Like perhaps every tourist who travels to Iceland, I have heard of the famous Blue Lagoon, which is one of the most popular tourist attractions.
Silky blue water makes the place perfect spot for taking photos from your trip in Iceland. I was also looking forward to enjoying the hot baths, trying on the local face mask and relaxing after a day trip.
During my trip around the ring road, however, I met the locals who advised me that the Blue Lagoon is definitely not one of the only lagoons in Iceland and there are several.
The oldest is much less known and also a smaller Secret Lagoon, which I planned to visit at the end of my trip exploring Golden circle attractions.
I didn’t have high expectations and I still wanted to prefer a visit to the Blue Lagoon, but it didn’t fit my plan and I later found out that the day I wanted to visit the Blue Lagoon there was no vacancy and all the tickets for the time, when I wanted to go there, they were already “sold out”.
I finally visited the Blue Lagoon another time, on another trip to Iceland, so I prepared this comparison for those who cannot decide which of the lagoons to visit and whether the Secret Lagoon is a suitable alternative to the Blue Lagoon.
About Blue lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is almost one of the symbols of Iceland. Blue Lagoon is the largest lagoon in Iceland, opened in 1992, which is visited annually by up to 700,000 visitors, whether locals or travelers.
Therefore, this attraction can seem a bit overcrowded, especially in the summer months, when it is the season in Iceland.
Even so, this attraction is extensive and you will always find a space where you can enjoy your experience.
Thanks to its convenient location, close to the airport, you can visit it even if you stay in Iceland for only a few hours or days.
The artificial bath is the largest in Iceland in addition to classic bath massages, you will find two restaurants and accommodation in a luxury hotel.
About Secret lagoon
You will find the Secret Lagoon in the small town of Flúdir, which you will probably drive through if you are doing a Golden Circle tour.
Flúdir is very close to the famous Gullfoss waterfall and the famous Strokkur geyser, where you can observe the eruption of the largest natural geyser in Iceland.
Our trip to the Secret Lagoon was late in the afternoon and without navigation I probably wouldn’t have found this place.
The Secret Lagoon lies outside the village center, hidden in smaller forests among greenhouses. Before entering, we discovered a small parking lot (but you will also find a vacancy here out of season) and our fears that we will meet several tourist buses have unfortunately not been fulfilled.
At the reception we were greeted by a friendly staff, from whom you could rent a towel as well as a swimsuit. This was followed by access to the changing rooms, which are unfortunately shared here, which means that there is no possibility to book private showers.
It is therefore necessary to prepare a naked shower together with other visitors to the lagoon, as is customary in Iceland.
Then came the worst part, the transition from the showers to the outside cold areas and then only a few meters and you are right in the lagoon.
The size of the Secret Lagoon is much smaller than in the Blue Lagoon and there is only one “pool” for all visitors.
There are inflatable noodles for children, which, according to our experience, are also popular with adults. The water in the Secret Lagoon is pleasantly warm, perfect for me.
I have heard from the locals that where the hot water flows into the lagoon may be too hot, but I have not discovered this place.
During our stay (I was there out of season) there were about 20-30 other visitors in the “pool”, but that did not spoil my impression and experience of the attraction.
The main building with a bar is just a few meters from the lagoon, so each visitor can buy a drink and take it in a plastic glass with them to the bath.
Compared to the Blue Lagoon, the Secret Lagoon offers a very pleasant, typically Icelandic atmosphere, and despite several lights from the building, it is possible to observe aurora borealis (the aurora season is from September to April).
In terms of amenities, Blue Lagoon definitely offers more than Secret Lagoon.
While in Blue lagoon you can choose from two restaurants, in Secret lagoon you can buy only basic snacks or use fast food with fish and chips.
Secret Lagoon also does not offer any extra services or facilities.
On the other hand, in the Blue Lagoon you can try a face mask or use the massage and sauna options (in a luxury package) even with a cheaper entrance fee.
Why to visit Secret lagoon?
Due to its location, Secret lagoon is ideal for all those who take a trip around the Golden Circle and are planning to stay in or near Flúdir.
Compared to the Blue Lagoon, the Secret Lagoon has several positives. One of them is that it is not so much visited by tourists, there is a “more cozy” atmosphere and your booking is not limited in time, you can stay here as long as you want.
Why to visit Blue lagoon?
For many tourists, the Blue Lagoon is a must see in Iceland and the fact is that you should come here to see at least one trip to Iceland. For those who do not like shared showering naked, there is an option to pay extra and use private showers.
Blue Lagoon also offers several other services and benefits – in addition to the aforementioned face masks, you can use the pool bar, shop in the souvenirs shop (not one of the cheapest) and Blue Lagoon is much more suitable for those looking for attractions near Reykjavik or the airport in Keflavík.
Tips for bathing in Icelandic lagoons
Whether you buy a Blue Lagoon or Secret Lagoon ticket, you should think about a few things before bathing.
First of all – Icelandic water is very hard and has negative effects on your hair. Take into account that the use of conditioner will often not help them. Therefore, if you do not want to take a risk, soak your hair in water for too long.
The water in the lagoons also has a negative effect on jewelry, especially silver. Therefore, I recommend not taking any jewelry with you in the water.
If the description Secret lagoon or Blue lagoon did not inspire you, it does not matter. In both cases, you have the opportunity to try alternatives.
Sky lagoon in Reykjavik
A good alternative to the Blue Lagoon is the recently opened Sky Lagoon in one of Reykjavik’s ports. Even though it is an artificial lagoon, this place has a touch of real Iceland – you will find a waterfall, an ice-cold stone pool, a lagoon in the rocks and much more.
Like the Blue Lagoon, the Sky Lagoon has a choice of three types of admission, from basic with lagoon access only to the most expensive, including private showers and a seven-step cleansing ritual.
Fontana baths in Laugarvatn
On the coast (next to the city you will find a lake) it is then possible to visit Fontana baths, which do not have a touch of nature like the Secret Lagoon, but you will find several types of pools of different temperatures and depths or a sauna.
Prices in Fontana baths are almost the same as in Secret Lagoon, making them ideal for those looking for inexpensive hot baths on their trip around Iceland.
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