Deciding between Secret Lagoon vs Blue Lagoon? There are many things to consider when choosing which hot spring to visit in Iceland.
Hot Springs are an essential part of Icelandic culture, and is worth visiting when in Iceland. Whether you are looking for a luxury experience like the Blue Lagoon or a hidden gem like Secret Lagoon, choosing one of these hot springs is sure to be a highlight of any trip to Iceland.
We visited both the Blue Lagoon and Secret Lagoon, and both were incredible in their own way. In this post I’ve detailed a comprehensive review of the pros and cons of both to help you decide if Secret Lagoon or Blue Lagoon is best for you.
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Secret Lagoon vs Blue Lagoon in Iceland: A Quick Comparison
Don’t have time to read this whole post? Here is a short comparison of the Blue Lagoon vs Secret Lagoon:
Visit the Blue Lagoon if:
✔️ It is your first time in Iceland
✔️ You want to see the iconic Blue Lagoon
✔️ You want spa services like face masks or in water massages
✔️ You are visiting for a honeymoon or special event and want to experience luxury at the Blue Lagoon Retreat Spa.
Visit Secret Lagoon if:
✔️ You are traveling to Iceland on a budget
✔️ You want to experience a natural hot spring
✔️ Are exploring Iceland’s Golden Circle
✔️ You want to avoid crowds
✔️ Want to visit a serene, more authentic hot spring
The Blue Lagoon in Iceland
📍 Location: Norðurljósavegur 9, 240 Grindavík I 🎫 Book Tickets Here
The Blue Lagoon has been made world famous and is one of Iceland’s top attractions. It is known for its beautiful blue waters that are rich with minerals, and is believed to offer skincare nourishment.
The Blue Lagoon is located in a lava field near Grindavík, only 23km from the Keflavík International Airport and 49km from Reykjavik. The convenient location makes it one of the easiest lagoons to access.
Pros of Visiting the Blue Lagoon
✅ Iconic Place in Iceland
Lets face it, the Blue Lagoon has become an iconic place in Iceland. For first time visitors to Iceland, the Blue Lagoon is worth visiting.
The Blue Lagoon became popular for a reason, and that reason us that it is an incredibly beautiful and relaxing place to visit.
The Blue Lagoon is also famous for its health benefits. Soaking in the mineral rich waters of the Blue Lagoon has many great skin nourishment benefits.
While there are many hot springs and lagoons throughout Iceland, and you may enjoy some more than the Blue Lagoon, it is still worth visiting the Blue Lagoon at least once.
There are many amenities available at the Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon offers two different day packages: Comfort and Premium, and each one has different inclusions.
Comfort includes an entrance ticket, Silica Mud Mask, use of a towel, and 1 drink ticket. Premium includes everything in the comfort package, plus 2 additional masks of your choice, a bathrobe, and a glass of sparkling wine if dining at the Lava Restaurant.
The Blue Lagoon also features the Lava restaurant, which is open from 11:30 am to 9 pm. For lunch until 4 pm, you can dine in your swimsuit and bathrobe.
Another highlight of the amenities available at the Blue Lagoon is that they have private showers available. For us, Americans, this is definitely a highlighted amenity!
✅ Luxury Experiences: The Retreat at Blue Lagoon
If you are visiting Iceland for a honeymoon, anniversary, birthday, or other special event, I highly recommend checking out the Retreat at Blue Lagoon.
The Retreat at Blue Lagoon is a separate, more private area of the Blue Lagoon that provides a full spa experience. This is the best way to avoid the crowds and experience a luxurious and relaxing day at the Blue Lagoon.
The Retreat Spa includes 5 hour exclusive access to the Retreat Spa, Retreat Lagoon, Blue Lagoon, a private changing room, skincare amenities, a drink of your choice, and the Blue Lagoon Ritual.
For the ultimate luxurious spa experience, there is no competing with the Blue Lagoon Retreat Spa.
✅ Beautiful Atmosphere
The Blue Lagoon has a beautiful atmosphere that is incredibly unique. The light blue waters contrast against the black rocks, making it a scenic place to relax.
While the Blue Lagoon can be crowded, it is also very large in size which makes it possible to spread out from other people to enjoy the beauty of the lagoon.
The Blue Lagoon in winter is especially beautiful, surrounded by glistening snow and with much fewer crowds.
✅ Located Near the Airport
The Blue Lagoon is located only 23km from the Keflavík International Airport. The convenient location makes it a perfect option to relax in either the day you arrive or the day before you leave.
We personally like to visit the Blue Lagoon the day before our flight leaves Iceland. After an adventurous trip exploring Iceland, there is no better way to fully relax and rejuvenate than soaking in the Blue Lagoon on the last day of your trip.
Many people also like to go straight to the Blue Lagoon after arriving to relax after a long flight before they can check in to their hotel.
There are airport transfers between the Blue Lagoon and Keflavík International Airport, making it easy to get there. If you are renting a car, the Blue Lagoon has free parking. You can also book Blue Lagoon tickets with transfers from Reykjavik.
Cons of Visiting the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is one of the most expensive hot springs in Iceland. Ticket prices can vary based on the entry time, day, and season.
The lowest prices start at ISK 8990, which around $65 USD. However, that low price is typically only offered right before closing time on weekdays, which isn’t really worth it. To go earlier in the day or on a weekend, you will likely pay over $100 USD for the basic ticket.
As one of the most visited attractions in Iceland, the Blue Lagoon does get crowded. In fact, over 700,000 people visit the Blue Lagoon each year, that is a lot of people!
The Blue Lagoon is the busiest during the hours of 11am until 3pm, so to avoid the crowds you’ll want to get there first thing in the morning or go in the evening. The Blue Lagoon is also much more crowded during Iceland’s popular summer season.
Due to the immense popularity of the Blue Lagoon, it is essential to book tickets in advance as they do sell out.
🚫 Destroys Hair
The Blue Lagoon can destroy your hair for several weeks. If you submerse your hair in the water the minerals will cause it to be brittle for several weeks. While the changes are not permanent, it can be an annoyance and difficult to fix quickly.
The best way to avoid this is to not put your hair underwater at the Blue Lagoon, by putting it in a high bun.
🚫 Not a Natural Hot Spring
The Blue Lagoon is not a natural hot spring, and instead is man-made. Originally, it first started in 1976 as geothermal seawater run off that came from the Svartsengi Geothermal Resource Park. In the 1980’s people began to bathe in these warm waters and reported skincare benefits.
Today, the Blue Lagoon is a man-made structure that encompasses geothermal seawater with silica, creating the relaxing waters. The water is still heated via geothermal energy from the Svartsengi Geothermal Resource Park.
So, Is Blue Lagoon Worth It?
The Blue Lagoon is worth visiting at least once. While the Blue Lagoon can be overhyped, crowded, and expensive, it is also an iconic experience to have in Iceland. The Blue Lagoon is incredibly beautiful and relaxing, even with the crowds. Soaking in the Blue Lagoon also has many health benefits, especially for skin nourishment.
Additionally, if you are visiting Iceland for a honeymoon or special event, the Blue Lagoon offers one of the best luxury experiences at the Blue Lagoon Retreat Spa.
Secret Lagoon in Iceland
📍 Location: Hvammsvegur, 845 Flúðir I 🎫 Book Tickets Here
Secret Lagoon is a natural hot spring found along Iceland’s Golden Circle route. It is an incredibly scenic place, and feels very serene and relaxing. The Lagoon is much less crowded compared to more popular places like the Blue Lagoon.
The Secret Lagoon, which is also called Gamla Laugin, is a historically significant site in Iceland as it is the country’s oldest natural swimming pool. It was originally made in 1891 at Hverahólmi, a geothermal area near Flúðir. In 2014, the site went under a revitalization and opened up as Secret Lagoon.
Pros of Visiting Secret Lagoon
The cost of visiting Secret Lagoon is much cheaper than Blue Lagoon. This makes visiting Secret Lagoon a fantastic choice for anyone visiting Iceland on a budget.
The price for Secret Lagoon is 3300 ISK (about $24 USD). Compared to the Blue Lagoon where you will likely pay over $100 USD this is so much cheaper!
✅ Fewer Crowds
While Secret Lagoon isn’t a total secret, it sure is less crowded compared to the Blue Lagoon. Typically the hours of 10 am to 3 pm will see the most crowds, but it is still much less crowded than other lagoons.
Even with fewer crowds, it is still recommended to book tickets in advance.
✅ Natural Hot Spring
Secret Lagoon is a natural hot spring, heated by the geothermal area near Flúðir. It is the perfect natural hot spring to visit for a serene and relaxing setting.
Secret Lagoon’s waters also flow continuously keeping the hot spring clean and refreshing. The water is also filled with rich minerals such as sulfur.
✅ Hot Water
The water at Secret Lagoon is geothermally heated and retains a warm temperature of 38-40 Celsius (100-104 F) all year round. It is the perfect temperature to fully relax your muscles and float around with a pool noodle.
✅ Located in the Golden Circle
Secret Lagoon is near Iceland’s Golden Circle, which is a popular driving route that is home to many highlights such as Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir, Thingvellir National Park, and more.
The convenient location makes Secret Lagoon a perfect addition to any Golden Circle itinerary. In fact, one of the best times to visit the Secret Lagoon is at the end of a busy day exploring the Golden Circle.
Cons of Visiting Secret Lagoon
🚫 Small Size
The Secret Lagoon is much smaller than the Blue Lagoon. The Secret Lagoon is the size of a large swimming pool rather than a wide spread lagoon. While the lagoon is typically far less crowded, it could be more difficult to spread out if a big group comes in.
🚫 Father Away from Reykjavik
Secret Lagoon is located about 105km east of Reykjavik. If you have a car, getting to the Secret Lagoon is no problem as it is an easy drive in good weather.
However if you don’t plan to rent a car, the only way to get to Secret Lagoon is by taking a Golden Circle Tour such as this one. There isn’t public transportation available between Secret Lagoon and Reykjavik, like there is with Blue Lagoon.
🚫 Fewer Amenities
There are fewer amenities at Secret Lagoon compared to Blue Lagoon. Secret Lagoon does have some swimming noodles, and also has a small snack bar that serves drinks.
There are no spa services or face masks available. Admission also does not include a towel, but you can rent one for 800 ISK (about $5 USD).
🚫 No Private Showers
The Secret Lagoon provides a men’s and women’s changing area with public showers and lockers. Taking a shower is required before entering any hot spring or lagoon, as this keeps the hot springs clean.
However, at Secret Lagoon there are only public showers available, which can be uncomfortable for some cultures (like us Americans). Keep in mind that all you need to do is a quick shower, so it really isn’t that bad!
So, Is Secret Lagoon Worth It?
Secret Lagoon is absolutely worth it! Secret Lagoon is a natural hot spring that is the perfect place to relax in the warm geothermal waters. It is in a serene setting filled with natural beauty and is far less crowded than the Blue Lagoon. Secret Lagoon is also convenient to visit when exploring the sites of Iceland’s Golden Circle.
While you won’t need a whole day at Secret Lagoon, it is the perfect way to spend an hour or two relaxing after exploring the Golden Circle. I would 100% visit Secret Lagoon every time I go to Iceland.
FAQ: Secret Lagoon vs Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon is better for first time visitors to Iceland that want to see the iconic Icelandic landmark. Blue Lagoon is also better for anyone looking for a luxury or spa experience. Secret Lagoon is better for those that want to experience a beautiful, natural hot spring. Secret Lagoon is also the best option for travelers on a budget.
No. Blue Lagoon is a large, man-made lagoon filled with warm, mineral rich waters. Blue Lagoon is similar to a spa experience, while Secret Lagoon is a natural geothermal pool.
Secret Lagoon is absolutely worth visiting. This natural geothermal pool is open year round and has warm temperatures of 30-40°C. It is the perfect Icelandic hot spring to relax in and enjoy the serene natural surroundings.
The Wrap Up: Secret Lagoon vs Blue Lagoon
There are both pros and cons to visiting Secret Lagoon vs Blue Lagoon. From the iconic, mineral rich waters of the luxurious Blue Lagoon to the natural beauty Secret Lagoon, you are sure to love soaking in Iceland’s hot springs.
The Blue Lagoon is a beautiful place in Iceland, and offers a spa like experience soaking in the warm mineral rich waters. However, it can also be crowded and expensive.
On the other hand, Secret Lagoon is a serene, natural hot spring that is a perfect place to relax. While there are less crowds, it is also smaller and with fewer amenities than the Blue Lagoon.
So, whether you choose to visit Secret Lagoon or Blue Lagoon, you are sure to have an incredible time visiting Iceland’s beautiful hot springs.