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Jan 27, 2022

The Luxury Lagoons of Iceland

Sky Lagoon in Reykjavik

When it comes to luxury, nothing beats the geothermal heat of Iceland. This blog is about the top-end luxury spas and lagoons in Iceland. For info about Iceland’s public pools and natural hot baths, check out our other blogs on the subject. This is not an exhaustive list but mentions highlights from each part of the country.

In and around Reykjavik

The Blue Lagoon (Reykjanes)

Iceland’s oldest and undoubtedly most famous luxury spa is the Blue Lagoon. What was originally wastewater from a geothermal plant with a small shed set up by locals as a dressing room has been turned into a high-end luxury spa. The Blue Lagoon is indeed made up of wastewater but as awful as that sounds, keep in mind that this is not actual waste, just the unused part of a geothermal power plant, full of wonderful minerals that work wonders on your skin. People with skin diseases get free access to a health lagoon next to the actual Blue Lagoon as part of their treatment which speaks volumes about the wellness side of this place. The Blue Lagoon is a place like no other and unique doesn’t even begin to describe it. The waters are an intense blue, the silica mud is a warm white and the lagoon is surrounded with natural black lava fields. Its popularity in recent years means that tickets need to be booked in advance and tourists often wonder if the lagoon has become too crowded and popular to be worth a visit. Yes, the Blue Lagoon is a must-see destination in Iceland and should be enjoyed to its fullest. Check out some of their luxury access packages for an extra pampered experience.

Pro tip: Try to fit a visit to the Blue Lagoon into your schedule on the day of arrival or departure as the Blue Lagoon is very close to Keflavik International Airport.

Sky Lagoon (Reykjavík)

The most recent addition to Iceland’s pool of luxury spas (har har) is the Sky Lagoon. It opened in spring 2021 and much to the surprise of jaded Icelanders, was an instant hit, even among the locals. This is quite the feat considering that in the land of plenty when it comes to geothermal waters, natural baths and luxury oases, a completely manmade lagoon at the edge of an industrial area in the city seems like a long shot. But they simply nailed it. The manmade cliffs are so well designed and made that they feel completely natural. The views from the lagoon are extraordinary and the entire experience is top notch luxury. Their tagline “Revive your senses at the edge of the world,” kind of says it all and as far as that promise is concerned, they honestly fulfill their promise. Enjoy their 7-step ritual, designed to revive your senses and leaves no skin, mind or muscles intact and simply hang out at the edge of the infinity pool or bar to soak in this otherworldly experience.

Pro tip: The views from Sky Lagoon are phenomenal to say the least. Try a visit at nighttime during the winter to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights and stars.

The West

Krauma (Borgarfjörður)

Only an hour’s drive from Reykjavik, just a few minutes from the historical settlement town of Reykholt, you’ll find Krauma geothermal baths. Krauma consists of six luxurious baths, five warm and one cold for that extra wellness experience. The hot water in Krauma comes from Europe’s most powerful hot spring Deildartunguhver which must be cooled down from a whopping 100°C. There are no extra chemicals in the water since the constant flow of fresh geothermal water ensures maximum hygiene. This is a gorgeous wellness experience outside the city with plenty of interesting sights in the area to make a day of it.

Pro tip: Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the relaxation room, to lie and relax to the crackling of a soothing fireplace.

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The North

Geosea (Húsavík)

The bay of Skjálfandi in the north of Iceland is known for its picturesque views of the dramatic coastline and tall mountains. The designers of Geosea knew what they were doing when they built this large outdoor oasis, facing the bay to the west and the arctic circle to the north. If ever there was a reason to splurge on an infinity pool, this would be it. The waters are a mix of mineral-rich seawater and hot geothermal water and while the waters take care of your body, the views take care of your soul. Look out for whales in the daylight and northern lights in the darkness and enjoy this extraordinary wellness destination for all it is.

Pro tip: Húsavík is known for its amazing whale watching tours and Will Farrell’s Eurovision movie. Keep an eye out for whales in the bay as you soak in Geosea and if you’re out of luck, book a proper whale watching tour as soon as you get out of the shower.

Mývatn Nature Baths (Mývatn)

The alkaline bathing lagoon at lake Mývatn is a modern approach to an age-old tradition. This is the “blue lagoon” of the north and you’ll see the steaming bright blue waters surrounding it as you drive up to it. This lagoon in Mývatn’s designated nature reserve is famous for its wholesome composition of alkaline and minerals that have a soothing and healing effect on the human body. At the same time, undesired bacteria and vegetation do not thrive in these waters so chemical additives are not necessary. This is a place to float away as your body embraces the natural wellness of the hot geothermal waters and the gorgeous surroundings.

Pro tip: The surrounding nature in these parts is extraordinary, even for Iceland. Give yourself plenty of time to explore the diverse and awesome natural phenomena around lake Mývatn.

The East

Vök Baths (Egilsstaðir)

Vök opened in 2019 and was an instant hit and an overdue addition to the region’s destinations. Located in lake Urriðavatn just outside the town of Egilsstaðir in East Iceland, Vök is a series of floating pools at the edge of the lake. If that sounds like a novel idea, it’s because it is. The lake is known for its geothermal activity, most noticeable in sub-zero temperatures in winter. When the lake froze over, locals would notice spots that never froze, creating holes in the ice that in Iceland are called “vök”. This luxury destination embraces this concept to its fullest and comes highly recommended to anyone traveling the eastern part of Iceland.

Pro tip: Treat yourself to a dip in the lake, accessible via ladders from the hot pools. The hot and cold experience has an invigorating and wholesome effect and only enhances the wellness of your stay.

The South

Fontana (Laugarvatn)

Fontana is another luxury lagoon destination at the edge of a popular lake, in this case, Lake Laugarvatn in the South of Iceland. Laugarvatn’s location in the middle of the Golden Circle makes it an ideal addition to Iceland’s most popular day tour. This is a small but wonderful destination, complete with a shallow pool, hot tubs and some very unique steam rooms. The steam rooms in this instance are built on top of bubbling hot springs so it’s safe to say they are as natural as they come. For the brave hearted in the group, we highly recommend taking a dip in the lake for wellness purposes and bragging rights and a light meal in Fontana’s restaurant comes highly recommended.

Pro tip: Combine a dip in Fontana with a snorkeling tour in Silfra at Þingvellir and take your Golden Circle day tour to the next level.

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