The steaming milky-blue waters of The Blue Lagoon beckoned. Wearing just my swimming costume I took a deep breath and pegged-it through the biting chill of Iceland’s February weather. Wading into the hot, mineral-rich water felt all the better for the minus degree dash and I soaked blissfully as the piping hot water relaxed every muscle in my body. Heaven…
The Blue Lagoon – Love it or hate it?
I didn’t think I was going to like the Blue Lagoon. A man-made attraction fed by water from the nearby geothermal power plant as part of your Iceland tour doesn’t actually sound that appealing does it? But I loved the experience which left me feeling incredibly relaxed and my skin super-soft. My hair was a different story – I’d suggest you avoid getting it wet – I spent the rest of the day with it sticking out in all directions – think Animal from The Muppets. It didn’t calm down until a couple of washes and hot oil treatments later.
The Blue Lagoon – is it suitable for families?
Although the Blue Lagoon sits next to the power plant I couldn’t see it through the steaming mists and black, lichen covered, rock of the surrounding lava field. Lava flows heat the seawater which is pumped from 2000 metres beneath the earth’s surface. First it’s used to generate heat and electricity at the power plant before being pushed through to the lagoon. The water is renewed every 40 hours.
Temperature in the Blue Lagoon
The water varies in temperature with some areas almost too hot to bear and other cooler spots but it’s mainly a comfortable heat. Included in our entrance fee was a drink and mini spa product which we got from the swim-up bar in the main pool – I chose a strawberry sparkling wine to go with my algae face mask. The mask comes as a frozen tablet which you dip in the water and as it melts you spread on your skin. I couldn’t leave it on too long as the icy breeze whipping around made it so cold I got face freeze – it felt good afterwards though. There are huge vats of gloopy silica mud in the lagoon and you can take big handfuls to smear on your skin.
When you’re in the lagoon the swirling steam which envelops you gives everything an ethereal, dreamlike quality. Although there are people nearby they’re barely visible in the mists and their laughter and voices are strangely muted.
Hewn out of the lava is a steam bath, a massaging waterfall and a sauna. The strangely translucent turquoise water surrounds everything. Designed in stark modern lines the buildings and decks compliment the natural textures and colours of the lava field to create a surreal ambience. I’d definitely recommend you fit a visit to the Blue Lagoon into your Iceland tour and let the mineral waters work their geothermal magic.
What you need to know when visiting the Blue Lagoon
Bláa lónið is approximately 13 km from Keflavík Airport and 39 km from Reykjavík. That’s approximately a 20 minute drive from the airport and a 40 minute drive from Reykjavík. Scheduled bus transfers to the Blue Lagoon from Reykjavik and the airport are frequent and throughout the year. There are luggage storing facilities (for a fee) so a good time to visit would be en-route to or from the airport. We went on our way back to the airport – so I had to sit through the whole journey home with muppet hair…!
Before entering the Blue Lagoon you must take a shower (naked) and wash thoroughly. If you’re shy don’t worry because there are separate male and female changing areas. Some cubicles tucked away to one side although they don’t have doors.
Blue Lagoon Prices
There are various packages you can buy at different prices. If you take your own towel then you only need get the basic package. You’ll pay a lot more just for the use of a robe and you don’t actually need to go into the cold as there’s a route from inside straight into the water. Wish I’d known that before my ‘Viking dash’. Get drinks by scanning your wrist-band at the bar and pay when you leave. The wrist-band also gives access to your locker.
If you’ve got time you can book a massage or treatment but they are pricey as are the products on sale in the gift shop.
Blue Lagoon Tip
Go through to the restaurant and up the stairs to the right and you’ll find a large outside balcony with fantastic panoramas over the lagoon.
The Blue Lagoon is a bit of a tourist trap and will make a hole in your budget but I really enjoyed it. If you’ve got time you can spend the whole day there to get your money’s worth. There are other geothermal springs in Iceland which are much cheaper so do your research and make your choice.
I’m serious about the hair. The minerals in the water will turn it into straw for days – wet it and you’ll regret it.
Visit the lagoon’s website www.bluelagoon.com for more information.