Blue Lagoon: A tourist trap or not?

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Blue Lagoon: A tourist trap or not?

Blue Lagoon: A tourist trap or not?

Yes: "It’s one of the worst parts of traveling: you arrive in a new destination early in the morning, bleary-eyed and sleep-deprived, in desperate want of a shower, but you have hours to kill before you can check into your hotel. Iceland has nicely solved that problem by planting the Blue Lagoon right next to the airport and arranging shuttle buses that will ferry travelers there every fifteen minutes. Yes, it’s overrun with people. Yes, it’s man-made and pales in comparison to Iceland’s many natural pools. But as a first-time visitor to Iceland, I’m glad that I checked the Lagoon off my list. It’s a great way to get introduced to the country (and to its skyr smoothies—get a strawberry one from the swim-up bar), and an even better way to feel relaxed, clean, and energetic on a day when I otherwise would have wandered half-awake through town." -Lilit Marcus, Contributing Digital Editor

No: "The first time I went to Iceland 10 years ago, the Blue Lagoon was the highlight of a trip that was packed full of them. We were so enthralled by the famous mineral-rich, sky-hued water, plunked seemingly in the middle of nowhere (but in reality not too far from the airport) that we visited twice in four days. This time around, I knew things had changed when we were told at check-in that our wristbands could be used to buy drinks at not one, but two swim-up bars. Everyone around us (and we were surrounded–the lagoon was filled to capacity) carried a cocktail in one hand and a water-protected cell phone or GoPro in the other. The vibe was less "uninhabited outer space swimming hole" and more "overpopulated Vegas hotel pool." If it's tranquility you're after, head to Laugarvatn Fontana, a geothermal spa about an hour outside of the city on a steaming lake. It's smaller than the Blue Lagoon, but has unobstructed views, a black sand beach, baths and steam rooms, and far few

No: "The first time I went to Iceland 10 years ago, the Blue Lagoon was the highlight of a trip that was packed full of them. We were so enthralled by the famous mineral-rich, sky-hued water, plunked seemingly in the middle of nowhere (but in reality not too far from the airport) that we visited twice in four days. This time around, I knew things had changed when we were told at check-in that our wristbands could be used to buy drinks at not one, but two swim-up bars. Everyone around us (and we were surrounded–the lagoon was filled to capacity) carried a cocktail in one hand and a water-protected cell phone or GoPro in the other. The vibe was less "uninhabited outer space swimming hole" and more "overpopulated Vegas hotel pool." If it's tranquility you're after, head to Laugarvatn Fontana, a geothermal spa about an hour outside of the city on a steaming lake. It's smaller than the Blue Lagoon, but has unobstructed views, a black sand beach, baths and steam rooms, and far few

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