Icelandic SPA Like a Pro
Going to a SPA in Iceland, which is one of the best and most relaxing experiences in life and the main reason why so many people are visiting the remote country is something that seems like out of this world when it finally happens. A major contribution to the unusual experience is thanks to the surrounding moon-like landscapes and the unique nature Iceland is blessed with. Thanks to the specifics of the Icelandic nature we can all enjoy some of nature’s wonders – the hot tubs. Naturally coloured in the most intensive blue colour and as hot as you can imagine or sometimes above and beyond your expectations, the Icelandic hot tubs are not simply relaxing, enjoyable, and extra good for your health, but a magical pop of colour and a major contrast in temperature with the surroundings that totally worth visiting. And one of the best things is that those specific to the country type of almost alien geothermal pools and naturally-heated hot tubs is that these can be found practically anywhere on the country. Head east from the capital Reykjavik as far as Reyðarfjörður and you will be able to find your own piece of heaven… or more like a pool of heaven!
Before dipping your toes in one (or many) of the unique Icelandic natural hot tubs and generally have some of the most unusual and pleasant SPA experiences in the world the country is known for, it definitely worth it if you are familiar with the Icelandic SPA etiquette that is usually taken very seriously in Iceland. Definitely not aiming to limit your amazing and extra relaxing experience but designed to ensure you enjoy dipping in a geothermal pool the most and pampering yourself, here are the basic and most important dos and don’ts you would like to keep in mind.
Wash Yourself Before Dipping
This one is the total basis of the dipping-in-an-Icelandic-hot-tub experience and, despite the fact that it sounds pretty obvious, you will be surprised with how serious locals are with this requirement. Unlike the quick shower, you would take before dipping into a pool anywhere around Europe (and probably the world), washing yourself before dipping in an Icelandic hot tub is a whole new ritual but it is all for good. First things first, you should start with reading the rules designed by the place you are visiting to ensure your full comfort but also a respect to the Icelandic nature and the people surrounding you. Make sure to follow every step of these rules you will find pinned to every changing room wall.
The good news is that those rules are normally published in a few foreign languages including English, French, German, and Danish, which means that you will be, for sure, able to understand what you are required to do before dipping into a hot tub and while you are into the water. When it comes to washing before dipping into the pool you have no excuse to not go a full-mode scrubbing! Start with scrubbing your head and then continue with armpits, feet, and groin. You should use a soap and, very importantly, you should be wearing your birthday suit only so forget about the swimsuit you will be wearing just a bit later. Most of the Icelandic geothermal pools and tubs use freshwater with very low levels of chlorine so a quick rinse just won’t do the trick – make sure to go all up and down and scrub, scrub, scrub as there is no tomorrow!
This one may sound like a real nightmare – how are you are supposed to approach the people in the pool and be friendly, talkative, and confident since you are wearing your swimsuit. Well, at least in case you are not a Victoria’s Secret model, you are most probably not that confident when being exposed in your bikini. The thing is that everyone around you will wear their bikini and swimsuits with all their perfections and imperfections all together so there is nothing to worry about. In addition, you are guaranteed that no one is going to pay attention to the way you look like everyone is visiting the hot tubs to have a good SPA experience and enjoy their time.
Meeting new and friendly people is, however, definitely a bonus so why not? Especially when it comes to the hot tubs in Reykjavik, hot tubs are no more just a simple SPA experience but more like a social club to catch up on all sorts of topics with people you do not even know… and you are most probably not going to meet again. In order to be able to enjoy the most of the whole experience we recommend you going where the locals do. Some of the favourite pools of the locals include Vesturbæjarlaug and Nautholsvik. However, if you are not in the mood for being talkative right now and you are imagining a calmer and more intimate experience with your partner, you can make sure you will impress your date in the romantic setting of one of the oldest baths in the capital of Iceland – Sundholl.
Don’t Be Noisy and Loud
If everything has to be summarised in one sentence – Iceland does not like noisy people! Since the whole SPA experience is taken very seriously in the country it should be made all the way which means minimal disruption and no noisy and loud tourists. Do you remember what we have already said for the all the socialising? Well, people are really friendly, talkative, and enjoy socialising when in the hot tub or pool but everything is done quietly and with the other around them in mind. The main reason for all these requirements is that most of the indoor pools are built back in the time and loud noises echo down the corridors which have a pretty impressive acoustic so everything sounds even louder than it is.
Don’t jump straight-in
It might be very tempting to jump into the milky blue water as soon as you get to it but do not allow yourself to be tempted. Remember, the water in these hot tubs and pools is really hot, as you can get by the name, so your body needs some time for acclimatising to it which means that you should dip slowly. Your skin may turn out to be way too sensitive to the temperature of the geothermal pool so be sure to start with testing the water and explore your limits. Despite the fact that the hottest tubs are nowadays cooled due to health and safety regulation you should still forget about dive-bombing.
Listen to the Locals
No, not that we are suggesting to overhear what locals are talking about but more like following their advice. The best pools are usually known by the locals only and this is for a good reason. So whenever you are lucky enough to be enlightened by a local about the best place to visit, stop following the tourist trail and get out of your way to enjoy the best experience.