The Mývatn Nature Bath, also known as Jarðböðin, is a beautiful alkaline lagoon heated by the natural geothermal activity of the region and surrounded by an incredible and colorful landscape. It is located in the town of Jardbadsholar about 105 kilometers (65 miles) east of Akureyri, which maintains a temperate climate throughout the year. Since the spa was opened in June 2004, it has offered a special experience for thousands of guests whether during bright warm summers or dark serene winters. It is open all year with summer hours from 0900 to 2400 and winter hours from 1200 to 2200. Check their website for specific information regarding hours and pricing throughout the year.
All guests are asked to wash thoroughly and shower before entering the lagoon. Lockers are available to keep your belongings safe. You’ll walk out to the patio and see the magnificent lagoon containing around 3.5 million liters of water with sustained temperatures between 36° and 40°C (97° and 104°F). The water is cloudy due to various minerals that are claimed to exhibit healing properties. It is built up with a sand and gravel bottom. No chlorine is used because harmful bacteria and vegetation cannot survive in the water. Please remember to remove brass and silver jewelry before entering the water because there is a possibility that these elements will become discolored and damaged.
There are also two steam baths, built above a geothermal stream, that form a natural sauna. The steam is sulphur-free and rises through vents in the floor at about 50°C (122°F), resulting in a humidity of nearly 100%. Nearby, a hot tub overlooks the large pools. If you get too hot, there are some outdoor showers you can use for a quick cool down. Guests can also enjoy snacks and meals at the Kvika Restaurant from inside a glass room or from outside on a patio terrace. There is also an option to have refreshments served to you right in the lagoon! Move about the water to experience different variations in temperatures and make your way out to the infinity ledge construction, where you can gaze over this seismic region that was shaped by volcanic eruptions.
The Bjarnarflag power station (1969), operated by Landsvirkjun, takes advantage of the area’s geothermal power and supplies the lagoon with its hot water. It’s heated to 130°C (266°F) over 2,000 meters (6,560 feet) below the surface and transported to Jarðböðin via pipes. You can see the huge basin beside the lagoon that collects the water and distributes it through vents in the lagoon at comfortable bathing temperatures.
Lake Mývatn is only about 105 kilometers (65 miles) south of the Arctic Circle, and the sky is typically clear due to the geography of the area. Staying a week in the winter will almost guarantee you an opportunity to experience the Northern Lights. There is also a nearby designated nature reserve here with a highly delicate ecosystem and rich bird life.