Honestly, I was really worried about visiting Iceland’s Blue Lagoon. Okay, so it’s one of the 25 Wonders of the World and yes, it’s the premier tourist attraction on the island, is the top of many people’s wanderlust wish-list and hugely Insta-famous.
But it also attracts a lot of criticism for being over hyped, cliched and expensive. So I had mixed feelings when I booked the tickets online. Could it possibly live up to expectations? Would it be worth the hefty £140 price tag for two basic entrance passes? Yes, that’s £70 EACH, essentially just to get in.
Well since you’re reading this and are therefore most likely interested in visiting the Blue Lagoon, you’ll be pleased to hear that I needn’t have worried. As soon as we immersed ourselves in the heavenly 38 °C/ 100°F milky blue water, I just felt my cares drain away. It was magical!
What to expect when you visit the Blue Lagoon
Because it’s so popular and busy all year round, you need to book online in advance in order to visit the Blue Lagoon. Once you arrive and show your e-ticket, you are given an electronic wrist band which allows you to access a locker in the changing area and also to buy any food or drinks whilst you’re there. So no need to mess around with money or risk losing locker keys, which is great. You’ll also get given a towel. Robes and slippers are available to rent as extras, but honestly I don’t think they were worth it for the price.
Changing areas at the Blue Lagoon
Once you’re through to the changing area (there are separate male and female locker rooms) you are required to shower without your bathing suit on before you go into the lagoon. The logistics of this are a little bit fiddly, depending on how shy you are. There is one changing cubicle with a door and a shower with a door, otherwise it’s all very communal if you pay for the basic ‘comfort’ ticket, as we did. The more expensive ticket options provide you with your own changing area and entrance to the lagoon with presumably fewer other people around.
What about your hair?
It’s also strongly recommended that you use the conditioner provided in the shower, apply it to your hair and leave it in, before you enter the lagoon. The highly mineralised water can make hair rather crispy so the conditioner offers some protection. I followed this advice and had no problems with my hair after at all (although I wore it up and out of the water for the most part). If you are worried or have sensitive hair then either wear a hat or just keep your head above the water. Worth knowing that there is also a hair dryer just outside the changing room, if you want to use it after your visit.
After you’ve showered and put on your bathing suit, I’m not going to lie, it’s an uncomfortable walk out into the cold air and quickly into the lagoon. But the feeling of being enveloped by the heavenly, hot blue water after the cold air is something truly special!
Despite many visitors being there at the same time, the lagoon is so huge, often with mist above it so that it’s easy to find a quiet spot away from the crowds and feel like you have some space. We enjoyed swimming around the whole area, feeling the changes in water temperature and just floating our cares away.
The basic ticket also includes one complimentary drink which you can get from the swim up bar. No need to leave the water at all! The choices are soft drinks, fruit smoothies, cider or a selection of wine and prosecco. Naturally we went for the prosecco. If you want to order any more drinks you just ‘swipe’ your wristband and you pay when you leave. There is a drinking water fountain in the lagoon too so you can stay hydrated too. For food there’s a cafe and a fancy restaurant, if you really want to splash out.
How long can you stay at the Blue Lagoon for?
You book an arrival time when you buy your online ticket so you can stay for as long as you like at the lagoon. We found that after a couple of hours we were turning into prunes so got out for a bit. You can get in and out as much as you want, or as much as you can stand to, depending on the air temps! There are pegs for towels (or robes) near the entrance and if you misplace yours the staff are on hand to replace it.
There’s a waterfall which is fun to stand under and you can help yourself to the complementary silica mud to use on your face. It’s said to be rejuvenating and beneficial to skin if applied for 7-10 minutes. It certainly felt nice and we had lots of fun smearing it on and laughing at how daft we looked. Obviously the Blue Lagoon is insta-heaven so make sure you take a waterproof phone case to get those envy inducing shots! I took my GoPro, which is waterproof, but I wasn’t prepared to test it actually in the water.
Fun Facts about the Blue Lagoon:
The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal pool, spa and hotel on an 800 year old lava field in the Southwest of Iceland
The 6 million litres of geothermal sea water is totally replenished every 40 hours
The Blue Lagoon is not natural, it’s basically a run off from the geothermal power plant next door
The temperature of the water is around 38°C/100°F – perfect for relaxing in and even when the air temps are freezing, keeps you surprisingly warm.
Water comes from 6.500 ft/1981 metres below ground where the temperature is a scorching 240°C/464°F
You don’t need shoes in the Blue Lagoon, the floor is smooth rock and quite pleasant to walk on
It’s possible to get a reservation for an in water massage, if you book in advance. There’s a separate roped off area next to the main pool for treatments
Getting to the Blue Lagoon
Getting to the Blue Lagoon is really easy since it’s only a 25 minute drive away from Keflavik International Airport. For that reason many people go on the first or last day of their stay in Iceland. We arrived early in the morning from London and went straight there for the rest of the day. It was a great way to wash away the stress of an early morning flight! It’s possible to stay at the Blue Lagoon Hotel itself but we stayed 10 mins away in Grindavik at the lovely Anita’s Guest House, for a fraction of the price via Booking.com.
You can get 10% off at Booking.com using our referral link here
I hope this blog post has answered some of the questions you might have had about visiting the Blue Lagoon. Okay, so the locals don’t go there as it really is just for the tourists. Icelanders prefer to use the much cheaper, naturally occurring hot springs that are all over the island. But even so, for us first time geothermal pool users wondering is the Blue Lagoon worth it, the answer is a resounding YES!
Do you have any questions about the Blue Lagoon? Do you agree with us or do you think it’s over-rated? We’d love to hear what you think, tell us in the comments…
If you want to read more about our Iceland trip, including the route we took, check out our blog post Iceland – an easy 4 day itinerary for first timers