During our unforgettable trip to Iceland in June 2021, Paul and I opted for more time in Reykjavik, so Katie, Nan and David spent a morning at the Blue Lagoon. My thanks to our daughter Nan for this guest post.
If checking off one of the 25 wonders of the world is on your bucket list, a visit to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland is a must! Roughly a 45 minute bus trip from downtown Reykjavik, it’s a perfect activity for a “mellow” day after doing many of the other tours in this blog! See also posts on Reykjavik, the Golden Circle and the South Coast.
I won’t try to describe all the scientific stuff that makes this pool so extraordinary, it’s best to read all that here, but I will say that when you learn about Iceland’s water and geothermal heat sources while on your trip, spending time in the lava generated hot water with steam rising all above you, mud somewhat weirdly (until you get used to it) coming up through the toes, and the beauty of the opaque blue water coming from the high silica content, you’ll hopefully find the visit worthwhile!
Here are a few key pointers that had we known in hindsight, we’d have appreciated ☺.
Try to combine. The Lagoon is near both the airport and Fagradalsfjall, the well-known active volcano to which you can hike. I would recommend you either go to the lagoon upon arriving or before leaving, and simply stop there on your way, OR do the same for the volcano hike. Basically, make this an “on your way to or from” trip from either of those two, so you’re not wasting time in a bus just for the lagoon.
Plan for timing. On their booking site, they say the “average” stay is 3 hours. We were done in about 45 minutes and then we were stuck waiting there for our shuttle for 90 minutes which we felt was time wasted! If you want the full experience of the lagoon, eating at the restaurant, and maybe getting a massage, yeah maybe it could stretch to three hours. But for us, we wanted to go in, stay long enough to enjoy the pool, get the mud masks (I mean, my skin needs all the help it can get!), and then head back to the showers.
Put your phone in a plastic bag. If you want to take pictures, you can put your phone on many of the platforms/rocks out there, but it’s a huge lagoon, and we had to hold our phones above water to protect them from all the natural minerals that make the water pretty harsh. So a Ziploc bag would be a nice bonus to remember. And take your watch off and put in a locker. They are probably H2O proof, but who knows what the minerals may do to them.
Determine your intent. One clay mask is included with the “basic” package, and 3 more are available if you pay more. Again, it all depends on your intention, but we found that it was more around the experience vs. the skincare regime so we did basic and it was perfect.
What to bring. Just a bathing suit and brush (if you want that for after your post lagoon shower). They provide towels upon exit from the lagoon, and have ample shampoo, conditioner, and body wash in the showers. There are hairdryers as well. Lockers are also provided to keep everything safe.
Paying for extras. When you check in, you get a plastic bracelet with a chip that you wear in the water. This chip is simply scanned at both the mud & beverage bar, then added to your bill, so you can keep your credit cards in your locker.
All in all, it was an experience we were glad we did once, but we all agreed a “one and done.” I would add that a local Reykjavik friend recommended the Sky Lagoon for a much more premium experience (it has the entire “Ritual” for lagoon bathing, as well as a “Lite Pass” if you want to have a quicker experience. I feel if we went back, we would definitely look at this option to try another spot.
Bottom line, lagoons are such an iconic part of Iceland, that we were very glad we had the experience! And our skin looked and felt amazing, so there’s that!
➜ Top Tips
In addition to the pointers above,
DO NOT GET YOUR HAIR WET. The harsh minerals will make it feel weird for many days after. If you do want to submerge completely, make sure to coat your hair in conditioner before.
Get there early to beat the rush - by the time we were leaving, the parking lot was half full (and post-Covid, the numbers will only increase).
There's a full hotel on site so that's an option if you'd like to spend your final day and evening relaxing before an early morning flight.