Looking for places similar to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland? The Blue Lagoon is iconic, luxurious, and worth the visit for many people, but it’s not the only option.
I personally have been to the Blue Lagoon multiple times and many many MANY Blue Lagoon alternatives. In fact, I am obsessed with hot springs so I go to as many as I possibly can!
Whether you’re searching for similar mineral-rich, blue waters, a more intimate luxury spa experience, or a budget-friendly soak in nature, I’ve got you covered with a list that includes some of the best alternatives to the Blue Lagoon including the Myvatn Nature Baths, Sky Lagoon, and the Vök Baths.
Why Choose A Blue Lagoon Alternative?
While I have personally been to the Blue Lagoon multiple times, there are tons of reasons to choose an alternative. As you can see from my photos, I have visited MANY alternatives on various trips to Iceland. Here are some reasons why you may want to skip the Blue Lagoon too!
Popularity: The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most iconic tourist spots and as a result tickets are booked sometimes months in advance.
Price: I won’t lie, ticket prices here are expensive. On my first trip, I was on a major budget, and I skipped the Blue Lagoon and I do not regret it one bit!
Won’t Destroy Your Hair: If you get your hair wet at the Blue Lagoon, the water will wreak havoc on your hair leaving it stiff and dried out. The alternatives do not have this impact!
Crowds: The limit on tickets sold per entrance time helps keep crowds in check to some extent, but you’ll never enjoy the remote solitude of the many natural hot springs around the country.
Age limit: Due to the high mineral content, children under 2 are not allowed in the lagoon. It’s not uncommon to have age restrictions at Iceland’s lagoons but some will allow any age as long as they’re supervised.
10 Best Blue Lagoon Alternatives In Iceland
Myvatn Nature Baths: Our Choice For Blue Lagoon Alternative
If I had to pick just one choice for a Blue Lagoon alternative, it would be Myvatn Nature Baths. This is the BEST substitution.
Myvatn Nature Baths vs Blue Lagoon is perhaps the most obvious comparison, but not many people know there are TWO Blue Lagoons in Iceland!
After all, the Myvatn Nature Baths are deemed the Blue Lagoon of the North and I have been multiple times, but it is much lesser-known!
The most obvious similarity is the signature milky blue, mineral-rich water hovering between 37-40C that both locations feature.
My biggest difference? Myvatn is 6 hours from downtown Reykjavik in the opposite direction of the Blue Lagoon. The roads up north can be tricky to navigate in the winter making the Myvatn Nature Baths less accessible at select times of the year.
I love that its remote nature means fewer crowds and more expansive views of the surrounding natural landscape. The views are WAY better than the Blue Lagoon.
Sky Lagoon: Best Alternative Near Reykjavik
Is the Sky Lagoon better than the Blue Lagoon? It’s just different, but I LOVE IT!
For starters, it’s not blue! The clear Sky Lagoon waters are kinder to your skin and hair than the Blue Lagoon. I have personally ruined my hair at the Blue Lagoon and the Sky Lagoon WILL NOT ruin your hair!
I also love that it has an infinity pool design and beautiful ocean views. A contrast to the Blue Lagoon’s lava field surroundings.
Lagoons near Reykjavik are harder to come by, but the Sky Lagoon solved this problem with its opening in 2021. Since then it’s been a favorite of locals and tourists alike. There are excellent locker room facilities, a swim-up bar in the lagoon, and a truly unique geothermal bathing experience.
With a cold plunge pool replica of the Snorralaug natural pool, a turf house, turf wall, and a dramatic, minimalistic lagoon design, the Sky Lagoon merges Icelandic culture and nature with a luxury spa experience.
Now, I must comment that the Sky Lagoon isn’t as family-friendly as the Blue Lagoon as there is a higher age minimum.
Despite not being known for its geothermal activity, East Iceland is home to the Vök Baths, an exception to the norm and one of the most unique alternatives to the Blue Lagoon.
Out on Lake Uriðavatn lies two floating geothermally heated infinity pools filled with warm, pristine water.
The on-land amenities include hot pools, a sauna, a restaurant, pool bar, cold water spray tunnel, tea bar, and locker rooms.
Though far from Reykjavik, the Vök baths are an ideal stop if you have plans to visit East Iceland. A bonus…tickets are roughly half the price of entrance to the Blue Lagoon.
Be sure to book your tickets ahead of time, particularly in the summer when at-the-door ticket purchases are not allowed.
The Forest Lagoon was designed by the same architects who worked on the Blue Lagoon and Geosea Spa, yet it’s wildly different and unique.
Located in a North Iceland forest full of birch, pine, and fir, in a country generally lacking in forested landscapes, the modern lagoon seamlessly blends into the rock, trees, and fjord surrounding it.
Forest bathing with a view of the sea is an idyllic combination. Two geothermally heated infinity pools are the prime spots to take in these views with a drink in hand from the swim-up bars.
Feeling adventurous? Take a plunge in the cold tub. Or forgo the cold and soak in the warmth of the sauna.
The Forest Lagoon may lack the signature color of Iceland blue lagoons (the iconic Blue Lagoon in Grindavik and the Myvatn Nature Baths in the north) but this peaceful lagoon is not lacking in any other aspects.
Geosea Geothermal Sea Baths
I am obsessed with Geosea! You can literally sit in the hot spring and watch wales out in the lagoon. Does it get any better than that?
The use of geothermally heated, mineral-rich seawater is part of what sets them apart from many of Iceland’s other lagoons.
Geosea features three infinity pools overlooking Skjálfandi Bay. The largest and most popular pool is the coolest in temperature. The upper pool is mid-sized and includes a swim-up bar, while the third and smallest pool is the warmest of them all.
The pools are also an ideal location to watch the Northern Lights when conditions are appropriate.
Krauma Geothermal Spa
The Krauma Geothermal Spa exists thanks to the mighty Deildartunguhver hot spring, Europe’s highest-flowing hot spring, and the source of Krauma’s natural hot water. With the help of glacier water to cool it down, the water in Krauma’s five pools ranges from 37-41C.
If you’re looking for the best blue lagoon alternatives that offer a little more intimacy and an escape from the crowds, you’ll find all that and more at Krauma.
The spa also offers a cold tub, sauna, steam room, and relaxation room complete with a cozy fireplace.
Feeling hungry? The on-site restaurant offers Icelandic cuisine that’ll leave you re-fueled and ready to continue on your adventures.
If you’re looking for alternatives to the Blue Lagoon near Reykjavik, Laugarvatn Fontana is an option worth considering just an hour away along the famous Golden Circle route.
I personally LOVE this hot spring because despite its convenient location you won’t have to battle crowds and can enjoy peace and quiet while bathing.
Three interconnected mineral-rich pools lie on the edge of Lake Laugarvatn offering bathers a unique opportunity to take a refreshing cold plunge in the lake between hot spring-fed bath soaks and stints in the sauna/steam room.
For an additional unique opportunity, pay a little extra for the rye bread tour to see how they bake their signature sweet rye bread in the ground also known as their “geothermal bakery.” I highly recommend this experience, it is really cool!
Public Swimming Pools
If I had to suggest a total hidden gem Iceland Travel Tip, it is this!!!!
It’s not exactly a like-for-like trade and yet, Iceland’s public swimming pools can be wonderful alternatives to the Blue Lagoon. I am OBSESSED with them!!!
Public Swimming Pools in Iceland include SO many features and they are a fraction of the cost! They are both kid-friendly and adult-friendly and a TRUE local experience!
No matter which Icelandic town you’re visiting you’ll likely find at least one public swimming pool. Depending on location and the size of the town, they vary in what they offer.
One of the most popular pools is Laugardalslaug in Reykjavík. Conveniently located near the zoo, botanical garden, and national team soccer stadium, it offers outdoor pools, an indoor pool, many hot tubs of varying temperatures (including a seawater tub), slides, a steam bath, cold tub, beach volleyball courts, and more.
Remember, all public pools (and lagoons) will require you to shower thoroughly prior to putting on your bathing suit.
Conveniently located in the geothermally active town of Flúðir along the famed Golden Circle route, the Secret Lagoon is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
Evidence of the geothermal activity in the area exists in abundance, a prime example being the small, active geyser on the backside of the pool.
The lagoon holds the badge of the oldest natural swimming pool in Iceland, built in 1891. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s relaxing, warm (38-40C), and provides a wonderful break in your Iceland adventures.
The water temperature can vary throughout the pool so wander around until you find the area that’s perfect for you.
Reykjadalur Hot Springs
Free and in the middle of a beautiful steam-filled valley with roaming sheep, the Reykjadalur Hot Springs is one of the best Blue Lagoon alternatives, particularly for those working with a limited budget.
A 45-minute hike of moderate difficulty takes you back into the valley past a waterfall to a section of a river where hot water meets cold water to form a picturesque bathing spot at an ideal temperature.
Wood platforms with partitions line the river so you can change out of your hiking gear into a bathing suit.
The Reykjadalur Hot Springs are best enjoyed in the early morning when the crowds are thinner or in the evening under the spectacular midnight sun.
I’m thrilled you’ve chosen to immerse yourself in Iceland’s long-standing bathing culture. The land of fire and ice is chock full of unique alternatives to the Blue Lagoon, in Reykjavik and elsewhere around the country.
If you have any questions as you begin to plan your lagoon/spa experiences feel free to leave a message in the comments.