Iceland may have been the last stop on my recent trip to Europe, but booking The Blue Lagoon was one of the first things I did during the planning stages.
Despite what some may believe, The Blue Lagoon is NOT natural but man-made. It sounds very strange, but the water actually comes from the geothermal plant next door. The water is rich in minerals such as sulfur and silica and is known to have excellent healing properties for the skin. The water is also very soothing and relaxing to bathe in as the temperature is 37 – 39C. It was truly a unique experience to be outdoors in a bathing suit in 7C/8C weather while immersed in warm water!
Booking your visit:
If you’re planning on visiting, it’s recommended to book ahead. The Blue Lagoon has become a main tourist attraction in Iceland probably thanks to the many photos seen on pinterest and instagram!
Booking your visit is very easy. I did everything online right from the website. I chose to book the standard package as I didn’t want to pay for any extras I didn’t need (such as a drink!) and we weren’t planning on spending the whole day there. A standard package will cost you €50 in the summer (June 1 – August 31) and €40 in the winter months (January 1 – May 31 & September 1 – December 31). I ended up paying €35 each as we obtained the 2015 pricing. You can walk in but it will cost you an additional €5.
Before you Get There:
There are few things you need to know before you arrive. I’m a believer in being prepared as I don’t like any “financial” surprises (which is usually in the form of money leaving my bank account as opposed to money appearing there 😉 ).
- Everything is an additional cost. Towels, slippers, robes, services, drinks and food are all extra. If you have towels, slippers and robes bring them with you. We opted to rent towels at around $5 – 6 CAD. Since I booked a massage I received a robe as part of that add-on.
- Bring your bathing suit. Seems obvious but if for some reason you forget it to bring it you can rent one…but that’s sort of weird.
- Bring flip flops. It will be cold outside and walking around on the deck in bare feet can get pretty uncomfortable. I also get a little weirded out by having to walk barefoot in change rooms so for those situations I always bring flip flops in case.
- You can store your luggage – but it is likely an additional cost. Some visitors come straight on a shuttle from or on their way to the airport so it’s good to know that this is an option.
- DO NOT lose your wrist band. You will receive a wrist band much like the ones you get at an all-inclusive resort. It acts as your credit card during your stay and also serves to lock and unlock your locker. You need to settle your bill and return this bracelet before you exit the spa area.
- Be prepared to shower naked. I think showering naked is more of an issue for North Americans. In the ladies change room all the showers have partitions between them and there are a couple with doors for privacy. From what my husband remembers the men’s shower area is completely open and there is maybe one with a curtain. It’s required to shower completely and thoroughly before entering the lagoon for hygienic purposes.
- Put your hair up and use a lot of conditioner. While silica is an amazing softener for the skin, it can wreck havoc on your hair. It won’t damage it, but it can make it really unmanageable. Leave conditioner in to protect it and keep it away from the water.
- Wear sunscreen and sunglasses if needed. While the outside temperature may be chilly, even on a cloudy day the Lagoon reflects plenty of sunlight. Stay safe and wear sunblock. If it’s sunny out protect your eyes too.
- Don’t pay extra for the silica mud. You can get it free around the Lagoon itself. I personally didn’t use any as my skin can be sensitive and I didn’t want to take the risk of breaking out!
- The in-water massages aren’t private. But don’t worry, you’re in your swimsuit in the Lagoon. It took a few minutes for me to tune out the other people around me but I was soon in a very zen zone.
- Go early. If you’re like me and not too fond of crowds it’s a good idea to book at an early time. We arrived around 9am and there were no line ups, (even if you book and reserve a time you may have to wait in line to check in) and by the time we left around noon it was quite packed. I was also told to avoid the weekends if at all possible.
- Bring water. You can get dehydrated in the Lagoon and not even realize it. I kept a bottle of water in my locker and made sure to drink plenty before and after my time there. If you’re spending the entire day there be sure to sip throughout the day.
The Blue Lagoon is located in Grindavik which is about a 20 minute drive from the airport and an hour drive from Reykjavik, the capital city. If you have a car as we did, driving there is very easy. And there is plenty of free parking. You can also book buses from both the capital city and the airport. I saw many visitors taking this option but I personally prefer making my own schedule.
What to Do:
Just enjoy yourself! The sensation of being in the water is really unlike anything I’ve experienced. At first it feels a little strange – like being in really warm bath water. But it’s so relaxing and my skin felt so great afterwards. There is a swim up bar so you can get a drink to further add to the experience.
You can also get a spa treatment or massage. I opted for the in-water massage (€60 for 30 minutes) since I had never experienced one before. It was very relaxing but admittedly a little strange. The massage area is somewhat separated from the rest of the Lagoon but it’s not in a completely private area. You jump up on a foam mat – much like a yoga mat – and your massage therapist covers you with a towel to keep you warm and an optional towel over your eyes. You remain on your back the entire time and the therapist will massage you from under the water while you float. Occasionally your body (not your head) will be dipped underwater to keep you warm. There are others receiving massages around you as well so it took me a bit of time to zone out and fully relax. The treatment includes massaging of the legs, back, shoulders, neck and face. I opted out of the face portion since they used a massage oil and was worried about having a reaction.
You can also have a leisurely lunch after your spa visit. We decided to just head back to our hotel as we had booked another excursion in the afternoon, but the restaurant looked beautiful! Warning – as is everything in Iceland everything is very expensive!
If you’ve ever been to The Blue Lagoon I would LOVE to hear about your experience!