Iceland was already a tourist hotspot… now it’s hotter still with the opening of a new geothermal infinity-edge ‘Forest Lagoon’ that has two swim-up bars
- Iceland has around 200 natural geothermal swimming pools, including Sky Lagoon and the Blue Lagoon
- Forest Lagoon, which covers around 5,380 square feet, will be added to the list when it opens in April
- It’s surrounded by trees – visitors can stroll through walking trails in the forest before heading for a dip
Iceland is set to be blessed with yet another stunning geothermal swimming pool to add to the 200 or so it already has, including the extremely inviting Sky Lagoon, which opened last April, and the Blue Lagoon, which Instagram is all too familiar with.
Joining the list in April will be Skogarboo or ‘Forest Lagoon’. The site covers 500 square metres (5,381 sq ft), which is tiny in comparison to the 8,700-square-metre (93,646-sq-ft) Blue Lagoon.
But it offers something unique – it’s surrounded by trees. This is a rare look for Iceland, as just three per cent of the country’s landmass is categorised as woodland. What’s more, visitors have the chance to witness the Northern Lights from the pool’s waters.
The above rendering shows the infinity-edge pool at Skogarboo, Iceland’s newest geothermal lagoon, which is set to open in April
The lagoon, which is set in the town of Akureyri, is one of the few places in the country to be surrounded by forest. Visitors can hike a forest trail before sinking into the pool’s naturally warm waters
According to a statement, the lagoon’s setting showcases ‘stunning fjord and mountain range views’ and allows guests to ‘experience the midnight sun, awe-inspiring sunsets, Northern Lights, and stargazing opportunities year round’.
The pool – in the town of Akureyri, northern Iceland – is connected to walking trails in the trees, so that you can enjoy the serene surroundings before or after a dip in its naturally warm waters.
And when it’s time to soak, you’re spoilt for choice between the forest lagoon (which is naturally kept at balmy temperatures of 39C to 42C), an infinity-edge oasis, a cold plunge pool and a sauna.
There are even two in-lagoon bars, so you can sip on schnapps without ever getting out of the water.
Once your skin is sufficiently prune-like, you can slip out of the thermal pools and dry off next to a firepit, with a cocktail or a cup of coffee, and a slice of cake.
And if you’re still hungry, take advantage of the Bistro dining experience, which rustles up traditional ‘smorrebrod’ – open rye-bread sandwiches topped with fish, cold cuts or cheese.
After you’ve soaked in Skogarboo’s geothermal oasis or braved the cold pool, you can dry off next to the firepit (shown in the above rendering) with a cocktail or coffee from the bar
Sustainability is woven into Skogarboo’s ethos.
All the building materials were chosen to be environmentally friendly, sustainable and responsibly sourced, with no chemicals added to the water.
Plus, all cleaning materials are eco-friendly, and on-site shampoos and soaps are organic.
The Skogarboo project began by accident in 2015, when the nearby construction of the new Vaolaheioi mountain tunnel hit a geothermal water source.
The hot, 50C water that was pouring into the new tunnel was cleverly diverted into a fjord just next to Akureyri town, which is a five-hour drive northeast of the capital, Reykjavik.
A rendering of the lagoon’s reception. All of the building materials at Skogarboo were responsibly sourced and on-site shampoos and soaps are organic
It’s hoped that Forest Lagoon will rejuvenate tourism in the picturesque town of Akureyri (above)
It was then that the idea was born to create a new lagoon from the geothermal source.
The project’s leaders hope that it will rejuvenate tourism in the area.
Chairman of the board Sigriour M Hammer said: ‘We firmly believe that the introduction of a new natural geothermal pool to the area will sway visitors to spend more time in Akureyri and its surroundings. This in turn will have a positive knock-on effect on local business and the local economy.’
The Blue Lagoon, pictured, is one of Iceland’s most famous and visited attractions
While fancy spas are a modern invention, Icelandic people have enjoyed soaking in geothermally warm water for many centuries.
The country has also become a pioneer of geothermal energy, which now accounts for 66 per cent of its energy use.
You can buy advance tickets for Skogarboo online, from 5,800kr (£34.21) per person. It can accommodate up to 200 visitors at a time and we will be open seven days a week from 10am to midnight. For more information visit www.forestlagoon.is.
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