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Iceland. our selection of the best hot spring baths

Iceland.  our selection of the best hot spring baths

Blue lagoon, symbol

40°C in water, 0°C outside. Milky blue water. With its volcanic activity, Iceland stands out as a precursor country of geothermal energy. Unseen tourist attractions, its hot springs should not be missed on a trip to the country, along with the glaciers, waterfalls and other natural wonders that make up this island of fire and ice. The Blue Lagoon, located 50 km southwest of the capital Reykjavík, is one of the country’s three most visited destinations, with up to 4,000 visitors a day in summer. The secret of such success. An artificial lake more than 200 meters long, surrounded by a black lava field, from which swirls of white smoke come out. Rising from the bowels of the earth, the water is filled with mineral salts and blue-green algae and reaches the surface at an average temperature of 40°C. Silica-rich mud, to which some visitors ascribe therapeutic virtues, is given to each bather in the palm of their hand. Anyone is free to spread it on their face. In addition to the huge, fantastic-looking lake, the Blue Lagoon includes a sauna, a whirlpool and a waterfall, all of which a classic entrance ticket grants access to. In addition, a hotel, luxury restaurant, spa, cosmetic shop and VIP area complete the offer of these baths, the largest and most famous in Iceland.

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  • Our advice

To avoid the crowds, it’s best to focus on the evenings after 6pm and prefer weekdays rather than weekends. Online booking is mandatory.

Additional information:bluelagoon.com Norðurljósavegur 9, 240 Grindavík. Price: €37-65/person. depending on the season and package selected.

See also: – In Iceland, scientists are barbecuing on volcanic lava

Laugarvatn Fontana, with family

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Laugarvatn Fontana hot springs enjoy a unique location on the edge of Lake Laugarvatn. Laugarvatn Fontana

Head east, 75 km from Reykjavík on Route 36. In the heart of the magnificent Golden Circle region, the Laugarvatn Fontana hot springs enjoy a unique location on the shores of Lake Laugarvatn. Family friendly and popular with locals, they are less touristy than the Blue Lagoon, more authentic. The modern wooden structure with clean lines blends harmoniously into the landscape. A choice of pools of different sizes, depths and temperatures from 32°C to 40°C. And even a shower with a bucket of cold water for the more daring. Promoter! Cold people will go to invigorate themselves steam rooms where the vapors raise the mercury to 40-50°C. As for the Finnish sauna, the thermometer heats up to 90°C. The bay window overlooks the lake, whose waters, cooling slightly, refresh the tired souls.

  • Our advice

An Icelandic curiosity, the island’s traditional bread (hverabrauð) is baked with geothermal energy. Dough buried in hot soil becomes bread after 24 hours of baking. Laugarvatn Fontana bakes its own bread and organizes tours of its geothermal bakery.

Additional information:fontana.is Hverabraut 1, 840 Laugarvatn. Price: about 26 EUR/person.

Secret lagoon, natural

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The Secret Lagoon represents the oldest baths in the country, dating back to 1891. Leszek Nowakowski / Secret Bay

Laugarvatn 40 km east of Fontana, along the winding roads of the Olfusa Valley, here is one that lives up to its name. Off the beaten track of the Golden Circle, Gamla Laugin (Icelandic) will especially appeal to the curious looking for authenticity. Icelanders have been coming to take a dip in these baths, the oldest in the country, dating back to 1891. Don’t look for a sauna or a waterfall, there’s only a pool surrounded by grass and naturally heated from 38 to 40° Vs. All around fumaroles, whose white straws plunge the pool into an eternal mysterious fog and a pronounced smell of sulfur. 100% natural address.

  • Our advice

Between the Golden Circle and the south coast, the Olfusa Valley offers a more rural and authentic view of Iceland. The village of Flúðir, 1km from Secret Bay, is an alternative base camp between these two very touristy stages.

Additional information:secretlagoon.is Hvammsvegur, Flúðir. Price: about 20 EUR/person.

Vök Baths, secluded

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The floating pools of Vök Baths are located on the picturesque lake Urriadavatn. Martin Winman

Head to the East Fjords, 650 km northeast of Reykjavík, a sparsely populated region often avoided by tourists because they are so far from the capital. So good that you will be (almost) alone in the world. Don’t look for the whirlpool baths or the fumaroles coming out of them, they are right under your feet. If natural or artificial baths are legion in Iceland, there are only rare hot springs in the east of the island. Almost at the edge of the world, what a treat to take a dip in these floating pools set on the magnificent Lake Urriadavatn. The more adventurous will try breaststroke in the lake, whose water barely reaches 12°C. Courage.

  • Our advice

The fastest way to get to the East Fjords is to take a domestic flight from Reykjavík to Egilsður. Count on a 1-hour flight with local airline Air Iceland Connect. From there you are only 5 km away from the Vök baths.

Additional information:vok-baths.is Lake Urriðavatn, Route 925 Hróarstunguvegur, 701 Egilsstaðir. Price: about 36 EUR/person.

Mývatn Nature Baths, North Star

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The Mývatn Nature Baths are almost as big as the Blue Lagoon and offer the same kind of volcanic environment. Ragnhildur Hólm Sigurðardóttir

In the north, another tourist favorite is the Mývatn Nature Baths. Less expensive and less crowded than the Blue Lagoon, they’re almost as big and offer the same kind of volcanic decor. At sunset, white scrolls and orange rays paint an almost imaginary world on the surrounding reliefs. The bottom of the pools made of sand and gravel almost makes you forget its artificial nature. And it’s always so nice as we glide in the 36 to 40°C waters. In steam baths, the mercury rises to 50°C, the humidity reaches 100% and the bay windows allow the mind to wander in the fresh air. Relaxing. And there’s nothing better than a cold shower outside (yes, even in winter) to rejuvenate the body and mind.

  • Our advice

Ornithologists, budding or established, will extend their stop around Lake Myvatn, which is considered to be the most important gathering place for ducks in Europe. The stark or verdant landscapes, punctuated by craters and bubbling geothermal fields, create scenery at its raw, most exotic.

Additional information:myvatnnaturebaths.is Jarðbaðshólar, 660 Mývatn. Price: €30-37/person depending on the season.

Krauma, alternative

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This state-of-the-art spa has six different temperature baths. Sahara Digital Agency

100 km north of Reykjavík, on the way to the northwest fjords, Krauma Geothermal baths & spa offers a more secluded and cheaper alternative to the very popular Blue Lagoon. The hot water comes directly from the Deildartungover natural spring, the hot spring with the highest flow rate in Europe. This state-of-the-art spa has six different temperature baths. The bravest will try dipping their paw into a toe at 8°C before heading off to re-circulate in one of the two saunas. We complete the lounge, which sits on an armchair around a central fireplace.

  • Our advice

There is no pool or waterfall to distract little ones. The spa features only Jacuzzi-type tubs and will primarily appeal to adults seeking relaxation.

Additional information:krauma.is Deildartunguhver, 320 Reykholt. Prices are around 28 EUR/person.


PRACTICE:

Before taking a shower, it is better to follow these tips: A towel is not always included in the price, remember to bring your own. You can rent them out for repairs (like swimsuits), but that raises the already steep price of entry. Remove your jewelry and contact lenses, which do not mix well with salt water and heat. In the changing rooms you will most often find shampoo, hair care, body lotion and a plastic bag to win your wet swimsuit. Changing rooms and showers are most often shared (separate for men and women) and everyone showers completely naked, a matter of hygiene. You have been warned.

[Initialement publié en avril 2021, cet article a fait l’objet d’une mise à jour.]

Source: Le Figaro

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