I see the Blue Lagoon spa in Iceland on nearly every travel bucket list, and for good reason. It’s gorgeous, relaxing, and fun! It is a great option for short layovers, like when I went, because of its close proximity to the airport. For a longer trip, though, you have some other options that are not quite as publicized or as expensive.
Going to these pools is actually a very common cultural part of Icelandic life and many pools are free! There are multiple throughout Reykjavik teeming with locals, if you’re feeling adventurous enough to make friends. Be aware that most of these require you to get fully naked to shower before entering the pristine water. There will be people there ensuring that you are thouroughly clean. It’s only as weird as you make it, but remember this is normal!
This brings us to the Secret Lagoon. The Secret Lagoon is the oldest swimming pool in Iceland dating back to the early 1900’s where children learned to swim. It is indeed a secret as it is located deep into the arctic circle. There is a small lodge where you can warm up and cafe where you can purchase drinks and some food. There is a lovely changing area complete with showers and hair dryers (and no one to supervise your shower if that was an uncomfortable prospect).
When Kaelyn and I went, we were terrified of the cold and I had to give Kaelyn a pep talk to even get out of the little lodge. We ran out screaming, like the Americans we are, not realizing everyone was staring at us until we were safely out of the cold and in the steaming pool. The other pool goers continued to stare at us for about 10 minutes whilst in the water, but honestly I don’t blame them. We then witnessed others gracefully and silently making their way into the pool, glasses of wine and beer in hand. Far more sophisticated than we will ever be, so just know that this place includes everyone!
This was the perfect place to end our tiring day around the golden circle! What pools have you been to in Iceland?