Hotels & Resorts

These Hot Springs Private Villas Are Our New Top-of-the-World Obsession

The new Hvammsvík Hot Springs resort is giving us yet another reason to get to Iceland. Since the water temperature and levels fluctuate with the tides in its natural pools, no two visits are the same experience.

Hvammsvík Hot Springs

Hvammsvík Hot Springs

By Rachel Chang

Sep 21, 2022

There’s now a new way to experience the Icelandic waters at the recently opened Hvammsvík Hot Springs. Located in ​​Hvalfjörður, just about an hour northeast of Reykjavik, the 500-hectare family-owned estate is home to eight hot springs that pull from the property’s own geothermal source 1,400 meters underground — and a collection of villas, so you can spend a few days entering true relaxation mode with a group of friends in one of everyone’s favorite bucket list Nordic country.

“We want to share Hvammsvík with like-minded people to enjoy in harmony with nature and the wildlife,” the hot-springs resort says on its site. “Our greatest wish is that our guests leave happy and replenished by the energy of the place, wanting to come and share the experience with friends and family.”

Hvammsvík Hot Springs
Three natural pools with the Atlantic Ocean’s salt water

Set on the Atlantic Ocean’s shoreline with views of the surrounding mountain ranges, the pools — each about three feet deep — vary in temperature, with five of them between 36 to 40 degrees Celsius (97 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit). The other three natural pools fuse geothermal water with the Atlantic Ocean’s salt water, which means the temperature and levels are dictated by the tides, so that they are unique to that moment and different on every visit. 

But the real coup de grace is being able to immerse yourself further in the setting, by booking one of Hvammsvík estate’s four private rental villas — all surrounded by black sand, oceans, meadows and mountains. With two- and three-bedroom homes suitable for four to nine people, each has its own Icelandic-style décor equipped with modern amenities. The three-bedroom Hilltop House even has its own private hot spring.

Hvammsvík Hiltop House
Hvammsvík Hilltop House
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The estate’s site was founded more than 1,000 years ago by the Vikings; it’s even noted in the Icelandic settlers’ book called the “Landnáma.” The area became a naval headquarters during World War II, at one point with more than 40,000 soldiers and 200 ships stationed there. Today, the area feels remote and private with its dramatic landscapes, though it remains in close vicinity to the capital, Golden Circle sites, and Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

In addition to the hot springs, Hvammsvík also offers activities like a Wim Hof Method breathing introduction, stand-up paddleboarding, walks, and fishing. 

Paddleboarding at Hvammsvík Hot Springs
Hvammsvík Hot Springs
Photo by Gunnar Sverrisson

Swimwear is required in all areas of the facility, and towels and swim shoes are available for rent. Since the site is on a natural shore, they caution there can be rough and slippery patches, especially as the tides come in and out. Additionally, since the hot springs are warm and the ocean is cold, the site reminds guests to be aware of the differences, and also stay hydrated. 

Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (with the last entry at 8:30 p.m.), tickets must be pre-booked online with an entry time, after which guests are invited to stay as long as they’d like. Guests must be at least 12 years old and those under the age of 18 need to be accompanied by an adult. Admission starts at 6,900 Icelandic Króna (about US$50).

Learn more about the new hot springs and book your visit here.

All photos courtesy of Hvammsvík.

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