If you haven’t been to Iceland yet, you’re missing out!
Known as ‘the land of fire and ice’; 10% of Iceland is covered by glaciers yet it's still a hotspot for volcanic activity. And due to this volcanic activity, hot springs are formed.
In the following post we explain what a hot spring is, the benefits of visiting one and we round off the post with 4 of Iceland's best!
Hot Springs are recognised across the world, but where do they come from?
A by-product of being near a high concentration of volcanoes is geothermal energy. Bodies of water near the volcanoes can reach alarmingly high temperatures, and this heat can be turned into energy.
When the hot water travels upwards, it dissolves from the surrounding rock and leftover material surfaces. This results in a rich mineral content in the hot spring’s water.
Over time, people realised that bathing in these hot springs is not only relaxing, but it also offers a range of other health benefits.
In this post, we look at how Iceland’s hot springs can help improve the condition of your skin and your health in general. We will also highlight our 4 favourite hot springs that deserve a place on your bucket list!
The soaring temperatures in these hot springs naturally help to improve your skin. As we mentioned above, the mineral-rich water enhances and protects the skin in many ways:
Acne is a common problem that wreaks havoc on our skin and can often be difficult to clear. Bathing in hot springs is an alternative method that offers a natural and effective way to soothe and treat acne.
Firstly, the temperature of the geothermal water opens your pores and allows them to de-clog and absorb bacteria-fighting minerals.
Furthermore, the growth of certain bacteria is slowed, whilst the acidity within the water acts as a natural toner. Overall, this can lead to a clearer complexion.
Furthermore, hot springs are also recognised for their anti-ageing properties. Bathing in a hot spring increases the production of collagen and tightens the elastin within the second layer of the skin.
This leaves your skin looking both firm and youthful.
Other minerals such as calcium, lithium, magnesium and even radium also help improve your skin.
As geothermal water cools, it saturates and then forms into a white mud. This form is completely hypoallergenic and has anti-ageing properties that can firm the skin, reduce pores and revitalise appearances. It is also effective against rashes, sores and skin problems such as dermatitis and psoriasis.
Further Health Benefits
As well as improving your skin, taking a dip in a geothermal spring offers many additional benefits to your overall health. As mentioned above, sulphur is a common mineral found in hot springs.
Sulphur can help treat respiratory problems such as asthma, and it can help clear excess mucus from your lungs.
Moreover, the heat and buoyancy of a hot spring is very therapeutic for your body. The buoyancy helps to reduce the body’s work load.
As the body is focused on the sudden heat, the nervous system’s sensitivity lowers and the heat becomes a form of therapy for sufferers of muscle pains and arthritis.
Better Blood Circulation
Bathing in hot springs helps to boost blood circulation. As the skin soaks in minerals such as calcium and sodium, hydrostatic pressure increases.
This increases the flow of oxygen to our bodies and boosts blood circulation, keeping your body fit and strong.
Our bodies absorb minerals in the water which stimulate the immune system and strengthen it. These minerals enhance the production of endorphins within the body and this interacts with receptors in the brain.
Think of it as a “happy chemical”, endorphins release a positive feeling and relieve the body and mind of stress whilst alleviating tension in tired muscles.
Overall, regular geothermal bathing can help normalize your body’s functions and nervous system whilst drastically improving your skin’s condition.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
The 4 Best Hot Springs in Iceland
So now you know the various benefits that hot springs can bring, which ones are worth a visit?
Below we have listed our favourite Icelandic hot springs, and the reasons why they’re not to be missed!
Known for having the largest and most popular geothermal pool in Iceland, Laugardalslaug caters to a variety of guests. They have a 50-meter pool for casual swimming, and other activities include children’s pools, slides, along with hot tubs and steam baths.
In 2012, Laugardalslaug opened the first and only saltwater bath tub. The water contains high amounts of salt and minerals compared to regular thermal ground water. Packed with all the nutrients and minerals, it is a great place to treat the body and skin.
The Blue Lagoon
Is Iceland’s most renowned, man-made hot spring spot and completely developed for tourists to visit. It holds a large complex with restaurants, entertainment, and inclusive spa services.
Although, no matter how luxurious, the real attraction is the rich blue-green water that invites all to dazzle at its entirety.
The waters are a relaxing 38°C and hold a mixture of sea water and fresh water that exfoliates and repairs the skin with its silica mud and delicate mineral salts.
Mývatn Nature Baths
In the North-East of Iceland, 60 miles from the Arctic Circle, lies the Mývatn Nature Baths. These man-made, sky blue waters have a floor covered by fine gravel and sand.
It holds 3.5 million litres of 36-40°C hot water, and it’s heated by a geothermal power station. The intimacy of the baths and the wonderful backdrop of lava fields nearby create a wonderful ambience of relaxation. Perfect for a relaxing break!
Laugarvatn Fontana Spa
This newly built spa is situated 77 kilometres from Reykjavik, the Capital of Iceland. And it’s the closest of the three spas to the BIOEFFECT greenhouses.
Laugarvatn has a variety of facilities, including pools, and steam rooms built over natural hot springs. Alongside this, three outdoor mineral baths named Lauga, Saela and Viska.
Created differently from the other two, the Viska bath was built slightly above the others and it gives visitors a chance to admire the spacious mountain landscapes. And if you’re one of the lucky ones, it allows a perfect view of the Northern lights in the evening.
Iceland is one of the most sought out countries for hot springs.Their popularity is ever-increasing due to the many health benefits they provide.
As mentioned above, the geothermal water can help deter and relieve skin and medical problems whilst providing an effective and therapeutic body treatment.
These natural wonders are found in abundance across Iceland’s picturesque landscape. So, if you’re looking for the ultimate relaxation experience, what are you waiting for?