With over 45 natural hot springs, Iceland is known for its phenomenal hot pools. Hrunalaug is a small natural hot spring located in the Golden Circle. Nestled in nature, the Hrunalaug hot spring is unique and delightful, but has its challenges due to its size and location.
Having visited it last summer, I share practical tips on visiting Hrunalaug. This post covers:
- 💰 Overview of Hrunalaug Hot Spring
- 💡 Essential tips for visiting
- 🌡️ Blue Lagoon comparison
- 💧 Secret Lagoon comparison
Planning a trip to Iceland? This Iceland guide covers things to know before getting there, including the best places to visit, how to get around, what to pack and more.
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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. I visited a few of Iceland’s popular hot pools on the south coast and the Hrunalaug hot spring is worth visiting if:
- You want to experience a hot spring that’s entrenched in nature. Unlike many other natural hot pools in Iceland, Hrunalaug is truly surrounded by nature and has no real facilities around it.
- You’re mainly traveling in the Golden Circle area or the south coast. Iceland’s hot springs are fairly evenly distributed around the country. Hrunalaug is accessible from the popular Golden Circle area and is a unique one on the south coast.
- You want a chance to have a hot spring all to yourself. The Hrunalaug hot spring is very small, fitting up to 20 people maximum and that’s considered extremely crowded. While the hot spring is popular, it can be empty during certain times.
- You don’t mind the lack of facilities. Hrunalaug has no real facilities. You’ll have to change in your car and you won’t be able to shower before or after.
The Hrunalaug hot spring can get overcrowded. If more than 20 people are visiting at the same time (i.e., more than about 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.
Hrunalaug Hot Spring at a Glance
Here’s everything you need to know about the Hrunalaug hot spring to help you plan your visit.
💰 How much does the Hrunalaug hot spring cost?
The Hrunalaug hot spring costs 1000 ISK (~$7 USD) per adult. This is much cheaper than the Blue Lagoon and somewhat cheaper than the Secret Lagoon. Read on for a comparison of all three hot springs.
Here are three things to know about paying Hrunalaug’s entrance fee:
- The Hrunalaug hot spring used to be cash-only, but now there’s a QR code at the entrance that you can use your phone to pay.
- During the warmer months, mainly in the summertime, an attendant is sitting in a car at the entrance and will collect the entrance fee.
- During the low season, there may not be an attendant at the entrance so the entrance fee 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 is maintained by a local farmer. The entrance fee helps maintain the hot spring for visitors to enjoy.
📍 Where is the Hrunalaug hot spring located?
The Hrunalaug hot spring is located in the small town of Flúðir. It’s about a 30-minute drive from the Ring Road (aka Route 1) and a 10-minute drive from the nearby Secret Lagoon, the oldest pool in Iceland.
The hot spring is 67 miles east (approximately a one-and-a-half-hour drive) of Reykjavík and is located inside the Golden Circle, a 190-mile route featuring three of Iceland’s most popular stops: Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss and Geyser.
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.
☀️ When does the 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 9:30 am to 10 pm daily.
The hot spring is located on private property and is maintained by a local farmer, so the hours of operation should be respected.
⏰ How much time do you need in the Hrunalaug hot spring?
Due to its small size, the local owner asks that visitors limit their visit to the Hrunalaug hot spring to one and a half hours maximum, which is plenty of time.
The time limit is not strictly enforced, but should be respected.
👩👩👧👧 How many people fit in the Hrunalaug hot spring?
The Hrunalaug hot spring can comfortably fit eight to ten people. The maximum capacity is around 20 people and that will feel very crowded.
Hrunalaug has three different pools: two of the pools fit four to six people and the third, tiny pool fits one to two people.
🌡️ What is Hrunalaug hot spring’s water temperature?
The Hrunalaug hot spring has three small pools ranging from 90°F to 104°F in water temperature. 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.
Hrunalaug is warmer than many other of Iceland’s hot pools that are considered “warm”, but the temperature is not as hot compared to more established hot springs like the Blue Lagoon and Secret Lagoon. I compare all three hot springs below.
🚙 How do you get to the Hrunalaug hot spring?
The Hrunalaug hot spring is inside a small valley and maintained by a local farmer on private property, so no big signs are pointing to it and it can be a bit tricky to find.
Here’s how to locate and get to it:
Step 1: Drive on unpaved roads to get to the hot spring’s 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 at the hot spring’s small parking lot 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.
The Hrunalaug hot spring can be overcrowded. If there are more than about 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 a trail for about three minutes.
The Hrunalaug hot spring is a short distance 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.
4 Tips for Visiting Hrunalaug Hot Spring
Here are four key tips for ensuring a smooth and enjoyable visit to the Hrunalaug hot spring.
🚿 Tip #1: There are no facilities, so 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.
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.
☀️ Tip #2: Go in the morning 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 9 am), before all the visitors arrive after ending their Golden Circle trip. You can also try your luck and visit it at night after sunset, but regular visitors sometimes go during that time as well.
However, it is likely empty during the winter season.
🚙 Tip #3: Be prepared to change in your car.
Since there are no facilities or a private shelter at the 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.
❄️ Tip #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.
Given that it’s in nature with no facility and is completely exposed, it may not be warm enough to visit during the wintertime if you don’t want to brave the cold. One of my friends visited it in March and had to turn back around due to the weather.
Iceland South Coast’s Hot Springs
During my Iceland trip, I visited some of the south coast’s best hot springs. Here’s how the Hrunalaug hot spring compares to the Blue Lagoon and Secret Lagoon, two other popular hot pools.
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|
|💧 Vibe||Surrounded by nature||Otherworldly and luxurious||A large, rectangular pool|
|💰 Price||1,000 ISK |
|11,490+ ISK |
|3,000 ISK |
|🌡️ Temperature||Warm||Warm to hot||Hot|
|🚿 Facilities||An open-air hut||Individual showers|
Cafe and restaurant
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.
💧 Blue Lagoon’s Experience
Blue Lagoon runs like the well-established destination site 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. This Iceland summer guide has other tips on visiting the country during the peak season.
💰 Blue Lagoon’s Price
Blue Lagoon is one of the most expensive geothermal pools in Iceland. They offer three tiered packages and the most basic one starts at 11,490 ISK (~$86 USD). The basic package includes access to its pools, a mud mask and a drink.
📍 Blue Lagoon’s Location
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 that make a stop at Blue Lagoon. You can also book a package that includes the entrance fee and transportation.
⏰ Suggested Duration for Blue Lagoon
Visitors usually spend two to three hours at 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.
🚿 Blue Lagoon’s Facilities
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.
💧 Secret Lagoon’s Experience
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.
💰 Secret Lagoon’s Price
Secret Lagoon costs 3,000 ISK (~$21 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 an additional $3 USD, you can purchase tickets ahead and skip the line if you’re concerned.
📍 Secret Lagoon’s Location
Secret Lagoon is located in Flúðir where there 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.
⏰ Suggested Duration for 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.
🚿 Secret Lagoon’s Facilities
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 one-week Iceland itinerary shows how to visit all three hot springs while sequencing them efficiently.
Iceland Trip Planner
To make your travel planning easier, download the trip planning template below and use it as a starting point. The template has country-specific travel information as well as an itinerary, packing list and map with recommended places pinned.
The template is built on Notion, which is what I use for all my travel planning (I’m not paid to say this; I just like the tool). If you don’t have Notion, creating an account is free.
If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to leave them in the comments below.
Iceland Travel Guides
- ✈️ Planning a Trip to Iceland: 13 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
- 🇮🇸 What to Know About Hrunalaug Hot Spring + Tips
- ☀️ Guide to Iceland in August + Summer Packing List
- 🧊 Iceland Glacier Hike Practical Guide: What To Know and Wear
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