Why Hrunalaug Hot Spring in Iceland Should Be Your Next Travel Destination

blog authorBy Johanna Sigurðardóttir shield verificationVerified Expert

Imagine a place where the steam rises gently into the crisp Icelandic air, and the warmth of geothermal waters invites you into an embrace as ancient as the land itself. Welcome to the enchanting world of Hrunalaug Hot Spring, a hidden treasure nestled within Iceland's dramatic landscapes.

Far from the well-trodden paths to Iceland's bustling tourist spots, Hrunalaug offers a tranquil escape into nature's warmth, promising a more intimate and serene experience. With our deep dive into the heart of Iceland's stunning natural wonders, we're here to guide you through the magic of Hrunalaug.

From the warmth waiting beneath its waters to the breathtaking beauty of its surroundings, we've gathered all you need to know to make this dreamy destination part of your next adventure. Ready to explore a side of Iceland only a few have truly experienced? Let's embark on this journey together.

What Is Hrunalaug Hot Spring and Why Is It Worth Visiting?

Alright, so you've probably heard about Iceland's famous Blue Lagoon, but have you been introduced to the Hrunalaug Hot Spring? This spot is a real treasure for those looking to soak in Iceland's geothermal wonders without the hustle and buzz you might find elsewhere. 

Just 12 minutes away from the Secret Lagoon, Hrunalaug is nestled in the serene Hrunamannahreppur region. With its three small, natural pools offering temperatures from a cozy 32°C (90°F) to a toasty 40°C (104°F), it's the perfect place to unwind.

hrunalaug hot springs

Unlike the hotter temps of some other springs, Hrunalaug's warm waters provide a soothing experience that's just right, especially when you're lounging under the stunning midnight sun or the mesmerizing northern lights. Plus, being one of over 45 incredible hot pools in Iceland, it brings that quaint, less crowded vibe, making your dip not just a bath but a serene escape into nature.

Geology of Hrunalaug Hot Spring and Its Therapeutic Benefits

Diving into Hrunalaug Hot Springs, you're not just stepping into any ordinary pool. You're submerging into waters supercharged by the Earth's fiery heart. Heated by volcanic magma, this water doesn't just warm your bones; it brings a cocktail of minerals, dissolved from the very rocks of Iceland, with therapeutic whispers for your body. Here's the magic in the mix:

  • Silica: For that baby-soft skin, possibly easing your skin woes.
  • Sulfur: Think relief for your breath and joints, a gentle hug from nature.
  • Calcium: A secret ingredient for stronger bones, a friend for those with arthritis.

hrunalaug natural hot spring

What Is The History of Hrunalaug Hot Spring in Iceland?

The story of Hrunalaug Natural Hot Spring is like taking a dip into the warm, soothing waters of history itself. Since the 12th century, this hidden gem has been a go-to spot for locals craving a bit of R&R after a long day, including workers from the nearby Hruni Church.

Fast forward to 1890, and enter Stefán Jónsson, a farmer from Ás farm. He and his family put their mark on Hrunalaug by constructing the pool's oldest section, a legacy that's been lovingly maintained by their descendants.

Then, in 1935, Steindór Eiríksson added a second pool to the mix. By 2017, with visitors flocking to this serene spot, the owners expanded it further, ensuring there's plenty of room for everyone wanting to soak up its historic waters.

Where is Hrunalaug Hot Spring Located, and How Do You Get There?

Hrunalaug Hot Spring in Iceland is cozily tucked away in the Golden Circle area, just a stone's throw from the quaint town of Flúðir. Embarking on this adventure might seem like a mini-quest as it's a 30-minute scenic detour off the well-trodden Ring Road (Route 1). Nestled in a small, verdant valley on private property, finding it can be a bit of a treasure hunt, adding to its allure.

Here's how to get there without a hitch:

  1. Aim for the designated parking area, navigating through an unpaved road amidst a stretch of empty land.
  2. Once you arrive, a small parking lot greets you, catering to around 10 cars and campervans. It's here you'll pay a modest fee, contributing to the spring's upkeep.
  3. From there, a three-minute walk along a clearly marked trail leads you to the hot spring. Look out for a small bridge and a welcoming sign, with a quaint hut signaling you've arrived at your serene destination.

hrunalaug hot spring

When Is the Best Time To Visit Hrunalaug Hot Spring?

Hrunalaug in Iceland, once a whispered secret among hot spring aficionados, has now etched its place on the map as a must-visit. With its rising fame comes the inevitable – a bit of a crowd, especially given its cozy capacity. Here's the skinny on timing your visit for the best experience:

  • Afternoon and sunset: While absolutely magical, these are peak hours. Expect company as you soak in those stunning views.
  • Mornings: Early birds get the tranquility. Beat the crowd and start your day with a serene dip.
  • Before sunset: Catch that golden hour with slightly fewer folks around.
  • After sunset: Night owls rejoice! Fewer visitors mean more peace under the starlit or aurora-filled sky.

hrunalaug Iceland

When Is The Hrunalaug Hot Spring Closed?

Hrunalaug Hot Springs Iceland isn't just a hot spot for a warm soak; it's a cozy corner of the world that invites everyone to enjoy its warmth, one batch of happy visitors at a time. Each visit is limited to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Why? It's all about sharing the love (and the space)! 

This timing helps accommodate as many nature enthusiasts as possible, given its quaint size. To make sure everyone gets a slice of this geothermal paradise, here's the opening hours:

  • Spring (Apr-May): Dip in from 9 am to 9 pm.
  • Summer (May-Aug): Longer days, more fun, open from 8 am to 11:30 pm.
  • Fall (Aug-Nov): Back to cozy times from 9 am to 9 pm.
  • Winter (Nov-Mar): Snuggle in the warmth from 10 am to 10 pm.

Hrunalaug hot spring

What To Expect And How Much Does It Cost To Visit 

Visiting Hrunalaug offers a slice of Iceland's natural beauty, complemented by a rustic soaking experience. Here's what to keep in mind:

  • Entrance Fee: The cost is 2,000 ISK (about $14 USD) per adult, making it a budget-friendly option compared to the likes of Blue Lagoon and even the Secret Lagoon.
  • Payment Methods: Since 2023, you can effortlessly pay using a QR code for phone payments. A local farmer is present to collect fees during the warmer months, accepting both credit cards and cash. During the colder months, the honor system is in place, with the exact amount of change recommended for cash payments.
  • Facilities: It's essential to note that Hrunalaug lacks certain amenities. There are no facilities for showers, towel services, or private changing rooms. 
  • Shelter: A small open shelter is available; however, it offers limited privacy and warmth, maintaining Hrunalaug's natural and untouched appeal.

Pros of Hrunalaug Hot Spring

  • Stunning and Tranquil Surroundings
  • Opportunity for Solitude
  • Great Accessibility

Hrunalaug visit

Cons of Hrunalaug Hot Spring

  • Limited Facilities
  • Overcrowding Issues
  • Natural, but Possibly Unclean Water

Quick Travel Guide to Hrunalaug Hot Spring Pools

Hrunalaug, a natural treasure hidden within Iceland's scenic landscapes, offers a quaint yet profoundly memorable soaking experience. These springs are a little slice of heaven for 8-10 guests, stretching to a snug fit for 20. Here's what you need to know about its 3 pools:

  1. Sheep: This miniature pool carries tales from yesteryears, traditionally used for washing sheep. It's a snug spot for 1-2 bathers, offering a unique dip into history.
  2. Laundry: The eldest of the trio, this pool served dual purposes - for laundry and leisurely baths, comfortably fitting 4-6 visitors.
  3. Tourists: Introduced in 2017 to accommodate Hrunalaug's growing fanbase, this pool mirrors the capacity of the Laundry pool, welcoming 4-6 souls into its warm embrace.

hrunalaug iceland swimming

Tips For Visiting Hrunalaug Hot Springs

Making your trip to Hrunalaug Hot Spring unforgettable requires a bit of prep and know-how. Here are some insider tips to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visit:

  • Changing Strategies: Most folks opt to slip into their bathing suits inside their car or campervan for a bit of privacy, given the lack of changing facilities.
  • What to Wear: The trek to the spring is short but can be chilly. We recommend bundling up in warm clothes before and after your dip to keep the cold at bay.
  • Handling Your Gear: Feel free to leave your belongings next to the pool. While it's generally safe, it's always wise to keep valuables to a minimum.
  • Season Considerations: Hrunalaug's charm is undeniable year-round, but we suggest thinking twice about a winter visit. The cold Icelandic weather, combined with the fact that Hrunalaug isn't as hot as the Blue Lagoon or the Secret Lagoon, means it might not be warm enough to fully enjoy during Iceland's harsher months.

Hrunalaug season visit

Top Things To Do Near Hrunalaug

Venturing into the enchanting surroundings of Hrunalaug hot spring, you'll find yourself at the heart of the Southern Iceland region, a treasure trove of natural wonders and charming locales. Here's a quick hit list of things to check out:

  • Explore Iconic Waterfalls: Don't miss the opportunity to witness the awe-inspiring beauty of nearby waterfalls. Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss, and Skógafoss are just a short drive away, each offering unique vistas and the chance to experience the raw power of nature.
  • Visit Thingvellir National Park: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Thingvellir is a marvel of geological and historical significance. It's a hub for outdoor enthusiasts looking to soak up Iceland's beauty.
  • Stroll Through Flúðir: This nearby village is known for its warm vibe, local markets, and cozy cafés. It's the perfect stop to experience the local culture and cuisine.
  • Hit the Trails: The area around Hrunalaug is crisscrossed with trails that offer serene walks through lush greenery and dramatic volcanic rock formations. It's an ideal way to connect with Iceland's vibrant landscape.
  • Capture the Scenery: The views here are picture-perfect, with breathtaking panoramas of mountains and valleys that are simply unmatched. Make sure your camera is charged!
  • Discover Other Geothermal Wonders: The Secret Lagoon and Reykjadalur's natural hot spring river offer additional soaking options, each with its own unique allure and surrounded by stunning scenery.

hrunalaug hot spring closed

Hrunalaug Hot Spring: A Must-Visit Gem?

In sum, Hrunalaug Hot Spring embodies a rustic, natural Icelandic essence that's hard to find elsewhere. With its serene ambiance, potential for solitude, and relative ease of access, it's a standout destination for those looking to immerse themselves in Iceland's geothermal beauty without the crowds.

The adjacent attractions further enrich the experience, offering a glimpse into the country's natural and historical wealth. Given the slightly off-the-beaten-path location of Hrunalaug and the plethora of sights nearby, renting a car in Iceland becomes not only a sensible choice but also an enticing opportunity to weave your own adventure at your own pace.

Exploring in a rented car offers the freedom to discover Hrunalaug and its surroundings in comfort and style, ensuring your Icelandic voyage is as breathtaking as the landscapes you're set to explore.

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