Visiting the Blue Lagoon
Visiting the Blue Lagoon in Iceland was an interesting experience for a lot of reasons. Travel purists will eschew the lagoon for it’s commercialized and touristy experience. Hubby and I had visited the Seljavallaug pool at the base of the Eyatfoyujokull volcano already, during our week in Iceland. It was the exact opposite experience. But it didn’t make the Blue Lagoon a bad experience, or one I would want to skip.
It’s important to note that the Blue Lagoon is a man made lagoon that is supplied by the excess water from a nearby geothermal plant. The water temperatures are like a mild hot tub, an average of about 100 degrees Farenheit. You can find other more natural pools all over Iceland if you are so inclined. We visited the Blue Lagoon on our last morning in Reykjavik before our afternoon flight back to the United States. We were picked up at 8am from our hotel, then changed to a larger bus at the main station that took us to the Blue Lagoon. Because the Blue Lagoon is inbetween Reykjavik and the Blue Lagoon our luggage made the trip too, we wouldn’t double back.
You must purchase your timed entry Blue Lagoon tickets online a few days before, especially in the busy summer season. Their website is easy to add on transportation or other extras. There is a small building out by the parking lot to check large luggage. So we checked our large luggage and proceeded down the path to the entrance. We each had a small backpack with swimsuit, flip flops, and a few things to help me look decent for the plane ride home. After checking in, we each recieved a magnetic bracelet tied to our account. It’s nice to be able to charge drinks and food, towels, robes, operate your locker, and other extras with a swipe of your wrist.
We headed to our gender specific locker rooms and said we’d meet each other on the other side. Icelanders have a very specific bathing ritual. You are required to shower naked complete with soap before you even put on your swimsuit. Due to the international clientele, the Blue Lagoon has frosted glass dividers between the shower head, and a few of them even have doors. So if you are a shy person, do not be deterred. But don’t be surprised to see a lot of naked people walking around either. They also recommend coating your hair with conditioner and leaving it in during your visit. While I did this, it did not last, and I will say my hair felt like straw until I washed it a few times at home. So after bathing and suiting up, I left everything in my locker except for flip flops, towel, and phone.
The Blue Lagoon is a vibrant color of blue and the way they have piled the lava rocks around the edge of the lagoon is beautiful too. There are several entrances to the pool, and even a few small bridges that go over the water to other areas. We put our towels together on one hook, our flip flops below and left our phones sitting on the top of the cabinet. Since our visit was in the morning there were not very many people around and it felt perfectly safe to do that. Although, as we left it was much more crowded and I’m not sure how I would have handled my phone. We took lots of fun photos, got a drink at the swim up bar, and enjoyed some time under a waterfall.
Another fun (and free) aspect of the Blue Lagoon is the silica. There are several wooden platform stations within the Lagoon that have silica mud pots. Using an attached spatula, we scooped the silica out and applied it to our faces. Talk about fun photos! They recommend that you leave it on for about 10 minutes and there are placards that tell all about it’s wonderful benefits to your skin. We told each other that our faces felt so soft afterwards! I’m not sure I could really tell a difference. I didn’t care about any of that, it was just fun!
Overall, we spent almost 2 hours at the Blue Lagoon before heading to the airport. I could have spent another 30 minutes or so there, but we had to shower and dress for our trip home. They had several vanity areas with hair dryers, etc. that made it easy to look fresh again.
It’s important to note that you won’t meet any Icelandic people here unless you chat with the staff. The staff was actually quite nice, helpful, and they were everywhere to help if you needed anything or had questions. We heard so many different languages in the Blue Lagoon it felt like the United Nations. People would strike up conversations with other travelers and talk about what they had seen in Iceland, or what they had planned. It was like sharing a warm bath with a group of international travelers. I know it sounds strange, but it was fun. If you’re traveling alone, it would be a great way to meet other people.
Based on our experience would I visit again? Maybe. I’d definitely visit at opening time and then stay until the big crowds showed up. If a group of friends were set on going, I’d do it again. Then I’d recommend that we hit another pool during our visit that was a little more natural where the Icelanders go. Overall it was a great place to visit before we caught our flight back to the States.
We paid approximately $65/person to enter the lagoon, $23/person for the transportation, and about $2/bag to check our large luggage. As always, all opinions expressed in this post are my own. The links are for your convenience, not anything I get paid for. Oh, I forgot to mention the entrance fee tier we chose included one free drink at the swim up bar and a sampler skin care package for each of us. You never know when that might make a difference to some of you! Happy travels!