The Blue Lagoon is a popular geothermal spa in Iceland. The water at Blue Lagoon is rich in vitamins, minerals, and algae. This water composition has been shown to alleviate the condition of psoriasis, and to possess healing and restorative properties for skin. Above all else, Blue Lagoon is a wonderful place to relax while vacationing in Iceland.
In this guide I will include a brief history of the Blue Lagoon, directions on how to get there, a few key points about visiting, and my own personal experience from a recent visit.
A Brief History
The land that Blue Lagoon sits on is the site of a volcanic eruption that occurred in the year 1226. The lava flow from that eruption is still visible to visitors to Blue Lagoon and one of the first things you’ll see when flying into Keflavik Airport. In 1976, a geothermal power company began drilling into the lava to find hot water that they could use to generate electricity. When they began drilling around the area that is now Blue Lagoon, a white colored water (rich in silica) began to appear from the drilling pipes. The silica in this water began to coat the inside of the pipes and shut down the machinery. To remedy this situation, the decision was made to dump this silica rich water into the adjacent lava field. Just like the machines, the silica stuck to the rocks, and the lagoon was created.
An employee at the plant is said to be the first to have discovered the water’s healing abilities on skin with psoriasis. It wasn’t long until other Icelanders began to join him. The Blue Lagoon company was officially formed in 1992 and is now the biggest spa and psoriasis treatment center in Iceland. Blue Lagoon also has a lineup of skin care products that are sold world wide.
Blue Lagoon is located at Nordurljosavegur 9, 240 Grindavík, Iceland. Blue Lagoon is only 23km from Keflavik airport and on the way to Reykjavik. For this reason, many visitors to Iceland visit the spa right after they arrive to Iceland, or just before they depart. From Reykjavik, the drive is 47km.
We had use of a rental car while in Iceland (Lagoon Car Rental) which made visiting Blue Lagoon very easy. For those without the use of a car, there are hourly bus transfers from Blue Lagoon, Keflavik Airport, and Reykjavik. All bus transfers are handled by Reykjavik Excursions. You can view a schedule here.
When you arrive by bus or car to the parking area at Blue Lagoon you’ll see the luggage storage facility. If you are arriving right after your flight into Keflavik or will be departing after your visit, you can store you luggage here. From the luggage facility, you will see a walkway through the lava field towards the main entrance.
You will see the silica rich waters in the pools surrounding the Blue Lagoon entrance. This is a nice place to walk around and take pictures if you want to photograph the blue waters without any people swimming in it.
10 Key Points To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
So far I’ve covered a brief history of the Blue Lagoon and how to get there. In this section, I’m going to cover 10 key points to ensure that you have an enjoyable visit to Blue Lagoon.
- Book Ahead: The most important piece of advice I will give to those planning a visit to Blue Lagoon is to book tickets ahead of your visit. Blue Lagoon limits the number of visitors in the spa to ensure that all paying customers can enjoy their stay. You can pre book your tickets here.
- What to Bring: Bring a towel, swimsuit, and sandals. These are all available to rent, but they come at a price. Things like towels, robes, and slippers may be included with your ticket if you book a premium package. The standard ticket does not come with any of these.
- Stow Your Luggage: If you have luggage or large bags, make sure to stow them in the facility at the parking lot. The lockers at Blue Lagoon are standard spa size lockers and will only fit personal items.
- Shower On Arrival: Like almost all reputable spas, visitors and guests must shower head to toe before entering the water. Blue Lagoon provides a body wash shampoo and conditioner. In the men’s locker room, there was a mix of open shower heads and private stalls. This is for the safety and cleanliness of the lagoon.
- Hydrate: The water of the lagoon is around 39 °C or 100 °F. This combined with the silica and sulphates can really dehydrate the body. Make sure to hydrate beforehand and have fluids available in your car or locker for when you exit the lagoon. There are drinks available at the lagoon bar, but as with most things in Iceland, they aren’t cheap.
- Photos: There is a staff photographer that takes photos for free, so you don’t have to bring your phone or camera. I have a water resistant iPhone 7 that I placed in a waterproof case. This allowed me to take my own photos while visiting.
- Protect Your Hair: There is a bit of a debate as to whether or not the lagoon water is bad for hair. I do know that it made mine very dry and crispy. I’m luck to have very short hair. For those with long or sensitive locks, you might want to keep your head dry and/or make sure to shampoo and condition as soon as you get out.
- Lockers: When you first enter Blue Lagoon and have your tickets scanned, a staff member will outfit you with a plastic bracelet. This bracelet is to be used for operating the lockers and making purchases in the facility.
- Silica: Silica is what makes the water white at Blue Lagoon. There is also a booth located in the lagoon with a bowl for free silica facial masks. This same person provides access to an algae mask that can be paid for if not included in your purchased package.
*In the summer the sun and temperature encourage algae growth at Blue Lagoon. This is great for skin, but it may not look as cool and blue as the pictures taken during the winter.
- Things To Do: There is a lot to do at the Blue Lagoon for those looking to extend their stay at the spa. There are guided tours, saunas, massages, Blue Cafe, Lava Restaurant, the Lagoon Bar, and more!
Enjoy Your Stay!
Here are a few photos from our recent trip to Blue Lagoon. As you can see, the amount of summertime algae in the water gave things more of a greenish hue. The clouds more than made up for that though, as were were treated to a real show in the sky.