The Blue Lagoon is an iconic attraction in Iceland. Relaxing in warm, shimmery-blue water whilst surrounded by snow-capped mountains isn’t something you do everyday. It’s surreal. But as a result it’s a huge draw for lots of tourists and can be crowded and expensive, so is it worth it?
When we arrived the local who drove us said how overcrowded and touristy the attraction had become over the last few years. Naturally we walked in expecting to be crammed in like sardines – we were delightfully wrong. Iceland as a country has a very small population so what might seem crowded to them was pleasantly sparse for us.
But you’ve got to go at the right time. Early or late is the best option, midday is the most popular and will start to get busy. If you don’t want to bathe in the dark (which could be quite fun) and you want to get some decent pictures then going as early as possible before the tour buses get in is ideal.
- The lagoon isn’t actually natural, it’s an overspill from the geothermal power plant next door.
- When the locals realised the water had healing properties they turned it into a spa.
- The lava field that surrounds it is over 800 years old.
- The water contains algea, silica and minerals and has proven benefits for helping treat psoriasis.
- There’s approximated six million litres of geothermal seawater in the lagoon.
What about the location? The Blue Lagoon is actually pretty close to the airport which is why a lot of tourists go on their way to or from their flight. If you don’t want to be stressing about time then going when you arrive is the best option. There’s a bus that goes there frequently but if there’s not an ideal time or you want to beat the crowds then get a private transfer. We ended up paying the same for a private transfer as we would have paid getting a bus to Reykjavik and then a return group transfer to the lagoon during the week. So not only did we waste less time travelling but the private transfer waited with our luggage whilst we were at the lagoon meaning we didn’t have to stress about missing the bus.
For your admission fee there are four different options. They range from basic, which just includes your admission, to luxury which includes exclusive lounge access and various other treats. The best option? Basic. You can save a lot of money by just bringing your own towel. Considering how surreal the surrounding are spending money on the exclusive lounge inside is a waste. As for the other extras there’s whole buckets of silica mud dotted around which you can give yourself a facial with for free! The lagoon is big enough to keep you entertained for a couple of hours at least.
Then there’s the food and drink. The Lagoon has a small cafe and a swim-up bar which is awesome. However, as is the case with rest of Iceland, it’s expensive. Expect to pay a lot so either plan to eat a proper meal before or after your session. And stay hydrated! Make sure you drink lots of water as it can get very warm in places. As for paying for stuff there’s a really innovative digital wristband system which you can pay for all your food and drinks on and open your locker with, which makes everything very easy.
Then for the ladies you’ve got to be careful with your hair. The natural elements in the lagoon are great for your skin but not so great for your hair. It can make it feel dry and brittle afterwards so they advise you to keep it out of the water. If you’re like me with long hair that is incapable of staying dry and you look god awful in a swim cap (not happening) then it’s not the end of the world. In the showers there’s lots of conditioner so coat your hair in it before you go in, and then again when you get a drink or food, and then again when you get out and you’ll be fine. It might feel a little funny to start with but will be back to normal in no time.
And more than anything just enjoy it. There’s not much else around for miles so time seems to slow down, you won’t find anything else like it.