Be it summer or winter, bathing outdoors is a custom in Iceland. The geographical location of Iceland and its mountainous terrain has led to a lot of geothermal action in the region including the volcanic and fissure eruptions and the formation of hot springs. The ground and sea water are heated from the number of volcanoes located in the region. While the temperature in some of the hot springs is close to 100 degree Celsius, a lot of these geothermal water bodies have temperatures moderate enough to take a dip and relax.
Geothermal spas, hot tubs, and swimming pools, surrounded by mountains covered in white sheets of ice, are something that both locals and tourists enjoy immensely. There are people who would go to Iceland just to hike the glaciers in mornings and soak themselves in therapeutic hot springs in evenings. Hence, pack extra swimwear and be ready to take a dip into these naturally-heated, turquoise blue water bodies on your trip to Iceland.
Iceland has a number of geothermal water bodies that are either natural pools (some located in deserted meadows and some are surrounded by green landscapes) or luxurious spas and public pools with amenities that include a hotel, food, drinks, and spa therapies. Whatever the water body it be, soaking in the geothermal water for hours is the way to live Iceland experience to the fullest.
Here is the list of top five places one should visit to get the most beautiful geothermal water experience in Iceland:
1. Blue Lagoon
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As the name indicates, the water in the pool of this luxurious geothermal spa is the blue that matches the color of the sky. As you walk inside the spa, you would see a beeline of people waiting for their passes to enter the place (requires pre-booking because of the number of people visiting this place is multiplying every year) that has their famous silica and mud masks, sauna and steam rooms, waterfalls, food, drinks, a restaurant, and a relaxation area facing the pool.
The pool, which is created from the geothermal water by drilling 2,000-meter deep holes in the earth’s surface, is located in the open and is surrounded by mountains. The bottom of the pool made with silica and mud and the water temperature together is perfect to relax and catch forty winks. In 2017, the Blue Lagoon is expanding. It will have more spa area and a luxury hotel. In all, this is a place that adds a royal touch to the hot spring experience.
Amenities: There are different packages that one can buy to subscribe to these amenities for a day, but there is no limit on how much you can spend time in the pool relaxing.
Accessibility: Blue Lagoon is the place for families. It has all the amenities for children, adults, elderly, and people with disabilities.
2. Myvatn Nature Baths
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Famous for its natural steam bathing and underwater benches, Myvatn Nature Baths is another pool with spa amenities located in northern Iceland. It is part of the Lake Myvatn geothermal area. The Myvatn region is also famous for its marathon, hiking, and bike riding activities in summer and cave watching and skiing in winter.
Amenities: Though this thermal bath it is not as luxurious, the restaurant, steam rooms, and less crowd makes Myvatn an intimate place where one can relax with less distraction.
Accessibility: Like Blue Lagoon, it has all the amenities for children, adults, elderly, people with disabilities.
Imagine a hot pool separating a mountain that colored in flora and green sheets of grass in summer. Imagine the pool being shallow enough and water is hot enough to soak and unwind. And imagine there are no man-made walls surrounding this pool. If you love imagining all these things then Landmannalaugar is the place you want to visit if you visit Iceland in summer. The area is also famous for hiking. Hence, it is a perfect spot to end an exhausting mountaineering trip.
Accessibility: Getting to Landmannalaugar can be a little challenging through the rough roads. Hence, it is recommended to visit this place during summer.
Amenities: There is no fancy spa, but enough changing rooms near this pool.
It is a hot spring narrow river flowing in the middle of the mountains. There is a trail that leads up to the mountain and the hot spring. Also, unlike Blue Lagoon and Myvatn Nature Baths, there are no fees to take a dip in Reykjadalur. Hence, going to Reykjadalur offers a scenic hiking experience and bathing in a natural hot spring in the wild.
Accessibility: Though the trail is not too tough to hike, it is recommended to wear right hiking gear and it might not be a trail that kids can hike. Since it is becoming more and more famous, it gets really crowded during the day. Hence, it is recommended to reach in the morning to avoid the crowd.
Amenities: Since it is situated in the middle of nowhere, there are no bathrooms, changing rooms or showers. There are walls where people change.
It is a small geothermal pool located on the beach in Westfjords in Western Iceland. It is situated in a region remote to a lot of tourists and home to hundreds of birds. The advantage of visiting this pool are: no entrance fees and less crowded. It is also situated near the Flókalundur camping area that has hot water and electricity. The campsite usually opens during the last week of May and closes in September.
Accessibility: The roads to the pool are not smooth. Hence, it recommended driving cautiously near this region. It is about a five-hour drive from Reykjavík.
Amenities: There are no changing rooms, but one or two walls where people usually change. There is a parking lot situated near the pool with enough space.