The Blue Lagoon is undoubtedly an experience not to be missed during a trip to Iceland. While there are many other hot springs, spas, and man-made pools in the country, none are as iconic and instantly recognizable as the Blue Lagoon.
What is the Blue Lagoon?
The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s top tourist attractions, becoming so popular in recent years that travelers are advised to make a reservation days or even weeks before their trip. This man-made geothermal pool attracts people from all over the world who want to soak in the warm, milky blue water.
The Blue Lagoon is open year-round and maintains a temperature of 39℃. The spa was originally formed for people who suffered from psoriasis or other skin conditions, as the warm, mineral-rich water proved to be extremely beneficial in treating skin problems.
The Blue Lagoon’s Hotel
The Retreat Hotel, Iceland’s first five-star hotel, was opened by the Blue Lagoon in 2018. The 62 suites have floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning views of the lava fields. The Retreat Spa is the epitome of luxury travel, with a pool, steam room, cold well, yoga, water massages, and many other treatments and services available for guests. The spa is accessible for all guests of the Retreat Hotel.
The Silica Hotel is only for adults 18 and up. This hotel has its own private lagoon and complimentary Premium admission to the Blue Lagoon.
The Water in the Blue Lagoon
Although it isn’t known for sure why the water found in the Blue Lagoon is so beneficial to skin, it is likely due to a combination of the minerals, bacteria, and algae in the water. The water in the Blue Lagoon contains dissolved minerals, including calcium as well as chloride and natron which together make sea salt. The water also has trace amounts of magnesium, sulphur, and carbonate. The Blue Lagoon is home to a certain type of bacteria that has not been found anywhere other than in the lagoon. The blue-green algae that thrives in the lagoon gives the water its distinct blue color.
How to Visit the Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon tickets must be bought well in advance, not only to get the best prices but also to book a time slot before they fill up. Booking last minute will result in an increase in ticket prices. The Blue Lagoon is one of the main tourist attractions in Iceland and tickets sell out very quickly. To get the best prices, travelers are advised to purchase their tickets to the Blue Lagoon long before their trip.
The lagoon is close to the Keflavík International Airport, and is a short drive from the Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavík. Buses run from Reykjavík to the Blue Lagoon and then back to the city, as well as from the airport to the Blue Lagoon. For visitors who are making the Blue Lagoon the last stop in their Iceland trip, a bus can take them straight to the airport when they finish enjoying the lagoon.
What to Expect at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland
Buildings are low and constructed with natural materials such as wood and lava to keep the area feeling natural. The nearby Lava Restaurant has one solid lava rock wall as it was built around a lava cliff. The area is intentionally designed to be simplistic and in harmony with nature. There is a meandering path from the parking lot to the lagoon, which helps to prevent traffic sights and sounds from distracting the people soaking in the waters of the Blue Lagoon. There is a luggage storage area near the start of the path for travelers who have just come from the airport or will be flying out after their visit to the lagoon.
At the reception area, guests are given their electronic wristband which is used to secure lockers and make any additional purchases inside the lagoon. Depending on which ticket level has been purchased, guests will be given a towel, bathrobe, and slippers. Guests must shower in the changerooms before putting on their swimsuits. The water in the Blue Lagoon has no chlorine in it, so all guests must shower naked and ensure they are completely clean before entering the lagoon. Cubicles and shower curtains provide privacy in the changerooms.
It may be snowing or raining outside, so guests are advised to leave their towels inside. It’s possible to swim between the inside and outside areas. Guests can visit the swim-up bar to purchase drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, by using their electronic wristbands. There is a limit of three alcoholic drinks per guest while in the lagoon, but the bar also serves smoothies and slushies. There is a small waterfall and a cave for visitors to explore. All guests can visit the mud bar to get a silica mud mask for their face. Additional algae masks are available for purchase with the electronic wristbands. A traditional Finnish wood sauna and a steam bath are near the waterfall. In-water massages can be booked but tend to be very popular and fill up quickly. There are a few massage options, with the two hour signature treatment involving a salt scrub, a silica or algae wrap, and a full-body massage.
The Blue Lagoon in Iceland is an extremely popular stop for locals and tourists alike. Tickets must be booked in advance to get into this luxurious, relaxing lagoon. Guests can enjoy the warm, healing waters, relax in the steam room, sauna, or cave, and soothe their skin with the mud and algae masks and wraps that are available. An in-water bar lets visitors enjoy drinks while taking in the beautiful, natural scenery. On-site hotels and restaurants make it easy for all types of travelers to have access to anything they need, whether they are on a romantic couples getaway or a family trip. Not too far from the capital city or the airport, the Blue Lagoon is a stop travelers won’t want to miss during their visit to Iceland.