Iceland has many attractions but none as popular as The Blue Lagoon. No doubt you will have seen photos of this huge outdoor pool and been captivated by its startling blue color set against a barren landscape of black lava fields. If you’re visiting Iceland for the first time, then visiting here to swim and relax in this unique attraction is a must-do.
Due to the fact that Iceland isn’t the warmest of places, even in summer, understandably the Blue Lagoon is Iceland’s top tourist attraction for warming up your tootsies. The lagoon contains a whopping 6 million liters of geothermal seawater which starts off at 464°F deep within the earth. This gradually gets cooler as it reaches the surface and finally ends up being a comfortable 99-102°F. Just right for bathing!
It’s perfect, not only for warming up in the winter months when it can get down to a chilly 36-37°F (even colder with the wind chill factor), but this unique outdoor pool has silica-rich water for healing any skin ailments you may want to be fixed.
Don’t just make the Blue Lagoon your sole destination on a trip to Iceland; this fascinating country has lots of dream activities you can add to your BUCKiTDREAM planner! But for starters, here are our top tips on how to get the most out of your visit.
Don’t Forget to Pre-book Your Ticket Although the Blue Lagoon is well set up to handle plenty of visitors and has a very slick entry process (necessary when over half a million people visit each year!), pre-booking your ticket is recommended. This is so they can manage the flow of people using the facilities, the pool, and the restaurant. So if you don’t book one you may miss out, and you don’t want that.
But don’t worry, though you still may have to queue for a bit to gain entry and feel overwhelmed by a number of people, the feeling will dissipate when you actually enter the pool, as it’s huge and certainly large enough to handle a lot of people without feeling crowded. There are lots of quiet nooks and crannies where you can relax and hang out without bumping elbows with other people.
Ticket booking can be done online through the Blue Lagoon website where you choose an entry slot and also what package you want depending on your budget; there is a choice of four: standard, comfort, premium, and luxury.
To get away with the cheapest visit, go for the standard package, which includes entrance to the pool and a free silica mud mask at the mud bar; just be aware that if you want the use of a towel, robe, and slippers, or drinks and food etc., it will be an additional cost. You can even hire a bathing suit when you’re there for a small fee but we reckon you’re better off bringing your own.
The Best Way to Get There
Since the Blue Lagoon is close to Keflavik airport, where international flights land, many people choose to visit on arrival or departure from Iceland. To give you an idea of distance, the Blue Lagoon is approximately 45 minutes outside of Reykjavik, which is the main city and has the most hotels, and 20 minutes away from Keflavik airport.
If you’re not driving a rental car, then several tour operators offer a trip to the Blue Lagoon as an option on the way to or from the airport. You can also combine it with another activity as part of a longer day out. Two main tour guide operators that visit the Blue Lagoon are Reykjavik Excursions and Gray Line, or there is a special Flybus Shuttle transfer service from the airport that also stops at the Blue Lagoon on the way to Reykjavik and vice versa.
To make it even easier, you can book a bus transfer through The Blue Lagoon website when you book your entrance ticket; these are operated by Reykjavik Excursions.
Storing Your Gear & Changing Rooms
If you’ve come from the airport, it’s possible to store your luggage in a storage facility next to the main parking area for a small fee. So you don’t have to spend valuable queuing time sorting through your luggage, it’s a good idea to have what you need in a backpack or in a small bag you can quickly remove from your luggage when you get there.
For storing small personal items like clothes, phones, watches, jewelry etc. there are electronic lockers at the Blue Lagoon, which are included in the price of your entry ticket. This modern twist makes your visit run much more smoothly. An electronic wristband, given to you at the check-in desk by the attendants, stays on your wrist for the duration of your stay. This serves as a ‘key’ and the locker is easily opened or closed by simply holding up your wrist to a keypad and typing in the locker number.
Once you’re ready to bathe, you are required to shower without a bathing suit to ensure cleanliness and they are reasonably strict on this rule. But some of the shower stalls do have frosted doors so it’s not too exposed, so to speak, and changing rooms are gender separate. There are also freebies such as complimentary Blue Lagoon shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and hair dryer use. Always important if you’re a female (or a metrosexual male)!
Oh, and cell phones are allowed in the pool in Ziploc bags and waterproof cases if you want to take photos, check emails or Skype a friend to induce FOMO of epic proportions…
Food & Drinks
Swimming around in hot water can make you surprisingly thirsty, so the Blue Lagoon have come up with the great idea of having a swim up bar which sells all kinds of drinks, from smoothies and slushies to beer and wine for those wanting to add a decadent edge to the proceedings. We can recommend the smoothies with ginger for anyone suffering from jet-lag – nature’s boost! All drinks can be charged to your wristband; don’t worry, there is a limit of three drinks per wristband, so people don’t get (too) silly. You can expect to pay around $5 to $15 for each drink.
If you feel like a bite to eat and you have the time, then the Lava restaurant serves contemporary dishes with local Icelandic ingredients; you can also wear your robe and slippers in the restaurant, an experience in itself! A guaranteed table reservation is included in the premium or luxury entrance package. Alternatively, the Blue Café near the entrance serves drinks, sandwiches, sushi, salads and healthy snacks.
Mud & Massage
The Blue Lagoon has a number of bolt-on amenities that you can take advantage of if you have the time and they’re available on the date of your visit. In water massages are popular but there is a limited number conducted during the day, so book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Other spa amenities include sauna and steam rooms, a stress release waterfall and the silica mud mask (complimentary with every entrance ticket). Leave this magical white paste on your face for at least five minutes and apparently, you’ll look at least five years younger. Not surprisingly, with these kinds of promises, people do tend to smear it liberally all over their bodies so they end up looking like yetis. Oh well, it’s free!
A visit to the Blue Lagoon might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience or you may love it so much that you go back every year. That’s the beauty of being a BUCKiTDREAMER, you can dream and plan until your heart’s content and then do it all over again.
Remember to take note of all of these Blue Lagoon tips in your BUCKiTDREAM planner and if you take some cool poolside shots or yeti selfies be sure to share them with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.