Hot springs of Iceland
Icelandic water is the cleanest in the world. You can drink it straight from the tap and there is no limit to your time in the hot shower because Iceland has an abundance of hot water too. So if you are intending to take a holiday in Iceland you should definetly bring a swimsuit, it might not be what you expected to do in Iceland but the local naturally heated swimming pools have been described as „the centre of the Icelandic social scene, where gossip and news is exchanged while bodies are warmed and relaxed.“ This is very true. All pools will have at least one, if not several “hot pots” – hot
tubs filled with water heated to varying temperatures. These small pools are where genial social exchanges happen everyone is invited to voice their opinions and thoughts and even if you do not speak Icelandic, people will likely try to include you in the conversations because Icelandic People like to take any oppertunity to practice their english.
Thanks to the country’s geothermal energy, virtually every town, village and little country hotel in Iceland has a naturally heated pool or at the very leas a warm hot tub. As you drive through the country, you are likely to notice steam leaking from crevices or spewing ahead on the horizon, it may come from a naturally occurring crevace or from a boar hole where hot water is harvested. Piping hot water is siphoned off to public pools, where the water is minimally treated to keep it as pure as possible in several places sea water is cleaned and mixed with the hot water to create a unique pool experience. It may also come as a surprise to tourists and visitors of Iceland that despite Iceland’s notorious winters, most pools are outside and it can be a frigid run from pool to pool. Most swimming pools in Iceland are very affordable, and if you forgot to pack a swimsuit you can usually rent a towel and swimsuit. The larger pools will have locker rooms with free locks as well as shampoo and soap in the showers which you are encouraged to use.
If you intend to visit one or more of the swimming pools in Iceland you should be aware of some finer points of swimming pool etiquette.
The number one rule in all pools in Iceland is to bathe and wash with soap before entering the pools area. They are very clean and like to keap it that way. So remember to shower. Iceland’s pools have very few chemicals, it is important that bathers are clean when they enter them. Be aware of the fact that a quick duck under the stream of water while in your swimsuit does not count: you
need to get naked and lather up. If you do not, you will be called out on it by the shower monitor (yes, it is a real job) and asked to step into the shower again… this time they will watch you closely so it is better to get it right the first time. This is one of those occasions where the line „I have to because everyone else is doing it“ actually works. You will stand out like a pine tree in Miami if you don’t get naked. Then when you get back from the pool towel off. When you are coming back in from the pools and subsequent shower, you should dry off thoroughly. Remember, those locker rooms are super clean, with nary a drop of water on the floor.
If you’re looking for more natural surroundings, however, consider the recently-discovered hot springs at Lake Kleifarvatn, which has underwater springs popular with cave divers, or Hveravellir, where multi-coloured ponds beckon the soaker and swimmer. Or perhaps the Blue Lagoon is more your thing. This geothermal spa is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland. The steamy waters are part of a lava formation and the waters are actually blue.
The Blue Lagoon lies in a lava field in Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula. It is approximately 13 km (8 miles) from the Keflavík International Airport and 39 km (24 miles) from the capital city of Reykjavík. That is roughly a 20 minute drive from the airport and a 40 minute drive from Reykjavík.
The Blue Lagoon and geothermal complex is clearly visible from any of the usual satellite imagery sources at coordinates (63.880, -22.449).“