Psst. Read any good blogs lately (other than this one, of course)? We have. Alda Kalda writes ‘The Iceland Weather Report’ (which gives you far more than the weather), and will be helping us out in upcoming months.* We like her, and we think you will too.
The small town of Laugarvatn is home to one of the best-kept secrets in Iceland: a rustic old steam hut perched atop a bubbling hot spring. While this may hardly seem unique, the steam bath’s location directly on the shores of pristine lake Laugarvatn offers the perfect opportunity for an invigorating dip following a steamy session in the hut.
Most Icelanders regard the gamla gufan (old steam bath) with tremendous affection. Part of the attraction is its rustic charm – it was constructed when Churchill was in diapers, the changing rooms are small, the showers are cramped, and the only way to control the heat is by positioning rocks in the cracks at the door to block more, or less, of the wind.
The temperature of the steam belching from below varies too. Depending on wind direction and the earth’s attitude, it may be hotter or cooler from day to day or from one part of the hut to the other. The floor is made of wooden planks spaced to allow steam to waft up, and you can hear the hot spring under you alternately bubbling coyly and barking like the hounds of hell. Not for the faint at heart, but the idea of being turned into a human hot dog is part of the thrill, right?
Despite being situated midway between Þingvellir and Geysir, and thus being smack in the midst of the Golden Circle, the old sauna has not caught on with foreign visitors – yet. With a major development in the works from the people who brought you the Blue Lagoon, you can be sure that this weathered gem will be transformed into a glistening tourist hotspot shortly. You’ve been warned.
*You’ve gotta love a good cross-promotion!