Do You REALLY Need to be NUDE in Geothermal Baths, Blue Lagoon & Public Pools in Iceland?
So you’ve landed in Iceland, feeling pretty smug. You’ve made it to the land of ice and fire! That smugness is wiped out off your face as soon as those Icelandic winds make an appearance (which is the moment you step out of the aircraft). To warm up your bones, you book a trip to the Blue Lagoon, or any lagoon for that matter. But you’ve heard things, awkward things… like Do you REALLY need to be NUDE when enjoying the geothermal baths in Iceland? Oh goodness. Let’s find out:
- The naked truth, or the truth about nakedness. You don’t go topless, bottomless or nude to the public pools or lagoons themselves. All you need to do is take a shower nude, aka in your birthday suit, and not your bathing suit. This is to make sure you are completely clean before you enter the pools/baths, as the water in them is without chlorine. That’s right, the water is completely natural, without a chemical in sight. So the order is as follows: Come in dressed, undress, shower, put a swimsuit on, enjoy the baths, take swimsuit off, shower, put clothes back on. Not that scary, right? I must add, for those who are not body confident, there are slightly secluded showers, all the rest are public. The dressing rooms are separated by gender. It’s worth adding that no one really cares about how you look like with clothes or without clothes in these facilities. Literally, no one. People come here to relax and catch up with friends, and don’t really have time to deal with anyone’s insecurities. Their general advice is getting over it.
- Wait, people talk to you while you are in the pool? It’s a yes. For Icelanders, going to geothermal pools is an equivalent of us going to Starbucks. They catch up with friends, discuss the news, argue, make up, gossip etc while half naked in a 38 degree pool. People chatted to us, told us about their lives (I think they gave me enough info to write their biographies), and joked with us. So while it may be not that relaxing, attending some local geothermal baths was a very cultural experience.
- Is the Blue Lagoon Just a Tourist Trap? I didn’t have the pleasure of going to the Blue Lagoon, as it was actually booked out for the time I was there. We came up with plan B and went to Myvatn instead. At the time, I was quite upset thinking I missed our on something major, so I jumped into reading reviews. Some loved it, some hated it. The fact is that Icelanders seldom go to the Blue Lagoon, only tourists flock to the attraction. The second fact is that it is man-made, so it’s not a natural nature bath. The third fact is that it is very expensive, and the alternatives are just as good – just way cheaper. In the images above, I didn’t have to photoshop anyone out, as there was literally no one there. We rolled up really early to Myvatn nature baths, were the only ones there, and as more people started appearing, we were done. Should you go to the Blue Lagoon? If you can, do. Should I despair if I can’t make it? Nope. I can’t recommend Myvatn enough, especially in the morning to get the same serene experience we did. Plus, it was the perrrrfect photoshoot opp with zero photoshopping people out of the background.
- But it’s COLD outside! Yes, it is cold. This means you will want to hurry into the warm pool to enjoy the soothing warmness of the water. Then you’ll just run back into the changing rooms. It’s not that bad, and doesn’t really take away from the experience. People also asked: Should we wear hats, won’t our heads get cold? Short answer, no. You’ll be fine.
- It stinks? You will notice a smell here and there around the island, and it may become a bit intense if you are going towards the geothermal waters or turn on the hot water on your tap (I especially noticed it in Reykjavik). I can only describe the smell as rotten eggs. I am not going to lie – it ain’t pretty. But as Icelanders would say… Get over it and enjoy the good things.
Are you planning on visiting any public pools, natural baths or the Blue Lagoon in Iceland?