Iceland, despite its name, isn’t nearly as cold as people think it is. We benefit a great deal from the Gulf stream but our favourite source of warmth comes from the ground, not the sea. The geothermal activity in Iceland means there is an abundance of hot water here, used to heat up our homes, showers and pools. But Mother Nature also makes a little show of it in the form of natural pools, hot springs or geysers.
Areas of high geothermal activity are usually accompanied by thick columns of vapour and the smell of sulphur or an egg sandwich past its prime. Despite the smell, seeing a geyser erupt is a great reminder of the awesome natural forces that rule these parts.
Natural pools are just streams, springs or ponds of geothermal water that happen to range in the perfect bathing temperature, from 30-40°C. They usually don’t have any man-made structure and very few have any facilities, so bathing in a natural pool is an authentic, natural experience if there ever was one. The geothermal activity is after all, what makes Iceland so warm and habitable and saved generations of our ancestors from freezing to death.
A town without a swimming pool is a rare thing in Iceland. Nearly every tiny little place has one. Pools are a staple in Icelandic culture, a place to meet your friends and neighbours and catch up on politics and news in the hot tub. As a result, Icelanders take their pools quite seriously which means that the number of luxury spa-like pools is incredibly high for such a tiny population. Whether you pick the world-famous Blue Lagoon spa or a newer addition to this party, you cannot leave Iceland without taking a rejuvenating dip into our geothermal waters.