A visit to the Blue Lagoon is almost mandatory these days when you’re in Iceland, but it’s not the only lagoon you should visit.
The Secret Lagoon natural hot springs are located in a small village called Fludir, in the Golden Circle area. The Golden Circle is a hot tourist destination, but luckily, the Secret Lagoon has managed to continue to attract more locals than tourists. AND – It’s the oldest “swimming pool” in Iceland, made in 1891!
When I got there, it was obvious this was way more locally operated. It didn’t have all the bells and whistles of the Blue Lagoon and I was digging the laid-back vibes.
The changing rooms were similar to the Blue Lagoon. I got a locker that comes with a wristband, and that has your locker key attached to it. So don’t lose your wristband!
When in Iceland, it helps to be bold, and not shy about the changing rooms. Everyone is there for the same reason – to change their clothes. There are not many separate rooms available, so slip your clothes off and get into your bathing suit as quickly as possible, without fumbling around too much. Ha!
The rumors of nudity in the change rooms and showers in Iceland are definitely true. This didn’t bother me one bit, but I know for others it can be a bit of a shock coming from the States. I felt a sense of freedom not having to worry about being self-conscious, and just going with the flow.
I had my travel towel with me, which I always take on every trip. I highly recommend always taking your own towels to any geothermal pool in Iceland. Otherwise, you’ll notice all the towels they provide are the same color, which means you won’t know which one is yours. And the Secret Lagoon charges extra for towel and bathing suit rental.
Before entering the pool, you are required to take a shower and wash off. They suggest loading your hair up with conditioner as well, as the water will dry it out significantly. DO NOT skip the conditioner!
I headed out into the cold, February air and found a wall people were draping towels over. I was so glad to have my blue towel amongst all the white ones! However, in the middle of Winter in Iceland, the chances of your towel staying dry is pretty slim. Mine was frozen by the time I got back to it! Next time I think I’ll leave it inside my locker.
When I got in the water, it was delightfully warmer than the Blue Lagoon. I like really hot water so this was a bonus! Some parts were so hot you couldn’t swim or you’d get burned.
I was warned ahead of time, to avoid the hot pots outlying the lagoon as they are literally boiling water. But they are fun to look at!
The pool itself has this magical ambience, with the steam rising up off the water. I floated around, checking out the different areas. The whole lagoon was covered in green moss that was super cute and made me feel like I was in Lord of the Rings. The bottom wasn’t smooth, but full of pebbles and rocks, that deliciously massaged my feet.
The later it got, the less crowded it was. I had arrived around 5:00pm so I think people were heading home for dinner. As I’m not a big fan of crowds, this made my experience even more serene.
Travel tip: If you’re travelling alone, a nice gesture is to offer to take photos for others, so nobody is left out of a picture! It’s also a way to strike up some conversation!
I ended up taking some family photos for a couple groups of people, and even hung out with a Canadian couple for a while.
I love Canadians. Turns out they were from New Brunswick, and very happy and friendly, as Canadians are. I shared about the 4 years I’d lived all over Canada, and they talked about their small town life. They’d been together for over 10 years and travel as often as possible. I really enjoyed connecting with these two and was pleased to have met them.
I wrapped up my evening at the Secret Lagoon after watching the sun set over a greenhouse outside the grounds. The perfect ending to the perfect day.
I gathered my things and dried my hair. Btw, hair dryers ARE provided and you definitely don’t want to leave with wet hair in the winter in Iceland. (Check out my selfie below of how ice and snow formed on my eyebrows and hair IN the pool!)
When I got in my car to head back to Reykjavik, I was super relaxed. The pool had helped to melt away some of my jet lag and I was ready for my next adventure. On my way home, I drove through a snowstorm, which made the whole trip even more magical! Oh, Iceland. You just never know what’s going to happen!
So if you’re headed to Iceland, I HIGHLY suggest checking out the Secret Lagoon. It’s a little off the beaten path, but you won’t be disappointed!
Have you ever been to the Secret Lagoon in Iceland? What was your experience like? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!