The steaming, milky blue waters of the Blue Lagoon, Iceland, 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 waters felt all the better for the -2 degree dash. I laid back and soaked blissfully as the piping hot water relaxed every muscle in my body. Heaven…
This post may contain affiliate links, which means that we may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, for qualifying purchases. More info: disclosure.
What is it like to visit the Blue Lagoon?
I didn’t think I was going to like the Blue Lagoon. An artificial attraction fed by water from the nearby geothermal power plant doesn’t actually sound that appealing, does it?
Surprisingly, I loved the Blue Lagoon experience, which left me feeling incredibly relaxed and my skin super-soft. I could have stayed a lot longer than I did.
What is so special about the Blue Lagoon in Iceland?
In my opinion, the Blue Lagoon really must be experienced to be believed. The stark modern lines of the buildings and wooden decks contrast with the natural textures of volcanic rock and the colours of the surrounding lava field. The combination creates a surreal ambience.
When you’re in the water the swirling steam envelops you, giving everything an ethereal, dreamlike quality. The people nearby are barely visible in the mists, and their laughter and voices are strangely muted.
There is a sauna, steam bath and massaging waterfall hewn out of the lava, while strangely translucent turquoise water surrounds everything.
I’d definitely recommend fitting a visit to the Blue Lagoon into your Iceland itinerary so you can experience it for yourself and let the mineral waters work their geothermal magic on you. Your skin will thank you and you’ll leave feeling relaxed and de-stressed having experienced one of Iceland’s top attractions.
I’m sure you have more than a few questions about visiting the Blue Lagoon. Read on for some anwers…
Is the Blue Lagoon warm?
The water temperature in the Blue Lagoon varies in different spots around the pools. In some areas it’s quite hot and in other spots its cooler, which means there’ll be a sweet spot for everyone to enjoy the water in their own comfort zone.
Generally the water temperature in the Blue Lagoon is a comfortable 37°C to 40° Celsius (98-104 degrees Fahrenheit).
How is the Blue Lagoon Heated?
Geothermal energy. Underground lava flows and natural hot springs heat the lagoon’s mix of sea and freshwater. The water is drawn up through geothermal extraction wells from 2-kilometres beneath the Earth’s surface.
The water is first used to generate heat and electricity at the nearby power plant and is then pushed through to the lagoon and geothermal spa where it gets replaced on a regular 40-hour cycle.
Although the Blue Lagoon sits next to the power plant, I couldn’t see it through the steaming mists and black, lichen-covered rocks of the lava fields surrounding us.
When is the best time to visit the Blue Lagoon?
The Blue Lagoon (Bláa lónið in Icelandic) is approximately 13 km from Keflavik International Airport and 39 km from Reykjavík. That’s about a 20-minute drive from the airport and a 45-minute drive from Reykjavík.
It makes sense to plan a visit to the Blue Lagoon en-route to or from the airport and many visitors choose this option. A visit can also be easy as a day trip from Reykjavík, or as part of a Golden Circle day tour.
Frequently scheduled bus transfers run all year round to the Blue Lagoon from both Reykjavik and the airport. Luggage storage facilities are available at the lagoon for a small fee. We visited on our way back to Keflavik Airport for our flight home and it worked out well.
What’s included in the Blue Lagoon entrance fee?
Our €54 Comfort package included a towel, locker room for my bag, a drink from the in-water bar and a silica mud mask, which we collected from the swim-up bar in the main pool.
I chose a sparkling strawberry wine which complemented my algae face mask perfectly…
The mask arrives as a frozen tablet which you dip in the water, and as it melts, you spread the gel over your skin. I couldn’t leave the mask on for too long as the icy breeze whipping around the lagoon gave me ‘face freeze’. My skin felt good afterwards, though!
There are also huge vats of silica mud dotted around the lagoon, and you can smear big handfuls of gloopy mud onto your skin. The high silica content in the mud is said to be beneficial for various skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
Scroll down for more information on the entrance fees.
Facilities at the Blue Lagoon Spa
The Blue Lagoon has a choice of spa facilities available for visitors. Enjoy the dry heat of the sauna or the moist heat of the steam room a small waterfall and relaxation cave as well as the swim up bar and silica mud mask.
There are spa options for an extra cost such as in-water massage, and an indoor relaxation area with a view over the lagoon.
Before entering the lagoon, you must take a shower (naked) and wash thoroughly. Don’t worry if you are shy, because there are separate male and female changing areas.
Some private changing rooms are tucked away to one side, although they don’t have doors. I understand that since I visited shower stalls with curtains have been provided.
There are hair dryers to use after your visit.
How long to spend at the Blue Lagoon, Iceland?
Whether you choose the Comfort package or the Premium Package, your entrance fee allows you to spend the whole day at the Blue Lagoon. However, you do have to select an arrival time slot when you book your Blue Lagoon tickets, and you’ll need to arrive within an hour of that time.
I spent around three hours there, including an excellent lunch in the Lava Restaurant. There are several places to eat at the Blue Lagoon, including the Moss Restaurant and the Retreat Spa Restaurant which is a good opportunity to enjoy some excellent Icelandic cuisine.
If you’re not planning to have a meal, allowing two hours for your Blue Lagoon ritual would be plenty of time for most people.
Travelbunny tip: If you go through the Lava Restaurant and up the stairs to the right, you’ll come to a large balcony outdoors. The panoramic views over the lagoon are great for photos, especially at sunset or sunrise. This would also be a good spot to watch the Northern Lights if they appear.
Can you see the Northern Lights at the Blue Lagoon?
The lagoon is set in an area of minimal light pollution and on a clear night from September to March you’ll have a chance of seeing the Aurora Borealis. Obviously, you’ll need to visit during the hours of darkness which are plentiful in winter months. You’ll need clear skies and an element of luck to witness this natural phenomenon.
Hello Aurora app is good to help with aurora forecasting.
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll see the Northern Lights in the summer months. Instead you’ll have the benefit of the midnight sun and white nights.
What to bring to the Blue Lagoon, Iceland
You can take your own towel, robe and slippers with you, but both levels of entry ticket (Comfort and Premium package) include the use of a towel. The Premium package also includes the use of a robe, and if you book a Comfort package, you can rent a robe for ISK 1500 each.
Complimentary shower gel and conditioner are provided in the shower area, and you’ll also find complimentary moisturiser in the drying area. Of course, you can bring along your own toiletries if you prefer.
You’ll need to bring swimwear or bathing suit, which is worn in all areas around the Lagoon and also in the sauna. If you forget yours, you can hire swimwear in sizes S to XL from reception.
Which package should you buy at the Blue Lagoon – Comfort or Premium Package?
Entry costs to the Blue Lagoon varies depending the date and time of your visit and your choice of package. If you go out of season or a off-peak times it’ll be cheaper.
You can buy two different entrance packages for the Blue Lagoon or entry to the Retreat Spa which is more exclusive. Adding the use of a robe increases the cost of your visit quite a lot, but it isn’t really necessary as there’s a route straight into the water from inside. Wish I’d known that before my ‘Viking dash’!
The wristband you are given at check-in provides access to your locker, and you’ll also have to scan it to get your inclusive drink at the bar. You’ll be asked to pay for any additional drinks when you leave.
The Iceland Blue Lagoon tickets are:
The Comfort Package costs from ISK 8 990 and includes:
- Timed entrance ticket for the Blue Lagoon
- Complimentary silica mud mask
- Use of a towel
- One complimentary drink from the bar
The Premium Package costs from ISK 11 490 and includes:
- Timed entrance ticket for the Blue Lagoon
- Complimentary silica mud mask
- Second complimentary mask from a selection
- Use of bathrobe, towel and slippers
- First drink of your choice
- A reservation at the Lava Restaurant
- Sparkling wine included with your meal
Retreat Luxury Spa Package costs from ISK 69 000 and includes:
- 5 hour exclusive entry to the Retreat Spa
- The Blue Lagoon
- Retreat Lagoon
- Private changing room
- The Blue Lagoon Ritual
- Skincare amenities
- A drink of your choice
- Access to the Spa Restaurant
- Access to 8 subterranean spaces
Is it worth going to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland?
It has to be said that the Blue Lagoon experience is quite expensive and it will certainly make a dent in your budget. But I really enjoyed my visit to one of Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions, and it’s undoubtedly a must-do when you’re visiting Reykjavik – an unforgettable experience.
Is Blue Lagoon Iceland worth spending 90 Euro or more? Well, there’s no time limit so, if your itinerary allows, you can spend a full day there and get your money’s worth from the entrance fee.
You should also bear in mind that there are cheaper geothermal springs in Iceland. The new Sky Lagoon is proving popular so do your research before buying your Blue Lagoon tickets.
What to know before visiting the Blue Lagoon FAQs
Here are the answers to some of your most frequently asked questions about visiting the Blue Lagoon for the first time. If there’s anything I haven’t covered feel free to comment below or drop me an email.
Do you need reservations for the Blue Lagoon?
The Blue Lagoon is incredibly popular, so pre-booking is absolutely recommended. Booking your Blue Lagoon tickets in advance will prevent you from being disappointed by the lagoon being sold out on the day you visit.
Do I need flip-flops for the Blue Lagoon?
Many people prefer to wear flip-flops in and around the water at the Blue Lagoon. You can either bring your own flip-flops or buy them at the reception desk. Water shoes are also allowed, but they aren’t available to purchase.
How long can you stay at the Blue Lagoon, Iceland?
Your entrance fee covers the entire day at the Blue Lagoon, so you can stay as long as you like within their opening hours, which you can find on the Blue Lagoon website. You will choose an arrival time when you purchase your tickets, and you need to arrive within one hour of that time.
If you have booked for the Blue Lagoon Retreat Spa, your entrance fee covers up to five hours in the spa and lagoon.
Will the Blue Lagoon ruin your hair?
Yes! it will seriously affect your hair for a few days. I got mine wet in the lagoon waters and it didn’t calm down until a couple of washes and hot oil treatments later.
Luckily the effects are only temporary, but the high concentration of silica in the water will turn it into straw for a few days, so it’s better to avoid getting it wet.
I’d recommend applying conditioner and tying long hair back before entering the lagoon. You’ll find complimentary conditioner available in the shower rooms.
Can I take my phone in the Blue Lagoon?
You’re sure to want to take some photos in the otherworldly surroundings of the Blue Lagoon, so you’ll be pleased to hear that phones are allowed. However, there are no designated places to put your phone when you’re not using it, so you take it in at your own risk. You should take a waterproof phone case to keep your phone safe!
Phones, cameras and other electronic devices are not allowed in the Retreat Spa or Retreat Lagoon to preserve the peaceful atmosphere there.
Are children allowed in the Blue Lagoon?
Children are allowed in the lagoon but there are age restrictions. Children must be aged 2-years or above due to the mineral content of the water which can affect the delicate skin of babies and very young children.
Children aged 13-years and under are offered free entry when accompanied by a parent or guardian and children aged 8-years and under must wear a float. For more information find out if the Blue Lagoon is suitable for families?
Can you drive to the Blue Lagoon, Iceland?
If you’ve got a rental car for your Iceland holiday, you can certainly drive to the Blue Lagoon. Free parking is available outside reception and the gift shop.
How to get to Iceland’s Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is part of the Reykjanes UNESCO Geopark. If you’re driving yourself, getting to the Blue Lagoon is easy. As you travel along the main highway between Keflavík and Reykjavík, make a turn at the “Blue Lagoon” sign. The Blue Lagoon is around 10 km/6.5 miles down this road. On arrival there’s free parking available right outside the reception and gift shop.
You can take the official shuttle to the Blue Lagoon from Keflavík Airport. Book the shuttle here. You can also book other journeys on this shuttle, including transfers back to the airport or to Reyjkavik.
Private Blue Lagoon airport transfer
You might want to visit the Blue Lagoon via a private transfer to or from Keflavik International Airport. It’s a great way to optimise your time and enjoy a two-hour visit on your way to/from the airport in the comfort of a private transfer. Check availability and rates.
Another option is to book a Blue Lagoon private tour from your hotel in Reykjavik.
Blue Lagoon Address
Blue Lagoon Iceland
Grindavík 240, Iceland
Blue Lagoon Opening Hours
- January to May 08:00 – 21:00
- 1 June to 20 August 07:00 – 00:00
- 21 August to 30 January from 08:00 – 22:00
- Christmas Eve, from 08:00-16:00
- New Years Eve, from 08:00-18:00
Guests must exit the water 30 minutes before the closing time.
More Iceland Travel Resources: Tips for visiting Reykjavik, Iceland’s Capital of Cool | A Tour of Iceland’s Golden Circle | Eating Iceland – what to eat and drink | Thunderbread – a geothermal bake off
Friday 18th of January 2019
Hi ! Really convinced now . Thanks for sharing all important information . Do you think it is possible to take any pictures from the board walks or dry areas ? We do not have a waterproof camera .
Saturday 19th of January 2019
Yes I think you probably could but it does get very cold out of the water! Enjoy your visits and thank you for dropping by the blog
Thursday 3rd of December 2015
How do you take pictures without getting the camera wet, damaged or stolen? I'm visiting over Christmas and would love to record the experience. Thanks for the info regarding not wetting hair!
Thursday 3rd of December 2015
I used a waterproof camera which had a strap so I could hang it around my neck. Have a fantastic time :)
Reykjavik - Iceland's Design Destination | The Travelbunny
Friday 18th of September 2015
[…] Into The Blue Lagoon – Tips for your visit to the Blue […]
Travelbunny Highlights 2014 | The Travelbunny
Thursday 13th of August 2015
[…] to be seen. The natural beauty of Iceland was astounding especially the Golden Circle. The Blue Lagoon was an experience I didn’t think I’d enjoy but ending up loving it. We didn’t see the […]
Sunday 22nd of March 2015
The Blue Lagoon was the highlight of my recent trip to Iceland, well worth the extortionate prices! Kat liked that strawberry fizz so much we bought loads at duty-free on the way home!
Tuesday 24th of March 2015
I was dubious about going there but loved it too - quite a surreal experience!