Planning a vacation isn't always a walk in the park. Sometimes, you need to do additional research to find what places are worth visiting and which aren't. For example, is Iceland next on your list, and do you want to see the iconic baths? What are some driving tips for this?
Luckily, we've scoured the web and have a few ideas for you below!
If you want to drive through Iceland and go to various baths, there are ways to do this. First, here are the top-rated baths throughout the country:
- Sky Lagoon
- Blue Lagoon
- Reykjadalur Steam Valley
- Kvika Geothermal Footbath
- Lake Mývatn Nature Bath
Of course, these aren't right next to each other, so you may need to plan a driving adventure. Luckily, Iceland is a relatively small country, with easy access to roadways between the towns, baths, etc.
As we start this article, we will cover all things finding baths throughout Iceland and discuss different driving itineraries you can take. Whether it's your first time in this European country or you've been a couple of times, we're here to make your trip easier. With that said, let's dive right into this topic!
What Are The Baths In Iceland? How Do You Get To Them?
For those unfamiliar with what and where the Icelandic baths are, these are essentially natural hot springs throughout this European country.
Iceland is known for having some of the best hot springs/baths in the world, often being the number one travel destination for wellness experts and health-minded people.
Therefore, you can easily locate and book a trip to one of the country's various baths in multiple cities and towns throughout the country.
On top of that, driving to these baths is fairly easy as long as you're familiar with using GPS and renting a vehicle in Iceland. Your trip should go seamlessly as long as you have a few "must-see" hot springs added to your list.
We listed some of the best ones above, although there are many more you can go to. One thing about Iceland is you'll never run out of places to relax and enjoy the natural springs.
Should I Drive Between The Hot Springs In Iceland?
Yes! As long as you have a vehicle to operate and a license, you can certainly drive to and from the various Icelandic springs. Generally, you want to make this into a road trip, visiting the quaint towns and cities between each bath.
For example, Sad Cars explains how getting to Hrunalaug is easy for drivers. First, this bath is located near a small town called Flúðir which can be found just outside of Reykjavik.
This is one of the smallest hot springs in the nation, so it can become a bit crowded.
On top of that, this bath is on a privately owned farm. Therefore, the owners ask for an optional donation from visitors to keep the site intact and fully operating throughout the year.
So, if you want a more intimate bath experience and want to see the town of Flúðir, we'd recommend checking out Hrunalaug.
Can You Drive To The Blue Lagoon In Iceland?
Yes! Since the Blue Lagoon is centrally located, drivers should be able to take the main highway that connects Keflavík to Reykjavík.
Specifically, you'll need to get on Highway 41 to Highway 43 and follow the signs to Blue Lagoon. Parking is free. This is perfect for anyone wanting their Instagrammable moment in Iceland, as this is one of the country's most famous baths.
In addition, the Blue Lagoon is just 20 minutes from Keflavík Airport and 50 minutes from Reykjavík. There is plenty of signage along nearby roadways, so you shouldn't have trouble figuring this out.
Luckily, Iceland realizes and appreciates most of the tourism coming from North America, so English signage is available.
With that said, Icelandic people have their own language, a North Germanic language spoken by about 314,000 people. So, you may want to touch up on a few keywords and phrases before making the trip.
How Do You Rent A Car In Iceland?
If you want to rent a car in Iceland, you'll need the following items:
- Driver's license (including a U.S. or Latin-character license)
- Valid ID (Driver's license or passport can be used)
- International credit card
Furthermore, Enterprise explains that if your license is not written in English, you'll need to obtain an International Driver's Permit. So, that is something you want to do prior to arriving in Iceland if you want to drive.
On top of that, there are many companies where you can rent a vehicle for your stay. Here are some we suggest trying:
Again, you may want to call a few of these companies to compare prices. Hertz is a US-based car rental company, so that might be your best bet for English-speaking employees.
However, most, if not all, of these agencies have people who can speak English to help you with your vehicle-renting needs. It's a good idea to read reviews and see what other people where you're from are saying.
Iceland tends to be very easy to travel to and around, so whichever car rental agency you go with: the experience should be pleasant.
Just remember to bring all required documents and ensure they're up to date and in English.
What Are Some Sample Itineraries For Icelandic Baths?
If you need a few sample itineraries for your Icelandic road trip, we found the ones from frequent travelers. These will vary by duration of stay, scenery, and budget, so keep that in mind.
The Best 8-Day Iceland Driving Itinerary
- Day 1: Arrival + Blue Lagoon + Reykjavik.
- Day 2: Golden Circle + South Coast to Vik.
- Day 3: South Coast (Vik to Jokulsarlon)
- Day 4: Eastfjords.
- Day 5: Lake Myvatn.
- Day 6: Akureyri + North Iceland.
- Day 7: West Iceland to Reykjavik.
- Day 8: (Blue Lagoon) + Departure
Of course, you can always throw in another bath or two during an itinerary like this one, so use this as an outline for your vacation.
Frequent travelers to Iceland may want to follow an 8-day format but switch the cities, baths, and other events they engage in: which is completely fine and doable.
3 Days In Iceland: Overview Driving Itinerary
- Day 1: Golden Circle. Thingvellir, Geysir, Gullfoss.
- Day 2: South Coast Highlights. Lava Center, Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss, Dyrhólaey, Reynisfjara black sand beach, Eldhraun lava field, Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon.
- Day 3: South Coast Highlights & Reykjavik.
This is a much shorter itinerary for your Icelandic trip but could be perfect for a brief road trip experience. Even if you're in Iceland for a short while, you can do plenty within a few days.
However, if possible, booking your vacation for at least five days might be best since there is so much to see and do throughout this stunning country.
Some travelers have been able to bathe in the springs during layovers or one-day trips to the country, so that's not to say a short trip can't be eventful.
5 Days In Iceland Itinerary
- Day 1: Arrive and explore Reykjavik (choose Blue or Sky Lagoon stop)
- Day 2: Golden Circle Route with Secret Lagoon
- Day 3: South Coast
- Day 4: West Coast – Snæfellsnes Peninsula
- Day 5: West Coast – Silver Circle Route
You may want to consider this itinerary for a mid-length five-day trip to the country. As we said, you can drive throughout this nation using their highway system, so getting from one coast to the next is very straightforward.
Regardless, try and hit as many baths as you can during your stay, as this is a great way to enjoy one of the various wonders of the world.
Iceland offers endless wellness specials at its award-winning hotels, spas, and retreat centers, so don't be afraid to indulge in the beauty.
Is Going To The Baths In Iceland Free?
Depending on which baths you go to in Iceland, there's a chance they will be free. Generally, baths that are on public land without specialty bathrooms, hotels, visitor centers, etc., you can expect to be free.
In contrast, you can expect to pay a cover if you go to one like the Blue or Sky Lagoon. It doesn't typically cost more than $7-$20 USD throughout Iceland to enter and use these hot springs.
Therefore, a family of 3-5 shouldn't spend more than $100 daily at the hot springs. Iceland does have a different currency than what we're used to, which is the Icelandic Króna.
As of January 2023, you can expect 1 USD = 142.63 ISK.
Again, the main portion of your budget will go towards renting a car and hotel, not enjoying the natural and manufactured hot springs/baths the country offers.
As long as you can drive between cities, towns, and attractions, you should be able to keep your entire vacation budget manageable.
Try and shop around for bath pricing, car rentals, lodging, and food before getting to Iceland if you need to follow a stricter budget. The U.S. dollar is stronger than the Króna as of 2023, so use that to your advantage.
Whether you want to drive throughout Iceland or have a 3-5 day trip planned, it's always good to know your options. From what we found, there are endless baths to experience in this European country, from popular tourist attractions to natural, obscure springs.
One of the best ways to experience Iceland is to rent a car and journey through the various coasts and regions. The most famous bath/spring is the Blue Lagoon, where you see everyone on social media.
Don't be afraid to try something different; feel free to tip private owners and donate to keep their facilities operating. Have fun!
And while we have your attention, check out these helpful related travel articles: