Iceland’s natural hot springs, fed by volcanic activity and dotted all around the country, are world renowned. The most famous is the Blue Lagoon, but it’s almost always crammed with day-trippers from nearby Reykjavik. Myvatn Nature Baths, on the other hand, remain a pocket of tranquility, hidden away in the less-visited north.
With water bubbling between 96.8°F (36°C) and 102.2°F (39°C) and an idyllic backdrop of looming volcanoes and picturesque Lake Myvatn, visiting the baths is the perfect way to soothe tired limbs after a day spent exploring the surrounding volcano- and glacier-laced landscape.
Visitors to Myvatn Nature Baths have access to saunas, heated pools, and massage services. You can spend the whole day soaking in the milky blue, mineral-rich water, reaping its health benefits. The man-made lagoon makes use of the run-off from the Bjarnarflag geothermal borehole nearby and is full of natural silicates and volcanic microorganisms renowned for their restorative and relaxant properties. Visits to the baths are often included in day tours around northern Iceland, leaving from Akureyri.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Myvatn Nature Baths is a must-visit attraction for nature lovers and those who want to reap the benefits of its mineral-rich waters.
- Don’t forget to bring your swimsuit and towel, although both (and a robe) can be rented on-site.
- Geothermal water in Iceland usually contains sulphur so do not bring brass or silver jewelry into the baths as the water can turn those metals black.
- Built on top of a geothermal area, the humidity can reach 100 percent. Take turns cooling off in the outdoor showers.
- The bath complex has lockers for safekeeping your valuables.
- There is a restaurant on-site, serving lunch, dinner, snacks, and drinks.
How to Get There
Myvatn Nature Baths is about an hour-and-a-half’s drive along Route 1 (or, the “Ring Road”) from Akureyri, the nearest city. Public buses are infrequent and tricky to fit to a visitor’s schedule, but you can rent a car from downtown Akureyri or at Akureyri Airport. If you would rather skip the hassle of driving, join one of the guided day tours that visit the baths as part of a larger tour around North Iceland.
When to Get There
The Myvatn Nature Baths are open daily year-round, although opening hours differ slightly from summer to winter. In summer, due to the long days experienced in North Iceland, they stay open late, allowing you to experience the midnight sun in a setting that couldn’t be more idyllic. With fewer visitors, winter offers a quieter experience, as well as the chance of spotting the northern lights—and, despite the northerly location, the region enjoys a temperate climate.
The Healing Waters of Myvatn Nature Baths
The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s busiest attractions, but you can experience all the benefits of that hot spring without the drawbacks of crowds and a hefty price tag by heading north for the Myvatn Nature Baths instead. Surrounded by pristine nature, the hot water is bound to make you feel revitalized after a day of hiking across the volcanic region’s steaming lava fields.