Iceland Geothermal Pools: Iceland’s Best Attractions
Geothermal pools in Iceland are just like a magnet attracting hundreds of tourists every year. Unlike any other country in the world, you can find dozens of hot pools all around the island. Swimming pools are also widespread, and every medium-sized town in Iceland has one. Icelanders learned how to use the wealth hidden under the Earth's surface, which is geothermal energy. By using it, they created many beautiful places where everyone can now relax and enjoy the benefits of warm, geothermal water.
It is not the fact that soaking in warm water is relaxing and soothes your nerves, but it has its roots in Icelandic history. Icelanders simply love spending their time in pools, which became a meeting place for all family and friends. Iceland has many geothermal pools, and it would be just impossible to visit them all. Some of them are well-known, others less as they are usually located in remote parts of Iceland. Let's see what is so special about Iceland geothermal pools and what are the best ones to visit in the land of fire and Ice.
How many geothermal pools are there in Iceland?
Nowadays, there are 120 thermal pools in Iceland and hundreds of wild, hot spots all across the country.
Iceland is well known of its numerous volcanoes and volcanic activity. This activity is the result of Iceland's geological location right above the Mid- Atlantic Ridge. The Mid Atlantic Ridge is basically a border between two tectonic plates, the North American and Euroasian plates. The plates are constantly moving, and all those forces cause increased volcanic activity in the area.
The other reason is the presence of so-called hot spots, places in the Earth's upper mantle, where the temperature is higher. It pushes streams of hot matter from the deep mantles, up to the surface. Geothermal energy is nowadays used not only to create the geothermal pools. It is also used for heating water for households in Iceland and heating homes. However, what tourists are most thankful for, are of course, the geothermal pools.
The geothermal pools in Iceland have an essential social role in the Icelanders' life. The climate and the weather of the small, but windy island, has never been very favorable. Therefore, there aren't many squares and open markets for people to gather. And thus, the hot springs and man-built pools became places for social gatherings. Due to its success, many wild hot springs were improved artificially to attract more users and make their experience more comfortable.
Etiquette on the geothermal pools in Iceland
As the swimming pools in Iceland are not chlorinated, there is a certain etiquette that everyone must follow. Before entering the swimming pool, you must wash your naked body properly with soap. This is totally normal, so there is nothing to be ashamed of. You must wear your swimming suit as well once heading into the pool, so make sure you pack one for your trip to Iceland.
Best Geothermal pools in Iceland
In Iceland, geothermal pools are part of the identity of the country. Some of them are famous all around the world, so famous they barely need an introduction. As soon as you hear the pool's name, you associate it with Iceland. Below you will find the list of the best geothermal pools in Iceland. Make sure you add them to your itinerary.
The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon spa is the biggest and the most famous geothermal pool in Iceland. Apart from the relaxation purpose, it also has healing properties.
The water in the Blue Lagoon is rich in many minerals, which are beneficial for people with skin diseases and respiratory problems. The whole spa is pretty impressive, too. It offers a restaurant, bar, and spa treatments for its guests. There is also a souvenir shop where you can get the best Icelandic products. Make sure you book your entrance in advance as the spa is usually fully booked and the number of visitors is limited. Around 20 minutes' drive from the Keflavik airport, its location makes it a great last stop of every trip. Visiting Blue Lagoon will be a cherry on top of your travel in Iceland.
Myvatn Nature Baths
Myvatn Nature Baths also called the North's blue lagoon, is almost as famous as the Blue Lagoon of Reykjanes. It is equally impressive and attracts nearly as many tourists. As the Myvatn geothermal pools are much cheaper, it is usually an alternative for the Blue Lagoon as their prices are really high.
If you plan to visit the North, you should definitely add the Myvatn Bats to your bucket list. The surroundings are simply unique and you will be having a bath in a pool, overlooking the mountains. Make sure you plan enough time for the visit to this place. Once you enter into the warm, milky water, you will not want to go out quickly.
Fontana Spa is right next to the Laugarvatn river, near the Golden Circle route, making it a perfect location for tourists. It only takes more than an hour's drive from Reykjavik, the capital city. The whole area where the pool is located is geothermal, and its energy is used for heating the houses and for hot water. The Fontana was renovated, but some parts have been preserved in the same form as from years ago.
Geosea Sea Baths
One of the newest geothermal pools in Iceland is the Geosea Sea Baths located in the North, the same as the Myvatn Baths. It is located in the small fishing town, well known as the whale watching capital- Husavik. It was chosen by the Times as one of the 100 "must-see" places. It was only open in 2018 but gained popularity very quickly. The water here is drawn from two sea wells that were made for collecting salt. Thanks to that, the water in the pool is rich in salt minerals.
The Secret Lagoon
The Secret Lagoon is located near Fludir, close to the Golden Circle route, and is one of Iceland's oldest pools. It was recently renovated in 2014 and again opened for visitors. The water in the Secret Lagoon has a temperature from 38 to 40 C degrees. The surrounding landscape is fantastic as the fumaroles rise above the ground, which gives this place a specific climate of a geothermal area.