(CNN) — Mesmerizing vistas punctuated by plumes of steam are commonplace as you ride Iceland’s winding fjords and gravel roads.
This form of energy marks the country’s geothermal activity and also heralds the tradition of bathing in Iceland’s geothermal hot pools – an activity revered by locals and tourists alike.
From natural stone-lined craters to luxuriously designed bathtubs, there are countless beach resorts for every type of visitor, regardless of the weather.
So whether you’re driving the ring road or going off-road in a 4×4 vehicle, here’s a list of long-loved hot baths – some of which are barely visited – for your next trip to Iceland.
Geosea is located in the North Icelandic town of Húsavik, made famous by the Netflix movie “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga”.
A combination of geothermal sea and rock water will leave your skin feeling fresh, but it’s the views that linger.
Enjoy the snow-capped peaks of the Flateyjarskagi Peninsula with a drink in hand and if you’re lucky, a whale watching or two. Be sure to book your 4,900 ISK ($36) tickets in advance.
The Blue Lagoon is the most popular and one of the best swimming spots in Iceland.
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This milky blue geothermal pool needs no introduction. Near Keflavík Airport, Iceland’s gateway, the country’s most popular spot for a silica mask and a dip is often the country’s busiest.
This small pool in the Westfjords is as natural as it gets, with no changing area and an associated “enter at your own risk” sign.
This beachfront thermal pool is just off Road 60 and can’t hold more than eight or nine people comfortably, so you may have to wait a while, but the 100-degree water is worth it.
Landmannalaugar Hot Springs
Known as the ‘People’s Pool’, these steamy and shallow springs are surrounded by some of the most vibrant mountains in the country. Located in the highlands, Landmannalaugar is named for the region in which it is located.
Think of your own suit and towel; the springs are free, but the showers and changing rooms are accessible for a small fee.
Nature Baths of Mývatn
Myvatn has a warm pool in a cave.
Simon Dannhauer/Adobe Stock
This destination in the north of Iceland has been open since 2004 and takes its name from the nearby volcanic lake.
Often compared to the Blue Lagoon for its comparable baby blue water, travelers can expect about half the crowds for about half the price.
The best time to come here is sunset, and if you’re lucky, the Northern Lights can appear.
These baths in West Iceland are less frequented, but only an hour’s drive from Reykjavik.
The sleek spa has five hot pools filled with geothermal water from Europe’s mightiest hot spring, Deildartunguhver.
It includes a soothing relaxation area overlooking the pools and hot spring steam for 4,500 ISK. The local, fresh food served at the nearby Krauma Restaurant is a highlight.
A favorite among locals, Krossneslaug is a 1950s pool filled with warm geothermal water with an entrance fee of 1,000 ISK per person.
The ultra-remote Strandir region in the Westfjords is well worth the drive, even if the road gets muddy at the end. This pool at the end of the road is the reward.
The Secret Lagoon is the oldest swimming pool in Iceland.
This lagoon is no longer so secret. Gamla Laugin, the local name, is a sprawling pool that was built in 1891, making it the oldest in the country.
Fed with water from nearby active geysers, it’s more of a local hot spring bathing experience than the other major pools and a bargain at 3,000 ISK.
Hrunalaug Hot Spring
It takes a short detour along the Golden Circle and a five minute walk to reach this small local pool.
Travelers can change into a small, wooden sod hut and hit one of three small pools that vary in temperature.
Leave the entrance fee of 1,000 ISK in the box; the farmer whose land it is on uses it to keep the grounds clean and to keep the changing room.
Seljavallalaug is a secluded and secluded valley pool.
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Known as one of the oldest swimming pools in Iceland, this geothermal site by the ring road in South Iceland dates back to the 1920s. It’s worth a walk for its mossy green surroundings.
However, travelers are now reporting that the water is cold and the changing rooms are not clean.
A farm called Heydalur is located in the Westfjords, a 30-minute drive from Ísafjörður. Guests can stay overnight, camp or try puffin in the restaurant of this quirky country hotel.
It has a warm indoor pool and a rocky, man-made enclave with geothermal water.
But the best pool is just outside the flowing river of the property. If the water isn’t too high, travelers can carefully cross over to the other side to find a small natural pool big enough for just a few people.
Filled with natural geothermal water from nearby mountains, this sleek and sustainable spa has full spa facilities, in-water bars and soothing tree views.
The Sky Lagoon pool overlooks the ocean.
This new pool is a short taxi ride outside of Reykjavik, nestled against a sheer cliff overlooking the ocean.
Traditional touches like the grass-roof facade blend with new-age Scandinavian wellness practices, including a seven-step ritual. Reservations are required here and the cheapest package starts at 5,990 ISK.
Located on the scenic Troll Peninsula, Bjórböðin is the country’s first beer spa.
Outside are two cedar tubs filled with geothermal water and beautiful mountain views. After that, travelers can go in for a first-class burger.
Vok’s pools float on a lake.
Gunnar Freyr/Icelandic Explorer
This geothermal oasis in East Iceland is known for the country’s only floating infinity pools. Located on Lake Urriðavatn, it has uninterrupted views of the dramatic landscape and easy access to the icy waters of the lake – if you dare.
On shore there are spa facilities, a cold water spray tunnel, a tea bar and more hot baths, accessible for 5,990 ISK.
Hidden in the highlands on the eastern side of Iceland, adventurers will need an all-terrain vehicle and perhaps even a local guide to find this secluded, natural warm pool.
When and if travelers reach it, they will likely be the only people basking in this hot spring, complete with a warm waterfall.