From Iceland — Fight The Cold With Heat: A Guide To The Best Saunas Around Reykjavík

Fight The Cold With Heat: A Guide To The Best Saunas Around Reykjavík

Published November 8, 2021

Fight The Cold With Heat: A Guide To The Best Saunas Around Reykjavík
Desirai Thompson Reetta Huhta
Photo by
Art Bicnick

As the cold starts seeping into your bones here in the north, saunas come in handy. The Grapevine crew tested out five of the warmest saunas in the capital area and gathered all the important information about them for you to check. Note: The crew includes notoriously sauna-loving Finns, so you’re in good hands.

Photo by Vala Baldursdóttir

Rjúkandi Fargufa

Address varies

When it comes to the best löyly (the steam that rises from the sauna stove), the insuperable winner is this trailer sauna. The stove is flame-heated, making the steam extremely mellow. What’s special about Rjúkandi Fargufa is that it comes with a sauna master, who leads the session. The session includes music, essential oils and a whole lot of löyly. After the guests are warm to their core, it’s time to dip in the sea. This ritual is repeated three times, and the session itself takes about an hour in total. However, the euphoric feeling you’ll experience lasts much longer. RH


Sky Lagoon

Photo by Art Bicnick

Sky Lagoon

Vesturvör 44-48, Kópavogur

Sky Lagoon has been the talk of the town since its opening in spring of this year. Although new, Iceland’s freshest geothermal spa runs like they’ve been at this for decades. Wading in and out of the coves, you’ll eventually come across the swim-up bar with sparkling wine (among other things!) on draft. The sauna, step three of the seven-step Sky Ritual, is spacious and offers a stunning view that—when paired with the heat—is hypnotising. For supreme tranquility, go during a quieter time of day and you may even have this little pocket of paradise all to yourself. DT


Photo by Art Bicnick


Hofsvallagata 107

Are you longing for a sauna experience, but don’t necessarily want to go to the pool area? In that case, Vesturbæjarlaug is the place to be. They have separate saunas for both men and women inside the changing areas, which enables the biggest sauna-fans to enjoy the warmth without stepping outside the locker room. When the heat is getting too intense, there’s always a possibility of plunging into the cold pot to cool down. Also, because the saunas are same-sex only, it allows people to enjoy them in the nude—as one should! Just remember to bring a towel to sit on, if you want the authentic experience. RH


Photo by Art Bicnick

Laugarvatn Fontana

Hverabraut 1, Laugarvatn

The hour-long drive from downtown Reykjavík to Laugarvatn Fontana, dotted with striking vistas and a never-ceasing sense of serenity, is the perfect urban cleanse. Once you arrive, this well-loved spa is ready to wash away any remaining woes. The environment begs you to make the experience your own, with relaxation pools at varying temperatures, a steam bath and a Finnish-style sauna. What sets this place apart, however, is the opportunity to take a cool dip in the adjacent lake. If you’re feeling peckish from the drive, book the Bread Tour—a charming lake-side lesson in geothermal baking that ends with all the samples of rye bread you could dream of. DT


Photo by Art Bicnick


Barónsstígur 45a

Sundhöllin’s sauna might be small in size, but it’s big in heat. Hidden upstairs from the public swimming pool, this compact gem offers an intense sauna-experience. Unlike many other saunas in the area, Sundhöllin has equipped their sauna with a water bucket—an accessory which every sauna should include. This means that the visitors are able to control the heat themselves by throwing water onto the sauna stove. As stated in the beginning, this sauna is tiny and you might need to be seated in someone’s lap, but the more the merrier, right? RH

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