900 ISK (~$6.50 USD), so be sure to bring your own if possible.
The Secret Lagoon can sometimes get busy, but not always so. For a few additional dollars, you can purchase tickets ahead and skip the line if you’re concerned.
📍 Where Is Secret Lagoon Located?
Secret Lagoon is located in Flúðir where Hrunalaug Hot Spring is located. They’re about a 10-minute drive apart.
There’s a delicious fish and chips stall right outside Secret Lagoon. They’re only open on Fridays and Saturdays and close at the same time as the Secret Lagoon.
⏰ How Long to Spend in Secret Lagoon
Visitors usually spend approximately two hours at Secret Lagoon. They offer pool noodles you can float around in and you can walk around the pool to see the nearby boiling spring that powers the pool.
🚿 What Facilities Does Secret Lagoon have?
Secret Lagoon has decent facilities with a gender-separated communal hot shower, private lockers, etc. They also have an attached small cafe where you can buy some snacks and beverages.
At Secret Lagoon, you’re required to shower nude in a communal shower beforehand for hygienic reasons. It’s considered rude to not do so.
My Recommendation for Iceland Hot Springs
If you have time, I recommend visiting all three hot springs in southern Iceland because they each offer a unique experience.
Otherwise, my recommendation is to visit:
- Blue Lagoon if you want to experience something otherworldly and have three or more hours to spare.
- Hrunalaug Hot Spring if you want to be secluded in nature and have only about an hour. This is also a good place to go if you don’t mind being out in the cold or if it’s a warmer day.
- Secret Lagoon if you want an affordable, relaxing, and warm dip in a hot spring, or need a place to shower during your campervan trip.
This Iceland itinerary shows how to visit all three hot springs efficiently.
Iceland Trip Planner
To make your travel planning easier, download the trip planner below and use it as a starting point. The planner has country-specific travel information as well as an itinerary, packing list, and map with key places pinned.
The trip planner is built on Notion, which is what I use for all my travel planning (I genuinely love this tool). If you don’t have Notion, creating an account is free.
If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to leave a comment below.
Iceland Travel Guides
- 🇮🇸 Planning a Trip to Iceland: 11 Practical Things To Know
- ❄️ Epic 7 Days in Iceland South Coast: Road Trip Itinerary
- 🚐 How To Plan a Successful Iceland Campervan Trip
- 💰 1-Week Trip to Iceland Cost: 2023 Budget Breakdown
- ♨️ Hrunalaug Hot Spring Guide: What To Know + Tips
- ☀️ Guide to Iceland in August + Summer Packing List
- 🧊 Iceland Glacier Hike Practical Guide: What To Know and Wear
🧋 This site is run entirely by me, Lukiih. I spend hours researching each destination to ensure its accuracy. If you find my tips helpful, say thanks by buying me bubble tea!