juliamhammond

Iceland’s thermal baths

Despite the country’s capricious weather, a visit to one of Iceland’s thermal baths is a must, whether you’re a first-timer or on a return visit. There are numerous hot springs and thermal baths dotted around the country, some little more than a hollow in a totally natural settting. In this post, I compare three of the biggest. All offer lockers, smart changing rooms, swim up pool bars and something akin to a spa experience. So how do they stack up?

The Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon by Chris Lawton via Unsplash

First-time visitors, consider this a must. Located close to Keflavik Airport, it offers the chance to tick off a quintessentially Icelandic experience before you’ve even checked in to your hotel. Located in the middle of a lava field on the wild Reykjanes peninsula, nature is raw and rugged here, but dip a toe in and the water is warm and soothing. White silica-rich mud makes an enriching face mask and also reflects light to give the water its beautiful blue colour. It’s gorgeous, with plenty of tucked away spots to create a sense of privacy even when the place is crowded. On site, there’s a fancy spa, restaurant and eye-wateringly expensive accommodation. Book well in advance for your session in the baths, particularly if you want to visit before or after your flight. 

The lava field surrounding the Blue Lagoon

Would I go back?

Definitely yes. It’s touristy, of course, but there is something rather special about the place.

https://www.bluelagoon.com/

Mývatn Nature Baths

The nature baths with the lake in the background

The north of Iceland sees far less traffic than the south. Like the Blue Lagoon, Mývatn Nature Baths water source is linked to a power supplier, this time the National Power Company´s bore hole in Bjarnarflag. The water in the baths has a temperature of between 36 and 40°C and also has a high mineral content. The pool is basically split into two sections, with one slightly cooler than the other – I found the hotter part to be more comfortable. Both overlook the lake itself and the midges which plague the area in summer were absent from the pool itself which was a relief. 

Mývatn Nature Baths

Would I go back?

Probably not. It’s pleasant enough but didn’t have the wow factor.

https://myvatnnaturebaths.is/ 

GeoSea

GeoSea and the bay beyond

Opened in August 2018, GeoSea uses a mix of geothermal heat and seawater pumped from two nearby drillholes to maintain a temperature of 38 to 39°C. Intimate and architecturally sympathetic to its surroundings, it sits on a cliff right on Skjálfandi Bay, meaning that if you are really lucky you might catch sight of the whales that occasionally come right into the bay. The carefully thought out design means that the pool water and that of the bay itself create the illusion of an infinity pool. As it is west facing, it’s perfect for those rare, clear days when you can watch the Icelandic sun set. In the winter, stay after dark and you might also catch a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis. If your visit coincides with an evening such as those, you are in for a real treat.

GeoSea at sunset

Would I go back?

Absolutely. This is surely one of the best views in the whole country.

https://www.geosea.is/

5 responses

  1. RICHARD COOKE

    Hi Julia! Fascinating to read about Iceland — where I’ve never been but, now, after reading your epistles and seeing your photos, I’d definitely put it on my next travel itinerary….if and when I can think about traveling again. Keep up the good work, love being able to travel “alongside” you on my PC! Best, Richard

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    September 15, 2020 at 5:20 pm

    • Thanks Richard, it’s a beautiful country. I shall be posting a bit more about Húsavík soon.

      Like

      September 15, 2020 at 5:30 pm

  2. Always wanted to visit Iceland and still never made it. Those pools look amazing especially the GeoSea. How wonderful to bathe and see the sun go down in such a beautiful location. Great photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 16, 2020 at 7:41 am

    • I’d definitely say go when you can. It’s extraordinary. I was blown away by GeoSea, didn’t know it was there until I went looking for the elf house copied from Eurovision.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 16, 2020 at 7:42 am

  3. Pingback: On the trail of Fire Saga in Húsavík | Julia's Travels

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