The Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Much has been written about the Blue Lagoon in Iceland; it is certainly on the well beaten track between the airport and Reykjavik, but it is not disappointing. Here I will give a detailed and practical review to guide your visit…
Before going into the complex you can walk around the milky blue pools and landscape of black rocks under a view of the geothermal power station (pictured above). This area is free to wander around, so if you didn’t fancy a dip in the hot waters you could swing by for a stroll round without shelling out.
As you enter the complex – try to avoid the coach tours as you will be queuing for a long time – you can buy a basic ticket, experience ticket, or a private room (prices vary by season but here’s the link to check them out). We went for the middle option and headed over to the Lava restaurant for lunch, which was nice and fresh but a little rushed as we were eager to get into the water! In the middle of the day the restaurant feels cold and lacks atmosphere due to the high ceiling and minimal design, but I imagine that with clever lighting it could feel quite intimate in the evenings.
After the lovely lunch we made our way into the changing rooms, which have a very confusing electronic locker system. My key fob seemed to keep opening someone else’s locker! There are rules to follow in order to keep the waters clean as no chemicals are used; firstly undress and pop on your dressing gown, go take a shower where there are cubicles both with and without doors, and shower gel and hair conditioner provided. There are helpful signs telling you which areas of your body you must give a good scrub (!), and I recommend slathering your hair in conditioner to stop it drying out in the lagoon. Once you are squeaky clean head back to your locker, grab your swimsuit, put it on either in the dressing area or in one of the lockable dressing cubicles of which there is one per locker area, then head outside cocooned in your fluffy robe as it will be FREEZING!
There are numbered hooks to hang up your gown next to the lagoon so you can remember where you put it in a frozen panic later on. Descend into the warm waters via the steps and swim out and find your own secluded area in which to wallow and relax in the mineral rich lagoon. The closer you swim towards the wooden boxes the hotter the water, as this is where the source of the hot water rises up from underground, some areas are unbelievably hot and others much cooler. There are steam rooms and saunas to hop in and out of, a hot waterfall (man-made) and deposits of thick white mud which you can scoop up using the wooden spoons and slather over your skin, a most enjoyable experience.
There is a swim up bar where we purchased a volcanic face scrub apiece, a beer and a weird green ginger smoothie (disgusting) included in our package. The complex operates a cashless system but anything you want from the bar is electronically tracked via your locker key bracelet, and you pay when you leave. We bobbed around for two or three hours exploring the nooks and crannies of the lagoon and squishing our feet in the muddy bits, and left feeling thoroughly relaxed, enjoying baby soft skin and prune-like fingers and toes!
Chuck your towels and gowns into the laundry bins in the changing rooms, maybe enjoy a drink in the cafe and the exit through the gift shop. Our tickets gave us 5 Euros off any product and it can be redeemed here, at the Blue Lagoon shop in town and at the airport shop (where I treated myself to the travel pack of mini products and a hand cream in a vain attempt to prolong the effects of the lagoon minerals).
Top tip for the blue lagoon: Decide which package you are going to go for before you get there as it is not very clear at the tills which ticket includes what. You don’t want to be the ones holding up the queue of excited and impatient tourists behind you. You can check out all the options here. You only need to make advance booking for the top tier option as there are limited private suites available. Other than that – enjoy!
Read more on Iceland here!