The crater row Jardbadsholar is situated near road #1 between the Namaskard Pass and the hamlet Reykjahlid on lake Myvatn. A younger crater row was added to it in 1725. At the same time the lava fields between the hamlet and the farm Geiteyjarstrond was created. The thermal activity in this area increased during the tectonic period 1975-1984 and many more fissures are steaming up to this date. A hut was built on top of one of those steaming fissures at Jardbadsholar during the late middle ages.
Bishop Gisli Oddsson at Skalholt recommended this steam bath, and claimed it to be very healthy and cleansing. One of the bishops of the northern see, Gudmundur the Good, consecrated this steam bath and told people, that they should especially bathe there on the dates of the days allocated to the patron saint Holy Mary (June 24th, and July 4th). This caused an increased afflux of people on those dates and turned it into a place of pilgrimage.
Up to this date, people suffering from arthritis and other ailments have recommended this source of health. The Bathing Society of The Lake Myvatn area owns the present bathing facilities.
In 2003, the construction work of a spa and modern bathing facilities started in the area, and continued until it was officially opened in June, 2004.
Jarðböðin are open all year.
Photo Credit: Visit North Iceland