Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is probably one of the first things you think of when someone mentions Iceland, and it’s easy to understand why. The milky-blue water set in the middle of a volcanic landscape is extraordinary. And the idea of warm soothing heat to help relax and heal your tired body? Well that helps too. Especially before an international flight.
I have now been to the Blue Lagoon twice. First, in 2012 before Iceland wasn’t at all the ‘it’ destination it is today, and I have just returned from my second visit. The difference is incredible, and while it’s much busier now than it was five years ago, it’s still an amazing experience and, in my opinion, a ‘must’ for any visitor.
Booking Your Visit to Iceland’s Blue Lagoon
When I first visited there was no need to pre-book, no fear of it filling up. However today pre-booking is mandatory. To do this, you must visit the Blue Lagoon online ahead of time and book the time when you plan to arrive. It should be noted that different time slots have different prices, and there are three different levels of the experience. The cheapest option is Standard, which get you into the pools. The second option, Comfort, includes a towel, a free algae mask, and one drink of your choice. In my opinion, one of these two options is all you really need. However, if you really want to splurge, there are also Premium and Luxury options which do include some more perks, but also bump up the price tag quite significantly. Take a look at their website for all the details.
When to Go
My best advice would be to go for opening time. Bus ride to/from the city is offered when you purchase your ticket online (it’s about a 45-minute ride) along with the entrance fees into the Blue Lagoon. Take advantage of the earliest departure time to be there for opening (this changes depending on the season). This will ensure you don’t wait too long in line, get a locker near anyone you are traveling with, and get to see the beauty of the Blue Lagoon before it is filled with people. Plus, the earliest time slot is often the cheapest, and if you arrive in the winter, being in the pool in the dark is a neat experience.
The Blue Lagoon is an awesome experience at any time, but if possible, I highly suggest visiting before your flight- it’s a fantastic way to relax before boarding a plane. It’s only about 25 minutes from Keflavik airport, and you can include a bus transfer to the airport in your reservation.
Before you Enter
Don’t go with any makeup or styled hair. You will have to shower (without your swimsuit) before entering the lagoon. Now ladies, this is the important part; use the conditioner! It is free and provided in every shower. Use it and don’t be cheap with it. Leave it in your hair upon entering the pool, and if your hair is long, tie it up on your head. Do your best not to get it wet; chances are it will happen at some point, but if it does, head back to the shower area and re-condition. The salt and minerals in the water, though amazing for your skin, will wreak havoc on your hair and dry it out in no time. Use the conditioner, try not to get it too wet, and you will be fine.
Take Advantage of the Face Masks
The famous Blue Lagoon silicon mud masks are free, yes that’s right; FREE in the Blue Lagoon. The mixture can be found at the mask hut on the right side of the lagoon (if you are facing the main building). Leave it on for 10 minutes and say hello to beautifully soft and clean skin.
If you get the Comfort package or higher you are also entitled to the algae mask. For best results use this mask after the mud mask, and again leave it on for about 10 minutes.
For the full experience head into the shop afterwards and take advantage of the testers- hand lotion, body lotion, lip balm,and silky face cream are all available to try!
Perks around the Pool
As I already said, there is a swim-up pool bar. And yes, you can drink in the pool. Whether you are after juice, beer, cocktails, or even champagne you can find it here. For a healthier choice go for a skyr (an Icelandic yogurt- the best you have ever tasted!) smoothie. There is also a cafe indoors where you can grab a light meal and a drink if you need a break.
Also make sure to check out around the pool. Some places may be warmer than others, while others are a little shallower or deeper. Towards the back you can also take advantage of the steam bath or sauna. An absolute favourite is the massaging waterfall- stand under this and any muscle tension in your back or shoulders will be released in no time. There is also a small cave that is kind of cool to check out.
Like with any hot tub, it’s important to take breaks every now and then so you don’t over-heat, and stay hydrated. There are water fountains by the saunas, and water can be purchased in the cafe or at the swim up bar.
The Blue Lagoon is an experience not to be missed. If you have the opportunity- take advantage of it! Just be prepared to want to return again, and again, and again.
*This post was originally written in 2013 but has been updated to reflect the changes based on my recent visit in February 2017
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