Myvatn Nature Baths outside Reykjalid
Myvatn Nature Baths lives up to its expectations, an exquisitely cerulean blue. The turnout to the parking lot is just outside Reykjalid. Clouds lay an overcast to the day as white steam rises to meet white clouds suspended above. Gray layers of altocumulus allow us to float without fear of sunburn for several hours in this majestic sand-bottomed lagoon with built in benches to simply sit and wallow in comfort. It is the ultimate spa day. The $40 day entry fee includes a towel and locker key. I float in my long-sleeved California style rashguard with my glasses on – UV rays turn my transition lenses to sunglasses quickly. I savor the rippled horizon punctuated by the mountains and craters of the Highland landscape with the snow-capped cape of Queen Herðubreið most notable, situated at center view in the lagoon. There are several water vents in the pool as well as a bathing waterfall with 36-40°C hot water flowing constantly that makes the use of chemicals or chlorine unnecessary due to the chemical composition of minerals that prohibit the growth of bacteria and vegetation.
When you tire of floating in hot spring bliss, you can sit in the steam baths on the patio with geothermal steam rising from cedar slats. The water in the geothermal vents is 130°C and the steam vents are much higher in temperature than the lagoon. Signs warn not to stay too long in the steam rooms due to this excessive, yet therapeutic heat. One of the best things about traveling in Iceland in June is that most places are open until midnight – Myvatn Nature Baths welcomes bathers from 9am – midnight. We float and sauna about until 6pm, then head north again to Sauðárkrókur on the western fjords. Our day on Myvatn feels like three, with all of the amazing natural wonders of geology, bird migration, and lava landscapes receding now behind us.