Iceland's two blue water pools: The Blue Lagoon vs. Mývatn Nature Baths
The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland's biggest tourist attractions. In the Northeast region of the country lies another man made nature bath, Mývatn Nature Baths, also with blue water. Frequent swimmer Dr. Gunni measures the lagoons against each other in Iceland Magazine Versus column.
This text was updated 19 July 2016
What is it?
Blue Lagoon A man 8,700 square meter (94,000 sq ft) made lagoon with 9 million liters of 37-39°C hot geothermal seawater. The bottom is made of white silica mud. The lagoon has some underwater benches and caves to sit in. Also pails of the white mud on the bank to rub on your skin. It is good for you!
Mývatn Nature Baths A man 5,000 square meter (54,000 sq ft.)made lagoon with 3.5 million liters of 36-40°C hot water. The bottom is made of sand and gravel. Some underwater benches.
What is there besides hot water?
Blue Lagoon Skin care shop, clinic for psoriasistreatment, Lava restaurant and bar.
Mývatn Nature Baths Kvika restaurant.
Blue Lagoon The lagoon was formed in 1976 following the operation of the regional heating corporation in Svartsengi geothermal area. Soon people started to sneak into the lagoon and in 1987 the first first modest public bathing facilities opened. The current spa facilities opened in 1999.
Mývatn Nature Baths The baths opened in 2004, but people had been taking baths and steam baths in the area for centuries.
Distance from Reyjavík
Blue Lagoon 45 km
Mývatn Nature Baths 487 km
Blue Lagoon Adults: Standard 50 EUR (summer) 40 EUR (winter) / Teenagers 14-15 years old: Standard 25 EUR (summer/winter)
Mývatn Nature Baths Adults: 4,000 ISK (summer) 3,500 ISK (winter) / Teenagers 13-15 years old: 1,500 ISK (summer), 1,100 ISK (winter)
Blue Lagoon June - Aug 08:00-00:00 / Sept-May 08:00-20:00 (at least some days longer)
Mývatn Nature Baths June-Aug 09:00-24:00 / Sept-May 12:00-22:00
Annual number of guests
Blue Lagoon More than 700,000
Mývatn Nature Baths More than 100,000
Blue Lagoon After clever marketing for a long period the Blue Lagoon has become one of Iceland's most famous landmarks. It is close to the Keflavík airport and Reykjavík so it may become very crowded during peak season. Due to it's pricy admission fee The Blue Lagoon is not much visited by regular Icelanders. But still: it is an unusal and otherworldly place, that lives up to it's legend. Plus, soothing in hot water is always good!
Mývatn Nature Baths The Mývatn baths is more intimate than the Blue lagoon and not as touristic. On the other hand, it is smaller and less picturesque, even though the landscape view is very nice. It is of course further away from Reykjavík and the airport and it is yet to earn its'“must do” status. Still, soothing in hot water is always good!
Meet Icelandic horses at a farm in W. Iceland: Local farm opens perfect petting- and 'selfie stop'
Hellnar on Snæfellsnes one of "25 secret European villages you should visit in your lifetime"
Beautiful video of the Aurora dancing over the Westfjords
Photos: Hraunfossar waterfall in West Iceland is even more beautiful in winter
Stunning 360°panorama from Mývatn lake wins 2nd prize in international drone contest
Epic short film showing surfing under the northern lights and in a blinding blizzard
Spectacular video follows a local ophthalmologist on his Iceland hikes in summer of 2016
Watch: Stunning drone video of waterfalls, cliffs and peaks from around Iceland
Exclusive interview with Björk: "The pain was a journey"
“Jæja” The many meanings of the most important all-purpose Icelandic word you’ll learn
Follow Iceland Mag
Join our weekly hand curated newsletter to have all the latest news from Iceland sent to you
Don't worry, we won't spam you. Promise!
Police puts down cat which was smuggled to Iceland on-board RV by foreign travellers
Make your own skyr!
Spotting puffins: here is our map showing the best places around Iceland
The Aurora season is drawing to a close, but we have a great forecast for tonight, Monday!
Icelandic national parks not looking to charge entry fees, instead charge for parking
An American in Reykjavik: A list of Icelandic souvenirs worth buying
Five new kittens join the cast of reality-TV show Kattarshians, as previous stars find new homes
Watch a selection of the most amazing Hollywood movie scenes shot in Iceland
Magical beauty of Icelandic landscapes captured in this award winning time-lapse video
Superb short film featuring breathtaking drone footage shot along the Ring Road One
Abandoned farm house and a gentle horse — an award winning short travel film