Mývatn Nature Baths
Sometimes called the 'Blue Lagoon of the north', it is indeed true that the Mývatn Nature Baths are an outdoor pool of hot water where people luxuriate in the restorative waters for pleasure, relaxation and therapy. It is also true that both spas are manmade due to nearby geothermal power stations. But the similarity ends there…
The Mývatn Nature Baths are set in the popular volcanic area near to Lake Mývatn, north Iceland, and were created on purpose from runoff water from the nearby Bjarnarflag geothermal borehole – which also runs a power station. The water was trapped 2.5 km below the surface and comes to you full of minerals, silicates and volcanic micro-organisms which are great for your skin. The water here is very different in color, smell and taste to that at the Blue Lagoon. For a start it’s sweet instead of salty. As well as the main pool, you can also relax in the steam room and the hot pot.
The changing rooms and restaurant are kept clean and the staff are friendly; but the whole experience remains far more down-to-earth and less fancy than at the other famous spa – and a lot less crowded too. In fact you might have the place all to yourself if you turn up in midwinter. Which is a fantastic idea if you ask us. There’s nothing nicer than soaking it up in the snow! Entrance to the baths is comparatively cheap all year round.
Undeniably less pretentious in all aspects, the Mývatn Nature Baths feel like a cross between a natural Highland hot spring and a local authority run swimming pool, which have joined forces in an effort to become an upmarket Spa. The place has a frontier feel, at the same time as being strangely luxurious – and most people seem to really like it.
Also, we have heard very good things about the apple pie…
The baths' Icelandic name is Jarðböðin við Mývatn - which might come in handy trying to find your way there.