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15 of Nature’s Most Beautiful Swimming Pools

While we’re ultimately land bound creatures, human beings certainly love getting wet—whether we’re stroking back and forth in fast-paced laps or simply lounging in a bubbling hot tub.

Artificial swimming pools and soaking tubs can be wonderful places to indulge our innate water-loving tendencies, but these chlorinated installations can’t hold a candle to natural swimming holes.

A calm pocket on a meandering river, a forest-cradled lake, a seaside lagoon—these are destinations that seem to sing to our blood and summon more powerfully than any other our ancient affinities for swimming and splashing

1) Blue Lagoon Resort—Grindavík, Iceland

Along with similarly beautiful spots such as Yellowstone and the Kamchatka Peninsula, Iceland is one of the world’s great centers of geothermal activity—which translates to a lot of deliciously relaxing hot springs. (And, unlike the other two sites mentioned, Iceland’s steamy pools are bear-free.)

There are few better spots on this remote volcanic island to give yourself a little TLC than the Blue Lagoon Resort in Grindavík, an easy drive from Reykjavik and the Kerflavik International Airport.

The Blue Lagoon’s famous waters range between 98 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit, creating the perfect outdoor bath for unwinding and de-stressing. Actually a naturally heated lagoon associated with an adjoining geothermal power plant, the site—also the source of a line of skincare products based on the waters’ dermatological properties—offers many spa packages for getting the most out of your visit.

Whether you’re bathing in the sultry pool or relaxing in the elegant lounge, you’re guaranteed to leave the Blue Lagoon with a little extra kick in your step—and a little lighter load on your shoulders.