The Secret Lagoon, the Golden Circles bucket list spa

the Secret Lagoon, oldest swimming pool in the Golden Circle, Iceland

Before I came to the Secret Lagoon, I had never even been to a lagoon before. I was incredibly excited to see one on my itinerary sheet for the Golden Circle tour. For the best experience I decided I would do no googling in advance to see what to expect. I wanted to go in with zero expectations and just have an honest reaction. One of the reasons I love to travel with a tour is to go to places off the beaten track I may not have been aware of or had the access to otherwise and be blown away by what I find. 

the Secret Lagoon, oldest swimming pool in the Golden Circle, Iceland

I am so glad I did this, although if you reading this it’s already too late for you. The Secret Lagoon, or to use its local name Gamla Laugin, is the oldest swimming pool in Iceland dating back to 1891 in Hverahólmi, a geothermal area near Flúðir. Every drop of water here is replenished after 24 hours, the water is at any time provided by one of three geysers, Vaðmálahver, Básahver, or Litli Geysir. Litli Geysir likes to erupt every few minutes, which is not only amazing to see but really adds to the excitement of swimming in the lagoon.

the Secret Lagoon, oldest swimming pool in the Golden Circle, Iceland

The rules of the Secret Lagoon

We were all excited in the coach on the drive here, singing karaoke and teasing the guy who forgot his swimming trunks. Our tour guide explained the rules and customs of the Secret Lagoon in advance, so there would be no surprises when we arrived. It was made clear to us we would have to shower before we were allowed to enter. However, it wasn’t like a British public swimming pool where you could do it in trunks. Here it was mandatory to shower using soap and be naked before putting on your costume to head into the lagoon. 

the Secret Lagoon, oldest swimming pool in the Golden Circle, Iceland

Testing the waters at the Secret Lagoon

Very quickly we were all changed and showered. Despite the outside temperature being below zero, the waters of the Secret Lagoon feels incredible. Whilst some of my friends had photoshoots on the edges, others formed natural circles for us to talk and swap stories. There are floaties provided and we all had a giggle as our tour guide Francois floated past on a pool noodle, the rest of us lounged and laughed enjoying our beers and trying not to let our beers warm up in the water. The changing room situation was a hot topic, with everyone laughing at how awkward we felt at first, but how silly we were to feel that way. As well as more laughs at the guy who forgot his swim shorts and opted to rent a pair instead. 

As our beers started to empty, we soon all faced an internal debate. Do we get out of the warm water to buy another beer? Or do we have no beer and stay warm? It’s a tough choice. It lead to some resorting to bribery. Getting someone to grab the beer for them, with the promise of paying for theirs too. You pay for your drinks as you leave the Secret Lagoon. Which is great as I dont think my cards are completely waterproof.

Like all good things, our time here had to come to an end. We made our way out of the water and very quickly into the changing rooms to change back. We paid our tabs, returned our towels and made our way back into to van where our karaoke playlist wa set up ready for us and our next adventure.

Secret Lagoon FAQs

How much does entry cost?

The entrance is 3000ISK for an adult.

Do I need to book the Secret Lagoon in advance?

You don’t have to, but there is no guarantee you will be allowed in if you just turn up. If you want to pre-book tickets you can do so directly on the link below with Get Your Guide. Going through the link doesn’t cost you any extra but does mean I get a commission which goes towards supporting the blog.

Can I rent a swimsuit and towel?

Yes if you do forget either a towel or swimsuit, you can rent them from the Secret Lagoons reception. 

Is there a bar?

Yes, there is a bar which can be accessed from the pool if you want to top up your drink mid-soak. It’s not a swim-up bar though so you will have to brave the cold for a bit. 

Is there a restaurant?

No, but there is a cafe with sandwiches and snacks if you are peckish.

Are lockers provided?

Yes, and usage is included in your entrance fee.

Do you have to shower naked before entering the pool?

Yes, this is mandatory and not doing so is considered rude.

What are the opening hours?

Winter Season (from 1st of October to 31st of May)

Open daily from 10:00 to 19:00

Summer Season (from 1st of June to 30th September)

Open daily from 12:00 to 20:00

Will the water affect hair or jewellery?

Unlike at the Blue Lagoon, your hair will be fine in the water at the Secret Lagoon. However it is recommended to leave any silver jewellery in your locker.

Is there parking nearby?

Yes, parking is free and for Secret Lagoon customers only.

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