Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Soaking sources of Iceland

Swiftly becoming one of Iceland's main attractions: an out of the way hot spring, Hrunalaug.
'Paradis bien au chaud! #hotsprings #iceland #icelandtravel'

The last months have seen a series of entries on personal experiences with Icelandic hot natural springs. 
But only on just a few. 
There are way many more ...

For those of you, who want to explore further, this post will seek to give a good overview of information available.

In print
There's no doubt about it, there's just the single publication which any soaker will need when visiting Islan and that is Snaeland, J.G. & Þ. Sigurbjörnsdóttir's (2010) Thermal pools in Iceland
Surprisingly this publication is only available from the webshop of Skrudda and priced at 3990 Icelandic krona, which with today's exchange rate works out to be just under 26€.
The authors present details on roughly 80+ Icelandic soaks, mostly undeveloped hot spring sites; by no means complete but if wishing to visit all 80 mentioned, I would suggest taking a couple of months of holiday! 
All complete with GPS data, the book hopes to highlight the need to visit and respect thermal pools as especially tourists are highly motivated to seek out wild thermal pools.

Top sites
And though there is this book on hot springs in Iceland (soaking enthusiasts will be surprised that there is at least a book) us aficionado's know that printed work on hot springs is usually very scarce. 

Not so with internet web sites.

Your first address to consult would be swimminginiceland. It lists more than 100 thermal swimming pools, all developed as well as a dozen or so, more natural / wilder soaks.

The English / Icelandic islandihnotskurn has a neatly set up website, offering information and photo's on nearly 50 of the nations hot springs. Comes with a Facebook page.

The enjoyiceland website has an overview of 20+ natural hot springs, though not necessarily all soakable.

Beggi and Magga maintain a photographic website, kjoarnir. With their own photo's on nearly 20 hot springs.

Selka Kind on her website whatwegotuptoiniceland notes her best and worst hot pools. In the same mode c'est christine plugs her best places to swim in Iceland: Blue Lagoon, Hofn, Seljavallalaug, Hrunalaug and Hveragerði.

Popular haunt for wild soaking: Rekjaladur / Hveragerði. Source

Much in the same flavour as this website, LA Swimming goes international and Throb's lengthy and entertaining entry counts trips to 13 soaking sites on Iceland.

Then there is a site on Icelandic hot pots; it seeks to explain the love affair between Icelanders and their hot waters.

In town
Away from the uncivilised hot springs (sorry ...), Reykjavik has made taking a hot pot at one of their public swimming pools a trendy thing to do. 

Some swimming pools are old and weary but thus novel whereas others are very modern affairs. 
The Reykjavik Grapevine has an article on Sundhöllin, Reykjaviks oldest and most central swimming pools. It's a great place to experience a night time hot pot.
The Icelandic Times has an extensive article on Laugardalslaug, probably the biggest of Reykjavik.

Snaeland, J.G. & Þ. Sigurbjörnsdóttir (2010) Thermal pools in Iceland. Skrudda, Reykjavik, Iceland

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