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DIY a Relaxing Foot Soak at Kvika Footbath in Iceland


Kvika Foot Bath

    You might not be able to pitch up with your aromatic oils and rubbing salts, but there is a way that you can have your own relaxing foot soak here in Iceland with views that will take your breath away. Kvika Footbath is a must-visit site here in Iceland, that offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

    In this article, we dive (pun not intended) into everything you need to know about this magical spot and what makes it so special. After reading our guide, you’ll be ready to plan your trip and head out to the ultimate pampering spot.

    Kvika Footbath: A Brief Introduction

    Kvika is one of our infamous hot springs in Iceland. When visiting Kvika, with its rocky appearance among other moss-covered rocks lining the coastline, it’s easy to think that it’s also one of our older natural hot springs still in its original setting. But Kvika is actually a man-made geothermal spa built fairly recently, in 2005.

    While its name means “Magma”, its creator, the artist, Olöf Nordal, made it from a large, hollowed dolomite rock. This is not a foot spa for a group outing. At just 79 - 89 centimeters wide, and only 23 - 30 centimeters deep, it makes for quite an intimate setting. With stunning views over the coastline, Mt, Esja and the Snæfellsjökull Glacier, one can easily envision spending an afternoon in deep thought here, with your feet having a relaxing soak in Kvika’s warm water of +/-39 degrees Celsius.

    Those who have visited our geothermal pools here in Iceland before will know that these venues (which are more like mini-resorts) have all sorts of added facilities and amenities. But since Kvika is an outdoor and public venue, you will find none of that here. There are no restaurants, spas, shops, bars, changing rooms, etc. here. But, then again, these aren’t really necessary.

    If you’re so concerned about getting peckish and thirsty during your soak, you can bring something along with you (please just don’t leave the footbath filled with crumbs and soda). And since this is a footbath, you also don’t need changing rooms. Just remember to use the bathroom facilities before going to Kvika. If all else fails and you urgently need something, the capital city is literally just a couple of steps away.

    Kvika geothermal footbath

    Where to Find the Kvika Geothermal Footbath in Iceland

    Kvika can be found on the northwestern point of the Seltjarnes Peninsula. To some, this may be a bit confusing, so we always explain that it is within walking distance of mid-city Reykjavik.

    How to Get to Kvika Footbath

    In true footbath fashion one can reach Kvika by walking the roughly 6.2 kilometers from Reykjavik mid-city (this will take you about an hour and a half). If you would like to shorten the trip, you can drive yourself by taking Hringbraut (Route 49) in a northwestern direction towards the coast.

    When you get to the roundabout, take the second exit. The road becomes Nordurströnd. Just continue on. The road will wind its way along the coastline. When you reach the point of the Peninsula, there is a small parking lot dedicated to Kvika where you can park, and then take a short walk down to the hot spring. 


    How Much Does a Visit to Kvika Footbath Cost?

    Kvika Geothermal Footbath is an outdoor public space for all to use absolutely free of charge. Even the parking lot won’t charge you a parking fee.

    When is the Best Time to Visit Kvika?

    As an outdoor public space, Kvika can be visited all year round, but ultimately deciding when to go will rely on the following factors:

    The Weather

    Kvika is outdoors, so the weather will inevitably impact your visit. Your best bet for warmer temperatures and milder weather conditions is to visit during the summertime in Iceland (June to August). The shoulder months can also still offer some of these summer weather perks.

    But during the colder months of the year, especially winter, the landscape is covered in snow and ice. While many swear by the exhilarating experience of soaking in our hot springs with the cold air brushing up against you, the fact that it’s only your feet doing the soaking at Kvika makes this Footbath a different story.

    Daylight Hours

    This goes hand-in-hand with the seasons. As summer approaches, daylight hours increase till they reach our Midnight Sun levels of 22+ hours a day when darkness literally never falls. From here on, daylight decreases till you have just 4 hours mid-winter.

    Daylight hours have different impacts on places such as Kvika. As an outdoor spot, most will want to visit during the day. But, Kvika is also one of the spots around Reykjavik where people go to watch the Northern Lights, and for that, you need as little light as possible.


    Summer is considered our peak season here on the island, and with peak season comes our peak season crowds. This means that accommodation, transport, etc. must be booked well in advance and attractions such as Kvika will be busier than usual.


    With peak season also comes peak season prices, so your vacay budget might not stretch as far during the summer as it would the rest of the year here in Iceland. To still get most of the summer benefits (especially when it comes to outdoor activities such as relaxing at Kvika), but at more affordable rates, many opt to visit during the shoulder months (April/May or September/October).


    If you’re looking for the perfect photo opp here at Kvika, you need to visit early morning or late afternoon (this is obviously in relation to the number of daylight hours at your disposal). But the time just after sunrise and right before sunset is notorious for its lighting and specific ambiance it gives an image.

    Other Things to See and Do Near Kvika

    With its proximity so close to the capital city, you’ll find a plethora of things to see and do around Kvika. These are just some of the highlights you can look forward to:

    Grotta Lighthouse

    The Grotta Lighthouse is just a short walk away from Kvika and is an incredibly interesting spot to visit. Not only does it offer visitors incredible ocean and city views, but it’s also linked to the mainland by a thin slither of rocky sand bar called a spit which gets completely immersed during high tide. So, if you’re planning on taking a walk to this incredible place and historical building, you’ll need to be vigilant of the tides or you’ll end up stranded.


    Hallgrimskirkja is one of the most famous landmarks here in Reykjavik. This church is an incredible piece of architecture and an ode to Iceland and its volcanic history since its design was inspired by Svartifoss Waterfall with its dramatic black basalt column backdrop.

    Harpa Concert Hall

    Harpa Concert Hall is yet another architectural gem here in Reykjavik, and when you’re done admiring this incredibly modern glass building, you can catch one of the concerts held at the venue, which is home to the Icelandic Opera and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.

    Laugavegur Street

    Laugavegur Street is where you’re credit card takes a punch. This is the capital city’s famous shopping street where you can find anything from outdoor gear and clothes to souvenirs and restaurants.

    The Sun Voyager

    The Sun Voyager is a steel sculpture found on Reykjavik’s waterfront. It resembles a Viking longship, but it’s the way the sun dances on the steel and the shadows play on its incredible design that leaves a lasting impression.

    Whale Watching

    If you head down to Reykjavik Harbor, you will have the opportunity of going on a whale-watching boat tour. While we usually have these gentle giants along our coast, the whale season from April to September, also brings many migratory whales to the island.

    The Reykjavik Food Walk

    The Reykjavik Food Walk is the best way to explore and learn more about the capital city. Not only will you get valuable info from your experienced guide, but you’ll also get the chance to eat some local cuisine and drink some of our craft beers.

    Where to Stay Near Kvika

    While it’s fairly obvious that one will have to stay in Reykjavik when visiting Kvika, there are a few spots that will get you as close as possible:

    Kvika: A Relaxing Highlight of Your Iceland Trip

    Kvika and its magnificent surroundings will soothe your feet and your soul. And since there’s so much to see and do within walking distance here in Reykjavik, this DIY foot soak definitely comes in handy. If you are planning on venturing beyond the capital city borders to explore the island further, we recommend renting a campervan in Iceland.

    This way, you’ll conveniently have taken care of both your transport and accommodation and you’ll also be able to take advantage of some of our beautiful (yet affordable!) campgrounds. So, come have the ultimate road trip adventure here in Iceland with Kvika as a relaxing highlight along your trip.