Geothermal pools, nature's own hot tubs, stand as testament to Earth's hidden treasures, serving as sanctuaries for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Iceland, a land of fire and ice, is known not only for its dramatic and lush landscapes but also for its unique bathing culture that is unlike any others. Geothermal pools that are nature's own hot tubs, and a testament to Earth's hidden treasures has become sanctuaries for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Geothermal pools owe their existence to the dance of tectonic plates and the fiery core of Iceland. Deep beneath the Earth's surface, volcanic activity creates pockets of intensely heated water, which, when coupled with the right conditions, emerge as these natural hot springs.
These natural wonders, created by Iceland's unique geological makeup, early became vital communal spaces for the Icelandic people and have been a part of the culture since the earliest settlements.
The tradition of bathing evolved from mere survival to a cultural cornerstone and are an essential part of each day for tourists and the Icelandic people.
Found in several selected areas in Iceland, geothermal pools offer not only relaxation but also a unique connection to the Earth's geological heartbeat. In this article, we'll embark on a journey into the unique west Icelandic geothermal pool, “The Canyon Baths” uncovering its benefits, unique qualities, and the transformative effects it offers to those fortunate enough to experience them.
Húsafell area is an unexplored gem where sustainability is a priority and its natural environment along with its sustainability have been known for a long time. The key attribute of Húsafell is sustainability as it has a long history in the area with its first small hydro generator built in 1948 and geothermal energy acquired in 1986. And the fact is that Húsafell is fully self-sufficient with 100% renewable energy!
One of the best quality, sustainable tourist attractions in Iceland, particularly in the Húsafell area, is the Canyon baths. The Canyon baths offers a high-quality geothermal bathing experience and are man-made geothermal pools that have been built using sustainable technologies. Constructed from locally sourced, natural materials like flagstone from the canyon floor, the baths are hot-spring fed pools designed to blend into the environment seamlessly using the age-old methods that created Snorralaug, a heritage site pool dating back to the 10th century.
The Canyon baths are designed to minimize environmental impact, and the water used is 100% natural, coming directly from the hot spring.
Similar to volcanic hikes, treks to natural hot springs, such as the Canyon Baths, are popular, offering an outdoor experience surrounded by enchanting nature. The hike is rated as easy, suitable for all skill levels, although it involves walking over uneven terrain and descending 64 steps to the canyon floor.
Led by a knowledgeable local guide, the tour begins with a short ride from Hotel Húsafell to the remote Icelandic Highlands. Limited to 16 participants, private tours are also available. The journey includes a walk past natural wonders, including the Langifoss waterfall, providing a unique encounter with Icelandic nature.
Participants learn about Iceland's renewable energy practices, cross a stream of glacial meltwater, and witness the site of Ok jökull, Iceland’s first glacier claimed by climate change.
The Canyon Baths offer more than a destination; it's an experience that leaves an indelible mark, promising to exceed expectations. Whether seeking adventure, solace, or a connection to cultural heritage, the Canyon Baths await to captivate heart and soul.
To make the most of the geothermal pool experience, practical preparations and cultural awareness are essential. In Iceland, unspoken intricacies, rituals, and specific rules enhance the experience. Key considerations include pre-bath rinsing for water purity, finding a comfortable temperature, and embracing the surrounding landscapes for a holistic sensory experience. Here are some important considerations:
1. Pre-Bath Rituals
Most geothermal pools encourage a thorough rinse before entering, as a gesture of respect and to maintain water purity.
2. Finding Your Comfort Zone
Geothermal pools can vary in temperature, so it's essential to locate a spot that suits your comfort level.
3. Embracing Nature's Canvas:
Surrounding landscapes often add to the enchantment of geothermal pools, creating a holistic sensory experience.
Geothermal pools are not just bodies of water; they are living testaments to Earth's capacity for creation and renewal. As you immerse yourself in the embrace of a geothermal pool, remember that you are connecting with a force that has shaped our planet for eons. So, the next time you seek solace in the soothing warmth of a natural hot spring, remember that you are partaking in a dance with the Earth itself in a dance of healing, rejuvenation, and wonder. You must also know that there are many benefits that follows your geothermal bathing and is well known that overall, a soak in a geothermal pool can be a great way to promote physical and mental well-being and is a great way to experience Iceland’s natural beauty.
1. Muscle Relaxation and Pain Relief
The warm, mineral-rich waters of geothermal pools are renowned for soothing aching muscles and relieving joint pain and therefore promoting a sense of relaxation throughout the body. Science has shown that soaking in hot water blocks pain receptors in bones and muscles.
2. Improved Circulation
The combination of heat and buoyancy in geothermal pools can cause blood vessels to dilate, which helps to improve blood flow and oxygenation throughout the body that promotes cardiovascular health.
3. Skin Rejuvenation
The mineral content in geothermal waters can have a beneficial effect on skin and that can detoxify and can help remedy skin ailments and leaving it refreshed and revitalized.
4. Relaxation for all your senses
Soaking in warm water can be deeply restorative and can help reduce stress and bring a sense of peace and serenity.
5. The benefit of a small talk
It is well known in Iceland that during your time in the geothermal pool you will most likely have an interesting small talk with other people. It is a great place to connect with other travellers or the locals. Iceland's geothermal pools have served as a form of community for hundreds of years and it’s like the water kind of erases the superficial between people. People gather in the warmth to visit, catch up, share common knowledge, and collaborate. The socialization and connection with others can have positive effects on overall well-being.
If there's anything specific, you'd like to know or discuss, feel free to let us know. We're here to help you make the most of your Icelandic adventure!