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Iceland Mag

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Iceland's two blue water pools: The Blue Lagoon vs. Mývatn Nature Baths

By Dr. Gunni

  • Blue Lagoon is on Reykjanes peninsula. Photo/Blue Lagoon

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. 

Mývatn Nature Baths are in north Iceland. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson

What is there besides hot water?
Blue Lagoon Skin care shop, clinic for psoriasistreatment, Lava restaurant and bar.
Mývatn Nature Baths Kvika restaurant.

Background
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

Admission fee
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) 

Opening hours
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

Websites
Blue Lagoon bluelagoon.com
Mývatn Nature Baths jardbodin.is

Experience
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!

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