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Blue Lagoon or Fontana Hot Springs? Preference?

Planning a first time visit, 3 day stopover in Iceland on my way to Portugal in late September 2023. I will be solo and plan to take day tours/excursions from Reykjavik to include a hot spring/spa experience for a couple of hours. Of the two places I’m looking at: Blue Lagoon and Fontana springs, which experience is your preference? pros and cons helpful

Thank you

Posted by
6520 posts

We opted for Fontana, so I haven’t been to the Blue Lagoon, but Fontana offers:

It’s a natural spring, not run-off from a power plant.

There are saunas, and steam bath rooms, in addition to several soaking pools.

You can even do the jump in bracing cold water, then back into the warm, a Scandinavian tradition for the full experience.

Our visit picked us up at our Reykjavik hotel, took us by bus, and included optional buffet dinner at Fontana. The Warm Baths and Cool Lights tour https://www.cooltraveliceland.com/tour/warm-baths-cool-lights-with-dinner-buffet/ was supposed to also include Northern Lights viewing (in early April), but it remained so overcast that night that the Lights weren’t visible, and we got back to the hotel a bit early, before midnight.

Posted by
1222 posts

I have not been to Fontana, but have done Blue Lagoon twice. BL is ok, but I would opt for Fontana of the two.

Have you looked at Secret Lagoon which is not far from Fontana, or Secret Lagoon which is in Reykjavik? We have been to both of those and loved them both. We have done Sky twice.

Don't forget the local pools right in town. We have visited Sundhollin which we loved! I would not do this in place of one of the larger places, but it is a wonderful addition to a day in town, and they open early and stay open late, so you could even go before you started out for the day.

Posted by
1020 posts

Thank you for the name of the public pool you enjoyed (Sundhollin) and the endorsement of Fontana. Like you said, it’s really nice that the public pool has great hours of operation. I’m looking forward to really relaxing after my flight from Seattle and the pool in town sounds like just the ticket.

Posted by
1020 posts

Looking at a tour by Reykjavik Excursions for the Golden Circle & Fontana Springs. They have other tours that also include Sky Lagoon. Argh! So many choices.

Posted by
198 posts

I've been to all the Lagoons mentioned, with the exception of the Secret Lagoon. I don't think there's a bad apple in the bunch, it's really just personal preference of how crowded or intimate you'd prefer your experience to be. I really loved Fontana, because when I was there, it was very few tourists and mostly locals. The locals get a discounted pass, as it is considered their town pools. The population of Laugervatn is very little.
I also absolutely adored Sky Lagoon though, definitely more luxurious than Fontana, more secluded feeling, but I was there when it first opened, and I assume the crowds are larger now. Blue Lagoon is the OG of the bunch, and there you'll find visitors from all over the world. It is quite massive in scale though, nothing much intimate or secluded feeling about the public areas.

Do take Mikliz' advice and enjoy the public pools though. It is so incredibly relaxing, and you'll really get a true feel of the pool culture of Icelanders who incorporate the healing power of the hot baths into their daily lives. All are heated, so even in the middle of winter, you can swim in the pool or soak in the hot pots. If you're lucky, you might even catch the schoolchildren having their swimming lessons!

Whichever you choose, I'm certain you'll love it! Enjoy 😉