Built close to Akureyri – Iceland’s ‘Capital of the North’ – Forest Lagoon is a natural hot spring spa resort in the wilderness. Rose Dykins reports
Nestled amid the birch and pine trees of Vaðlaskógur forest, at the foot of the Vaðlaheiði mountain, Forest Lagoon is a geothermal spa resort surrounded by spectacular natural beauty.
The resort lies a short drive from the centre of Akureyri known as Iceland’s “Capital of the North”, which is about to gain a direct flight service from London Stansted.
Forest Lagoon uses geothermal water from a recently discovered hot spring to offer a relaxing spa experience. With its infinity-style lagoon pool sculpted into the basin of the forest, bathers are enveloped in the tranquility of trees around, while benefiting from the healing properties of the spring water, naturally heated to 50°C. The pool is connected to nearby walking trails, so makes an ideal spot for a post-hike dip and, for those who time their visit well, it will also be possible to watch the Northern Lights while bathing in its water, or from one of its two swim-up bars.
The 1,300 sqm resort – which can welcome up to 200 guests – has a wood-cladded design that blends in with nature and capitalises on the stunning views overlooking Eyjafjörður, one of Iceland’s longest fjords, as well as the surrounding forest.
In addition to the geothermal lagoon pool, facilities at the Forest Lagoon include a sauna, a cold tub, a quiet room, and a bistro serving local cuisine and beer. There are also changing room lockers and charging stations for electric cars and bikes.
Single admission to Forest Lagoon is reasonably priced at 5,800 Icelandic Krona (£34), or a two-person package including admission and two drinks costs 13,900 Icelandic Krona (£82). Discounts for large groups of five or ten people are also available.
Previously, international travellers could only reach Akureyri via a five-hour drive or connecting flight from Keflavik, Iceland’s largest airport. From June 2nd, Akureyri will be connected directly to the UK thanks to a new airline, Niceair, which will operate twice-weekly flights from London Stansted to Akureyri on Mondays and Fridays, with a journey time of three hours.
According to CNN, Forest Lagoon will be open year-round, with special winter passes available for locals. There could also be an expansion of the resort to include a massage spa and a nearby hotel.