A trip to Iceland isn’t really complete without a trip to one of their infamous hot springs and the most easily accessible is the Blue Lagoon near Reykjavik. It’s milky blue water and silica mud mask do wonders for your skin and you can spend an entire day enjoying this relaxing experience.
Here are my top tips to ensure you have the best Blue Lagoon experience… and add a little dose of reality to what it is like visiting this highly rated attraction.
A Few Things To Know About The Blue Lagoon
1. It’s not a natural pool – but it is harmless so don’t worry. As I mention below, the water in the Blue Lagoon has many healing properties but many people are under the illusion that this is a natural made lagoon which is not true. The lagoon is in fact man made and the water comes from a near by geothermal power plant which drills for the water 2,000m below the surface.
2. Cameras are welcome but make sure that they are either waterproof or in a waterproof casing as you don’t want them to get damaged. We took our GoPro and found that it easily steamed up so make sure you give it a dip in the water before taking your photos to reduce any steaming.
3. If you have children or are pregnant you can still enjoy the Blue Lagoon. Children from 2 onwards can enjoy the lagoon as long as they are wearing arm bands and children from 2-13 can go for free when visiting with a family.
4. The deepest point of the lagoon is 1.4 meters but is mostly between 0.8-1.2 meters so most adults will be able to easily stand up.
5. The water is normally between 37 – 40 degrees Celsius so you won’t find it too hot. The temperature does fluctuate depending on the weather outside and there are also cool and hot spots around the pool – it’s actually quite fun to try and find the hot spots!
6. You must book in advance. I can’t stress highly enough that you must book in advance. I know you can’t predict the weather or what your plans might be but unless you want to get turned away because there aren’t any free spots, make sure you book. The weather changes in Iceland all the time anyway so you may well get rain, snow, sun and hail all in one experience – it’s all part of it and you will be warm regardless. When you book there will be four different options; Standard, Comfort, Premium and Luxury. We booked Comfort because we didn’t have our own towels and thought getting a drink and another free face mask would be fun but in reality it wasn’t worth it. We could have taken a towel from our hotel, the additional face mask was given out to everyone for free anyway, which only left the drink and it would have been much cheaper just to buy the drink separately. My recommendation would be to either go all in and make the splurge on the Luxury option or just go for the Standard option and enjoy everything on offer and pay as you go.
7. Before you hit book, consider when you are going to visit. Many people tend to visit Iceland for a long weekend so Thursday – Monday are the most popular days. If you are visiting for the whole week, try booking on a Tuesday or Wednesday and it’s likely to be much quieter (and also cheaper).
8. The Blue Lagoon is closer to Keflavik airport than Reykjavik so many people suggest visiting the lagoon either as soon as you arrive on on your way back to the airport. I can see how this is a good idea if you are on a tight time schedule but personally I would prefer not to rush it and take the 40 minute drive from Reykjavik one afternoon. Whatever you decide, visiting the Blue Lagoon it is a great way to relax and chill out.
9. In water massages are available which sound amazing! Unfortunately, we didn’t try it out this time but next time we visit I will definitely be enjoying a relaxing massage on a floating bed. If you can afford this little splurge I would highly recommend to book it as an add on to your package – the man I saw enjoying one looked very relaxed!
When You Arrive
10. You have to shower naked before getting into the pool but don’t let this scare you off – I believe this is mainly for hygiene purposes. Some articles online say you have to do this in open showers but that is not the case anymore. There lots of individual cubicles with closed doors for you to shower in, plus no one cares what you look like and everyone is just excited to get into the water!
11. You can wear glasses or contact lenses just make sure you are aware of what the water can do to both. The person at reception will reiterate this but if you are planning to wear contact lenses in the water, you cannot put your head under the water. The salt and minerals will severely irritate your eyes and ruin your experience completely. I wore mine, didn’t put my head underwater and was fine. I really don’t believe you are missing out by not dipping your head in however if you do want to, I suggest not wearing your lenses and have your friend be your guide – could be an exciting way to experience the lagoon! Glasses are an option but the salt also interferes with the lenses there so that is entirely up to you. Plus, the steam will most likely fog them up anyway!
12. Remember to remove your jewellery but take your sunglasses. Whilst the water is doing all this great stuff to our body, it doesn’t always love our jewellery so much so it is highly recommended to remove all jewellery and leave it a secure locker in the changing rooms. However, do make sure you take your sunglasses as the glare from the white water can be quite bright.
13. The water doesn’t have to ruin your hair. Before I visited the Blue Lagoon I was paranoid that my hair was going to turn into a ball of straw after and I would spend weeks trying to get it back to normal. The reality is, the water will only ruin your hair if you actually put your hair in the water so my first recommendation would be don’t get it wet! Either pop long hair up into a bun, clip it back with grips or wear a fetching shower cap (this isn’t an uncommon sight in the lagoon)! If you really want to get your hair wet and perhaps get some cool photos, put lots and lots of conditioner on it before getting in the water. This available in all the shower cubicles so make use of it and put much more on than you would do normally. This will protect your hair and reduce any damage the water will do to it!
When In The Lagoon
14. Take full advantage of the free face masks! The geothermal water that fills the Blue Lagoon is known for its natural health benefits such as relieving stress, boosting blood circulation and soothing skin problems so soak up as much of it as possible (whilst making sure you drink plenty of water). What is also full of natural health benefits is the free silica mud that is given out in buckets at the mask bar in the pool. The silica mud is said to strengthen your skin, reduce your pores and leave your skin as fresh as a daisy. I can attest that my skin really did fell very bright and fresh after using it. Additionally, they were giving away their algae mask which is the one you really want – the description says “…minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and providing an immediate lift and youthful glow”. If it didn’t cost 95EUR with my backpacking budget I would have bought it in bulk!
15. Enjoy the swim up bar. There is a selection of smoothies, juices, soft drinks, beers and wines for you to enjoy (only three alcoholic ones though)! You don’t need your wallet as the wristband you are given at reception acts as your wallet throughout and you pay at the end – a little too easy if you ask me!