When we visited Iceland, we were excited about experiencing a hot spring. After a lot of researching I decided the Blue Lagoon was out, it looked super busy and touristy (not to mention pricey!).
A firm favourite was the Secret Lagoon, or in Icelandic Gamla Laugin.
The Secret Lagoon is in Flúðir, close to the Golden Circle. It is the oldest swimming pool in Iceland, dating back to 1891.
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Originally it was used for swimming lessons until a new pool was built in Flúðir in 1947. It then fell into disrepair until it was renovated in 2005 by the present owner. In 2014 it was finally opened to the public for everyone to enjoy.
The lagoon is entirely natural which is why it appealed to me over the Blue Lagoon, which is heated by a nearby geothermal power plant.
Around the pool there are geothermal spots creating a steamy atmosphere. There is even a miniature Geysir which erupts every 5 minutes or so.
A walking path has even been built so guests can explore the spouting hot springs.
We were supposed to visit the lagoon earlier than we did on our trip, we didn’t know we had to book in advance. Before we went I was browsing the FAQs and realised we did actually need to book a slot.
The day we planned to go was sold out so we had to move it back a couple of days. Luckily, we were staying in the area for a few days or I would have been absolutely devastated!
Booking is easily done online and you pay when you make the reservation. We picked the earliest slot which was 11am as it was classed as winter season.
- Winter 1st October to 30th April: 11am – 8pm
- Summer 1st May to 30th September: 10am – 10pm
Price per adult is 2,800ISK/£21. You can also rent towels and swimsuits for 500ISK/£3.75 each if you need them.
We arrived half an hour early and they let us in anyway. We had the whole lagoon mostly to ourselves for the first half hour or so.
When you enter the changing rooms the first area has benches, shoe racks and hair dryers. This is where everyone must take their shoes off. You are not allowed to wear your shoes into the changing rooms.
There are then separate indoor changing rooms for men and women with free lockers. Just lock your stuff away and put the elastic band on your wrist.
Next was the scary bit that I was dreading. Everyone has to shower butt naked before they enter the pool.
The showers are communal which is a bit daunting. Luckily as we were there sooo early I had to entire changing rooms to myself and this wasn’t an issue.
To be fair when I came back in from the pool to get dressed there were plenty of people showering naked and nobody batted an eyelid. It’s just a bit of a culture shock I suppose.
Now its pool time! Leave your towel on the rack in the changing room otherwise it will get wet outside when it rains. Notice I say when! 🙂
Also grab a bottle of water to keep hydrated and make sure you have eaten. The water is very hot at 38-40 Celsius and you don’t want to start feeling faint.
As I entered the pool I took the steps slowly as the water was soooo hot! It was like a bath, I had to get used to it.
As you move around the pool you notice some spots are warmer than others. There was a particularly fiery spot to the right side of the pool which I thought was going to burn my skin off.
You can stay as long as you want, we stayed a couple of hours. Once you are nicely pruned up and relaxed head back in to get changed.
Before you leave make sure to come back out and explore the boardwalk around the geothermal area. Don’t miss the cutest little Geysir ever, theres a video below (sorry about the music!)
We really enjoyed our morning at the Secret Lagoon. It was everything we expected from an Icelandic hot spring experience. Peaceful and relaxing. Steamy crystal clear water.
Most of all very natural and not overly touristy.
Have you been to the Secret Lagoon? What did you think?
You might like to check out my other Iceland posts before you go:
- Iceland road trip part 1 – Reykjavik to Vik in 5 days
- What to pack for Iceland
- Iceland – how much does it cost?
- A comprehensive guide to driving in Iceland
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