The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa located in southwestern Iceland, known for its bright blue waters and unique setting in a lava field. The lagoon is filled with mineral-rich water that is heated by the earth’s natural geothermal activity and is known for its therapeutic properties.
Today, the Blue Lagoon is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland, attracting over a million visitors each year.
How to Visit the Blue Lagoon Iceland
Should you visit the Blue Lagoon when visiting Iceland? Is it really worth it? And how do you visit the Blue Lagoon? We answer those questions and more after visiting this famous geothermal spa.
Where is the Blue Lagoon?
The Blue Lagoon is located between the capital city of Reykjavik and the Iceland International airport. It is located within the Reykjanes UNESCO Geopark and is 50 minutes from Reykjavík and just 20 minutes from Keflavík Airport.
It was our last day in Iceland when we visited the Blue Lagoon. We didn’t fly out of the country until 5:30 pm and we had yet to visit the legendary geothermal seawater spa. Before our long flight home, it was wonderful to soothe our travel-weary muscles under the massaging waterfall, in the sauna, and steam room.
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
The Blue Lagoon is located near a geothermal power plant called Svartsengi. Iceland gets much of its power from geothermal energy. It’s a volcanic country that is very active and the land is still developing, so there is a lot of heat going on under the surface. The Svartsengi power plant generates energy for 21,000 households in the area and supplies the Blue Lagoon.
Every two days, a new batch of superheated water filled with minerals like sulfur and silica flows into the lagoon from the power station. And boy, can you ever smell the sulfur. It’s a strong stench that you have to get used to.
Unlike other hot springs around Iceland, the Blue Lagoon does not get its hot water naturally. It is all fed from a power plant. That must be a lot of power because this lagoon is huge.
We were surprised by the size of the pool. The entire Lagoon is immense at 8700 square meters (93,646 square feet). 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.
The Blue Lagoon has beautiful milky blue water like nothing we have ever seen. It may be man-made, but it is beautiful.
When Should You Visit The Blue Lagoon?
If you want to experience the Blue Lagoon at its busiest and most lively, the best time to go is during the summer months of June, July, and August. These months have the longest days and the weather is generally warm and sunny, making it a great time to enjoy the outdoor hot springs. However, these months can also be crowded and the prices for accommodation and activities may be higher.
If you prefer a more peaceful and intimate experience, consider visiting the Blue Lagoon in the shoulder seasons of spring or autumn. The weather is still pleasant and you will avoid the crowds and peak season prices. The Blue Lagoon is also a popular destination in the winter months when the water is at its warmest and the surrounding landscape is covered in a blanket of snow. The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are also more visible in the winter months, making it a great time to visit if you want to combine your Blue Lagoon experience with a Northern Lights tour.
Overall, the best time to visit the Blue Lagoon is subjective and depends on your personal preferences and budget. Keep in mind that the weather in Iceland can be unpredictable and it is advisable to bring warm and waterproof clothing regardless of the season.
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 into 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. The Blue Lagoon is not a part of the itinerary, but the Blue Lagoon can easily be incorporated into any Iceland itinerary.
Can You Visit the Blue Lagoon at Night?
The Blue Lagoon Iceland at night is a truly magical experience. As the sun sets, the warm, milky blue waters of the lagoon seem to glow in the darkness, creating an otherworldly atmosphere. The steam rising from the water creates a misty, dreamlike atmosphere that is both calming and invigorating.
At night, the Blue Lagoon is particularly peaceful, as the crowds tend to thin out and the ambiance becomes more intimate. Visitors can relax in the warm waters, soak up the minerals, and feel the stress of the day melting away.
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. This makes the experience even more special.
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 at the Blue Lagoon Retreat 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 1200€ 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 overnight at the Blue Lagoon. Prices start at €500 per night.
What to Expect When you Arrive at the Blue Lagoon
When we arrived at the entrance to the Blue Lagoon, 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.
To add insult to injury, the bus tours that came in after we were rushed through the turnstile as well. Don’t do what we did, instead, book your ticket ahead of time so you can skip the ticket line. This Blue Lagoon Entry ticket includes access to the lagoon with a towel and silica mud mask. (yes towels are extra if you don’t book in advance.)
What Does it Cost to Enter the Blue Lagoon?
While we waited, we had to make a difficult choice. Which package do we choose to visit the Blue Lagoon? We wanted to enjoy ourselves, but it was extremely expensive for a dip in a big hot tub. The cheapest Blue Lagoon tour was €35. That gets you in and that’s about it.
We finally decided to compromise and take the middle-priced comfort package at €72 per person. This gave us access to the Blue Lagoon, a robe, a towel, a face mask, and 1 free drink. We didn’t even get to keep the slippers!
Packages at the Blue Lagoon
- Comfort: Blue Lagoon – 8,490 ISK (€56). It includes entrance to the Blue Lagoon Silica mud mask, use of towel, and 1 drink.
- Premium: Blue Lagoon – 10,990 ISK(€72). It includes entrance to the Blue Lagoon, Silica mud mask, plus two additional masks, use of twoer, 1 drink, and 1 glass of sparkling wine plus use of a bathrobe.
- Luxury Retreat Spa – 59,000 ISK (€390) – Includes access to the Blue Lagoon, The Blue Lagoon Spa, Retreat Lounge, private changing room, skincare amenities, 1 drink, and access to 5 Subterranean spaces.
Once we finally entered the spa, Dave and I 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. For hygiene purposes, you are required to shower naked before accessing the bathing and swimming area of the lagoon. And it is highly recommended to slather your hair with conditioner before going into the hot springs. This was our first Blue Lagoon visit so we heeded the advice. 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
You get one towel included with your stay, and we suggest you leave your towel in your locker. We opted for the robe package and we are glad that we did. The air was cool and between dips, in the hot pool, we were happy to have a robe to wrap ourselves in.
So bring only 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. After having to shower naked 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.
To make sure we had a good chance of finding them again, Dave and I hung our robes together and stuffed them in the back so nobody would accidentally mix them up. With the chill in the air, we then got in the hot water as quickly as possible.
Inside the Hot Pool
Everyone who enters the Blue Lagoon wears different electronic bracelets depending on what your package includes. Ours included a drink at the pool bar, so we made our way there first since it seemed like a good place to start.
Our €72 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 for 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 faces and realized that we didn’t necessarily need the Silica mask. I’m not sure what the difference was between the mud we bought and the mud in the pool, but if you are on a budget you can skip our package.
We probably spent an extra €10 for each for 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
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 or 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 behind us. For the short time the water beat on our shoulders, it did feel good.
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 was up, I was happy to leave.
There are three restaurants at the Blue Lagoon. The Spa Restaurant at the Retreat Spa, The Lava Restaurant featuring Icelandic Cuisine in a classic volcanic setting, and the Michelin-recommended Moss Restaurant overlook the lagoon from the highest point of the Blue Lagoon.
Blue Lagoon Retreat Spa
The Blue Lagoon spa has other areas that offer premium experiences. The Blue Lagoon Retreat Spa is a quieter more exclusive experience and if you want to have a bucket list experience, this is it.
We highly recommend getting out of the one large pool to enjoy some of the quieter spa amenities. It has the feel of a Scandinavian Spa complete with experiencing the elements in the Ritual Cycle.
At the Retreat Spa, you have an entire experience with body scrubs. You’ll cover your body with Silica, Algae, and mineral scrub to rejuvenate your skin.
The Blue Lagoon Retreat Spa gives you access to a quieter sanctuary of the Blue Lagoon. Its five subterranean spaces offer complete relaxation.
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- Spa Etiquette – From Stripping to Tipping
The Blue Lagoon is very busy, so if you are planning a trip to Iceland, we recommend booking your treatments in advance. You can choose everything from the floating therapy pool in the mineral rich water of the Blue Lagoon Spa, and various massage, beauty, and skin care treatments. All of these treatments can be booked a the Blue Lagoon Spa.
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
Leaving the Blue Lagoon is actually time-consuming. 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 panic set in 10 minutes and 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.
- Need some advice? Spa Etiquette – From Stripping to Tipping
Tips for Visiting the Blue Lagoon, Iceland
- Go Early and think of Pre-Booking: Afternoons are the busiest time to visit the Blue Lagoon seems 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 wristband to run a tab. Then pay for them when you leave. But is drinking alcohol in a hot tub a good idea? It was 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 €56 entrance fee was 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 plenty.
- Or better yet, book an overnight stay to enjoy all of the finer things like the Moss Restaurant, The Blue Lagoon Spa, and quiet moments in the swimming facilities.
Blue Lagoon Iceland Quick Tips
A day visit package starts at ISK 8490 (€56). We took the premium package at ISK 10990 (€72) for extra perks. There is also a more luxurious package for ISK 59,000 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 in the bathing and swimming area is between 37-39C (99 -102F)
There are two hotels at the Blue Lagoon, the Retreat Hotel, and the Silica Hotel.
Would we go back to the Blue Lagoon again? No way! Am I glad we went? Hell Yes! Not going to the Blue Lagoon, 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. 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 give the traveler the freedom to explore on their own while staying in comfort at hotels and B&Bs.
Plan Your Next Trip to Iceland With These Resources
- The Icelandic Horse-Pure Beauty
- Iceland Travel Guide
- 13 Unique Places To Visit In Iceland
- Diving in Silfra – Iceland Underwater
- What to Pack for a Winter Trip to Iceland
- Iceland – Experience the Land of Fire and Ice
- Mighty Not to Miss Iceland Waterfalls
- Iceland Pictures – Incredible Images of Mind-Blowing Beauty
- The Icelandic Horse – All you Need to Know About This Beautiful Breed
31 thoughts on “The Blue Lagoon Iceland – Your Ultimate Guide”
We have visited Blue Lagoon several times in the past and enjoyed our visits.
On one occasion the weather was poor and we contacted them to see if it was possible to change date to the following year when we would be visiting Iceland again. They were very obliging and agreed.
This year the same thing happened, it was pouring with rain and had gale force winds, so we contacted them with a view to changing dates. Their policy has changed and they do not change dates to the next year, even for visitors who are leaving Iceland the next day! They would do nothing, so we were left with visiting the Lagoon in gale force winds that made the heavy rain feel like bullets on your face and body – not a pleasant experience!
Over the years Blue Lagoon has changed from a novel, fun experience to a very commercially minded organisation only interested in extracting as much money as possible from its customers and offering minimal customer care.
As well as the above, they no longer offer a simple entry to the Lagoon, only the more expensive packages at higher prices.
Also beware of their cancellation policy – you have to make contact at least 24 hours in advance which can be difficult in Iceland where the mobile phone coverage is limited to say the least. However, there’s no point in waiting until the day to decide if you want to go as they are often sold out at the popular times!
Iceland has many other thermal spas on offer, some of which are free, you would be well advised to seek them out before signing up to the Blue Lagoon.
I would say thanks for the tips. It is a quite informative blog! I will keep all the tips in my mind. And, the Blue Lagoon is one of those places which I included in my list….first
I was very disappointed in my Blue Lagoon experience. The lagoon itself and the surroundings are impressive, It was the throngs of badly behaved visitors that ruined the experience for me. The facility was very very crowded, lines for everything, even though we arrived at 5pm. I witnessed people spitting on the ground, women screaming at the top their lungs in the shower, a carnival type atmosphere in the pools with people drinking beer, posting live on Facebook and just generally rowdy. The pool seemed dirty, with long black hairs floating on the surface of the water. I saw women who showered without removing their suits, which is in violation of the strict Icelandic rules for pool hygiene as the water is not chlorinated. Not a relaxing or restorative experience which is what I had imagined. It seems most are there just because it is the thing to do in Iceland. I had previously visited other thermal pools frequented by locals and the atmosphere was quiet, relaxing and peaceful. Very expensive and only for tourists in my view.
Oh no! People spitting on the ground is terrible. It’s true, it’s just too crowded. That’s too bad it was so rowdy when you were there. We had a very crowded experience, but people were well behaved. And I think you are right, it is just “the thing to do” and people don’t think of it as the magical experience it should be. I have no idea what Iceland can do about it. Perhaps they can limit the daily visitors and you must book ahead of time, but that causes a whole new problem. I don’t know how they will solve it. Iceland is just a very very popular place right now. The Blue Lagoon experience might get better in the coming years when the world population moves onto the next hot spot. Thanks for sharing your experience.
It makes happy to see that you weren’t impressed with the Blue Lagoon as it seems like one of those places you’re supposed to love. I didn’t enjoy it, and I advise people against visiting as well. In case your readers are interested, here are a few thoughts I have about visiting the less famous thermal pools scattered throughout the rest of Iceland:
Thanks for sharing JoAnna, that will be a great resource for everyone.
We went to the Blue Lagoon about an hour before closing. They actually let you stay for 30 minutes beyond closing. We practically had the place to ourselves and there is a discount for going late. I agree you should do it once, but I loved the natural hot springs we tried out in North Iceland much more.
That is what we had heard as well. The thermal springs in the North were much better. We didnt’ manage to find any ourselves though. It didn’t help that we were snowed in a day and then had some terrible weather for another few days. We had fallen behind on our trip around the ring road, we had a lot of time to make up and missed getting to truly explore the area.
Aw, I would give it a go. It shouldn’t be missed for sure because it’s all about the experience.
Very true, it’s good to know a little bit before you go. If you have some tips, you’ll have a better time than us. We didn’t really do enough research on it before going and would have had a much better time had we done so.
I have gazed longingly at pictures from the Blue Lagoon for a long time. Thank you for your insight and shedding light on what to expect.
Thanks Joanne, the water is quite extraordinary to see.
Aw, I loved the Blue Lagoon – tourist trap or not! I got a package similar to yours, a bit more pricey probably, as it included a lunch at the buffet (delicious). I loved that we had access to big towels since I travel with a teeny travel towel, and we got to have champagne, which was just perfect. And the masks included in the pricier packages are different to the masks you get for free in the pool 😉 I loved to do both, but maybe I’m too much of a girl! I love the ending to the post, though. Because of the price, I probably wouldn’t go back, but you *do* have to go if you visit Iceland 🙂
Yes, there was another package that included food. I would have brought a towel from our hotel next time for sure. You are right, the masks are different, but I really do wonder how much better they are. It’s wonderful that you loved your experience though too. It’s good to be a girl and enjoy and with the right planning I think the Blue Lagoon can definitely be enjoyed.
The blue lagoon looks good but like you I can’t stand the smell of sulfur. It makes my nose turn red if I were exposed in a minute. So sad.
I only had a short stopover in Iceland and thought… “Hmm, I’m not really that into swimming and I don’t want to ruin my hair.”
I think I made the right choice!
We went to some kind of hot springs spa type place in New Zealand, and while the warm water does feel nice, it was too crowded and just felt awkward the whole time. I imagine this to be even worse. It does look beautiful, but I don’t think it’ll be top priority whenever I make it to Iceland. Thanks for letting us know!
We went to Iceland during the shoulder season, April, and it seems like when it comes to the Blue Lagoon, this must be the time to visit. At least if you don’t want the line ups. We went during the early afternoon and basically waltzed in, enjoyed the place, then left without every having to line up more than a few minutes.
Lucky you! that’s the time to go. We were there in shoulder season too, September, but I think Iceland is becoming more popular each year. Maybe September/October is starting to be more like high season? Or maybe our timing was just bad.
Wow- sounds like a very unique experience. Did you ever feel like the lagoon was crowded? Do you know if there are other less commercialized lagoons around?
Great tips! Like you, I would want to visit because the colour looks fantastic, and now I can be that bit more prepared 🙂
We have been and had a good time. As you said it’s not something you would do twice, but worth the one off.
I remember parts of the pond that were really really hot, and some parts quite cold. It was a weird feeling.
Thanks for the tips! Blue Lagoon is one of those places that I am not sure if I should include it in my list, although it seems to be a “must do”! So, I guess once I am there, I will probably draw similar conclusions as you.
Thanks for the great review! After seeing so many stunning photos of the blue lagoon, I have always wanted to include it in future Iceland itineraries – and while I likely will do, I will take a different and far more prepared approach thanks to you two!
Seems like an amazing experience, and I think I could even imagine myself justifying paying 65 euros/dollars for it. Read about Greenland and know this and now I am starting to dream myself away already…definitely a clear sign of a fantastic travel blog!
That steam room w/ the sulfur smell sounds like a preview of hell, haha.
What makes the water so blue? What have you painted your faces with? Looks like a fun experience!
I know what you mean about the smell!! Definitely takes getting used to. I haven’t been to Iceland before (but I just bought flights for next year!) but I spent a night in some natural hot springs in Granada in Spain. It was literally just holes in the mud lit up by the stars and a few car headlights but it was amazing.
I hear what you’re saying about it not being somewhere to go to twice, but I reckon I’ll give it a shot when I get there. I’ll have to remember to get there early!
well, for me it would have worth – drinking a cold beer in a hot water seems the perfect thing to do :P!
I couldn’t agree more. It’s not the kind of place you’d go back to but you definitely have to see it once. Also agree with the first thing in the morning tip. I arrived at about 9.40am (had an early morning flight into Reykjavik) and we were one of the first in the water and definitely the first at the bar – beer at 10am is allowed when you’re on holiday, right?
We visited Iceland last month and absolutely loved it. While we didn’t go in (as my girlfriend sometimes passes out from hot tubs, saunas, etc), we stopped by to check out the view. It is a very surreal place and unlike anything you can see anywhere else. I agree that the pricetag is a little steep (but that’s Iceland I guess). Many people we met and talked to recommended going to one of the public pools in Reykjavik instead. They were very fun – the people are great and the cost is next to nothing ($3-5). Glad to hear that you liked Iceland, it is an amazing place. Safe Travels!