Is Iceland’s Blue Lagoon Overrated?

When we did our 12 day epic Iceland roadtrip, we made sure we didn’t miss out on the Blue Lagoon. It is one of those bucket list items for anyone visiting Iceland. It is easy to understand why, who doesn’t want to miss the opportunity to bathe in this milky blue lagoon which is packed full of minerals. These minerals have amazing benefits for the skin and the body. If you are only visiting Iceland for a couple days then you should definitely visit the blue lagoon if you want to experience Iceland’s hot pools. The Blue Lagoon is literally about 15 minutes away from the airport. It’s a great trip if you want to make the most of a layover. You can hop on a bus which will take you there and back to the airport.

Blue Lagoon

We paid 50 Euros for the most basic package we could get. We arrived at 7am and the buses were already arriving packed full of people. After a quick shower we made it out into the lagoon while it was still quiet. As soon as you walk in it feels more like a 5 Star spa, you receive a band which you can charge anything you want onto it which you then pay for as you leave. There are options for lots of extras including face masks and massages. I felt like we were in some hotel spa with swim up bars where you could pay for overpriced booze. We left after about an hour, it was starting to get busier and the water didn’t feel as hot as I expected. After 12 days in a campervan we made the most of the complimentary shampoo, conditioner and body wash. I even blow dried my hair there before we left. We had a coffee at the café and watched everyone in the lagoon before we left to head to the airport. It felt too commercialized and overpriced, right down to the Blue Lagoon skincare products you can buy as you walk out the gift shop when you leave. It was a little disappointing.

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Myvatn Nature Baths

If you are staying in Iceland longer and are seeing a bit more of the country then skip the Blue Lagoon. We visited the Myvatn Nature Baths up  in North Iceland and we loved it. It felt like a more authentic experience. We strolled in without booking at around 2.30pm. We paid 30 Euros and headed to the changing rooms. There were communal showers which you bathed in before heading out to the lagoon.

Is the Blue Lagoon Overrated?

Jason and I at the Myvatn Nature Baths

The Myvatn Nature Baths felt so much hotter, we kept having to get out to cool off a bit. There is one pool that is very hot and then other which is a couple of degrees cooler. We loved how quiet it was here. You could still grab drinks from the bar and sit in a sauna. We were overlooking Lake Myvatn and it was so beautiful. We spent almost 2 hours here swimming back and forth from the hot pool to the cooler one. There were little nooks with seats and if someone took your spot there were plenty of other nooks to sit in. It is definitely not as glamorous as the Blue Lagoon but it had a nicer atmosphere.

Is the Blue Lagoon Overrated?

A View of the Myvatn Nature Baths

Hot Springs

After Myvatn we also had fun hot spring hunting in Iceland’s Westfjords. These were fresh water pools and springs. Most of these were quite secluded. You can find most of the co-ordinates to these by checking out my Westfjord’s post. Some of these springs were about body temperature and others were very hot.It was such a fun adventure finding a pool in the middle of nowhere with such epic views and no one else around.

Is the Blue Lagoon Overrated?

Our favorite hot spring in the Westfjords

Have you been to the Blue Lagoon? What did you think of it?

32 Comments

  • Nicole Anderson | Camping for Women July 21, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    I’m with you. I think the option of the Myvatn Nature Baths would be far more attractive than the overly commercialized Blue Lagoon. It is a real shame to read that it has lost its natural appeal in favor of a focus on driving revenue. Finding your other alternatives though throughout the countryside does sound like a lot of fun.

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  • Anna Schlaht July 21, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    We visited the Blue Lagoon on our trip to Iceland in November 2016; it was the first thing we did off the plane, which I think colored in the experience in a magical light because we were WOW’d by Iceland’s beauty. Knowing what I know now, though, I think you’re totally right. The Blue Lagoon is overpriced and overrated for what it is, when you can get a more local, quieter (and more affordable) experience elsewhere. We’re headed back to drive the Ring Road in October, so we’ll definitely have to check out the Myvatn Nature Baths while we’re there. Thanks for the suggestion!

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    • Stace July 21, 2017 at 6:04 pm

      Oh yes you must get to the Nature baths and let me know what you think!

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  • Eva July 21, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    I happily chose to skip the Blue Lagoon when I visited Iceland. I knew I didn’t want to spend a large sum on a man-made spa. I really wanted to bathe at Seljavallalaug, even had accommodation nearby, but it was really really windy on my day there and just +4°C so I didn’t dare bathe in the hot water and then hike back to the car in that freezing wind. So I skipped it. If I’m to visit Iceland again I would definitely budget for Myvatn, also because we didn’t make it up north (we only had 1 week). But the Blue Lagoon sounds like an incredible tourist trap. Rather than an attraction for tourists, I see it more like a place to chillax a few hours in between transatlantic flights. For my first time in Iceland I preferred to focus on something more authentic.

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    • Stace July 21, 2017 at 6:09 pm

      Shame you missed Seljavallalaug! It looks so pretty, we didn’t make it because of bad weather as well! We had perfect weather when we visited the Nature baths which probably made it more memorable

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  • Friends with Suitcases July 21, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Aww so sorry you felt that way! We went in February and our group of 10 (us way too many people to travel with lol) all loved it. Even those that were super skeptical! We went first thing from the airport and it went very well with jet lag lol.

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    • Stace July 21, 2017 at 6:10 pm

      Haha yes it would definitely pair well with jetlag! It is the perfect spot to go on a layover though, I must admit!

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  • Ariana del Rio July 21, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    I saw and experienced the Blue Lagoon as my final top of an 11 day adventure. It helped that I was early 9:30am entrance and beat all the big tour buses, but I just found it so peaceful in parts of the water where I floated and no one else bothered me. I saw crowds or groups, and lots of people were louder than I’d hope but I was never near them long. It was a Thursday morning, overcast with light rain and I found a little piece of heaven there as I said goodbye to Iceland. My first GeoThermal baths in the country were at Myvatn, which I truly loved as well. Just had right timing for both spots I guess.

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    • Stace July 21, 2017 at 6:25 pm

      Oh you were super lucky! That sounds amazing

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  • Cristina July 21, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Sad to read it was a disappointment but it doesn’t surprise me either. It has been one of my dreams for years to go to the Blue Lagoon but the last couple of years I’ve seen it growing in popularity and more ofthen than not; the more popular a place is, the less worth paying a visit… I find.
    Anyway, you spent 12 days in Iceland, which is AMAZING. And it’s great to see that you found an alternative to the Blue Lagoon!

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    • Stace July 21, 2017 at 7:57 pm

      Yes I agree about the popularity!!!! Nature baths was amazing!

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  • LC July 21, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    It was a photo of the Blue Lagoon which compelled me to visit Iceland a few years ago and I wasn’t disappointed by it at all. I did go again the next year (during a snow storm, so there weren’t many other people there!) but I don’t really fancy ever going again. Also don’t remember it costing 50 euros to enter – it’s hard to recall, but I think I paid around 35 for the cheapest package, so maybe they’ve put the prices up, which I agree would be wrong! Nowadays I just stick to the pools in town, particularly when they’re a fraction of the price.

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  • Rhiannon | Rhiannon Travels July 21, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    I’ve always wanted to visit the Blue Lagoon. I can definitely see why you didn’t like it, though. I would still love to experience it for myself one day, but it’s true that it’s become so popular and most likely overrated. Thanks for your honest opinion! Great for people who may not be able to afford something that they may not necessarily enjoy.

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  • Karen July 22, 2017 at 3:14 am

    I LOVED the Myvatn Nature Baths although I should mention that you should not stay in too long…or else you might get woozy due to your blood sugar dropping!

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    • Stace July 22, 2017 at 6:21 am

      We drank alot of water and we felt so fine after!

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  • Chiera July 22, 2017 at 7:18 am

    What a shame about the Blue Lagoon not living up to the hype. To be honest, I can help but feel like it would be really dirty? I may be wrong but that’s what has always put me off of it ha! Glad you enjoyed the Myvatn Nature Baths, they look very chilled 🙂

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  • Lacey July 22, 2017 at 9:02 am

    Disappointing! I’ve always dreamed of visiting them! I’m happy to have read this honest post! Now, even though I would maybe still visit I would know what to expect!!!!! I love the other suggestions as well! Thank you!

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  • Laura Harris July 22, 2017 at 10:24 am

    I totally thought it was overrated too! €50 for an outdoor pool full of tourists?? I much preferred the Polynesian spa in New Zealand which was only about £20 and much less crowded with views out over Rotorua lake. Next time I go to Iceland I plan to hunt out some of the natural hot sprints, I think I’ll like those much more 🙂

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  • Bianca July 22, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Good to know 🙂 When we went to Iceland we decided to skip the Blue Lagoon because we didn’t feel like paying +€100 on this. We actually went to Myvatn baths, but we didn’t enjoy them as much as you. When we went it was dark, so we didn’t get to enjoy the view. Also, it was very windy, so the pools were not as warm as we had wished. And it was hard to find a good warm spot. What we did enjoy a lot, was finding natural baths around the island. Those were truly amazing, free, and with not that many people.

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    • Stace July 22, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      Aww man that sucks. I think because we had a sunny day it was so nice there. The best were the hidden ones!

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  • Amanda July 22, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Great tips, I always try and find places away from the crowds so the blue lagoon would have been a real disappointment. Thanks for sharing

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  • Itinera Magica July 22, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    I’m with you, myvatn nature baths are a much nicer and authentic option!

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  • Kirstin Street July 23, 2017 at 4:51 am

    I think it’s still one of those things I would like to try for myself, however I see where you’re coming from. I think with the access we have to technology now so many of these touristy spots are just over-run and totally commercialised now which is a shame! I’ll definitely look into some of the other hot springs you mention when I get to Iceland.

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  • Lisa July 23, 2017 at 5:19 am

    Great tips. We’re heading to Iceland in six weeks. Really excited to be heading there.

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  • Lisa July 23, 2017 at 5:39 am

    I wrote a similar post on this a few years after I visited. I agree with you that Blue Lagoon is very expensive, a little overrated, but the experience was wonderful. Excellent tip on the Myvatr Nature Baths, they look so inviting, not to mention less crowded than Blue Lagoon!

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  • Brianna July 23, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Yeah, I think Iceland in itself is becoming a little over touristy. It’s not surprising that the Blue Lagoon would be so disappointing. I’d be interesting in finding more off the beaten path options!

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  • Katie July 23, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Wow Iceland looks like such a stunning place! I am hoping to go at Christmas but not sure about the Blue Lagoon. I know it can get very busy especially in the winter so not sure! Your pics look great though!

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  • Kim July 24, 2017 at 1:45 am

    Thanks for sharing your experience at the Blue Lagoon! I honestly would probably still go just because, haha but if I get the chance I would definitely check out other hot springs as well. Hoping to visit Iceland one day soon.

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  • Vicki Louise July 24, 2017 at 3:14 am

    I’ve heard that the Blue Lagoon is very touristy and commercialized, but I think I would still do it as it’s such an iconic experience! I’ve also had Myvatn Baths on my radar for a while so I’m glad to hear it has both a nice atmosphere and isn’t too busy. I can’t wait to get to Iceland and experience them both for myself!

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  • Jing July 24, 2017 at 8:29 am

    I’m still in the wanderlusting phase when it comes to Iceland as I haven’t been there yet. I have read about the Blue Lagoon and I’m getting mixed reviews about it. Whatever the case, I am still interested to try the natural thermal baths in Iceland and your recommendation to go to Myvatn Nature Baths and the natural hot springs sound more appealing. I just hope Myvatn doesn’t go the same path as the Blue Lagoon and that it retains its authentic environment.

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  • Yukti July 24, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    I would like to go all and would like to dip in them with lovely views of Iceland’s scenery. WestFjords is unique due to natural thermal bath. Very nice post and detailed description about Blue Lagoon of Iceland

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  • Babs July 29, 2017 at 8:29 am

    If you buy a pkg deal ask if its truly blue lagoon or another spot..the whole thing is very commercial. Didnt like communal showers or changing room..we were under the impression it was blue lagoon slightly misleading advertising. The best part of this was the northern lights. Cross off bucket lust.

    Reply

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