When I told my friends that I was going to Iceland, 8 times out of 10 the first thing they would ask was, “are you going to the Blue Lagoon?” The Blue Lagoon has become synonymous with Iceland, with its milky blue waters infiltrating Instagram and travel blogs. I read on some of those blogs that this place was a tourist trap, but I still felt like I had to experience it for myself!
My verdict? Yes, it is a busy place and it’s definitely not a cheap experience, but I did find it an enjoyable way to spend about 3 hours. I think you’ll enjoy it if you don’t have unrealistic expectations going in - it’s not a secluded “off the beaten track” spot like Instagram often portrays it to be. And while the water is natural and mineral-rich, the pool itself is not a naturally-occurring hot spring. But with a cold Somersby in hand, I found a quiet enough spot in the beautiful blue geothermal water to hang out in and it was quite relaxing. I think it’s a perfect first stop in Iceland after a long flight, or even a relaxing last stop before you leave. Still interested in checking it out? Keep reading for everything you need to know before you go!
Buying tickets to the Blue Lagoon
One of the most important things that you need to know is that you need to book your tickets to the Blue Lagoon ahead of time. Since this is such a popular spot in Iceland, it attracts many visitors. They manage the number of people at the lagoon by limiting the number of ticket entries throughout the day, and they do sell out of tickets. To avoid disappointment, book ahead of time on their website to make sure you can get in! When you book your ticket online, you will be asked to pick an entry time. You’ll have a one hour window to get into the lagoon (if you pick 9:00AM, you’ll have between 9:00AM and 10:00AM to check in).
What to Expect at the Blue Lagoon
The Change Rooms
Before you can head out for a dip in the Blue Lagoon, you’ll have to make a visit to the change rooms first. Here you will have to strip down and head into the showers. Before I got to the Blue Lagoon, I read that you had to shower in the nude with others, but I am happy to report that the showers have doors on them! In the shower, it’s recommended that you coat your hair with the complimentary conditioner, leaving it in until you are ready to leave the lagoon, to protect your hair from the silica in the geothermal water. The silica isn’t harmful to your hair, but it can make it stiff and difficult to manage afterwards.
You’ll also get an electronic bracelet when you check in. This bracelet not only tracks your expenses while you’re at the lagoon, but it’ll be the key to your change room locker. The lockers are large enough for your clothes, shoes, and a bag. If you have larger suitcases with you, there is a separate area before you enter the main blue lagoon complex where you can store them.
The Comfort Experience
There are three types of tickets that you can purchase, with the Comfort ticket being the most basic of the three. This ticket can be purchased from ISK 6990 but ticket prices fluctuate depending on time of day (they tend to be cheaper near the end of the day). With this ticket, you get entry into the lagoon until they close, a towel to use, a free silica mud mask, and your first drink free.
Silica mud mask
At the Blue Lagoon you can swim up to a mask bar where you’ll be given a dollop of silica mud mask. Slather this onto your face and leave it on for 5-10 minutes before washing it off. The silica mud mask is supposed to have deep cleansing properties and should minimize the appearance of pores. After just one try, I’m not sure I noticed any pore shrinkage, but it did leave my skin feeling very clean and refreshed. If you like how the mask feels, you can buy some on your way out at the shop.
At the swim-up bar at the Blue Lagoon, you’ll find a selection of drinks ranging from smoothies and slushies to wine and ciders. With your Comfort ticket, you get your first drink free. Afterwards you can charge the drinks on your bracelet and pay off the balance when you check out of the lagoon.
At the Blue Lagoon, you can find steam rooms and dry saunas. I personally enjoy steam rooms more so I spent a bit of time there. If you’re looking for a massage treatment as well, they offer 30, 60, or 120 minute massages at an extra cost. Book early because they run out of appointment spots! You’ll also find a nice restaurant there. We checked out the prices and they were a bit too pricey for us, but if you have money in the budget, why not give it a try?
On the topic of splurging, if you really are looking to splurge, you can purchase the Retreat Spa experience. This package gives you access to exclusive areas such as the Retreat Lagoon, as well as private change rooms. If you’ve tried this experience, let me know how it went. I’d love to hear about it!
What to Bring to the Blue Lagoon
· Swimsuit - if you do forget yours, you can rent one there for ISK 700 (cost at the time of writing this post).
· For my fellow long-haired friends, a hair tie to keep your hair out of the water.
· Flip flops if you don’t like walking around barefoot.
· Sunglasses if you are visiting on a sunny day.
· For anybody wanting to use their phone at the lagoon, you should bring one of those waterproof phone pouches. I enjoyed being phone-less and just relaxing, but these pouches are a good way to keep your phone dry.
· You can bring your camera with you to take photos of the lagoon but I would recommend locking it back up in your locker when you are done taking photos.
Want to Get Here?
The Blue Lagoon is about 20 minutes by car from Keflavik International Airport, or 50 minutes from Reykjavik. There is a large parking lot that you can park in for free. If you’re not renting a car, don’t despair. You can book bus tickets when you make your Blue Lagoon booking. This bus goes between Keflavik, the Blue Lagoon, and Reykjavik.
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