Do you know that the famous Blue Lagoon in Reykjavik isn't the only blue geothermal water in Iceland?
The water of the Blue Lagoon is blue because of the way silica in the water reflects visible light when suspended in water. This is also true for the Myvatn Nature Baths near Lake Myvatn just off the Ring Road. The waters are mineral rich.
We decided NOT to enjoy the Blue Lagoon while we were in Reykjavik for a couple of reasons. One is that I wasn't sure if it was a bit of an overpriced cliche since it became so social media famous. I expected it to be overpriced, and compared to Myvatn Nature Baths, it IS actually quite a bit more expensive. At the time of this writing the Blue Lagoon costs $65 USD for admission, which is $20 more. I had also read in other people's blog they felt it was slimy, and there was hair, so I concluded the population pressure based on it's proximity to the largest city in Iceland made it that way. I came to learn that the 'slimy' feeling is related to the silica content of the water.
Opened in 2004, Myvatn Nature Baths, even though it is not the oldest of the lagoons we visited, it felt older and more dated. The locker situation was not ideal. Instead of the fancy digital bracelets that we wore for Forest Lagoon, Sky Lagoon and Geo Sea and that operated everything, Myvatn gave us a coin slug to operate the lockers. We immediately ran into trouble. My daughter dropped her slug into my locker, then i did too, so it got stuck and wouldn't work. Half dressed I had to toddle out to reception to request another locker coin, which they readily gave me then an attendant met me in the locker room. She jimmied the locker and discovered there were actually 3 coins in our locker and she couldn't get them out. So she gave me another coin and I had the same problem for the next locker. This time, I made HER pick the locker and everything was fine.
We still wore the digital bracelets to buy fancy, colorful drinks at the swim up bar, but they didn't automatically charge the credit card. We had to manually check out when we left the lagoon.
The blue waters are just something spectacular to behold. The color is so pretty. The health benefits documented.
Compared to the other lagoons we visited on this trip, we felt the waters at Myvatn were slightly cooler. There was a separate hotter 'pool' that was a concrete rectangle off to the side. They offer a very nice, large steam room with a window view on to the lagoon. We were disappointed there was no dry sauna and no cold plunge here
Good thing is, there are some spectacular upgrade and expansion plans for the Myvatn Nature Baths. They are adding significant more lagoon space. Hopefully it will include the sauna and cold plunge.
The swim up bar offered yummy drinks both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
Also, Myvatn Nature Baths was unique compared to our other lagoons because the views were of more barren nature of the lava field kind. My family wasn't as enamored with that but I wasn't bothered.
After our soak, we lunched in their casual, self-serve Cafe Kvika and the food was great! I had some of the special Icelandic pumpernickel-ish/cake bread with smoked salmon on it and cup of Tom Yum soup with bun. There were juices, smoothies and plenty of other offerings. Lots of seating both inside and out. Again, no photos of me and the family here because I just didn't want to deal with my phone and the water....I wanted to lounge and enjoy myself, so I went out and took pictures of the lagoon from the cafe patio at lunch.
Lastly, compared to the lagoons in more proximity to a city, Myvatn Nature Baths was definitely somewhat less populated. It didn't feel crowded at all. Each lagoon has it's own distinct personality.
We loved it for all its idiosyncratic ways, because you are still getting all the benefits of the 'waters' and we enjoyed the added element of the silica. Myvatn has these little 'horseshoes' where you can gather your group, park your drink on a shelf and sort of have a private area to soak.
Jarðbaðshólar, 660 Mývatn
+354 464 4411
About $42 USD
towel and bathrobe rental options available as well as bundling in a drink from the bar with your admission