The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most iconic attractions, drawing visitors from around the world to soak in its geothermal waters, surrounded by rugged volcanic landscapes. But with so much to see and do at this world-famous spa, it can be overwhelming to plan your visit. That’s why we’ve put together the most complete guide to the Blue Lagoon ever written, to help you get the most out of your experience.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Blue Lagoon, from its history and cultural significance to its location and packages. We’ll also provide tips on how to prepare for your visit, how to make the most of your time in the water, and how to take care of your skin and hair. Plus, we’ll share our recommendations for dining and accommodations at the Blue Lagoon, as well as the best skincare products to bring home with you.
Whether you’re planning your first trip to Iceland or you’re a seasoned traveler, our guide will help you discover all that the Blue Lagoon has to offer. So grab your towel, put on your robe, and let’s dive in!
- What is the Blue Lagoon?
- Where is the Blue Lagoon in Iceland?
- The Blue Lagoon Experience
- Health benefits of the Blue Lagoon
- Dining at the Blue Lagoon
- Staying at the Blue Lagoon
- Blue Lagoon skincare products
- Frequently asked questions about the Blue Lagoon
- Our closing thoughts about the Blue Lagoon
What is the Blue Lagoon?
The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa located in a lava field on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland. The spa is fed by water from the nearby Svartsengi geothermal power plant, which pumps water from a depth of over 2,000 meters (6,500 feet) below the earth’s surface. The water is rich in minerals, including silica and sulfur, which are said to have healing properties for the skin and respiratory system.
Since it opened in 1976, the Blue Lagoon has become one of Iceland’s most popular tourist destinations, attracting more than a million visitors each year. The spa’s striking blue water, created by the way sunlight reflects off the silica particles in the water, is a sight to behold. But the Blue Lagoon is more than just a pretty sight – it’s a place to relax and rejuvenate, connect with nature, and experience the unique culture of Iceland.
An abridged history of the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon’s history stretches back thousands of years to the time of the first Norse settlers in Iceland. They used the warm, mineral-rich water from the lagoon for bathing and for treating various ailments.
In the 20th century, the area around the Blue Lagoon became a center for geothermal energy production. The Svartsengi geothermal power plant was built in 1976 to harness the energy from the nearby volcanic field. As a byproduct of the plant’s operations, a lagoon of warm, mineral-rich water formed.
Initially, locals continued to bathe in the lagoon for its health benefits, despite the plant’s pollution. However, in the 1980s, the owners of the plant decided to turn the lagoon into a public spa. They built facilities for visitors, including changing rooms, showers, and a restaurant, and marketed the spa as a unique attraction for tourists.
Since then, the Blue Lagoon has grown into one of Iceland’s most popular and recognizable tourist destinations, attracting visitors from all over the world. It has undergone several renovations and expansions, adding new pools, saunas, and other amenities to enhance the visitor experience. Despite the changes, the Blue Lagoon remains an important part of Iceland’s natural and cultural heritage.
A note about Iceland’s bathing culture
Iceland has a long history of geothermal bathing, dating back to the first Norse settlers who discovered the natural hot springs scattered throughout the country. Today, Icelanders continue to embrace their bathing culture, and it remains an essential part of daily life.
Bathing in hot springs and natural pools is a popular pastime for Icelanders and visitors alike. It’s a way to relax and unwind, but also to reap the health benefits of the mineral-rich water. Many Icelanders believe that regular geothermal bathing can help relieve stress, reduce inflammation, and even improve skin conditions.
Icelandic bathing culture is also rooted in socializing. It’s common for Icelanders to go to the local swimming pool with friends and family to catch up and chat while soaking in the hot tubs. The same social aspect can be found at public hot springs and natural pools, where visitors can mingle with locals and other travelers.
It’s worth noting that while Icelanders are comfortable with nudity in the context of bathing, they do take hygiene seriously. Before entering a public pool or hot spring, it’s customary to shower thoroughly without clothing to ensure that the water stays clean for everyone to enjoy. So don’t be shy – embrace the Icelandic bathing culture and enjoy the unique experience of geothermal bathing.
Where is the Blue Lagoon in Iceland?
The Blue Lagoon is located in southwestern Iceland, approximately 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Reykjavik and 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Keflavik International Airport. The lagoon is situated in the middle of a vast lava field in the Reykjanes Peninsula, surrounded by rugged volcanic landscapes.
It’s important to note that while the Blue Lagoon is located in a remote area, it’s a popular tourist destination and can get crowded, especially during peak season. To ensure you have the best experience possible, it’s recommended to book your admission in advance and plan your visit accordingly.
Getting to the Blue Lagoon from Reykjavik
One of the most convenient ways to get to the Blue Lagoon from Reykjavik is to book a bus transfer or join a tour that includes transportation to and from the lagoon. There are several companies that offer transfers and tours, and many of them depart from the city center or pick up guests from their accommodations.
The journey from Reykjavik to the Blue Lagoon takes approximately 45 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. Along the way, you’ll pass through the Reykjanes Peninsula, a rugged volcanic landscape that offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding countryside.
If you prefer to drive yourself, you can rent a car and take the scenic route to the Blue Lagoon. The journey takes approximately the same amount of time as the bus transfer, and it allows you to stop and explore the area at your leisure. However, it’s important to note that driving conditions in Iceland can be challenging, especially during the winter months, so it’s recommended to check the road conditions and weather forecast before setting out.
Getting to the Blue Lagoon from the Keflavik Airport
Keflavik International Airport is Iceland’s main international airport, and it’s located approximately 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Blue Lagoon. Many visitors choose to visit the Blue Lagoon upon arrival or departure from the airport, as it’s a convenient and relaxing way to start or end their trip.
There are several transportation options available for visitors arriving at Keflavik Airport who want to visit the Blue Lagoon. One of the most convenient ways to get there is to book a bus transfer or join a tour that includes transportation to and from the lagoon. Many of these transfers and tours depart directly from the airport, and they can be booked in advance or upon arrival.
If you prefer to drive yourself, you can rent a car from one of the many rental car companies located at the airport. The journey from the airport to the Blue Lagoon takes approximately 20 minutes, and it’s well signposted along the way.
The Blue Lagoon Experience
Visiting the Blue Lagoon is a unique and unforgettable experience, and it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland. The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa that features milky-blue, mineral-rich water that is known for its healing properties.
Visitors can soak in the warm, soothing waters while surrounded by dramatic volcanic landscapes.
What to expect upon arrival
Upon arrival at the Blue Lagoon, visitors will be greeted by the stunning sight of the lagoon’s milky-blue waters surrounded by rugged lava fields. The entrance to the Blue Lagoon is a modern, spacious complex that houses the reception, changing rooms, lockers, and a gift shop.
Before entering the lagoon, visitors will need to check in at the reception desk and provide their booking information. They will then be given an electronic wristband that serves as a key to their locker and allows them to purchase drinks and snacks at the swim-up bar in the lagoon.
Visitors will then enter the changing rooms, which are equipped with showers, hairdryers, and other amenities. It’s important to shower thoroughly before entering the lagoon to ensure that the water stays clean and pure. Once ready, visitors can step out onto the lagoon’s wooden walkways and make their way down into the warm, inviting waters.
Comparing the three Blue Lagoon packages
The Blue Lagoon offers three different packages to choose from, each with its own set of amenities and perks. Here’s a breakdown of what each package includes:
The Comfort Package is the most basic package offered by the Blue Lagoon. It includes admission to the lagoon, a silica mud mask, and a towel rental. While this package doesn’t include any extra amenities or services, it’s a great option for those who are on a budget or who want to have a quick visit to the lagoon.
The Premium Package includes everything in the Comfort Package, plus a bathrobe rental, slippers, and a drink of your choice from the in-water bar. This package is a great option for those who want to spend more time at the Blue Lagoon and enjoy some extra comforts.
The bathrobe rental is particularly useful for those who want to explore the Blue Lagoon’s other facilities, such as the saunas and steam rooms, while the slippers provide extra comfort when walking around the lagoon.
Luxury Package (Retreat Spa)
The Luxury Package, also known as the Retreat Spa, is the most exclusive package offered by the Blue Lagoon. In addition to all of the amenities in the Premium Package, the Retreat Spa includes access to a private lounge, a complimentary glass of sparkling wine, and a range of spa treatments and massages to choose from.
This package is a great option for those who want to indulge in some pampering and relaxation during their visit to the Blue Lagoon. The private lounge provides a tranquil space to unwind and enjoy the beautiful surroundings, while the spa treatments and massages offer a range of ways to rejuvenate the body and mind.
Before getting into the water
Before you enter the Blue Lagoon, you should also make sure to remove all jewelry and accessories, as these items can easily get lost in the water. It’s also a good idea to bring a towel, as well as a waterproof phone case or camera, to capture the experience. If you’re visiting during the colder months, be sure to dress appropriately and bring warm clothing to wear after leaving the lagoon.
It’s important to note that the Blue Lagoon is not recommended for anyone who is pregnant, as the high temperature of the water and the steam can cause overheating. Similarly, anyone with an open wound or skin condition should avoid soaking in the lagoon, as the high levels of minerals and silica in the water can exacerbate these conditions. If you have any health concerns, it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor before visiting the Blue Lagoon.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that the Blue Lagoon is a popular tourist attraction, and as such, it can get quite crowded, particularly during peak season. To ensure you have the best experience possible, it’s a good idea to book your visit in advance and arrive early to avoid crowds.
Do I really have to shower naked?
Yes, you will need to shower naked before entering the Blue Lagoon. This is a common practice in Iceland, where showering naked before using a public pool or hot spring is considered standard hygiene. The showering facilities at the Blue Lagoon are gender-segregated, with private changing areas available.
If you feel uncomfortable showering naked, you can use shower stalls with curtains. However, keep in mind that it’s important to thoroughly wash your body before entering the lagoon to help maintain the water’s cleanliness.
What to do once you’re in the Blue Lagoon
Once you’re in the Blue Lagoon, it’s time to relax and enjoy the experience. The warm, milky blue water is perfect for soaking and unwinding, and there are a few things you can do to make the most of your time in the lagoon.
First and foremost, take a deep breath and let yourself fully relax. Find a comfortable spot in the water, lean back, and let the warmth envelop you. If you’re feeling stressed or tense, try closing your eyes and taking some deep breaths to help calm your mind.
While you’re in the lagoon, you can also take advantage of the various amenities on offer. There’s a bar in the water where you can purchase drinks, including cocktails, beer, and wine, and you can also grab a snack or light meal at the Blue Lagoon Cafe.
In addition, there are several areas of the lagoon with different temperatures, so you can move around and find the spot that’s perfect for you. Some areas may be hotter or cooler than others, so it’s worth exploring to find the temperature that’s most comfortable for you.
Finally, don’t forget to take in the stunning surroundings. The Blue Lagoon is situated in the middle of a lava field, with rugged terrain and stark mountains rising up in the distance. It’s a truly unique and breathtaking location, and taking in the scenery is an essential part of the Blue Lagoon experience.
How to avoid the dreaded “Blue Lagoon Hair”
One of the most common concerns that visitors to the Blue Lagoon have is the potential for hair damage. The high silica and sulfur content in the water can leave hair feeling dry, brittle, and tangled, resulting in the infamous “Blue Lagoon Hair.”
To avoid this, it’s important to take a few precautions before entering the water. First, wet your hair with fresh water and apply a deep conditioning treatment or hair mask. This will create a barrier between your hair and the Blue Lagoon’s minerals.
Once in the water, avoid getting your hair completely submerged. Instead, keep your hair tied up and out of the water as much as possible. If you do get your hair wet, rinse it with fresh water immediately after getting out of the water.
After leaving the Blue Lagoon, take extra care to nourish and hydrate your hair. Use a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, and apply a leave-in conditioner or hair oil to help restore moisture.
By following these tips, you can enjoy the benefits of the Blue Lagoon without the negative effects on your hair. For a far more comprehensive dive into prevention measures, please see our complete article about avoiding Blue Lagoon Hair.
After getting out of the water
After enjoying the Blue Lagoon, it’s important to take care of your skin to maximize the benefits of the mineral-rich waters. The first step is to thoroughly rinse off any remaining silica or algae from your skin with warm water. It’s also important to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and replenish any fluids lost while soaking in the lagoon.
Once you’re out of the water, consider applying a moisturizer or lotion to your skin. The Blue Lagoon offers their own skincare line, which features products like their signature algae mask and mineral moisturizer, that are specially designed to enhance the benefits of the lagoon’s waters.
If you’re concerned about your hair, it’s recommended to apply conditioner or hair mask before entering the lagoon to create a barrier between your hair and the water. After exiting the lagoon, rinse your hair thoroughly with fresh water to remove any residual minerals.
If you’re planning on wearing makeup, it’s recommended to remove it before entering the lagoon to avoid clogging your pores with mineral-rich water. Overall, taking care of your skin and hair after visiting the Blue Lagoon will help prolong the benefits of the experience and leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Health benefits of the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is more than just a popular tourist destination – it’s also a source of numerous health benefits. The geothermal water is rich in minerals such as silica, sulfur, and algae, which have been proven to have therapeutic effects on the skin, joints, and muscles.
One of the main benefits of the Blue Lagoon is its ability to improve skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. The silica in the water creates a protective film on the skin, which helps to retain moisture and protect against harmful environmental factors. The sulfur in the water has also been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin, which can reduce redness and irritation.
In addition to skin benefits, the Blue Lagoon’s warm water and underwater massages can provide relief for joint and muscle pain. The water’s buoyancy can also help to reduce pressure on the joints, making it an ideal place to relax and recover from injuries or chronic conditions such as arthritis.
What the Blue Lagoon does for your skin
The Blue Lagoon’s geothermal seawater is rich in minerals, such as silica, sulfur, and algae, which are known to have a variety of benefits for the skin. Silica, in particular, has been shown to help strengthen and repair the skin’s natural barrier, while also increasing its elasticity and moisture retention.
The sulfur in the water is known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which can be especially beneficial for those with acne-prone skin. Additionally, the algae in the water is rich in antioxidants, which can help protect the skin against environmental damage and premature aging.
Many visitors to the Blue Lagoon report that their skin feels smoother, softer, and more hydrated after a soak in the water. In fact, the Blue Lagoon has become so well-known for its skin benefits that the spa now offers a range of skincare products made with its unique ingredients, such as silica mud masks and algae-based moisturizers.
Dining at the Blue Lagoon
Dining at the Blue Lagoon is an experience in itself, with a variety of restaurants and cafes offering something for every taste and budget. Here are the dining options available at the Blue Lagoon:
- Lava Restaurant: This award-winning restaurant is situated in a stunning location overlooking the lagoon and offers an upscale dining experience with a focus on locally-sourced ingredients and Icelandic cuisine. Reservations are highly recommended.
- Moss Restaurant: Located in the Retreat Hotel, Moss Restaurant offers a unique culinary experience inspired by the volcanic landscape of Iceland. The menu is designed around the principles of New Nordic Cuisine and features seasonal ingredients.
- Spa Restaurant: Situated within the Blue Lagoon spa, this restaurant offers healthy and nourishing dishes for a post-spa meal. The menu includes salads, sandwiches, and smoothies.
- Blue Lagoon Cafe: The perfect spot for a quick bite, the Blue Lagoon Cafe offers a selection of sandwiches, snacks, and beverages. There is also a shop selling Icelandic delicacies and souvenirs.
Note that reservations are highly recommended for the Lava and Moss restaurants, especially during peak season. It’s also worth noting that prices at all of the Blue Lagoon restaurants can be quite high, so budget-conscious visitors may want to consider bringing their own food and drinks.
Staying at the Blue Lagoon
Staying at the Blue Lagoon is a great way to fully immerse yourself in the relaxing and rejuvenating experience that the geothermal spa has to offer. There are two accommodation options at the Blue Lagoon: the Silica Hotel and The Retreat Hotel.
The Silica Hotel
The Silica Hotel is a cozy and modern boutique hotel that offers a peaceful retreat after a long day of soaking in the Blue Lagoon. The hotel features 35 spacious rooms, each with its own private terrace or balcony that offers stunning views of the surrounding lava fields.
Guests of the Silica Hotel have exclusive access to the Silica Lagoon, a secluded pool that is separate from the main Blue Lagoon and is reserved only for Silica Hotel guests.
The Retreat Hotel
The Retreat Hotel is a luxurious five-star hotel that offers the ultimate Blue Lagoon experience. This hotel features 62 spacious suites, each with a private balcony or terrace that offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Guests of the Retreat Hotel have exclusive access to the Retreat Lagoon, a secluded and serene pool that is separate from the main Blue Lagoon and offers a more private and intimate atmosphere.
Both hotels offer world-class amenities, including a spa, a fitness center, and exceptional dining options. If you’re looking for a truly unique and rejuvenating experience, staying at the Blue Lagoon is definitely worth considering.
Blue Lagoon skincare products
One of the most popular things to take home from the Blue Lagoon is the range of skincare products that are made using the lagoon’s natural geothermal seawater and its active ingredients. These products have gained a reputation for being able to heal and revitalize the skin.
The Blue Lagoon’s skincare line includes a range of products such as moisturizers, scrubs, masks, and serums. Ingredients in these products include silica, algae, and minerals found in the Blue Lagoon. These minerals are known to help improve the skin’s texture, reduce inflammation, and provide deep hydration.
One of the most popular products is the silica mud mask, which is a unique product made from the silica mud found at the bottom of the lagoon. This mask is known for its ability to deeply cleanse and exfoliate the skin, leaving it smooth and refreshed.
The Blue Lagoon skincare products are available for purchase at the lagoon’s gift shop, as well as online. They make for great souvenirs and gifts for friends and family who are looking for a luxurious and effective skincare product.
Frequently asked questions about the Blue Lagoon
There are plenty of completely reasonable questions when it comes to experiencing the Blue Lagoon. Here are ten of the most common questions we have received.
Is the Blue Lagoon a natural hot spring?
The Blue Lagoon is actually a man-made pool that is fed by water from a nearby geothermal power plant. The water is rich in minerals and silica, which give it its distinctive milky blue color.
What should I bring to the Blue Lagoon?
You’ll want to bring a bathing suit, a towel, and sandals or water shoes (the rocks around the lagoon can be slippery). It’s also a good idea to bring a change of clothes, as you may not want to wear your wet bathing suit after you’re done in the water.
Can I wear jewelry in the Blue Lagoon?
It’s generally not recommended to wear jewelry in the Blue Lagoon, as the minerals in the water can damage or discolor metals. If you do wear jewelry, it’s best to keep it simple and avoid anything valuable.
Is the Blue Lagoon safe for pregnant women?
The Blue Lagoon is generally considered safe for pregnant women, but it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor before visiting.
The water temperature is kept between 37-40°C (98-104°F), which is considered safe for pregnant women. But, it’s important to avoid overheating and to stay hydrated.
Can children visit the Blue Lagoon?
Children under the age of 2 are not allowed in the Blue Lagoon for health and safety reasons. Children between the ages of 2-8 are allowed to visit with a floatation device, and children between the ages of 9-14 are allowed to visit with adult supervision.
Can I bring my own towel and robe to the Blue Lagoon?
Yes, you can bring your own towel and robe to the Blue Lagoon, but they are also available for rent. If you bring your own, just make sure to keep them in a waterproof bag so they don’t get wet.
Can I wear contact lenses in the Blue Lagoon?
Yes, you can wear contact lenses in the Blue Lagoon. However, the water may irritate your eyes, so it’s best to wear goggles or remove your contacts if you experience any discomfort.
Can I bring my own food and drinks to the Blue Lagoon?
No, you cannot bring your own food and drinks to the Blue Lagoon. They have a variety of dining options available, including a restaurant and cafe, where you can purchase food and drinks.
Is the Blue Lagoon accessible to people with disabilities?
Yes, the Blue Lagoon is accessible to people with disabilities. They have wheelchair ramps, accessible changing rooms and showers, and staff on hand to assist with any special needs.
Is it safe to visit the Blue Lagoon during pregnancy?
It is generally safe to visit the Blue Lagoon during pregnancy, but it’s best to consult with your doctor first. The high temperatures of the water may not be suitable for everyone, especially those in later stages of pregnancy. Additionally, pregnant women should avoid using the sauna and steam rooms.
Our closing thoughts about the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is an experience that should not be missed when visiting Iceland. From the stunning natural landscape to the luxurious amenities, the Blue Lagoon offers a unique and relaxing experience that can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages.
Whether you’re seeking health benefits, a unique dining experience, or a luxurious stay, the Blue Lagoon has something for everyone. By following our guide, you’ll be fully prepared to make the most of your visit to the Blue Lagoon.