ALTERNATIVES TO THE BLUE LAGOON
Are you looking for alternatives to the Blue Lagoon?
Look no further!
This guide will show you all the best naturally hot pools you can find in Iceland that are not the Blue Lagoon!
Let's dive in!
WHY IS THE BLUE LAGOON SO POPULAR?
Ah, the Blue Lagoon. The milky blue waters, and...well, that's pretty much it.
There are two very simple reasons why the Blue Lagoon is so popular; first of all, the color of its waters. Indeed, the water of the lagoon is a stunning color, one that you have most likely not encountered before.
It is just as impressive in real life as it is in photographs, if not more. The Blue Lagoon truly is a natural wonder, and it is a beautiful place to visit and relax.
The second reason is less charming. Most of the Blue Lagoon's success comes from clever marketing. You have probably heard many touting the Blue Lagoon's miracle healing properties, from the wondrous silica to the age-reversing algae. Most likely, you have also heard that the Blue Lagoon is special, the only place in the world where you can find such beauty.
If that sounds like it's too good to be true, that's because, well...it kinda is. But, more on that later!
Therefore, it's no wonder the Blue Lagoon is so popular. While part of it is due to the magical Icelandic nature, some other part of it is due to a clever marketing campaign. So, you might want to explore some Blue Lagoon alternatives before you make your decision to visit!
WHY VISIT -OR NOT -THE BLUE LAGOON?
I wouldn't blame you if you are confused by all this. Should you visit the Blue Lagoon? Should you not?
Well, I am here to -hopefully -make it a little clearer. I will give you all the pros and cons of visiting the Blue Lagoon, so your choice will be a little easier!
- the nature is truly magical. The milky blue waters that made it famous are just as stunning as everyone says.
- the Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland's biggest attractions and an icon for the country.
- it is conveniently located near the airport and near Reykjavik.
- the water does have some skin benefits, due to the silica, but keep in mind that different types of skin react differently.
- incredibly expensive at 11990 ISK (93 USD) per person. Icelandic locals think it's a total rip-off!
- very crowded. While they advertise relaxation as one of their main points, it is hard to relax when you are surrounded by so many other people.
- there are several other costs that spring up on you after you are in the lagoon, such as purchasing masks. Before the Blue Lagoon became a corporation, the visitors could just scoop up the silica mask from the bottom of the lagoon!
- speaking of corporations, that is exactly what the Blue Lagoon is. Personally, I believe the lagoon should belong to the nation, instead of a corporation that cares more about their profit than about the environment and the magical nature they are exploiting.
What is a tourist to do, then? Well, I will leave that up to you! If you want to visit the Blue Lagoon, then by all means, go for it! However, if you feel like it is too expensive or you simply don't want to visit, then don't feel pressured!
Keep reading instead, to find out what the best Blue Lagoon alternatives are!
WHAT ARE THE BEST BLUE LAGOON ALTERNATIVES?
What are your other options, then? Let's check out all the best Blue Lagoon alternatives!
The pools in this list are man-made, but the water in them is natural. The same goes for the Blue Lagoon. While the water is natural, the actual pool is man-made.
The list only includes natural hot water pools with spa facilities. If you are looking for some hot springs in the Icelandic wilderness, check out this guide!
1. Mývatn Nature Bath
Take one look at Mývatn Nature Bath and you will instantly know why it is often called the Blue Lagoon of the north.
With the same milky blue waters, the Mývatn Nature Bath is perhaps the best Blue Lagoon alternative. The gorgeous waters also have similar benefits to the skin as the Blue Lagoon, with algae being the star of the show.
While it is quite a drive from Reykjavik, as it is situated in the town of Mývatn in the north of Iceland, the entrance fee is less than half of the one at the Blue Lagoon! Besides, you will also get to enjoy the picturesque town, as well as the volcanic area of Dimmuborgir and the beautiful drive around the Westfjords. While you are there, you might want to explore the gorgeous (and untouched by tourists) north, so make sure to check out this guide on the best road trip around the north of Iceland!
Another benefit? As tourists don't usually visit the north of Iceland, the lagoon is not crowded! Therefore, it is a much better spot to relax and unwind!
- Adults: 4500 ISK (35 USD) off season/5000 ISK (40 USD) peak season
- Teenagers 13-15 years: 1800 ISK (15 USD) off season/2200 ISK (17 USD) peak season
- Children under 12: Free
2. Secret Lagoon
Image by: Arnór Trausti | @arnortrausti/@whereisthedrone
The Secret Lagoon might not be so secret anymore, what with several tour companies organizing tours there (in fact, we have a fantastic Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon tour that will show you all the highlights of the Golden Circle, and then let you relax in this gorgeous pool)!
The Secret Lagoon was built in 1891, making it the oldest swimming pool in Iceland! Despite its newfound popularity, the Secret Lagoon is one of the greatest Blue Lagoon alternatives, as it is much calmer and not nearly as crowded. While it does not have the milky blue waters that the Blue Lagoon is famous for, the scenery more than makes up for it.
The Secret Lagoon is, in fact, one of my favorite hot spring pools in Iceland, and in my opinion, the best Blue Lagoon alternative you can visit! You immediately feel more connected to nature, without having to give up all the amenities! I especially enjoy the Secret Lagoon because its size makes it ideal for swimming a few laps in this perfectly warm water!
Furthermore, the lagoon is situated very close to Reykjavik, and you can get there in under two hours.
- Adults: 3000 ISK (24 USD)
- Children 14 or younger: Free
3. Fontana Geothermal Baths
A guide to Blue Lagoon alternatives would be incomplete without Fontana Geothermal Baths. Yet another spot very conveniently located in the Golden Circle, the Fontana spa offers its guests a selection of pools, steam baths and saunas.
The highlight? The spa is located next to a lake, and you can walk down to the shore and take a dip! The lake is cold, but imagine it like a cold pot! Cold baths have been used for centuries for better circulation and speeding up muscle recovery. However, it is suggested that you consult your doctor if you have health problems, and avoid it if you have heart problems.
- Adults: 3800 ISK (30 USD)
- Youths 13-16 years: 2000 ISK (16 USD)
- Children 0-12 years: Free
Last but not least on our Blue Lagoon alternatives list we have a newcomer. If you are craving the spa atmosphere that the Blue Lagoon offers you, then the recently opened Krauma spa is the place for you.
Less of a pool and more of a spa, Krauma is bound to help you take a quick break and unwind before you continue your trip. With boiling hot water from the geothermal area surrounding it mixing with ice cold glacial water from the nearby Ok mountain (which used to be a glacier, but due to global warming lost most of its ice), the pools here are different temperatures, so you can find your ideal one.
There is also a shallow pool that is perfect for sunbathing. Be careful, though! I recently went there and got a sunburn, so make sure you bring sunscreen with you!
Don't forget to try the steam bath and visit the relaxation room for some peace and quiet. And once you are done relaxing, make sure to head out to their restaurant and try their mouthwatering rhubarb cheesecake!
- Adults: 3950 ISK (31 USD)
- Teenagers 13-16 years: 2000 ISK (16 USD)
- Children: Free
SOME TIPS FROM A LOCAL
If you do decide to visit the Blue Lagoon, I would suggest to do your research and book in advance. You might be able to strike a deal, although this becomes less and less common.
A general rule of thumb, whether you visit the Blue Lagoon or one of the Blue Lagoon alternatives, is to remember to stay hydrated! The hot water can easily dehydrate you, so make sure you drink plenty of water, and stay away from alcoholic drinks or coffee! Also, once you are done soaking, have a bite to eat, otherwise you might feel dizzy!
SOME FINAL WORDS
Did you enjoy my guide on Blue Lagoon alternatives? Do you prefer the Blue Lagoon or one of the Blue Lagoon alternatives? Are there any other Blue Lagoon alternatives that you have visited and think they should have made the list? Let me know in the comments!
And, as always, don't forget to share!