Fosslaug: the Hidden Spa on the Countryside

Dive into the serenity of Fosslaug. Uncover the magic of this off-the-beaten-path gem, tucked away amidst Iceland's rugged landscapes, and indulge in a rejuvenating escape like no other.


blog authorBy Johanna Sigurðardóttir shield verificationVerified Expert

If you enjoy being alone in nature and taking very warm baths, Fosslaug is the perfect place. This serene little hot spring at the end of the road is one of those spots that won't make you stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other visitors. Even though it is close to the main road, it is seldom added to any road trip itineraries. Read on to learn about one of the few hidden gems left in Iceland.

A Tranquil Escape: Embracing the Serenity of Fosslaug

Iceland is well-known for its volcanos, glaciers, and amazing Icelandic hot springs. If you have taken a road trip to Iceland in the summer, you have probably noticed that many of the hot springs are occupied by locals as well as international visitors. Fosslaug is a good option if you want to have a moment of peace and quiet while soaking in a hot spring.

Fosslaug is far off the beaten path, so you'll be far away from civilization and will probably be able to have the calming hot spring all to yourself. The only sound you'll hear will come from the distant waterfall upstream and the running water of the river.

Therapeutic Benefits of Mineral-Rich Geothermal Waters

Like some of the island's hot springs, Fosslaug has mineral-rich waters that can be beneficial for your skin. The mud at the bottom of this little hot pot also contains minerals that can have therapeutic effects, so don't be afraid to apply it to your tired arms and legs or wherever you feel time may have started taking its toll. 


Icelandic Culture: Fosslaug as a Window into Icelandic Traditions

Hot springs like Fosslaug, scattered throughout the country, have been a part of Icelandic culture since the Vikings first arrived. Having a proper hot soak in any of them will make you part of one of the oldest Icelandic traditions still existing today. This is why you should take at least an hour or so in the hot spring. Relaxing and taking a breath is as much a part of Icelandic tradition as sitting in the hot spring.

Location, Directions, and Accessibility: Navigating Your Way to Fosslaug

Putting Fosslaug into Google Maps in Iceland will likely take you to the wrong side of the river. If you end up there, you'll have to add roughly 10-20 minutes to your driving to get to the right place. To avoid that, we've made a small guide to ensure you end up at the right place:

  1. When you reach Varmahlíð along Ring Road 1, head south on the 752 until you can get on the 753. The 753 will take you over the Húseyjarkvisl River. 
  2. Once on the other side, keep going south until you reach a gravel parking lot. 
  3. From there, it's just a short hike to the Reykjafoss Waterfall and then a short bit to the Fosslaug hot spring. You will see it as a small pool right next to the river.

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Amenities and Facilities: What to Expect at Fosslaug

Let's get right to it: Fosslaug has no facilities. The whole point of this place is that it's away from civilization, which means that it won't have toilets, shops, or anything of the sort. However, Fosslaug is free for visitors, so you get more than you paid for when having a soak. 

Planning Your Visit: Tips for a Memorable Fosslaug Experience

With these things in mind, it's important to remember to use restrooms and such before leaving. The nearby village Varmahlíð will be your last pit stop before continuing, and you should be able to get everything you need there if you get there during the shops' business hours. Even though you go deep into nature, you won't need a 4x4 for these roads. 

Adventures are only as good as we prepare for them. See the list below for essential things to bring on a trip to Fosslaug:

  • Bathing suit
  • Towel
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Snacks
  • Drinks
  • Bags to put trash in
  • Full tank of gas
  • Map (or the route set out on your phone)

fosslaug hot spring

The Best Time to Visit Fosslaug

The beauty of hot springs like this is that they keep warm all year round. Each season has its pros and cons, but there's seldom a bad time for a steamy soak in a hot spring.  

Since this is a secluded place, coming here in the Icelandic winter might end in one of the most awe-striking experiences ever, with the Northern Lights dancing above you. This is only likely to happen if you can catch a clear sky and somewhat calm weather, which is hard in Iceland in the winter.

The summer in Iceland will allow you the easiest access to Fosslaug, but it is the busiest time of the year, so you might not get the place to yourself.

Spring and fall make for good compromise seasons since you have a slight chance of seeing the Northern Lights, you're likely to be alone, and it won't be too hard to get there. The wind and rain might be a problem on your way to and from the car, but that's about the only downside. 

Beyond Fosslaug: Exploring the Surrounding Enchantments

Having a soak in Fosslaug is a fantastic experience, but it shouldn't keep you from experiencing everything the surroundings offer. 

  • Reykjafoss: The nearby cascading waterfall
  • Varmahlíð: A culturally rich town in a picturesque setting 
  • Tröllaskagi: The peninsula just north of Varmahlíð with a permanent glacier
  • Kolugljúfur: Another impressive and seldom spoken about waterfall nearby
  • Glaumbaer: An open-air museum featuring historic turf and log houses
  • Grafarkirkja: The oldest turf church in Iceland located in Höfðaströnd

Journey to fosslaug

Starting Your Journey to Fosslaug Hot Spring

Now that you know pretty much everything there is to know about Fosslaug and the surrounding area, this has the potential to be one of the many stops along your Iceland road trip that could give you lasting life memories. Simply rent a car in Reykjavík and start heading north for your next hidden gem in Iceland!

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