A place to meet friends, chat and relax, Iceland’s geothermally heated pools hold an important place in the country’s social life. Many small towns have their own baths, but the Geosea Geothermal Baths near Húsavík in north Iceland have what is possibly the most scenic location. Here, the sleek infinity pools sit on a clifftop overlooking Skjálfandi Bay, with the Arctic Circle on the horizon. A visit offers the chance to partake in an everyday Icelandic ritual and relax in the balmy waters as you look out over the steely sea. You might even spot whales in the waves below.
Close to the small, seaside town of Húsavík are the Geosea Geothermal Baths. Sleek, sophisticated and cleverly designed, these manmade baths are set on a clifftop overlooking Skjálfandi Bay.
Drilling for domestic hot water in the mid-20th century, hot seawater was discovered, but its mineral content made it too rich to be used for heating houses. Instead, it was used to fill the cheese barrel for small-scale bathing until the drill holes were eventually exploited to heat the chic new Geosea Baths.
The series of infinity pools tops the cliffs and the steamy, mineral-rich water is said to be very good for your skin. The temperature of the water is maintained at a balmy 38-39°C (100-102°F), so the outdoor baths can be enjoyed at all times of year.
The baths’ location in northern Iceland means they’re far less crowded than better-known venues like the Blue Lagoon. Set among scenic fjords, the baths also give you occasional views of whales in the bay below.
On arrival at Geosea, you’ll be given an electronic bracelet, which grants access to the pools and changing rooms. Complimentary water is available by the pools at all times, and other drinks can be purchased at the pool bar. Sandwiches, soups and snacks are also available for purchase at the on-site restaurant.
You will need to bring along swimwear and a towel. Alternatively, towels can be rented for approximately 800 kr.