Visiting northern Iceland, and wondering what to explore? Have you considered a stop at the Lake Myvatn Nature Baths Iceland?
Known as the Blue Lagoon of the North, the Mývatn Nature Baths are accessible from Akureyri. In this detailed travel guide, we have outlined all the important information to help prepare for your visit, as well as plan your day!
Mývatn Nature Baths first opened its doors in the summer of 2004, so it has been around for a bit.
Tips for visiting the Lake Myvatn Nature Baths Iceland and FAQ
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What are the Mývatn Nature Baths known for?
The baths are located on the edge of Lake Myvatn, which is a volcanic region of lava fields and craters. The water is heated by hot springs nearby, in a natural way.
Visitors often compare the Mývatn Nature Baths to the Blue Lagoon (and now even to the Sky Lagoon), and it is increasing in popularity as many embark on road trips along the Ring Road (as it is an easy stop when you are in the area).
Mývatn Nature Baths also have the same milky blue and mineral-rich water that is great for your skin and has healing properties. In and around the baths area, there are a lot of things to do including visiting geothermal pools and waterfalls (more on that below)
Where are the Mývatn Nature Baths in Iceland located?
Lake Myvatn is located in North Iceland, about 90 km or 55 miles from Akureyri, which is the second-largest settlement in the country.
From Reykjavik, it will take about 6 hours to reach Myvatn Nature Baths and the lake area.
The exact address is: Mývatn Nature Baths, Jarðbaðshólar, 660 Mývatn, Iceland
What are the costs to visit? Myvatn Nature Baths Price
A visit to the Myvatn Nature Baths is not free. You can enter the Baths complex without an entry fee and enjoy their cafe and shop, including the parking lot, but to access the waters there is an entrance fee.
Unlike the other lagoons near Reykjavik, the Mývatn Nature Baths have a set ticket for every visitor based on age. There are no tiers or packages.
An adult ticket price for entering Mývatn Nature Baths is 5900 ISK (or 45 USD approx.). Anyone above 16 years is considered an adult for entering the baths. This entrance ticket only includes access to the baths and public changing rooms.
Related amenities like towels or robes can be added as an extra, etc. Transportation is not included.
Other Myvatn Nature Baths ticket prices:
- Teenagers (13 to 15 years): 1 500 ISK to 2900 ISK
- Seniors (67 years+): 3900 ISK
- Children (under 12 years): Enter free
- Students: 3900 ISK
- Specially abled: 3900 ISK
Note that the cost of the ticket stays the same, regardless of the time of day/year of your visit. And it is open all year – rain or shine.
Are reservations needed to visit the Lake Myvatn Nature Baths Iceland?
Myvatn Nature Baths – Jardbodin vid Myvatn is usually not super crowded. I visited in the off-season as part of this northern Iceland day tour, and there was hardly any queue.
So reservation is not required. However, I would recommend making a reservation for a visit to the Myvatn Nature Baths in the summer, as it could get busy. The cost of entering the Nature Baths is cheaper compared to the Sky and the Blue Lagoon.
Tickets have an entry time, and it closes 2 hours after the last check-in slot. Once you are in, you can stay for as long as you like.
How to get to Myvatn Nature Baths in Iceland? Transfers and tours that include Myvatn Nature Baths entry
As mentioned, the Myvatn Nature Baths are located in northern Iceland. The best way to visit the Myvatn Nature Baths is on your Icelandic Ring Road trip stop, from Akureyri or Reykjahlid. Reykjahlid is the nearest town to the Baths.
If you are renting a car, a stop can be pretty easy based on your Iceland itinerary.
If you are not renting a car, plan to get to Akureyri by flight (it is a 45 minute flight from Reykjavik), and then join a guided tour to stop at the Myvatn Nature Baths. This way you can explore some of the other highlights of northern Iceland.
So, you can keep Akureyri as a base and then visit the Lake Myvatn area on a day trip (or as a stop on your Icelandic road trip). Note that Akureyri to the Baths will be an hour’s drive away.
When you book a tour, the tour agency will inform the staff of the arrival time, and you will let in – usually it is around 2:30 or 3:00 pm (after the sightseeing is done). The baths are not super crowded, and it is big enough to accommodate guests – so even with a tour, you will be able to enjoy a nice time!
Another option is to get to Reykjahlid (the nearest town to Myvatn). There are flights to Reykjahlid from Reykjavik as well. In this setup, you can walk or take a cab (which will be pricey) to the Nature Baths. Reykjahlid will be very close to the Lake Myvatn area for sightseeing.
What do you need to bring to visit the Myvatn Nature Baths Iceland?
Bring your swimsuit, that’s number one. Here are some additional items,
- A towel (or you have to pay for one)
- Waterproof cell phone like this one
- A mini tripod like this one (I used this to take my own photos/videos)
- Or GoPro
- Flipflops (although not required, you will be in the pool at times)
- Drybag (to store your wet swimsuit)
- Hair tie or clutch
What is there to do at the Mývatn Nature Baths? Amenities and more
Myvatn Nature Baths allow you to soak in the alkaline bathing waters. These perfectly warm waters of the pool are amazing after a day of sightseeing and hiking. The Nature Baths will surely rejuvenate and make you feel refreshed!
Other than the baths, there is a Myvatn Restaurant on-site, where you can hang out and eat locally sourced food. It is highly recommended that you eat something, before entering the pool (we are told many who soaked into the water with an empty stomach felt dizzy or unwell after. So do eat :).
During my visit, I picked up a plate of rye bread with smoked Arctic char, and a bowl of soup (Goulash). From the restaurant, you can also check out the milky blue waters of the Nature Baths.
The food (menu items) is placed in a self-serve style, and when you pay at the counter you can order hot beverages or drinks.
The dining area is spacious, and there are washrooms located nearby. You will also find a store selling merchandise and souvenirs to take back home!
Drinks Bar or Swim-up Bar
When you enter the Baths and confirm your tickets, you will be asked if you wish to pay for drinks at the pool. You can pre-pay or add your credit card to buy drinks.
Changing room & lockers
When in there, you do get other amenities including a locker to store your belongings, water, and changing facilities. Washrooms are equipped with soap and shampoo, and hair dryers.
You can also experience a steam bath in their Steam Room.
There are parking areas, waiting, and seating areas at the entrance.
Hotels near Lake Myvatn and the geothermal area
Here are some of the accommodation options when visiting the Myvatn Nature Baths,
- Icelandair Hotel Myvatn: We like IcelandAir properties. Icelandair Hotel Akureyri is a good option and this is where I stayed, but to be closer to the Nature baths, this hotel in Myvatn is more apt. Icelandair Hotel Myvatn has stunning interiors and amenities for a perfect stay in the north. Check it out here
- Vogafjós Farm Resort: Stay on a lovely farm, with modern amenities in a comfortable room. This hotel is in the Lake Myvatn area. You can book a stay here
- Laxárdalur Cabin: Located in Húsavík, this cabin is in the lap of nature, and a perfect stop on your Ring Road itinerary. Check out pictures and reviews here
Myvatn Nature Baths Visit: What to expect on your visit to Myvatn Nature Baths?
Once you arrive at the Myvatn Nature Baths, you will park your vehicle, or the tour bus and enter the front door to get to the reception area. At the reception, you will be provided with a token for the locker, as well as towels/robes (if you paid for it as an extra).
You can add a credit card at this stage to buy drinks at the pool.
On your right (from the reception area) is the restaurant where you can grab a bite to eat.
Behind the reception area, you will find changing rooms and lockers. You can choose a locker – it will have a key on it. Use your token and key to lock it.
It is important to take a shower (with no clothes) before entering the baths. Wear your swimsuit after the shower and then follow directions to the water.
You can carry your towel or flip-flops to the pool/ lounge area.
My honest review of the Myvatn Nature Baths in Iceland
Myvatn Nature Baths is a straightforward ‘experience’ – there are no tiers and no special extras. But the waters were surely lovely, as it engulfs you and keeps you warm – I am sure you won’t feel like getting out of it.
I was traveling solo in Iceland and added a trip to the Myvatn Nature Baths as part of a small group guided tour. The staff at the reception area was helpful.
When I visited the Baths, it was very quiet. I could easily shower without waiting or being bothered by the presence of other travelers. The changing area and bathrooms were clean.
After my shower, I entered the warm waters and spend about 2 hours there. I did spend some time taking photos and then relaxed. Although I didn’t leave the pool throughout, you can sit on a bench or sun lounge.
I visited both Blue and Sky Lagoon on the same trip, and the Myvatn Nature Baths were definitely quieter and calmer. About 2 hours is all you need there, from checking in, and changing to time at the pool, and the restaurant.
After soaking in the baths, I showered and changed back into my clothes. I ordered a cup of coffee to continue with my sightseeing tour.
Photography Tips for Myvatn Nature Baths
Photography was slightly easier at the Myvatn Nature Baths as compared to other lagoons in Iceland, mainly because it was not crowded.
I was allowed to bring a tripod to the baths area. I used it with my DSLR and cell phone. Once I was done with the photos, I went back into the locker room to store the DSLR and tripod.
When inside the pool, I used my cell phone and a mini tripod to take more photos!
There are steps and wooden areas where you can easily keep your cellphone when you are enjoying the pool or a drink. So, you can use your DSLR,
- At the entrance of Nature Baths
- By the pool
- Cafe, and nearby areas
Use your cellphone when in the pool. With your phone, I recommend getting the following
- Transparent pouch to store your phone when not in use
- A mini tripod, this looks like a GoPro stand, and I found it sooooo useful.
I used the mini tripod to take photos with a self-timer, and videos. The tripod holds the camera tightly and you can leave it on the wooden areas and use it to frame yourself to take photos.
This tripod kept my phone completely dry, and I was able to go hands-free when needed.
Note that photography in the change rooms is not allowed for privacy reasons.
Things to do on your before visiting Myvatn Nature Baths
When planning a trip to northern Iceland or a stopover in Akureyri, you can stop at the Nature Baths and nearby areas. Below we will share some of the natural attractions that you must include,
- Godafoss: Check out the stunning Goðafoss, aka ‘Waterfall of the Gods’. It is a breathtaking 39-foot-tall waterfall, located in the Skjálfandafljót River.
- Skútustaðagígar: See pseudo craters here (one of the few in the world).
- Dimmuborgir: See the Dark cities, meet Yule Lads (if it’s the season), and go on a nice walk or hike.
- Grjótagjá: Stop at the Grjótagjá, which is a lava cave. The unique thing about this cave is that it has a hot spring inside (but not save for swimming, it is too HOT)
- Hverarönd in Námaskarð: Situated on the northside of Lake Myvatn is this site of geothermal activity – Hverarönd.in Námaskarð. Námaskarð is a slender geothermal pass between Námafjall and Dalfjall mountains in North East Iceland.
- Lake Myvatn: Stunning lake in Iceland known for its flora and fauna (including fishing)
- Eyjafjordur: Admire the stunning views of the fjord (as you return to Akuyeri)
If you are not renting a car, opt for a day tour from Akureyri that includes all the above stops. Here is the tour to book
Other spots that you can visit are Dettifoss (another powerful Iceland waterfall) or go whale watching in Húsavík (a guided tour of 3 hours). You can set aside 2 to 4 hours for the Nature Baths, and then stop at these places as part of your day’s itinerary.
As part of your larger Ring Road trip, you can start from Reykjavik and cover the Golden Circle, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Snæfellsnes, and then head to the north.
Tips for Visiting the Myvatn Baths Iceland
We will round up some of the travel tips for the Mývatn Nature Baths below,
- We recommend making reservations ahead of time, during the summer months. Rest of the year it should not be an issue getting a ticket
- Plan to visit the Nature Baths while you are in Akureyri or northern Iceland. Baths will be about an hour’s drive from Akureyri. There are tours that will include a stop there like this one
- You can choose tickets based on the age group/student ID. So be sure to carry proof of age/status
- Remember to eat well before entering the pool area. There is a restaurant on-site
- Do take a shower before getting into the waters
- Bring a swimsuit, a towel, and a dry bag to carry the wetsuit after. Towels can be purchased for a fee
- Take off your jewelry before getting into the pool
- For taking photos, bring a waterproof pouch for your phone or a mini tripod
- Avoid heavy lenses/DSLRs when you are in the pool (not worth the risk of losing/getting them wet)
- Bring your credit card to pay for drinks (or for use at the store, or restaurant)
Lake Myvatn Nature Baths Iceland FAQ
You don’t need to know how to swim to enjoy the warm waters of the Nature Baths. The lagoon is about 4.26 feet deep, and there are rocks and wooden areas that you can use for support or sit down.
The water of the Nature Baths is filled with minerals that help detox and are rich in healing properties.
The recommended time is 1.50 to 2 hours. Plan extra time in the summer, or when traveling in a group with sign-in, travel, and wait time at the public changing facilities (all depends on when you are visiting).
Typically, it is less crowded in the early opening hours or late into the evening (a few hours before closing). They are open every day except New Year and can be visited from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm at night.
Evenings are great to relax after a day of hiking or sightseeing.
The offseason is best to experience places like a geothermal spa, as it is a popular stop for visitors to Iceland. Plus during the colder months, you will like how the warm waters engulf your body – when there is a little chill in the air (at least that’s how I like it).
When visiting in the summer months, plan early and book your tickets in advance.
Absolutely, it is allowed (except for the changing rooms). Tripods are allowed too.
Yes, there is a luggage room in the reception area (for a fee).
Blue Lagoon vs Myvatn Nature Baths: Which is better?
Myvatn Nature Baths are worth visiting, especially when you are in the northern part of the country. It is only one of kind in that area and is rightly called the Blue Lagoon of the North.
When compared to the Blue Lagoon – one of the 25 Wonders of the World, Myvatn Nature Baths is smaller. And it is also less frequented by tourists – all year round. Although summers could be busy, it is no comparison to the Blue Lagoon.
So you are surely visiting one of the lesser-known/visited geothermal spas in Iceland.
Myvatn Nature Baths also have a pretty simple and a standard ticketing system, and no-frills (like masks, therapies, private changing rooms, etc). For many, this can be good – affordable and an easy option to book.
Blue Lagoon has 3 tiers of ticket passes, and you can surely go all luxury with Silica hotel stay, and the Retreat Spa. This is also a convenient option when you fly in and out of Iceland.
Myvatn Nature Baths requires you to plan a trip to the north. A vehicle or a flight to get there is essential.
But when you are in Iceland, visiting the Blue Lagoon is easier as it is located 15 minutes from the Keflavik International Airport (regardless of your Iceland itinerary or a stopover visit). There are Blue Lagoon airport transfers available along with their signature buses to get you there.
When you compare the amenities for both, the Blue Lagoon provides one drink, one mask, towel, and eco-friendly plastic bags to wrap your wet suits (at the basic/affordable ticket).
You won’t find those options at the Myvatn Nature Baths (or have to pay for it as an extra like a towel and drinks).
Geothermal spas are a great way to unwind and enjoy an Icelandic tradition, especially after a long way of hiking or sightseeing. Myvatn Nature Baths will be a great stop in the north, and something we highly recommend visiting!
Read more of our Iceland travel guides below:
- Itineraries: One day in Reykjavik itinerary | 3 days in Iceland itinerary
- Tours: Iceland winter tours | Best Iceland guided tours
- Tips: Iceland travel tips | Iceland in October guide