Why we didn’t visit the Blue Lagoon. Is the Blue Lagoon worth the visit? What are the alternatives to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland? Should you visit the Blue Lagoon? We will try to answer these questions, read more below!
Why we didn’t visit the Blue Lagoon.
Should you visit the Blue Lagoon? The answer to that question is yes… and no. It just depends on what you want and what you expect.
The Blue Lagoon truly is special, I mean it is one of the 25 wonders of the world! It is breathtakingly beautiful: A blue geothermal pearl in the middle of a rough, black lava field. And you can grab a beer and a face mask while you’re in there! It’s not a coincidence that it gets so many visitors and so much publicity. It deserves it.
It took us 3 years of visiting Iceland multiple times before we went into the Blue Lagoon, it was not on our priority list to visit it. We knew that there were so many other amazing hot springs and pools around the country that excited us more than crowded changing rooms and herds of tourists.
But, we did go recently. They lowered the prices on the entry tickets due to the current Covid circumstances. So we decided to treat ourselves to a spa day. We do not regret it, we had a great time and hopefully will go again in the future.
So, Should I visit the Blue Lagoon or are there alternatives?
I want to show you that, yes the Blue Lagoon is amazing and is worth going there. But there are so many other spectacular pools/hot springs in Iceland that are good alternatives and much better for your wallet. If you want to escape the touristy crowds and busses, then keep reading!
Alternatives to the Blue Lagoon: Pools
There are countless pools in Iceland, ranging from normal swimming pools, hot tubs, and beautiful spa´s located in rivers or on the edge of a fjord.
There are public, geothermal pools all around the country. They are in every village in Iceland, as everyone must learn how to swim (and we have so much hot water). All of them include a pool for swimming and at least one hot tub.
Check out Sundlaugar.is to find all pools around the country, their pricing, and location! If you spend some time in Iceland you will learn how much Icelanders love to soak in the hot tubs and chat, no matter the weather.
Multiple pools are popping up around the country that are kind of “alternative pools”. A bit more spectacular than the regular village pools.
These pools use the natural surroundings and many of them are super nice and a must-see if you’re in the area! They are more expensive than normal pools and hot springs but offer a different experience. If you are a student, bring your student card, all of them offer reduced prices for students!
Some of our favorites:
Mývatn Nature Baths, a miniature blue lagoon in the North. We went there instead of the Blue lagoon itself and we were not disappointed. Check their website for opening hours and prices.
Vök Baths near Egilsstaðir: Bathe in warm geothermal water in the middle of a lake in the east of Iceland. Take a look at their website for more info.
Secret lagoon, near Fludir. A very authentic hot spring experience not too far away from Reykjavik. Here’s their website for more information.
Húsavík Geosea. A newly built geothermal spa experience in Húsavík. Offering spectacular views overlooking the ocean. Check out their website for more info and pictures!
Alternative to the Blue lagoon: Hot Springs
Hot springs are all around the country and it only takes a quick google search to see just how many they are. It is definitely a must-do in Iceland. Yes many of them are very rustic and basic, but that just adds to the charm.
Hot springs are a big part of Icelandic culture, nothing beats going with friends to a hot spring, drinking a few beers being surrounded by nature. Or soaking in a hot spring after a long hike, replenishing your tired muscles.
And the best part about them: They’re free! or at least most of them.
Since Iceland has gained popularity the landowners are having to spend much more money and time on the upkeep of the hot spring. If you see a donation box, please donate a small amount as it goes into the upkeep of the area!
A few favorites:
Seljavallalaug: Located in the south of Iceland. You can park your car in a parking spot and walk the short walk there. After about a kilometer from the parking, you will find a concrete pool nestled into the mountain.
It is the oldest man-made pool in Iceland. Fed by the hot water stream nearby. If you walk past the pool structure there is a hot water stream where you can go in as well.
Hrunalaug: A very typical Icelandic hot spring, it’s located near Flúðir in the South and is on private farmland. They do ask you to pay 500kr for access to the pool for the upkeep of the area.
There is a hut where you can change that leads directly into the pool. Super nice and authentic experience in the countryside of Iceland. Check out our post about the Golden Circle where we visited Hrunalaug.
Landmannalaugar hot spring: If you are hiking or driving to Landmannalaugar, it is hard to miss the geothermal activity in the area. Where there is hot water, there is a hot spring!
Near the campsite, there is a warm water river where you can dip in after a hard day of hiking. Just a word of warning, it’s going to be very hard to get out of it! Landmannalauger is an amazing place it is one of my top 10 places in Iceland!
Hellulaug: Located in the Vestfjords in Flókalundur, not too far from Brjánslækur where you can take the ferry.
The hot spring is on the beach, you sit in the cliffs overlooking the ocean in front of you. If you’re lucky you’ll spot a seal as we did! The spring is a perfect temperature, so you can stay in there forever.
Why visit the Blue Lagoon:
The Blue Lagoon, some people love it and some hate it. The reality is, it depends on what you like and what you expect.
The lagoon is touristy, you have to book a time slot, you have to wait in a queue and tolerate a very crowded changing room.
BUT – once you’re outside, the experience changes. The lagoon itself is very big and has been expanded over the years. So there might be a lot of people there, but it doesn’t feel crowded.
Inside the lagoon, you can swim up to the bar and get your free drink (there is one with every ticket) and enjoy a cold beer, wine, or smoothie in the water. You can also swim up to the mask bar and get the famous white face mask or pay for a different face mask.
There are three different saunas and a massage waterfall – so there are lots to do in the lagoon itself and you can spend quite some time there just swimming around the different areas.
If you have a short time in Iceland and the Blue Lagoon is something that you have been dying to go to, then by all means go and have a great time there! But, if you are on a budget and you aren’t quite sure if it’s worth it, then keep in mind all of the alternative pools around the island.
Why we didn’t visit the Blue Lagoon.
Hopefully, this gave you a few ideas for alternative hot springs and pools instead of the Blue Lagoon. It is definitely worth the visit, but there are so many more budget friendlier and amazing options in Iceland.
What more about Iceland?
- Self drive the Golden Circle of Iceland.
- Day trip from Reykjavik to Heidmork
- Glymur Waterfall day hike, a day trip from Reykjavik.
- Advice from a local: top 10 places to visit in Iceland.
- Things to do in Seydisfjordur.