The Secret Lagoon in Iceland might not be what you think & has an incredibly interesting backstory. And if you've got an upcoming trip to the island, a visit to this magical place is a must.
If this is the first time you’ve heard about the Secret Lagoon, or you're busy compiling your trip itinerary, this is the article for you. We tell you everything there is to know to enjoy a memorable visit to this amazing spot.
What is the Secret Lagoon in Iceland?
It’s the oldest swimming pool in Iceland. You will find hot springs all across Iceland due to all the volcanic activity heating up the underground water supply. And whilst some can still be found in their original and natural forms, others are being utilized in man-made geothermal pools.
Even though the natural rocks used for the pool can fool you, the Secret Lagoon (or Gamla Laugin as it’s also known) is one of these man-made hot springs.
What is the Backstory of the Secret Lagoon in Iceland?
The Secret Lagoon was built in 1891 and quickly became a favorite place for newbies to learn how to swim. But as more and more pools opened, the novelty of the Secret Lagoon soon wore off and actually became such a forgotten spot that it was solely in use by the owner of that time.
But when a new owner took over Gamla Laugin, the pool got an entire revamp (still keeping to its original look and feel though), and this breathed some new life into the pool, making it a favorite local hangout yet again.
What to Expect at the Secret Lagoon?
The water in the Secret Lagoon is consistently between 38-40 degrees Celsius, and you can rest assured that the water is always clean since the entire pool’s water is replaced every 24 hours. The hot spring also offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Icelandic landscape.
Although the site doesn’t boast the amenities and facilities that some of the more modern geothermal pools have (the Secret Lagoon is trying to keep its original style and authenticity, remember?), it still has changing rooms (although fairly primitive-looking) as well as showers, and you can grab a drink and a bite at the Bistro when those hangry pains hit.
You can also rent swimsuits and towels for about $10. Operating hours are every day from 10:00 – 19:00, although these are extended during our busy peak season summer months. Entry fees vary from $25 per adult, and $20 for pensioners, to children who are 14 years and younger enjoying free access.
Can you swim in the Secret Lagoon?
Absolutely! That’s the entire point of the hot spring, ever since it was first established in 1891!
Where is the Secret Lagoon in Iceland?
Gamla Laugin can be found close to the village of Fludir in South Iceland. It is roughly 1.5 hours from the capital of Reykjavík and about 2 hours from the town of Vik. As it’s conveniently located off one of our main routes here in Iceland, and a popular road trip route, the Golden Circle, many opt to include the Secret Lagoon as a relaxing stop along the way.
Getting to the Secret Lagoon in Iceland
You have three options when it comes to getting to the Secret Lagoon:
Take a Tour
You will find a legion of tour options here on the island that offers the Secret Lagoon as a destination. These can be dedicated day tours to the site or multi-day tours with multiple local attractions that include Gamla Laugin. You will just have to remember to book your spot on a tour well in advance if you’re planning on visiting the island during our busy summer season.
Take a Bus
You can take the bus via Mjödd from the capital city of Reykjavik. It will only leave you between $20-$30 out of pocket, but will take almost 3 hours one way. This is not recommended during the colder months of the year with their fewer daylight hours, and you’ll definitely have to find a place to sleepover if this is the option you’re going with.
Take a Self-drive
This will always be the best way to explore the island, since you remain in full control of your time and itinerary. Getting to Gamla Laugin with your own vehicle is pretty easy:
Simply take Route 49 to Sudurlandsvegur/Pjodvegur 1. Then take the Vik/Hverageroi exit. Continue on Pjodvegur 1, Sudurlandsvegure, and Route 1 to Skeida-og Hrunamannavegur in Floahhreppur. After that, you just follow Skeida-og Hrunamannavegur to Hvammsvegur in Fludir. Then just follow the signs to the Secret Lagoon.
Get on Route 1 and head south to Austurvegur. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit to Pjodvegur. The same goes for the next roundabout. Then you turn right on Skeida-og Hrunamannavegur, and take the 1st exit at the next roundabout to remain on Skeida- og Hrunamannavegur. Thereafter, you turn right onto Hvammsvegur and then just follow the signs to the Secret Lagoon.
How Long Do You Need at Secret Lagoon?
You will need to allocate at least 1.2 to 2.5 hours for your visit to the Secret Lagoon, although your entrance fee entitles you to access for the entire day.
Things to Do Near the Secret Lagoon
Gamla Laugin is not the only attraction in the area, and there are a few more stops that you can consider adding to your trip:
Hrunalaug Natural Hot Spring
Geysir Geothermal Area
Thingvellir National Park
Where to Stay Near the Secret Lagoon
With so much to do and see in the area, it’s recommended that you stay over and explore the surroundings properly. You will find many options to choose from that will cater to anyone’s needs and requirements. For a luxurious touch, you can book at Hotel Fludir. For a more affordable option, you can choose Guesthouse Fludir.
And for the most budget-friendly route, you can book a spot at Fludir Campground. And don’t worry, you don’t need to whip out those tents and brave the elements if you don’t want to. Just rent a campervan in Reykjavik and you’ll be prepped for a road trip around the country as well as camping in comfort.
The Secret Lagoon in Iceland; A Secret Worth Sharing
You cannot visit the island and not stop by the Secret Lagoon. The beautiful views, peaceful surroundings, relaxing warm waters, and delicious snacks make this a must-visit spot. This pool that once became a secret is also worth sharing with friends and family. So, grab your loved ones and head to the healing waters of the Secret Lagoon.