WELLNESS TRAVEL IN ICELAND - THE LAND OF FIRE & ICE
Sara Beth Farney
A recent trip to Iceland was filled with discovery that provided a connection to life’s four core elements: Water, Air, Fire, and Earth. From breathtaking views, glacier trekking and ice climbing, to the majestic northern lights and thermal waters, Iceland has a variety of opportunities to ground the body and reconnect nature and soul. I found excursions to explore Iceland’s unique volcanic and arctic nature are easy to book straight from your hotel with front door pickup and drop off services.
Balneotherapy, or the therapeutic use of thermal baths, is a common daily routine for many Icelanders. The pools are inexpensive and are hubs to share news and socialize. Iceland’s most popular tourist destination and ultimate thermal bath experience is the Blue Lagoon. A geothermal spa surrounded by moss covered lava fields, the spa is located near the airport and is 40-minute drive from Reykavik. Entry to the lagoon is roughly $30 USD US which included use of the spa dressing rooms and showers, access to the lagoon, a steam cave, wet and dry saunas, and an indoor relaxation balcony overlooking the lagoon. Towels, robes, bathing suites, and/or upgraded spa facilities are extra. The lagoon water hovers around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, is rich in silica, sulphur and other minerals as well as algae believed to benefit dry skin, acne and psoriasis. Balneotherapy can help clear the body of toxins and help alleviate a cluttered mind.
Local/ Non-GMO Food Sources
As a small island nation south of the Arctic Circle with an abundance of fresh air, unpolluted water sources, and geothermal activity, Iceland is known to have healthy food sources that are said to be some of the purest in the world. The Nordic ocean water provide Iceland’s number one food source - seafood. Haddock, herring, cod, plaice, lobster, and clams are among the most popular dishes, providing a rich intake of fish oil and Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Although Although weather is not optimal for agricultural farming, greenhouses are heated by the geothermal activity in the ground making locally grown fruits and vegetables accessible in the Icelandic diet. Toxic pesticides and synthetic hormones aren’t used by Icelandic farmers. Most farm animals are free-range and feed on the country’s grassy hillsides. To top it off, Iceland’s water sources are also among the purest on Earth. Lava fields work as a natural filter for glacier run off which is then extracted from the ground, providing naturally purified water that is not only drinkable from the tap, but is also full of natural minerals beneficial for overall health.
Happiest And Most Peaceful Place On Earth
If Iceland’s beautiful nature scapes and relaxed atmosphere don’t capture your attention, the people will. According to The Reykjavik Grapevine, 73% of Iceland’s population consider themselves content with their daily lifestyle in comparison with 33% of North Americans. While several surveys have been conducted to confirm this statistic, research isn’t necessary. Strike up a conversation with locals at a thermal swimming pool during the day or explore one of Reykjavik’s many live music venues and their enigmatic thirst for life and joking nature will provide proof of the happiness that fills the souls of most Icelanders. Along with a high rating of happiness, Iceland is one of the most peaceful nations to live according to The 2012 Global Peace Index. This beautiful country has one of the lowest crime rates out of the 140 countries surveyed, and if that isn’t enough peaceful proof, Iceland not only doesn’t agree with firearms, but also does not have a military.
About Sara Beth Farney
As a passionate wellness professional, travel for me, provides a world of education that just can't be found in any textbook. It's given me a fresh perspective as well as innovation to my skin care and wellness business. After many dreams of dancing Northern Lights and few brief conversations with other wellness travelers, the decision was made without hesitation to travel the home of the most northern capital on earth, Iceland!