In the depth of North Iceland you will find the incredible nature reserve of Lake Mývatn. Surrounding this natural wonderment are stupendously beautiful places like Hverir, Grjótagjá Hot Spring and Cave and the one that we want to talk about, Mývatn Nature Baths.
The Nature baths are often nicknamed “The Blue Lagoon of the North” as the pools have the same intensely turquoise blue color. The color originates in the minerals and algae found in the water and when light hits the water blue color ricochets back. It is actually an illusion of somesorts, the water is white without the reflection!
The temperature of the water is about 36-40°C or 98,6 to 104 Fahrenheit. The minerals composition of the water is truly amazing for your skin both rejuvenation and healing and the beautifully designed complex, the hot pool filled with geothermal water and the lovely steam baths invite you on a geothermal adventure not to be missed.
Visiting Mývatn Nature Baths is a completely natural experience where you bath in geothermal water drawn from the earth in completely surreal surroundings. You are not able to see through the water due to its high levels of invigorating minerals but you are able to walk around safely as the water’s depth is very comfortable.
The water in the nature baths runs straight from the National Power Company’s borehole in Bjarnarflag. You can get pretty close to the powerplant if you are feeling curious about the origin. When the water is drilled up it is at an impossible bathing temperature and when it had reached the basin beside the lagoon the temperature is still about 130°c or 266 Fahrenheit. The lagoon and the basin next to it together hold around 3.5 million liters (9.24 gallons) of water.
The lagoon itself is a man-made construction but filled up by completely natural and unique water. The characteristics of the blue waters are without comparison and contain incredible amounts of minerals, algae, alkaline and silica making the waters somewhat of a healing pool for skin problems.
Fun Fact: Due to Mývatn Nature baths chemical composition, undesired bacteria and vegetation simply don’t survive in the lagoon making chloride or any other disinfectant unnecessary.
Where are Mývatn Nature Baths located?
Mývatn Nature Baths are located close to Lake Myvatn in North East. It is about 105 km away from Akureyri, the capital of Northern Iceland and 489 km away from Reykjavík. The area in which the Nature Baths are located is like something from a sci-fi film or how one would imagine the moon. The clouds of steam rising from the geothermal area that seems to be a no-mans-land will give you a cue on when to start looking for the sign and turn off the road onto to the parking lot. Mývatn Nature Baths are easy to find as they are located right off the famous Ring Road 1.
How to get to Mývatn Nature Baths
There are a few ways to get to Myvatn Nature baths and like we have mentioned before they aren’t hard to find.
Driving from Akureyri to Mývatn Nature baths should take about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Driving there you will go through the fertile valley Fnjóskadalur, pass the waterfall of the gods – Goðafoss and past the Mývatn area with all its steam and natural charm.
Driving from Egilsstaðir (the biggest town in the Eastfjords) to Mývatn Nature Baths should take no more than 2 hours and will take you past stunning sights such as Lagafljót, lake Urriðavatn, the “the white chair” viewing point and parking lot, and the turn for waterfalls Dettifoss, Selfoss and Ásbyrgi Canyon.
Driving from Reykjavík to Mývatn Nature Baths is not recommended as a one day drive, there is simply too much to see and do on the way and not enough time to enjoy if driven in one day. In one go, the drive would take more than 6 hours. Some of the sights not to be missed on the way from Reykjavík to Mývatn would be Borgarfjörður, Glaumbær Turf Farm, Grettislaug pool, Akureyri, Goðafoss, Whale Watching at Dalvík, the Beer Baths in Eyjafjörður and so on and so forth.
Accommodation and Hotels near Mývatn Nature Baths
- Icelandair Hotel Myvatn
- Fosshotel Myvatn
- Vogafjos Farm Resort
Hostels, Guesthouses, and B&B
- Eldá Guesthouse
- Hlíð Hostel
- Hlíð Bed and Breakfast
Cabins and Cottages
- Hlíð Cottages
Camping Near Mývatn Nature Baths
Hlíð Camping Ground is beautiful and spacious camping ground away from the flies at Lake Mývatn.
All Year Round
Per adult per night 2000 ISK
Per 16 and younger FREE
Electricity 700 ISK
Facilities on Site:
- Hot and Cold Water
- Kitchen Tent
- Small Shop
Good to know before visiting Myvatn Nature Baths
- Jewelry, especially silver can change color if it gets in contact with the water. They are better left in the lockers.
- Your hair will get coated by the minerals in the water and feel quite weird, dry and stiff after bathing. To prevent this you can put a double dose of conditioner into your hair before going in, wrapping it up in a bun and keeping it as much as you can out of the water. But if you feel like bringing back the puffy 80’s hair then go for it!
- Sulfur, found in large quantities in the baths, is considered to have a positive effect on respiratory diseases including asthma.
- Sulfur, silica and other trace elements in the water are considered to have healing powers for multiple skin problems including eczema and psoriasis. Doctors in Iceland even give out prescriptions for psoriasis patients to bath in the silica filled lagoons.
Mývatn Nature Baths in Winter
Visiting Mývatn Natural Baths in winter is equally as great as doing so in summer, or any season for that matter. If you are driving on your own you will need to be mindful of road conditions and weather but besides from that, there isn’t anything stopping you from visiting.
Imagine sitting inside a steam bath where natural geothermal steam is rising up from the ground and you know that all around is snow covered lava and landscape. Icelanders really appreciate having their hot pools all around the country and enjoy their epic pool culture just as much in winter as they do in summer. Join the movement and visit Mývatn Nature baths in winter. Who knows, you might even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
Mývatn Nature Baths vs. The Blue Lagoon
This is a hard comparison – They are both phenomenal, but since we are doing a comparison:
- Located close to the capital and Keflavik International Airport
- Has a great gift shop
- Has a Hotel on location
- Cafeteria and fancy restaurant
- Silica Mask available for free at silica bar
- Has a Steam Bath and Sauna
- In-Water Massages available
- It is quite expensive
- Can get quite crowded
Mývatn Nature Baths:
- Less expensive admission than the Blue Lagoon
- Fewer people visiting
- Located around so many other beautiful attractions
- Have a great restaurant with fair prices
- Have student discounts
- Free for under 13 years
- Has 2 steam baths
- Located quite far away from Reykjavík and Keflavik International Airport.
- No Sauna
Interesting places near Mývatn Nature Baths