Although Mother Nature wreaks occasional havoc over this land, she also extends an apology by providing Icelander’s a special retreat in the form of hot pots.
Bathing has become an important part of the Icelandic culture over the centuries, first in natural hots springs for basic health and hygiene and now in modern days for relaxing and socializing in geo-thermal fed pools. Near every community regardless of it’s size has a
‘hot pot’, some just a jacuzzi tub others full size recreational pools, most of which are only a few dollars for hours of relaxation. Because the water is non-treated and natural, strict pre-soak showering rules must be followed whether bathing in a man-made pool or a natural spring which are always posted. All over this vast land, you will find traditional hot pots, even in the most remote locations. More easily accessible are a few we stopped to enjoy on our journey.
In the Myvtan region of the northwest, there is the large man-made Myvtan Nature Baths , situated within an expansive lava field within the shadows of volcanic craters . But even better are the nearby lava tubes formed with natural caves filled with geo-thermal heated springs inside.
Many today are too hot for bathing, but if your nice and respectful a friendly local might share with you their secret swimming hole safe for enjoyment. In the eastern region most famously is Iceland’s Blue Lagoon. Just minutes from the Keflavik International Airport outside of Reykjavik, it is the idea spot to spend your last day before flying home. Beautiful blue tinted pools lie within a vast lava field.
The main building is near futuristic with state of the art facilities. Besides just a lovely lazy soak in this giant geo-thermal pool, there are great health benefits for your skin and overall well being. The Blue Lagoon facilities offer a full range of luxurious spa treatments including a floating massage, but book that way in advance to your visit. Our last few hours in Iceland relaxing in the hot pot with a cold beverage, reminiscing over the weeks sights and adventures, made me wonder if those ancient vikings perhaps would have been right here centuries before doing the same, sipping from a horn full of mead, relaxing in this strange wonderful water and discussing all the wonders they had seen while exploring the new and strange land they called Iceland.