Secret Lagoon – When looking for Blue Lagoon alternatives
We know that a lot of our guests come to Iceland with an image of the milky blue waters of the Blue Lagoon in their minds. And there is a reason. The Blue Lagoon is an experience that will add some value to your stay in Iceland. But is it the only place that will offer you such an experience? Not at all! And this is what we want to discuss in this post. There are some Blue Lagoon alternatives in Iceland available, where you can enjoy bathing in naturally heated waters and relax while enjoying the wonderful scenery around. This time around, we would like to mention the Secret Lagoon and compare it to the infamous Blue Lagoon. In the pictures below, you see the Blue Lagoon on the left and the Secret Lagoon on the right.
Some History about the Secret Lagoon
Let’s start with a little bit of history. The Secret Lagoon is the oldest swimming pool in Iceland, built back in 1891. It started as a popular place for Icelanders to learn how to swim. In time, several new local swimming pools surfaced, and the lagoon became less popular. In the end, it was only used by its current owner. The name “Secret Lagoon“ derives from the fact that the swimming pool was practically secret to the public for a long time! In 2005, the owner decided to share his secret with the public, and now the Secret Lagoon is accessible to visitors from all around the world.
Some History about the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon was ‘formed’ in 1976 beside a nearby geothermal power plant. A strange pool started emerging at the site from the plant’s wastewater, and in the years that followed, it got bigger and after some research, people began to bathe in the warm water. They then noticed a positive influence on their skin, and over the years the Blue Lagoon transformed into a beautiful spa, open to the public.
Blue Lagoon or Secret Lagoon – Which one should you visit?
As this is a decision our guests need to make for themselves, we are here to help with that! Below you can find a comparison of different aspects of the two attractions and decide which one appeals to you the most.
If you are staying in Reykjavik, then you need to drive approximately 50 km to reach the Blue Lagoon. It is also conveniently located close to the airport, so visiting right after arrival or before departure is ideal. It is also possible to combine the Blue Lagoon visit with some sightseeing. Our 7 days self drive south coast tour, for example, includes a trip to the Reykjanes peninsula. On this day you can visit geothermal areas, lighthouses, cliffs, and finally, the famous Blue Lagoon.
The Secret Lagoon is located a bit further away, about 98 km from the capital. It can be conveniently combined with your Golden Circle route if you are going on one of our self-drive tours. It would also be possible to join a guided golden circle day tour with a visit to the Secret Lagoon included.
The Secret Lagoon is significantly cheaper than the popular Blue Lagoon. With packages starting from 2800 ISK per adult, it is less than half price of the Blue Lagoon, which charges approximately 6100 ISK for a standard entry.
Amount of Visitors
It is necessary to pre-book a visit to the Blue Lagoon well in advance, as it is definitely one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland. The Secret Lagoon is getting more and more popular as well, so we highly recommend pre-booking it at least some days in advance. There is a slight chance you might still get in if you just show up though.
Facilities / Services
The Blue Lagoon and the Secret Lagoon both rent out swimming gear and towels, both have a bar and offer secure lockers for your belongings. The Blue Lagoon also has a sauna, a restaurant and offers optional in-water-massages for the visitors that wish to enjoy a more luxurious experience.
In both lagoons, people bath in naturally heated waters. However, there are some differences in the “type of water”. The silicate minerals are a unique feature of the Blue Lagoon. They are the primary cause of the water’s milky blue shade. The geothermal water originates 2,000 meters below the surface, where freshwater and seawater combine at extreme temperatures. On its way to the surface, the water picks up silica and minerals. The water is used to run turbines to create electricity and hot water for nearby communities. After going through the turbines, the water is fed into the lagoon and visitors can bathe in it. You should definitely try the silica mud mask, which will leave your facial skin very soft and nice.
The location of the Secret Lagoon is in a huge and very active hot spring area. That means the pool is fed by hot water from natural hot springs nearby. It consists of very clear groundwater. So if you go there, you will see what most Icelanders think of when you say ‘hot spring’.
The Blue Lagoon is fully accessible for wheelchair users. Wheelchair accessible changing rooms are available and guests with disabilities get free entry for their assistants. Guests enter the Blue Lagoon in a special wheelchair on a ramp. Unfortunately, the Secret Lagoon is not fully accessible. There is a special changing room but there is no accessible entrance to the pool/lagoon itself.
Summary: Secret Lagoon when looking for Blue Lagoon Alternatives
Based on the notes above, you can make your decision, which lagoon appeals to you the most! No matter which one you visit, we are sure that you are going to enjoy it, and we assure you, they are both (maybe for different reasons) totally worth visiting.
If you want the milky blue color and a luxury spa experience, then the Blue Lagoon would be better. If you don’t need the blue color and just want a geothermal bathing experience in a more natural setting and at a lower price, then choose the Secret Lagoon. Or simply visit both lagoons as they are both very special and unique
Other Blue Lagoon Alternatives
The Secret Lagoon is not the only Blue Lagoon alternative and there are endless possibilities to bathe in naturally heated water during your holidays in Iceland. You can find a swimming pool in almost every single village around the country and I highly recommend to try at least one of these local pools. They are normally relatively small and not very fancy but you will definitely experience the Icelandic swimming culture in a very authentic way.
Posted in August 2017