Exploring Iceland’s Most Recent Wellness Retreat: Forest Lagoon with Eva zu Beck | Nat Geo’s Top Destination – Video

Exploring Iceland’s Most Recent Wellness Retreat: Forest Lagoon with Eva zu Beck | Nat Geo’s Top Destination – Video

Experience the magic of Iceland’s newest wellness oasis, Forest Lagoon, with YouTuber Eva Zu Beck as she takes you on a journey through this hidden gem in northern Iceland. Nestled among the birch and pine tree forests of Akureyri, Forest Lagoon offers a unique wellness experience that has earned it a top spot on Nat Geo’s Best of the World list.

From taking a polar plunge in freezing cold waters to relaxing in the warm mineral-rich pools surrounded by misty mountains, Eva explores the various ways locals practice wellness in this small town known as the capital of North Iceland. And of course, no trip to Iceland would be complete without trying some traditional Icelandic food like fermented shark and enjoying a warm bowl of soup cooked in the snow by a local chef.

But the highlight of Eva’s trip was discovering the connection between the Icelandic people and their natural surroundings. From greenhouse farming powered by geyser steam to finding a wild hot spring hidden in the midst of the snowy landscape, Iceland’s wellness culture is deeply rooted in their environment and community.

So, if you’re looking for a truly unique and transformative wellness experience, Forest Lagoon in Iceland might just be the perfect destination for you. Join Eva Zu Beck and Nat Geo’s Best of the World to uncover the secrets of this magical place and immerse yourself in the Icelandic way of wellness.

Watch the video by National Geographic

Video Transcript

I’ve been talking to Nat Geo for the last few months, and they want to send me on a trip. You’re invited to visit Forest Lagoon in Akureyri. I have always wanted to go to Iceland But the wellness space that’s, I would say, a little bit outside of my comfort zone.

But you know what let’s go This is exactly what I expected to see in Iceland. When Nat Geo sent me here, they told me that I’ll be going to this place called Forest Lagoon, but I didn’t really know what else would be happening. This is completely new.

Akureyriis a small town about 40 minutes by plane from Reykjavik. It’s lovingly nicknamed the capital of North Iceland, and it’s nestled among the birch and pine tree forests. And in just two days in Iceland, I was tasked to see seven different ways the locals practice wellness. Okay.

I just got a text from our local host, Good to get your heart pumping. After sitting for a long flight, an unusual taxi is going to pick you up. That honestly sounds really suspicious. No, no, no. I’m not getting in that thing. I thought I was getting

Picked up a nice, air conditioned SUV. No, this is not how Nat Geo does things. let’s do it. move. Move, move, What is happening. my God. Wow. Woah, this is amazing. Akureyri six times smaller than Reykjavik with a population just under 20,000 and locals love

Its soaring mountains, natural hot springs and freezing waters. Right infront of me, there’s a fjord with whales swimming in it and I’m just like, Wow, my God. it’s so good to be here. Okay. I just got a text. now that you’ve warmed up.

Very cute, See if you can last as long as Anna for a dip by the beach, sun emoji. I know exactly what this means. I am cordially invited to take a polar plunge. Great! The traditions of cold plunging for therapeutic purposes date back thousands of years. But it’s not easy.

Your body has natural cold, shock responses that can cause uncontrollable gasps for air Hi Anna. How are you? Nice to see. is, the local cold plunging legend which feels a little bit intimidating to me. Are you ready to swim a little bit? Swim? Yeah. So we’re not just going in, we’re swimming? Yeah.

I was thinking I would like to challenge you to take a few strokes? Yeah. Out and then back. Follow me. You have to believe that you can do it and don’t think and just do it. That’s the magic about it. Okay. Ah, yeah. Yes. That’s Are you up for? Yes Let’s do it!

The air temperature was all the way down at about 17 degrees farenheit Why am i doing this? And the salt water was almost freezing aswell But, you know I wanted to prove to myself that I could stay in the water for at least two minutes.

That cold water just hits your chest. Breathe right? Breathe Breathing through the cold breathing, breathing, breathing. There is some method to the madness. A cold plunging is supposed to be really good for your immune system. Obviously, it puts you in a great mood.

It seems to be really, really good for your health. The seals are with us! They’re watching us. The water is absolutely freezing but in a way, you don’t feel it? you just feel You feel like you’re in a cocoon. There we were for few seconds.

It was just me and Anna and the seals and the water But this is a moment that I’ll remember forever. after a cold plunge, the local thing to do is to climb into a hot tub, get your body temperature back to normal and relax your muscles. Too warm after the cold yeah.

My gosh. That’s so warm I’ve never seen seals here before. And they came so close. Yeah, they’re right next to us. Yeah, They’re like, who are these people? What are they doing? What’s wrong with them? I mean, I think we were there for like, 30 seconds, maybe a minute, maybe 2 minutes.

Would it surprise you if I told you, you were in there for 5 minutes. We were in there for 5 minutes. No. No. No. I am suprised Yeah. Well done. Well done. I was off to try another Icelandic pastime. But first, a quick bite to eat.

This is going to be a little bit unusual. it’s fermented Shark But it is one of the most traditional foods in Iceland How are you? Thank you. I want to offer you some Shark The animal was about 300 years old. The animal lived 300 years ago. They get up to 500 years.

Okay, I’m going to do it for you. Did you say I should chew it? It has a very interesting texture. I wasn’t so sure about the flavour of fermented shark. But next I was off to experience a local tradition that I could really get onboard with.

The weather really changed on us super quick. How convenient. I just got a message. Okay, well done. time to come on over to Forest Lagoon. the water is warm. Be sure to relax in all three pools. Yep. Definitely ready to relax. Let’s go. Forest Lagoon is like a

Cousin to the super famous Blue Lagoon, but it actually offers its own completely unique experience It’s got views of the forest and one of Icelands longest fjords You walk into that warm water, and you just breathe out. It’s just this warm wonderful sense of comfort

This is a little oasis, and it feels just so cozy and warm and lovely to be here. I’m not coming out and staying right here. Bye Most of the people that go there are actually locals It’s not just a touristy gimmick, The warm temperature and soothing minerals in the water

Have actually been proven to help you mentally unwind As your muscles and joints relax It’s great. not complaining, this place is kind of amazing. I mean, I’m not surprised that it made the best of the world list. And to say that after a pretty amazing day of, you know, driving around

In a snow buggy, taking in amazing views and swimming in the Arctic Ocean, I think that’s saying a lot. The next day I got to check out some of the the agricultural scene within this harsh environment. But as it turns out, the Icelandic word for Saturday literally means bathing day.

So obviously I couldn’t miss a chance for one more dip in the naturally warm waters, though I was given a specific challenge for how to get there. this is how I’m supposed to be commuting to Forest Lagoon. I have done this once before for about 10 minutes. So let’s see how it goes.

Oh my god where do I begin? bear with me a second here. Like this. this Hang on. This is going to work. Come on perfect. All right, let’s go. How do I do this? Something like this Freezing. I can actually feel the hairs in my nose freezing up.

Look, the mountains over there It is currently about -11 Celsius, which is around four degrees Fahrenheit, definitely beats a morning commute on the subway. Feeling very awake right now. But I’m kind of excited to take a little break and unwind in the warm waters of the lagoon. I think we’re kind of here.

Then I got to meet up with Iris, who works at Forest Lagoon. She told me how it all came to be and that really brought the whole experience together. it’s freezing today It is. I think we have -14 degrees Celsius outside let’s go in quick my gosh.

This whole pool is surrounded by these rocks. Yes, It was built in the mountain side You can see the rocks behind you. That’s a part of the mountain hill behind us. When they started making the lagoon, they started from inside and dug outwards Yeah. the hot water here was discovered by coincidence? Yes.

And the lagoon was built around the rocks to kind of, like, fit in. Yeah. The landscape. Yeah. Without ruining the forest. Beautiful. Yeah. The whole lagoon is made up of natural materials, so you can actually kind of hop around the rocks there. Feel like you’re walking on water a little bit.

Mist rising all around you. it’s a really magical place As it turns out, Iris was the one texting me all along. And on my way out, Iris reminded me to check out the greenhouse. In such a cold and hostile climate, you can probably imagine that growing anything is a real challenge.

But local farmers have found a truly innovative way to heat their farm by using the steam from the Geysers It was pretty mind blowing to see the fruits and vegetables just growing there surrounded by snow outside It’s nice and red. So take him. Really? Yes. my God. This is. No, stop.

I really feel like i’m going to be dreaming about these tomatoes for a long time to come They were that good. The taste should be better So much. Smells great. The taste is amazing. we let them ripening all the way on the plant I go outside.

And there is Hrolfur, who is a local chef, and he is just preparing soup in the snow. I love eating food But do not cook. In Iceland it’s like hilsu tomatar translates straight to the English, it’s like healthy tomato Thank you so much wow. I did not expect this at all.

It’s just so full of flavour Let’s try the bread Icelandic lava salt from the volcano. Yeah, of course Icelandic tomatoes cooked outside in Iceland next to a geyser This is wild. As I came to the end of my trip, I felt so privileged to have experienced so much.

But with the warm waters soon to be behind me I went in search of one last spot and with a stroke of luck I actually found a wild hot spring I mean, just look at this. Icelandic wellness isn’t what I thought it would be.

I’ve never felt this way about any place that I’ve been to. I think I felt cultural envy. It’s in their blood, to, have access to these wild places to do these things like, bathing in the lagoon, to have that sense of community around all these activities. maybe in Iceland, taking good

Care of yourself is just part of your life. You have to The waterfall of the Gods, Because it’s tough living out here. it’s a tough place, wild place, yeah i’d definitely say mission accomplished in Iceland. I’m good.

Video “Visiting Iceland’s Newest Wellness Oasis: Forest Lagoon w/ Eva zu Beck | Nat Geo’s Best of the World” was uploaded on 03/14/2024. Watch all the latest Videos by National Geographic on Gretopia