Are you curious about the Blue Lagoon? Perhaps you’ve seen photos of bathers relaxing in the lagoon’s milky turquoise waters, or maybe you’ve listened to a friend describe its rejuvenating effects. There are multiple reasons the Blue Lagoon is Iceland’s most popular attraction, drawing thousands of visitors a year — including celebrities. As you’ll learn, it’s more than just a beautiful place to take a dip.
If you’re considering adding the Blue Lagoon to your Icelandic itinerary, we’ll help you decide if it’s worth the trip. In this post, we explore Iceland’s Blue Lagoon and what you need to know before you get there.
Table of Contents
What Is the Blue Lagoon?
The Blue Lagoon, run by a company called Blue Lagoon Iceland, is a spa and human-made geothermal pool located about 45 minutes from Reykjavik in the Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark. A moss-covered lava field surrounds the azure lagoon, taking visitors into the heart of an otherworldly landscape. It’s most famous for its steamy mineral-rich water and soft white silica mud, both of which have healing effects on the skin.
Locals and visitors have long enjoyed the benefits of bathing in the Blue Lagoon and spreading silica mud on their skin, and scientists have even studied its curative powers. For example, according to this study published in Experimental Dermatology, the lagoon’s silica and algae demonstrated the capacity to improve skin function and prevent premature aging. It’s no wonder some refer to the Blue Lagoon as the true fountain of youth.
What’s the History of the Lagoon?
A geothermal power company created the Blue Lagoon in 1976. The power plant, which still pipes water into the lagoon today, uses hot, pressurized water from underground to run steam turbines and generate electricity. The runoff water did not seep through the surrounding lava field as the plant’s engineers had expected, and instead formed a chalky blue pool.
A few years after the power plant’s construction, locals began to swim in the lagoon. They discovered the water alleviated psoriasis symptoms, which caught researchers’ attention and initiated the development of the Blue Lagoon complex. Today, the Blue Lagoon includes a spa, gift shop, restaurants, accommodations, psoriasis treatment clinic and the lagoon itself. By design, the buildings, walkways and bridges harmonize with the natural surroundings, adding to the beauty of the lagoon and volcanic landscape.
What to Know Before Visiting Iceland’s Blue Lagoon
Once you arrive at the Blue Lagoon, it’s easy to slow down and enjoy its warm water and stunning scenery. To ensure your escape goes smoothly, here’s what you need to know beforehand.
1. When to Book Your Tickets
Blue Lagoon Iceland requires visitors to book their tickets by reserving a time slot through their website. Due to the lagoon’s popularity, you’ll want to get your tickets as far in advance as possible, or at least a week before your journey, especially if you have your heart set on a specific time slot.
To book your ticket online, you’ll choose the date and time of your visit and the type of package you want. You’ll also have a chance to add extras, such as an in-water massage and dinner reservation. The reservation process is simple and shows you all the options you need to enjoy your experience to the fullest.
2. How Much Tickets Cost
Ticket prices for the Blue Lagoon fluctuate according to demand. Since prices are constantly changing, you won’t find a set price list on the company’s website. However, when it’s time to book, you’ll choose one of three packages.
- Comfort package: The Comfort package begins at $53 and includes entrance into the Blue Lagoon, a silica mud mask, towel use and a drink.
- Premium package: The Premium package starts at $68 and includes everything the Comfort package comes with, plus slippers, use of a bathrobe, a second mask of your choice, a reservation at the Lava Restaurant and a glass of sparkling wine if you eat at the restaurant.
- Luxury package: The Luxury package includes access to the Blue Lagoon, Retreat Lagoon and Retreat Spa. It also comes with a private changing room, access to unique subterranean spaces — including a sauna — and the chance to practice the Blue Lagoon Ritual, which involves covering your body in silica, algae and mineral salt. This package starts at $372.
Once you have your entry ticket, you’re welcome to spend as much time as you like relaxing in the lagoon, regardless of the package you choose.
3. Best Time of Day to Visit the Lagoon
The best time to visit the Blue Lagoon is either in the morning or evening to avoid crowds. If you go in the evening, you may see the northern lights or midnight sun during your excursion, depending on whether you visit in the winter or summer.
If you plan to visit in the afternoon, expect to share the lagoon with more visitors. However, the Blue Lagoon limits the number of people who can enter in a day, so you’ll still have space to relax, absorb the scenery and enjoy the bath-like water, even at peak times. Plus, its large size means it’s usually easy to find an uncrowded spot to de-stress.
4. Best Time of Year to Visit the Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is open year-round, and the water stays warm regardless of the season. Still, each season has its unique benefits. For instance, if you want to avoid a chill when you step outside the lagoon, you may want to visit in the summer.
The summer is when the days are warmest and sunniest in Iceland. You can also experience the midnight sun in the summer. Are you hoping to go whale-watching during your Icelandic adventure? Summer is the best time of year to look out for migrating minke and humpback whales.
Remember that summer is also the most popular time of year to visit Iceland and its attractions, so make sure to book your Blue Lagoon ticket as early as possible.
If you dream of escaping the chilly air and stepping into a steamy pool during the colder months, you may want to visit the lagoon in the winter. Many travelers flock to Iceland in the winter, hoping to catch the northern lights.
Is it your priority to avoid crowds when you visit the lagoon? Consider going in September or early October, when the weather is still pleasant and the summer crowds have thinned out.
5. How to Get to the Blue Lagoon
Getting to the Blue Lagoon is simple if you’re coming from Keflavik International Airport or Reykjavik – the country’s capital and largest city. You could rent a car in Reykjavik or Keflavik and drive to the lagoon yourself, taking in the lovely scenery along the way. Once you arrive, you’ll find a parking area where you can park for free.
You could also take a round-trip bus ride to and from the lagoon by riding with the spa’s transportation partner, Destination Blue Lagoon, or catch a taxi. Be aware that since the ride may be close to one hour long, using a cab could be the priciest way to go.
Lastly, you might book an excursion that includes transportation and admission into the lagoon. You may have other stops along the way to enhance the experience and have a chance to photograph Iceland’s rugged terrain.
6. Blue Lagoon Rules
The Blue Lagoon has a few rules to ensure visitors have a positive and safe experience.
First, all guests must shower with soap and water and without a swimsuit before entering the lagoon. You can choose to enter a communal shower — either for men or women — or find a private shower with a door. You’ll receive complimentary shower gel, shampoo and conditioner, so you don’t have to worry about toting those items with you. Blue Lagoon Iceland will also give you an electronic bracelet upon check-in that functions as a key to a personal locker, so you can safely store your belongings.
Another rule is you’re not allowed to bring food or beverages into the Blue Lagoon. But, don’t worry, you can still stay hydrated and nourished. You’ll have access to several dining and snacking options during your visit. Plus, you’ll find water fountains in locker rooms and other areas around the lagoon.
7. Dining at the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon offers several dining options, allowing you to spend the entire day there feeling content. Here’s an overview of each.
- Lava Restaurant: Built into a lava cliff, Lava Restaurant offers scenic dining along with gourmet cuisine. Here, you can savor Icelandic specialties prepared with fresh, local ingredients and inspired by nature.
- Moss Restaurant: Moss Restaurant offers an intimate atmosphere and the best views on the property. You can also expect the finest ingredients, gorgeous presentations and impressive wine pairings.
- Spa Restaurant: Spa Restaurant is a cozy place to nourish your body after a day of soaking in the lagoon. Here, you can enjoy light and fresh dishes, and you’re welcome to dine in your robe if you wish.
- Cafe: Cafe is a casual eatery where you can buy satisfying and delicious snacks to keep you fueled.
If you don’t want to leave the water, but want to quench your thirst, it’s no problem. You can swim up to the in-water bar and order wine, beer, juice or a refreshing smoothie. You’ll use your wristband to pay for your drinks, so you don’t have to get your wallet wet.
Tips for Maximizing Your Experience
Your responsibilities are few once you slip into the lagoon’s bath-like water. Still, remember the following tips to enjoy your excursion as much as possible.
- Protect your hair: Since the lagoon’s water has high silica levels, it can leave your hair feeling stiff and dry. While the water will not permanently damage your hair, you still may want to take precautions. The spa recommends adding conditioner to your hair before stepping into the lagoon and leaving it in during your experience. You may also want to tie your hair up or wear a swim cap to keep your hair out of the water.
- Treat yourself to an in-water massage: If your budget allows, consider treating yourself to a relaxing in-water massage. For the massage, you’ll enter a private area of the lagoon and float on your back as you feel your tension melt away. It’s well worth the cost if you want to enhance your visit and find a blissful state of mind.
- Bring your sunglasses: If you’re visiting the lagoon on a sunny day, remember to wear your sunglasses. Sunglasses will protect your eyes from sunlight reflecting off the water and prevent eye strain.
- Remove your jewelry: Make sure to remove any jewelry you’re wearing before entering the lagoon because the water could damage it. You also won’t have to worry about losing your jewelry if you keep it safely stored in your locker.
- Stay hydrated: It can be easy to lose track of time and responsibilities when you’re resting in a warm bath surrounded by a lava field. Still, it’s vital to drink enough fluids throughout the day, especially because a hot-water bath can lead to dehydration.
- Take advantage of the free silica mud: One of the best parts of the Blue Lagoon is its healing white silica mud, which you’re welcome to use as you please. Guests may scoop the mud directly from the lagoon’s floor and smear it on their skin or swim up to the in-water spa, where they’ll find buckets of mud ready for use. You can apply as much of the creamy silica mud as you wish on your face and body and enjoy its cleansing and strengthening effects.
- Ensure you have enough time: To fully enjoy your Blue Lagoon experience, you mustn’t be in a hurry. Many people spend two to four hours enjoying this attraction, but you could stay even longer if you want to take advantage of its many amenities.
Blue Lagoon Facts
Ready to learn more? Here are a few interesting facts:
- An independent lab continuously monitors the Blue Lagoon’s water to ensure it’s safe for bathing.
- The lagoon’s water takes its unique color from silica reflecting sunlight.
- You can expect the Blue Lagoon’s water temperature to range from 98 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The lagoon’s water is geothermal seawater, consisting of 70% saltwater and 30% freshwater.
- The deepest part of the lagoon is 4.7 feet, while the shallowest part is about 2.6 feet.
- The lagoon’s water naturally renews itself every 40 hours.
Explore Iceland’s Treasures With Windstar Cruises
The Blue Lagoon offers a once-in-a-lifetime chance to soak in geothermal seawater and enjoy unique amenities, all embraced by Iceland’s enchanting scenery. Whether you want to visit the Blue Lagoon to pamper your skin or see its chalky blue water up close, you’re sure to leave feeling radiant and refreshed.
If you’re ready to unwind in the Blue Lagoon and explore other Icelandic wonders, we’re excited to accompany you. At Windstar Cruises, we’ll ensure you have a complete Icelandic experience as we sail you to picturesque ports around the island. Our small ships can take you to hidden harbors where big ships can’t go, bringing you close to Iceland’s natural beauty. We’ll also make sure you feel comfortable and cared for throughout your journey, keeping Blue Lagoon feelings fresh in your mind.