You’ve probably heard of the Blue Lagoon—Keflavík’s luxurious celeb hangout—but you might not know that there’s another colourful lagoon in the family: Snæfellsnes’s dark horse Green Lagoon. Located on the southern coast of the peninsula, the rustic pool (it’s not really a lagoon) pumps out water blessed with the best medicine you’ll find for your skin anywhere, and with an inviting, casual, and cozy vibe, it’s worth the drive and the affordable 1.000 ISK entrance fee.
A natural green machine
The pool’s official name is Lýsuhólslaug and contains two snug hot tubs and a small swimming pool. Upon entering, you’ll easily see the niche—the Green Lagoon is, uh, green. Before you worry though, we don’t mean bright excess fertilizer dead zone green. No, rather it has a dark forest hue, which upon inspection is created by hosts of mossy algae schmutz floating around. The bottom and sides are coated in this substance, which makes them attractively slimy and mushy on your toes. I instantly felt like a forest nymph taking a soak in my ethereal forest pool. Talk about relaxation.
“The water here is very natural. It just comes up from the ground and we add no chlorine or chemicals,” the girl behind the counter at Lýsuhólslaug tells me. “It’s actually carbonated and has a lot of a green algae called Chlorella in it, which is very good for your skin. Chlorella is full of silica and iron, so if you suffer from skin problems like psoriasis or eczema, it’ll help.”
The chorella revelation
Skeptical? I was. But be assured that Chlorella is no hokey pokey new age drivel. The algae has been clinically proven to improve the production of collagen, reduce the appearance of spider veins (thank God!), and help post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation marks—i.e. acne scars—fade. You can actually pay exorbitant amounts of money all over the internet for fancy Chlorella-laced products, but again, the Green Lagoon is only 1.000 ISK.
This research is all well and good, but does it actually work? While personal stories are no substitute for clinical studies, I can tell you it did for me. I suffer from persistent adult acne because God hates me. My skin is so sensitive that I was even worried to get in the pool—what if it messed with my carefully curated routine? That said, my skin felt hydrated and silky smooth after my soak and in the days after, it stayed calm. Persistent spots cleared up—even some pesky milia.
The three teens working there—two girls and one boy—agreed on the healing properties of the Green Lagoon fountain of youth. “We all grew up here and went to the school next door,” one told me. “We were actually talking about this a few days ago. Nobody in our school had any acne problems.” They all start to giggle. “Well except for him.” One girl adds pointing to the boy in their group. He shrugs. “I never went to the pool though.”
A gooey relaxation session
If skin rejuvenation isn’t enough, the pool also has Flothetta hats on offer, which are swimming caps designed to allow you to float effortlessly in water. I tried one for the first time at Lýsuhólslaug and became absolutely hooked. I work on my computer for a living, which guarantees a tense neck and upper back muscles, but within moments of lying on the surface with my Flothetta cap on, I began to relax. After twenty minutes, I felt like a nimble yogi. It was an A+ experience, one I wish I could do everyday.
My conclusion on this unique pool is that if you’re looking for something fancy and spa-like, the Blue Lagoon is your best bet. But if you want something a little more natural and—I hesitate to use this word—authentic, the Green Lagoon will not disappoint. If anything, it’s something you won’t get anywhere else in the world. Plus, freedom from acne and total relaxation? How can you say no?
Distance from Reykjavík: 159km
How to get there: Route One North then Route 54
Lýsuhólslaug is open everyday from 11:00-20:30.