Tourist in a hot spring, Grindavik, Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Arnaldur Halldorsson/age fotostock
Iceland’s largest and most famous geothermal spa lies around an hour outside Reykjavik, quite close to Keflavik Airport. With a dramatic setting amidst large black lava boulders, the steam-filled, creamy-blue pool area is a striking and surreal sight. The Blue Lagoon has been open since the 1980s and today draws some 700,000 visitors a year. The pools are actually created by heated seawater that flows from the adjacent geothermal power station. The waters allegedly cure all manner of skin-related ailments (eczema, psoriasis), but whether these claims are true or not, it’s certainly an atmospheric place to unwind, with very comfortable (99 degrees Fahrenheit) temperatures. The complex includes a small bar that dispenses healthy juices and beer, as well as a spa area for massages andbeauty treatments, and a very good restaurant; there’s also an upscale hotel if you wish to stay overnight.
Steamy Blue Springs
If you ever make your way to Iceland, don’t fail to schedule some time for the Blue Lagoon. Yes, it’s a tourist spot near the airport, but it’s also a perfect place to relax for a few hours. Watch the steam billow up from the earth while wearing a white volcanic ash mask and sitting in 104F water. Admission is ~$20.
The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is a treat of an experience when visiting Iceland. Get your own flip flops, towels and enjoy the luxe locker rooms. Bathe in the soothing outdoor geothermal waters and smear on your mud face mask - all while overlooking the snowcapped mountains.
Ice(land), Ice(land), Baby...
Three days in iceland. Doesn’t sound like much time? I’m here to convince you otherwise. We experienced glacier hiking, ice climbing, waterfalls, volcanos, Icelandic horses, snow-capped mountains, lava fields, Vikings, Viking beer, relaxing in the Blue Lagoon, geysers, a park where continental rifts are pulling away from each other and home to the oldest continuously-operating parliament (since 930AD), runterting til 6am, Icelandic hot dogs and all of this accomplished under endless summer days.
Blue @ the Blue Lagoon
I traveled to Iceland in September 2011 with my mother en route to Norway. I had time to visit the Blue Lagoon and experience the amazing 100 degree waters in the spa and enjoy these hyper-real blue colors. The creamy blue of the water contrasted perfectly with blue of the sky. I write a blog on color and was awed by this site. See: http://lifeincolor-randi.blogspot.com/
Floating in the Blue Lagoon
No trip to Iceland is complete without a trip to the Blue Lagoon. Sooth your muscles in the warm mineral-rich water and take advantage of the silica mud for an impromptu facial. Although the Blue Lagoon is by far Iceland’s most popular destination, I managed to catch my wife in a minute of solitude, giving us a chance for the perfect Iceland photograph.
The ultimate Wellness Experience
Yes, the Blue Lagoon is fantastic. But even better is the small Hotel nearby. With only 15 rooms but a big exclusive lagoon. Never felt more pampered than when we stay there. If this is too quiet, the Blue Lagoon is only a ten minute walk away, through spectacular lava fields - with no extra entrance-fee, as long as you stay in the hotel. And you should stay as long as you can!
Simmering in Silica: Thawing Out in Iceland
Chilled to the bone from hours of exploring the moon-like landscape of the Reykjanes Peninsula, where Icelanders believe fairies, or “hidden people,” live, the idea of going swimming sounded about as enticing as putting lemon juice on a paper cut. But as soon as I saw the steaming, milky blue lake percolating in a vast field of forbidding black lava rock, I couldn’t get into my swimsuit fast enough. Bláa lónið, or Blue Lagoon, is an otherworldly oasis formed by the runoff from a geothermic power plant, just 45 minutes from Reykjavik. The 100-degree water, rich in minerals like silica and sulphur, bubbles up through the lava rock, and the silica silt clouds the water, and forms a silky, brilliant white mud that coats the sharp lava surface with a thick, smooth covering that looks and feels like bathtub caulk. Looking around, I saw people scooping up handfuls of this snowy white gunk and smearing it all over their skin. (That mud, as it turns out, is renowned for its purifying and healing properties. There is even a skin clinic at Blue Lagoon, where sufferers of psoriasis, in particular, find relief.) When in Rome, or in this case Reykjavik.... So, I slathered the milky muck all over myself and just floated on my back in the hot, velvety brew, letting the heat unknot my muscles, until the mud dried to chalk on my face. I didn’t ever want to get out of that powder blue water, but when I eventually did, my skin really was glowing and soft as a baby chick.
An Iceland Must Do: Visit the Blue Lagoon
You’ve probably seen images of the Blue Lagoon all over Pinterest and in travel ads - in Seattle you’ll see Iceland Air advertisements on the sides of buses and on big billboards. Those ads are why we scheduled our 20 hour layover adventure in Iceland and planned the Blue Lagoon as our final stop. While your actual experience in the pool won’t be exactly like the photo above - it’s pretty darn representative of how I felt about my experience there - FANTASTIC! This photo is taken outside the complex where you can walk around these gorgeous pools and view the pretty colors without any people in them. If you’re at all into photographing pretty things, it’s a must do either before or after your visit.
A fun visit for the family!
Iceland wasn’t my first choice for a family vacation. Not because we dislike the country but because my daughter is a tween & I’ll be honest, it’s sometimes a battle to get her out of bed before noon, let alone take her on an adventure that includes trekking or whale watching. However, when I mentioned swimming in the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa before & after, she soon changed her mind and excitedly agreed. Her excitement was short-lived due to some of the “locker room nakedness” rumors floating around the internet. Thankfully, with a little uncool motherly persuasion, she decided to keep an open mind. The entire experience at the Blue Lagoon was wonderful. We arrived at opening time, so there were no buses or long lines. The locker rooms were devoid of guests, so my shy 13 year old did not have to be shocked at what she envisioned adults look like disrobed. She was amazed that there were curtains on some of the shower stalls and even enclosed dressing rooms for those who like a bit of privacy. Imagine that! Going early and avoiding the rush gave us at least 30 minutes of fun-filled bonding time. We painted each other’s faces with the silica mud, splashed around and laughed hysterically as we snapped photos of our mud-cracked faces. As the tourist trickled in we brought our behavior down a little, relaxed in the warm water, chatted about those online rumors and eventually adapted to our environment. The Blue Lagoon is a fabulous stop for travelers of all ages.
Whale sashimi anyone?
The Blue Lagoon may conjure images of water massages and white mud faces, but it was here where I first tasted whale. My mission was to try three Icelandic meats: shark, horse, and whale. We went to a restaurant in Reykjavik and I asked for the shark meat. The waitress gave me a look, as if questioning my sanity. A few moments later, she brought out Hákarl. “It’s disgusting,” she warned me. I took the small block of fermented shark and quickly put it in my mouth. I bit down once. Suddenly, a feeling of nausea overcame me. I wanted to immediately regurgitate it. My mother-in-law saw the look in my face. “Just take it out,” she said. I shook my head in defiance. I was here to try a new dish and, by golly, I would. I bit down again. The second bite was worse than the first. My body was rejecting this morsel, which made sense. There has to be a defense mechanism against taking in ammonia. Needless to say, my shark meat wasn’t swallowed and the tasting was a flop. The horse meat went much better. A local in Akureyri invited us to his home and he made horse stew. While the taste of the horse was a little gamy, the seasonings in the stew made the meal delicious. We come now to my final tasting. After a rejuvenating day in the Blue Lagoon, we went to its restaurant, called Lava. Whale sashimi caught my attention on the menu and I ordered it. It was really fresh because the taste was neutral. With some ginger, wasabi, and wine, it went down well, unlike the shark.
My sister & I had gone to Iceland for a long weekend in February to see the Northern Lights. On our way back to the airport we stopped at the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal hot spring located not far from the nation’s capital: Reykjavik. The morning was cold, snow covering the ground, and only patches of gnarled black lava rock broke the blanket of white. Walking up a long brick walkway the spa isn’t visible right away & it feels a little alien to be there in the hushed morning hours. Cresting a low hill the contemporary glass façade comes into view & you enter into the bustling interior which feels anything but relaxing as you are ushered through the check in, given a towel & directed to the locker room to shower before entering the lagoon. Donning our swim suits we made our way to the stairs that led into the warm mineral laden waters inside a glass atrium, & from there we paddled outside. The milky turquoise water is dense with minerals & the bottom is a silky, silt-like texture (which will temporarily tarnish your silver jewelry). Boxes of silica are placed around the perimeter for the purpose of smearing on your face as a mask. You can choose to get a shoulder massage under the pounding waterfall or relax in the wet or dry sauna in addition to the lagoon itself. The water will make your hair feel a bit dry so when showering afterward a quick wash may be a good idea. This was absolutely a well spent couple of hours before boarding an airplane!
A great way to start your trip if you have a layover in Iceland is to stop over at the Blue Lagoon Spa. Just hop on to the airport bus that will whisk you direct to the spa. Its easy to buy bus tickets right at the airport and also get a return ticket.
A Tourist Trap to Get Caught In
It doesn’t get more touristy than the Blue Lagoon in Reykjavik. On your way to/from the airport hordes if tourists cram buses and descend on this natural geo-thermal pool outside of town. You want to know why? Cause it’s awesome. I don’t know if it’s a fountain of youth or not but it’s warm, it’s blue, they serve cocktails and all the algae mask you can slather on. For someone who prefers to travel off the beaten path, this is a path I’ll be beating down again. Tip: get the deluxe pkg which includes lunch (but not the private room). It’s a good deal and good food. But buy your product on the plane, it’s cheaper for some reason.
worth the hype
one of the few natural wonders in Iceland that require money for admittance (its about 60 dollars USD to get entrance, a robe, a facemask and a free drink at the swim up bar), but it’s worth it (if you have your own towel and flip flops etc, i think there is a cheaper option). Its so surreal to be floating around in hot milky blue water with a banana smoothie and facemask. We had a great time and floated a round for hours. I followed advice from other ladies and tried NOT to get my hair wet, as the silica in the water makes it feel a little like straw for a few days.
Geothermal Hot Springs in Iceland
Any jaunt to Iceland — be it of the lengthy or brief kind — cannot be complete without a trip to the land’s famous Blue Lagoon. Halfway between the airport and Reykjavík, the geothermal hot springs are best visited on one’s way to or from the airport. Despite being a bit of a money pit, you can avoid extra costs by bringing your own towel and robe, shelling out a mere €35 compared to €50+ for the inclusion of a beverage and a mask. Instead, swim over to a silica stations while in the lagoon and resist the urge to drink. I was lucky to make it for sunrise, which made for an excellent post-flight refresher and a rather breathtaking arrival in Iceland.
Silica at the Blue Lagoon aka the surface of the moon
This was a dream of mine for 10 years. To go to the Blue Lagoon, swim, tread water and be surrounded by some of the rockiest terrain anywhere in the world. A must do when in Iceland.
Relaxing at the Blue Lagoon
On our second to last day in Iceland, we visited the Blue Lagoon. After a long, dark week, celebrating New Years Eve until the early hours of the morning, venturing out to nearby glaciers, and hunting the Northern Lights at night, we ended the week with this perfect, relaxing day. Soaking in the thermal pool, sipping Prosecco, we were amazed when we saw the Sun for the first time that week.
Relaxing in the Most Amazing Hot Spring Ever
On a recent trip to Iceland, we booked a night at the Blue Lagoon hotel. The great thing about staying at the hotel was we completely avoided the crowds of tourists who just visit the Blue Lagoon Spa for the day. During the three times we went for a dip, there were no more than 4 other people in the pool, which made the experience that much more enjoyable. I found my skin to be extremely smooth after. I have to mention one thing I learned the hard way. Be sure to use the shampoo and conditioner provided in the changer rooms. My hair was full of knots and hard to brush for the next few days. Overall it was an amazing experience, I highly recommend staying at the Blue Lagoon hotel if for nothing else but to enjoy the Blue Lagoon without the crowds.
Ultimate Spa Day
One of the 25 wonders of the world, The Blue Lagoon lives up to its hype. The textured black volcanic rock lined with white calcification in contrast with the bright light blue water is stunning. Don’t expect a quiet retreat however- this popular tourist spot draws from all over the globe, including boisterous, rolley-polley Americans representing our stereotype well. Regardless, put on your high-tech wristband, bath in the geothermal water with an algae mask and a green drink, and finish with a detoxing sauna. Most airlines consider January the off-season and don’t fly to Iceland then... appropriately, the staff prefer this month best: when there are less people, the sun sets at 5 over the water, and then the northern lights put on a show.
A dip in the Blue Lagoon
Yes it’s touristy, but a visit to Iceland isn’t complete without a relaxing dip into the Blue Lagoon (or any geothermal spa for that matter). Iceland is full of geothermal spas and pools to enjoy. We visited during the winter and the contrast of the warm waters and the cool winter air was amazing! Be sure to cover your face with the beneficial White Silica mud that naturally occurs in the lagoon and the green algae mask for baby smooth skin.
Basking in Blue
There’s a reason why The Blue Lagoon is one of the most visited places in Malta. Although the water was freezing in May, it was still spectacular and absolutely worth a visit. Bring a towel and sunscreeen (shade is a tad scarce on this 3.5 kilometre wonderland) and chill out on the rocks with a beer and snacks from one of the food trucks. Escaping from the main beach crowd is easy, wander around the bend where you’ll find a quieter cove all for you.