Planning a trip to Iceland? It is one of the most expensive and coldest countries in the world but nevertheless, it attracts many millions of tourists each year due to its incredible unspoiled nature. Yes, I’m a great fan of nature, but you know what first comes to my mind whenever I think about Iceland? The Blue Lagoon!!! I guarantee you that if I ever go back to Iceland, this is something that I’m not going to miss, even though I’ve been there already.
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What is Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon, or “Bláa Lónið” in Icelandic, is a “man-made” outdoor geothermal spa. It is called “Blue Lagoon” because of the milky blue coloured water, which is due to the presence of a high silica content. Exactly for this reason, the waters of Blue Lagoon in Iceland are also considered to have regenerative qualities.
At the same time, because of the breathtaking picture-perfect scenery all around, it is one of the most romantic spots in Iceland.
As a result of runoff from the geothermal power plant next door, the temperature in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland is naturally maintained around 37–39° C (98–102° F) consistently. This means that you can avail of this place all year round and every 40 hours, due to the active circulation of water underground, the water in the pool changes completely.
The Blue Lagoon: a Bit of History
The origin of the Blue Lagoon is somewhat strange. Back in the 1970s, the Svartsengi power plant, while drilling for geothermal energy in a neighbouring area, created an excess of water. This water was expected to disappear into the permeable lava field, but sedimentation gradually made the coarse lava field watertight, and the lagoon continued expanding.
The first person to bathe at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland was Valur Margeirsson in 1981. People thought he was crazy for bathing in a “blue mud pool.” He and the other few who joined him soon started to notice some healing qualities of its blue waters.
And, this is how people first realized that waste-waters turned into a remedy for some medical conditions such as psoriasis. News quickly spread all over the island, and by 1987, the first swimming facilities were officially opened around this area.
Since then, the establishment has only grown, from just an open pool to a luxurious spa, hotel, restaurants, café, and a research centre. It now covers a huge area where everything is perfectly organized.
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The Blue Lagoon: Location
One of the reasons why you should not miss a visit to the Blue Lagoon is precisely this: It is easily reachable. The Blue Lagoon is halfway between Reykjavik and Keflavik. More precisely, it is located at only about half an hour drive from the capital Reykjavik and only a 15 minute drive from the Iceland international airport in Keflavik.
In my case, I had a rented car and I saved the lagoon experience for the last day in Iceland. It was a very short driving distance from the hotel I was staying at in Keflavik. I drove only about 20 minutes before entering the geothermal landscape. Since the road is in very good condition, reaching the lagoon was very easy.
In case you don’t have your own rented car, know that many shuttle busses, private charters, and public busses run frequently from Reykjavik, Keflavik, and the international airport. Taxies also run regularly from the main cities.
The Blue Lagoon: Opening Hours and Packages.
I went to the Blue Lagoon in September and the day I was there it was open from 7am to 10pm, but The Blue Lagoon opening hours change frequently, so I advise you to double check it on their official website. Also know that guests are asked to leave the lagoon 30 minutes before the closing time.
As regarding their day entrance packages, the Blue Lagoon in Iceland has three main choices: Comfort, premium, and luxury, which respectively cost € 44.00, € 56.00, and € 369.00. I went for the basic one and it was enough for me. Obviously, you can add many services and amenities to these three packages. I suggest you visit their official website for more details.
Children under age 13 are admitted free into the Blue Lagoon.
13 Things to know about the Blue Lagoon in Iceland
- Even if the Blue Lagoon is open every day of the year, pre-booking is essential to ensure the entrance. If you arrive without a pre-booked ticket, you are very likely to miss out.
- Wait for the sun set – it creates a mysterious atmosphere.
- The cleanliness, purity, and ecological balance of the geothermal seawater are routinely monitored for strict conformance with internationally recognized standards of water quality.
- The water’s iconic colour is a result of the way that silica reflects sunlight.
- The Blue Lagoon is the perfect location to see the Northern Lights. The peak of the Northern Lights viewing season is from September through March. However, it can be visible in mid-August, and late May.
- No children under two years of age will be permitted in the lagoon. The high mineral content is considered too strong for them.
- Each adult guest may only buy 3 alcoholic beverages while in the lagoon.
- Smoking is strictly prohibited in the lagoon. This also applies to electric cigarettes.
- Children from 2 to 8 years of age must wear inflatable armbands.
- Due to its high mineral content, the lagoon water is cloudy and not transparent.
- The Blue Lagoon water consists of 70% saltwater and 30% freshwater.
- There is a condensed suspension of water vapour in this area so, if you have a camera or cell phone make sure they don’t get ruined for this reason. I am making this point because I had to throw away my small compact camera.
- You are asked to take a shower before going into the pool.
My Blue Lagoon Experience
As I told you already, I went to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland in September, and since I had a rented car and the roads were in good condition, reaching the place was very easy. I bought the Comfort package which included the entrance to the lagoon, the silica mud mask, use of the towels, and one drink of my choice. I spent about six hours just floating and relaxing. It goes without saying that this place in the middle of the lava fields is not comparable to any other swimming pool in the world. It is something unique, really! That day I didn’t want to leave the Blue Lagoon.
Although if you happen to be there on a day with bad weather, in my opinion I still say that it is a must do in Iceland. Whether it’s windy, foggy, or cloudy, once you are in the warm blue waters nothing matters anymore, you will forget everything else. Actually I think the bad weather could even add a little bit of mystery to the scenery.