Why Icelandic Hottubs are so Bl**dy Amazing
Iceland is truly like no other place on the planet. Its otherworldly landscapes, intriguing cuisine and friendly locals make it a place that won't ever leave your memory banks. I fell head over heels after spending a brilliant week road-tripping along the South Coast. For me, the country's true gems are the natural hot pools and hot tubs that are like bread and butter to local culture. Whether you're looking for a full-on spa day somewhere like the Blue Lagoon (where we spent a fabulous afternoon), a random dip in a hot spring midway through a tough hike or just want to unwind after a hard day of exploring, you are guaranteed to find something in Iceland that suits your needs. Without fail, every single Icelandic town we explored had a hotel / hostel with a hot tub or a local hot spring we could dip our toes into.
Iceland sits on the Mid-Atlantic rift zone (you can see where the earth's cracked at Pingvellir Park!) and has a volcanic base making it one of the biggest hubs of geothermal activity on the planet. This perfect blend of fire from the earth's core and natural waters makes the country one of the best places in the world to enjoy a good spa day. And on a freezing Icelandic day, there is simply nothing like jumping into a warm pool to loosen your muscles and stop your teeth from chattering. The contrast of hot and cold is just spectacular.
During our one week in Iceland, we managed to hit up the Blue Lagoon, enjoy some local hot springs in Hofn and savour our log cabin's jacuzzi. But if you're got more time to spare, consider checking out a few natural springs on your hikes throughout the country or make a special trip to some of the best-known spots, as this is one thing I seriously regret not making more time for. Here are some recommendations from a trusty travel company in Iceland.
Also, here are a few handy tips to note before your first foray into Icelandic hot-springing:
1) Bring a towel with you - or be prepared to pay a small fee (or large fee if it's somewhere like the Blue Lagoon!) to rent one
2) Leave you shoes at the door. In snazzier places, there will be lockers to put all your belongings but at some of the local springs you'll be asked just to leave them at the reception.
3) Shower (fully naked) before you enter the pool. This is probably the most critical step. So much so that Iceland launched a viral youtube video to remind visitors to do it.
4) Ease into the water. It might be tempting to dive in, especially if it's freezing outside, but keep in mind the water can be steamy and your body will need to adjust.
5) Swim like the locals. Icelanders like to swim anticlockwise and so should you to fit right in.
6) Enjoy! Talk to the locals, ask about their favourite springs and indulge in this long-standing local tradition that's lasted for so long for very good reason!
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