Myvatn Nature Baths

Visit to the Myvatn Nature Baths

Leaving the Goðafoss falls and heading east towards Lake Mývatn, we follow Route 1 across fertile river valleys for about 45 mins until we reach Lake Mÿvatn. Just beyond the Lake is a major change in landscape as we enter the Mývatn Geothermal Area. A land of steam and volcanic lava rock with the dormant Hverfjall, one of the biggest tephra cone (tuff ring) craters in Europe at about one kilometre in diameter. Looking across the Nature Baths you can see the crater in the distance. Thankfully this formed some 2500 years ago. You can hike up to the rim using designated paths, but this land and flora are so delicate, going ‘off piste’ is strongly discouraged. In this trip there is no time for that so we head straight for a warm bath.

Facilities at the Mývatn Nature Baths are good with roads and parking making a visit easy. Beyond the parking you can admire the unique volcanic landscape that gives rise to the geothermal power generation that Iceland is benefiting from. However, having such a thin earth crust does have its down side if things start to erupt as we have seen lately in South West Iceland.

Changing facilities are ok, hardly luxurious but functional with lockers to keep you basics safe. It’s worth noting the advice so as to not damage hair, spectacles and jewellery as this water, naturally has a lot of natural minerals. This is more about up to the neck bathing and keeping your head above water. Putting your head under is definitely a bad idea.

Once near the pools you will smell the sulphurous waters, but don’t let it put you off as the warm mineral waters are great for the skin and relaxing for the muscles. With a surreal landscape all around, really not to be missed. Quite a few people go into the waters with smart phones to capture selfies and no doubt we will all feature in someone’s movies. There are hot waterfalls and extra hot bathing tubs but I didn’t fine these particularly excessive.

Plans to expand the Nature Baths are under way for 2024 and I would certainly like to visit when they are complete. It’s easy to understand why bathing is such a large part of daily life here for the Icelandic people. Covid interrupted that for a while and that appears to have made the local people more determined than ever to enjoy their natural baths, and who can blame them.

Back on the coach and the return for a well earned evening meal and a good nights rest as we set sail and arrive in Isafjordur early the following morning.

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