Should you visit the Blue Lagoon in Iceland? Is it really worth it? We answer those questions and more after visiting this famous geothermal spa.
It was our last day in Iceland. We didn’t fly out of the country until 5:30 pm and we had yet to visit the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. Luckily the Blue Lagoon is located between Reykjavik and the Iceland International airport. Since our car rental return was at the airport, we checked out of our hotel early and set off to experience the hot thermal baths of Iceland’s most famous attraction, the Blue lagoon.
About The Blue Lagoon Iceland
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Iceland gets much of its power from geothermal energy. It’s a volcanic country that is very busy still developing, so there is a lot of heat going on under the surface. However, the Blue Lagoon does not get its hot water naturally. It is actually fed from a power plant.
The Blue Lagoon is located near a geothermal power plant called Svartsengi. It is not fed from natural hot springs. A new batch of superheated water filled with minerals like sulfur and silica flows into the lagoon every two days from the power station. And boy, can you ever smell the sulfur. It’s a strong stench that you have to get used to.
The Blue Lagoon has beautiful milky blue water like nothing we have ever seen. It may be man made, but it is beautiful.
We were surprised by the size of the pool. The Blue Lagoon is immense. There are little nooks and crannies that you can explore or sit in carved out shallow pools surrounded by a waterfall, steam room, sauna, and a quiet sitting area with a pool bar in the center of it all.
How to Get to the Blue Lagoon
It’s easy to get to the Blue Lagoon from the airport and most people either pop over from the city of Reykjavik or pop in while traveling to and from their flight from Keflavík International Airport which is nearby. We saw more than one person on our plane during our flight out that we bumped in to in the pool.
Our tour company, Iceland Travel leaves it up to you if you want to visit this crowded tourist attraction during your trip around the Golden Circle. It’s not a part of itinerary, but the Blue Lagoon can easily be incorporated to any Iceland itinerary. Read these 15 Interesting Facts About Iceland
How to Enjoy Iceland’s Blue Lagoon
You’ll find that most people visit the famous thermal waters either as soon as they arrive in Iceland or on their way to the airport on the way home. But now that there are hotels at the Blue Lagoon, people are actually making overnight retreats to Iceland’s Blue Lagoon.
Hotels at the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon Retreat is a five-star hotel that opened in 2018. The luxurious escape overlooks the lagoon and stands high enough to see the lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula Your stay includes access to the Blue Lagoon, and Private Retreat Lagoon. There are daily yoga classes and group hikes into the lava field.
It has a steep price at 1000€ per night, but if you are only in Iceland once and want to experience the geothermal spa as it once was in peace and quiet, this would be the way to go. There are even exclusive caves to enjoy at the. Imagine staying in luxury and having the thermal springs all to yourself as you enjoy the northern lights dancing over the lava fields while sipping champagne as you relax at the famous Blue Lagoon.
The other hotel at the Blue Lagoon is the Silica Hotel. Just a 10 minute walk from the Blue Lagoon, nestled among the lava fields this award-winning hotel is an excellent option when staying over night at the Blue Lagoon.
What to Expect When you Arrive at the Blue Lagoon
When we arrived at the entrance we had to deal with a long line. This is to be expected as it is one of the top attractions in Iceland. People walked down the line asking if anyone had a coupon, and those who did, were escorted to the front of the queue while the rest of us looked on with sad puppy dog eyes. (I gotta find out what that coupon is all about) To add insult to injury, the bus tours that came in after us were rushed through the turnstile as well. Get the latest Lonely Planet Travel Guide to Iceland
What Does it Cost to Enter the Blue Lagoon
While we waited, we had to make a difficult choice. Which package do we take? We wanted to enjoy ourselves, but it was extremely expensive for a dip in a big hot tub. The cheapest Blue Lagoon package was €35. That gets you in and that’s about it.
We finally decided to compromise and take the middle priced package at €65 per person. This gave us a robe, a towel, a face mask, and 1 free drink. We didn’t even get to keep the slippers!
Shower and Safety at the Blue Lagoon
Once we finally entered the spa, we went out separate ways to our changing rooms to slip into our bathing suits and lock our stuff in the provided lockers.
Everyone gets access to lockers to lock their valuables away. And it is highly recommended to slather your hair with conditioner when you shower before going into the hot springs. The water in the Blue Lagoon is filled with strong minerals.
The minerals in the Blue Lagoon make your hair brittle, so it was suggested that those with long hair especially, make sure to put the conditioner from the provided dispenser in and leave it in. But don’t worry, the minerals won’t ruin your hair, it will just be annoying to spend the rest of the day with hard hair. Not fun when flying home.
Leave Your Towel in Your Locker
Leave your towel in your locker and just bring your robe with you. You’ll need that towel at the end and you’ll just end up losing it when you are out at the pools. Have a Short time in Iceland? Buy the guide – 72 Hours in Reykjavik on Amazon
The Blue Lagoon Experience
We met up outside and walked out into the cold. I was happy for my robe but when I saw the sea of other robes hanging on the hooks, I wasn’t sure I’d get the right one back when I was done. Dave and I hung our robes together and stuffed them in the back then got in the hot water as quickly as possible.
Inside the Hot Pool
We only had about two hours in the water before we had to leave for the airport so we went straight to the pool bar. Everyone who enters the Blue Lagoon wears different electronic bracelets depending on what your package includes.
Our €65 package gave us a free drink and a free silica mud mask. The bartender swiped our bracelets and gave us our mud masks and glass of beer. (In a plastic glass for safety of course)
Drink Packages at the Blue Lagoon
After covering our faces with the healing mud, we took our beers and went to a walk around the giant lagoon as we let the minerals harden on our skin.
The water changes temperatures in different areas of the pool. Whenever we found an exceptionally warm spot, we’d stop and enjoy the moment.
Healing Muds of the Blue Lagoon
When we went over to the far side of the pool, we saw people scooping out white minerals and smoothing it on their own face and realized that we had just been ‘had.’
We probably spent an extra €10 for each our ‘included mud mask’ and here we could do it ourselves for free! That’s a big strike against buying the more expensive package.
Amenities at the Blue Lagoon – Sauna and Steam Room
Once we finished our beer, we washed off our faces and went over to the steam room. Oh, how I love a steam room. I could sit in them for hours. But not at the Blue Lagoon. The steam room had too strong of a sulfur stench for me and we lasted about 5 minutes. It wasn’t inviting nor beautiful and we just wanted out.
The sauna was nice, yet small. There are hundreds of people in the lagoon at once and both the steam room and sauna only hold 8 people at a time. After more people piled in, we felt uncomfortable and left.
We really wanted to try out the hot waterfall and let it massage our aching shoulders from our 12 days of driving, but the line was long and by the time we stood underneath we had lost interest.
We didn’t last very long and we felt pressure to move on since there was a long queue.
We tried the cold mist shower for fun and then got back in the pool to walk around before calling it a day.
When we first arrived, I was sad that we didn’t have a longer time at the Blue Lagoon, but by the time our couple of hours were up, I was happy to leave.
The Quiet Room at the Blue Lagoon
We tried sitting in the quiet room for a bit, but there weren’t many chairs and we had to stand and wait for one to become free.
Finally, a chair opened up, but it was only one. So I told Dave to sit back and relax. I’d go ahead and have a shower and take my time blow drying my hair.
I grabbed my robe and off I went back to the ladies locker room. My Iceland Blue Lagoon experience was over and Dave’s was nearly done.
Leaving the Blue Lagoon
We were about 20 minutes ahead of schedule so I felt confident that we’d make it to the airport in time to return our car. But to my surprise, there was a queue to get out of the Blue Lagoon! Good thing we didn’t stop in the lava restaurant to grab a quick glass of sparkling wine!
As the minutes ticked down, I felt the panic set in. 10 minutes, 15 minutes went by as we stood in line. Finally, we reached the front of the line. They scanned our bracelets and told us we were free to go.
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Would we go back to the Blue Lagoon again? No way! Am I glad we went? Hell Yes! Not going to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland is like not going up the Eiffel Tower in Paris. You have to see it once.
It may not live up to your expectations, but it’s something that needs to be seen.
Blue Lagoon Iceland Quick Tips
A day visit package starts at ISK 6,990 (€51). We took the premium package at ISK 9 900 (€73) for extra perks. There is also a more luxurious package for ISK 79,000 giving access to the Retreat Spa as well as the lagoon.
We found that the water fluctuated in temperature as we walked around the massive lagoon. We found hot and cooler temperatures throughout. But it is said that the temperature is between 37-39C (99 -102F)
There are two hotels at the Blue Lagoon, the Retreat Hotel and the Silica Hotel.
Tips for Visiting the Blue Lagoon in Iceland
- Go Early and thing of Pre Booking: Afternoons are the busiest time to visit the Blue Lagoon seem like the busy time and the time for tour buses to arrive.
- Don’t bother paying for the robe/face mask/drink package – It was a waste. You don’t need the robe. Once you take it off at the beginning of the day, you don’t wear it again until you leave.
- Bring your own towel – There is a charge for towels, but you can bring your own.
- We recommend two bringing two towels. One to dry off after your Blue Lagoon experience. They won’t let you back in if you are dripping wet. The second towel is to dry off after your shower.
- Drinks: If you want drinks you can use your wrist band to run a tab. Then pay for them when you leave. But is drinking alcohol in a hot tub a good idea? It’s expensive and we really didn’t need it.
- Water: Bring a bottle of water. For a country that boasts so much about its clean water, they’re pretty stingy. You’d think they’d offer free water fountains or coolers for their guests.
- Don’t fall for the coupon scam. We thought our €65 entrance fee because they gave us a coupon for a mud mask. It ended up being a €5 discount for products in the shop that sells for a fortune.
- Give yourself a lot of time at the Blue Lagoon. We thought we had plenty of time but it went quickly. We arrived after lunch thinking 3 hours would be plent
- Or better yet, book an overnight stay to enjoy all of the finer things like the Moss Restaurant and quiet moments in the pool.
Our Blue Lagoon experience was rushed and hectic, but a girl can still dream.
Our tour through Iceland was courtesy of Iceland Travel. The Iceland Odyssey and the Wonders of the West self-drive tour around the ring road gives the traveler the freedom to explore on their own while staying in comfort at hotels and B&B’s.
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