South Iceland contains many of the most popular sights, sites and bathing spots in the country. Close to Reykjavík is the Reykjanes Peninsula, with the Blue Lagoon, Keflavík Airport, and many wild spots and charming villages; over the Hellisheiði mountain pass lies the tranquil farmland and small towns like Hveragerði, Selfoss and Flúður. The Golden Circle and south coast roads are busy during the summer, and there are several glaciers dotting the coast and volcanoes silhouetted against the skyline. Vík í Myrdal is the halfway point, and Höfn—beneath the mighty Vatnajökull—marks the gateway to the east. To help you out along the way, here are our panel’s best South Iceland bathing spots.
Best Bathing Spot
“Of all the geothermal pools, this is the one where you see the process most,” said our panel of this remarkable bathing spot. “There’s a mini geysir, and you can hear the bassy gurgling fumaroles and feel the temperature fluctuations in the water.” While the “secret” of this popular outdoor bathing lagoon is out in recent times, our panel was impressed by the investment into better facilities. “It’s clean and organised, but still not too manicured—you’re right there in the landscape.”
An understated architectural classic, Laugaskarði stands head and shoulders above the municipal pools in South Iceland, boasting a reception building that’s perfectly curved to shield the water from the wind. “This retro beauty has a straight-from-the-earth steambath,” said the panel. “It’s a Wes Anderson dream of symmetry.”
Seljavellir, Route 242
Originally built as a training pool in 1923, this curious unmanned pool juts directly from the mountainside, making it a popular tourist attraction. “It’s lost that secluded vibe over recent years,” said the panel. “But it’s still a stunning place to visit, and a great place to go for a dip.” Note: there are no toilet facilities.
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