The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland‘s top tourist attraction. And for a good reason, the geothermal waters and the alien lava field landscape offer a great experience in a beautiful landscape.
Located just 15 kilometers (10 mi) from Keflavik International Airport, the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is a therapeutic wonder ideal for alleviating jet lag when arriving on transatlantic flights and also a relaxing setting to bid farewell to the country.
A visit to the Blue Lagoon promotes harmony between body, mind and spirit, enabling bathers to soak away life’s daily stresses. The modern facilities have been developed into a wellness complex including saunas, a warm flowing waterfall, and in-water treatments and massages using the all-natural Blue Lagoon skin care products.
Amenities also include an Exclusive Changing Lounge, snack shop, boutique, conference facilities and LAVA Restaurant serving fresh Icelandic ingredients prepared by inspired chefs hand-picked from the national culinary team.
What is the history of this lagoon, why is it so blue and what makes it so special?
The Blue Lagoon is not a natural phenomenon. Iceland is a country brimming with natural hot springs, but the Blue Lagoon isn’t one of them. The Blue Lagoon history dates back to 1976 and is formed next to the geothermal power plant. The lagoon was created by the excess water from the power plant, that is drilling for steam and hot water. The runoff is filtered straight into the Blue Lagoon, which is what heats the water.
You might consider the lagoon as a weird but completely safe environmental accident. The water is clean and does not contain any chemicals, only natural minerals that have proven to be very good for people’s skin.
In 1981, people started bathing in it: when the first person decided to try, though, Icelanders weren’t all too sure about the idea. The name of the young man who attempted to swim in the lagoon was Valur Margeirsson, and he suffered from Psoriasis, so he got permission from the chairman of the plant and gave it a try with a dip in it. Soon he realized that the water and the algae in the water could do wonders for his skin. He was the first one to give the name Blue Lagoon to the geothermal pool, and the name stuck.
The first public bathing facilities opened six years later, in 1987, and at first, the facility was mostly used by people with skin problems.
Iceland is a country with a great bathing culture and where you can find a number of swimming pools and plenty of natural hot springs. And so it didn’t take long for locals to start flocking to this new bathing location in the countryside, especially as it was so conveniently not too far from Reykjavík.
The water in the Blue Lagoon completely renews itself every 48 hours, so you can be sure that you’re bathing in a very clean warm pool. Although, it’s required to shower naked before entering the lagoon. Don’t worry if you’re not comfortable with undressing in front of other people, you can get a lot of privacy because the Lagoon is equipped with changing rooms with lockers and stalls. Be sure to bring your towel and everything you need for the lagoon before entering the shower area as the staff there prefers not to have guests returning to the locker area after heading towards the lagoon.
Depending on the weather (and on the season, of course) it can be very sunny at the lagoon, and the minerals make the water highly reflective. Be sure to always bring sunglasses to protect your eyes. Also, while bathing in the Blue Lagoon is strongly recommended to not wearing contact lenses. The reason is that the silica can get into your eyes and make it particularly painful if you’re wearing them.
The warm waters are rich in minerals like silica and sulfur and bathing in the Blue Lagoon is a super relaxing experience. The water temperature of the lagoon averages 37–39 °C (99–102 °F).
Always remember that the water in the Blue Lagoon is super rich in minerals like silica, chloride, and calcium. Those minerals are very strong and, even though they would not damage your hair, they could make them brittle and stiff once wet: make sure to always use a good amount of conditioner (provided from the lagoon staff, but you can always use your own) and leave it in. Due to the high concentration of algae and minerals, the lagoon water could also affect and damage your jewelry. Take care of it and remove your rings, necklaces, and bracelets before entering the blue pool.
The Blue Lagoon’s geothermal water will not damage your swimsuit or cause permanent stains. However, it’s recommended to rinse your swimsuit with cold water and soap after bathing in the lagoon. If you like, you can rent or purchase a swimsuit directly at the Blue Lagoon shop.
The Blue Lagoon Bar – You don’t have to get out the blue water as for the bar is built directly in the water and therefore is accessible from inside the lagoon. There you can find both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and the options go from refreshing smoothies and sodas to wine, beer, and cider. There is a limit of 3 alcoholic beverages per person whilst in the lagoon.
The Lava Restaurant – The Blue Lagoon top-notch restaurant is built into an 800-year-old lava cliff on the west bank of the Blue Lagoon. It’s a perfect stop for a romantic meal before or after relaxing in the lagoon’s opaque blue waters. Also available for relaxed lunches, or family dinners.
Moss Restaurant – Recommended by the 2019 Michelin Guide, this restaurant is built on the highest point of the Lagoon, offering a stunning view of the volcanic horizon.
Every season is the best season to visit Iceland and the Blue Lagoon! The first morning slots are usually the calmest and least crowded, and the Lagoon will usually be full at the end of the day since there’s no limit on how long you can stay there. Maybe the best time to visit the Blue Lagoon is late at night to fully enjoy the midnight sun in summer and the Northern Lights in winter.
Blue Lagoon is open every day of the year. Due to the fact that many guests visit the Blue Lagoon each day, pre-booking is essential to ensure your space. If you arrive without a pre-booked ticket, you are very likely to miss out.
|1 Jan – 25 May||8:00 – 22:00|
|26 May – 29 Jun||7:00 – 23:00|
|30 Jun – 20 Aug||7:00 – 00:00|
|21 Aug – 1 Oct||8:00 – 22:00|
|2 Oct – 31 Dec*||8:00 – 20:00|
Blue Lagoon Standard Ticket
Four different tickets are available. Comfort ticket costs 8.490 isk, Premium 10.990 isk and Luxury ticket cost 59.000 isk. See bluelagoon.is for further information.
You can combine a Blue Lagoon visit with other tours in Iceland. If you’re only visiting Iceland for a few days, this is the best way to see the most sights. Here are some suggestions: