We all need to disconnect and find ways of relaxation for the mind. We collected the top wellness activities in Iceland, so your trip is all about health and shaking the stress away!
Iceland has secured a
coveted position in the list of the happiest places to live in the world. But
there’s more than just one factor that contributes to this prestigious ranking.
From its low population and high level of income, to its people’s connection
with the natural world, locals in the Land of Fire and Ice are visibly satisfied
So, just what is it that
makes this country such a healthy and happy place to call home? Is it something
to do with the work/life balance, or the healthy diet? All of these factors do
play a part, but one of the main reasons, in our opinion, is the emphasis
placed on spending time in nature. And we are talking about some pretty
superlative nature here!
Maybe you don’t live in
Iceland yourself, but if you’re planning a trip sometime soon, you too can
experience this cheerlife lifestyle. In this article, we are going to take a
look at some of Iceland’s top wellness
and where to enjoy them when you’re here. We’ll be covering the
- Hot springs and spas
- Yoga and wellness retreats
- Horse riding
- Camping in Iceland
- Seeing Iceland’s wildlife
Hot springs in Iceland
Iceland is blessed with a
huge wealth of natural geothermally heated hot springs. From thermal swimming
pools to swanky spas and rustic outdoor pools, there is an array of bathing
options available here to please any preference.
In fact, for locals,
visiting hot springs isn’t just another thing to do - it’s a way of life. It is
something that friends and family of all ages will do to socialize and share
valuable time with each other on the weekends. As well as being a healing and
rejuvenating experience, it allows people to fully relax. Lounging in balmy
waters gives you the chance to disconnect from your everyday life and really
slow things down.
We truly believe that a big
part of the Icelandic people’s happiness levels stems from their regular hot
spring visits. Not only do these springs help heal physical pains, but soaking
in mineral rich waters also eases mental worries. There’s no question that good
things happen when the body is allowed to switch gears. As tension melts away,
we slowly transition out of our habitual fight or flight mode and into
where are the best places in Iceland to soak away your worries? Here come some
of our favorites.
The Blue Lagoon
This is the most famous hot
spring in Iceland and one that gets a considerable amount of attention and
visits. Located partway between Reykjavík and Keflavik International Airport,
its popularity also lies in the fact that it is extremely convenient to reach.
Even though it is a large
pool, you’ll need to book well in advance to secure your spot, especially if
you are visiting Iceland in summer.
The balmy waters of the Blue Lagoon hover at about 37 degrees
Celsius, and are infused with silica. Their mineral content turns them a
stunning shade of turquoise, offset by the dark volcanic rocks that surround
the pools. This is a picture moment if you ever saw one.
For the ultimate start to your Iceland wellness
itinerary, schedule a swim here
right after touchdown.
The Secret Lagoon
The not-so-secret Secret Lagoon is Iceland’s oldest outdoor
swimming pool. Dating back to 1891, it was abandoned for years but renovated in
2014. You’ll find it not too far from Iceland’s Golden Circle
, near the
little town of Fludir. Although the set up is pretty basic, there are changing
rooms and its surroundings aren’t lacking in beauty.
Myvatn Nature Baths
Myvatn Nature Baths are
located in the less visited northern part of Iceland. The southern portion of
the country is much busier, especially in summer, so the north makes for a more
relaxing and crowd-free experience. The baths here are located in one portion
of the expansive Myvatn Lake.
After soaking in the
waters, you could choose to stick around and camp on the water’s edge. There is
a great campsite where you can easily park up your rental car or pitch a tent.
An abundance of natural wonders fill the area with opportunities to explore, so
relax your pace and stay a while.
The Geosea Sea BathsAlso located in North
Iceland, but a little more swish and modern are the Geosea Sea Baths. Perched
on the edge of the ocean in the town of Husavik, this thermal hot spring spa is
a real delight. Steamy waters, majestic views and excellent facilities, what
more could you ask for?
Yoga and wellness retreats
Joining a yoga retreat in
Iceland is a wonderful way to unwind and reconnect. There are many retreat
centers up and down the country offering a varied program itinerary of
spiritual and wellness options. Along with daily classes, they will almost
always have geothermal pools and saunas for some much needed R&R following
great thing about these retreat centers is that they are located amidst sublime
scenery. Visitors are able to spend time in the beauty of Iceland’s natural
landscapes while getting the chance to escape from the humdrum of their
everyday lives. Connecting with nature is an integral part of the retreat
Hiking in Iceland
Hiking is an ever-popular
Nordic wellness activity, loved all across the region and it is no different in
Iceland. Icelandic children are brought up in a culture of walking and hiking,
and it’s easy to notice the difference it makes. Getting outside and exercising
in nature is an important part of life here. And parents instill this in their
children from an early age.
As such, Icelandic people have a close
connection to the landscapes of their home country. They respect and appreciate
the natural world along with its power and beauty. If you go hiking in Iceland's stunning
national parks, you will very quickly understand why
Horse riding in Iceland
Icelandic horse riding is
another great way to get out into nature and connect with the landscape. Not to
mention meeting and connecting with these gentle creatures is a therapy in and
of itself. Icelandic horses are characterful creatures, both strong and gentle
and great with nervous passengers.
an organized horse riding tour is a great family activity, as it's a good plan
for little legs that might get tired quickly on a hike. Horse riding tours are
available all around the country, so keep a lookout for them if it suits your
Camping in Iceland
Camping has long been
popular amongst Icelandic people and a regular summer activity. Weekends are
often spent loading the back of the car with camping gear and heading out into
the countryside. This time spent outdoors is proven to be greatly beneficial
for mental health and wellbeing.
Humans weren’t built for
sitting at desks indoors and looking at screens, after all. For our physical
and mental health, we need to get out and about and move our bodies, and
camping allows us to do just this. Cooking, eating and sleeping in nature has
to be one of Iceland’s top wellness activities.
As a visitor you can easily join in. Just take a leaf out of the
Iceland wellness book by hiring a car
and going for a road
trip. With volcanoes, waterfalls, glaciers and volcanic beaches, there’s just
no end of places to explore or natural splendor to adore.
Seeing Iceland’s wildlife
Connecting with wildlife
and the wonder of the natural world is hugely advantageous to your overall well
being. It helps us to see our place as part of a connected world, and to
appreciate the miracle of planet earth and its myriad forms of life. In
addition to wondrous landscapes, Iceland has some pretty amazing wildlife.
You won’t find so many land
animals here, but turn your eyes to the ocean and you’ll be floored. The waters
around Iceland welcome all sorts of marine life, including whales. Take a whale
watching boat tour and you’re likely to see several types of whale species.
This is topped with jumping dolphins and puffins flitting low to catch fish.
Planning wellness activities in IcelandAll in all, Iceland is a true wellness wonderland. Engaging in
these everyday activities is a good opportunity to be active, healthier and
less stressed. For more information on planning a transformative vacation in
Iceland, visit this nature related article and start
preparing your Icelandic restoration trip today!