One of the highlights of our 72 hour trip to Reykjavik, Iceland was our visit to the Blue Lagoon. It was our first pit stop after a short 5 hour flight from Toronto. Jet lagged and groggy, my husband and I, along with 4 of our friends, happily waded into the 38 degree geothermal waters of the man-made lagoon. We arrived at 8:00 a.m. in the morning after a short transfer from Keflavik airport via Flybus shuttle. As you drive up to the lagoon, you can see the steam from the lagoon rising above the hills in the distance. At the very entrance, the black lava rock landscape and silica lagoon water becomes apparent.
After storing our luggage in the Blue Lagoon’s luggage storage facilities, we walked along a short path to the main facility. After checking in, we spent approximately 4.5 hours at the lagoon. If you’re planning to visit, I would recommend spending a minimum of 3 hours at the lagoon; but you could easily spend up to 5 or 6 hours there if you include a meal and take lounging breaks throughout the day.
The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s top tourist destinations. It’s incredibly well organized and the modern facilities are well-suited for visitors. If you’re contemplating a visit to the lagoon, you’ll definitely want to keep the following in mind:
- Pre-booking is required – Iceland is a small island and has experienced a surge of tourism over the past few years. To manage the inflow of visitors, the Blue Lagoon maintains a schedule that limits the number of guests by arrival time. Entrance tickets/packages can be booked through Blue Lagoon website. Entrance times are scheduled on the hour, starting at 8:00 a.m. and ending at 9:00 p.m. The Blue Lagoon closes 1 hour after the last entrance time.
- Which package will you book? – When you click on the “Book Tickets” button on the Blue Lagoon’s website, you will be asked to select from 4 different entrance packages. The most basic entrance package is “Standard”, at the cost of 50 euros per entrance ticket which includes a silica mud mask. The top entrance package is the “Luxury” package, which includes a long list of entrance perks including use of a bathrobe, slippers, a journey spa kit and sparkling wine. We selected the 3rd highest entrance package, “Premium”, because we wanted the use bath robes and slippers. However, if you’re on a tight budget, the “Standard” package will suffice and you can always bring your own towel, robe and flip flops.
- Best time during your trip to visit – The Blue Lagoon is approximately 45 minutes outside of Reykjavik and 20 minutes away from Keflavik airport. As a result, it’s most efficient to visit the lagoon either on your way into Reykjavik from the airport or on your way back to Keflavik airport on your departure date. You can book a Flybus transfer directly on the Blue Lagoon website.
- Where do you store your luggage? – Luggage can be stored, on a complimentary basis, near the front of the facility. It’s a good idea to pre-pack all of the things you need at the lagoon into one bag so that you can easily remove it from your luggage at the entrance of the facility before storing your luggage. You can store the items that you bring into the lagoon in private electronic lockers in the change rooms.
- Don’t forget your swimsuit – Be sure to bring your swim suit. One of our friends realized he forgot his swimsuit when we arrived in Iceland. Lucky for him, the Blue Lagoon provided rental swimsuits.
- Change rooms – At the check-in desk, the attendants will give you an electronic wristband. You are expected to wear the wristband during your entire stay and the wristband also serves as your electronic key to your locker. The change rooms are well organized and feature modern amenities. They provide hair dryers, cotton swabs, shampoo and shower gel in the change rooms. To ensure cleanliness, they require you to shower nude (in frosted glass stalls) before entering the lagoon. Be sure to bring your towel and everything you need for the lagoon before entering the shower area as they don’t like guests returning to the locker area after heading towards the lagoon.
- What to do with your hair? – The silica and mineral content in the lagoon water can really do a number to your hair. So it’s wise not to get your hair wet. The Blue Lagoon advises guests to slather their hair with conditioner before entering the lagoon to protect it from drying. I would also suggest tying up your hair or putting it up in a clip to ensure that your ends don’t accidentally get wet. The lagoon isn’t deep but, in certain areas, the water will come up to just under your chin.
- Bring a plastic Ziploc bag or a small waterproof case – You can bring your mobile device and/or camera into the lagoon. However, you’ll want to bring a small plastic bag or case to store your devices so that they don’t get wet. Be mindful that the lagoon’s waters have silica minerals in it so you don’t want to get any of your devices wet as it will likely damage your lenses. If you forget to bring a waterproof bag, the swim up bar in the lagoon also sells waterproof cell phone carrying cases but the price is steep!
- Bring a pair of sunglasses – Depending on the weather, it can be very sunny at the lagoon. The silica and minerals in the lagoon water makes the water highly reflective. Be sure to bring your sunglasses to protect your eyes.
- If you wear contact lenses… – The Blue Lagoon strongly recommends against wearing contact lenses in the lagoon. The reason is that the silica can get into your eyes and make it particularly painful if you’re wearing contact lenses. I took the risk of wearing my contact lenses so that I could wear my sunglasses and had no issues. There’s really no reason why your face should get wet as the water is very still. However, if you choose to do so, you do so at your own peril.
- Lounging – There are a small number of lounge chairs on the second level of the Blue Lagoon building. Be sure to check out the lounge if you want to relax between dips. There’s a nice view of the lagoon from the second floor.
- Drinks at the lagoon – There’s a swim up bar in the lagoon. Smoothies, slushies, pop, beer and wine are all available. I highly recommend the smoothies with ginger if you’re jet lagged. It was the perfect first drink to start off my visit. Drinks run about $5 to $15 (USD) each and there’s no need for cash or a credit card as all of your drinks can be charged to your wristband. For safety reasons, the Lagoon applies a limit of 3 drinks per wristband.
- Where to eat? – If you have time for a meal, you should really check out the Lagoon’s Lava restaurant. If you book a premium or luxury entrance package, you are guaranteed a table reservation. We really enjoyed having lunch at Lava and I was particularly impressed with Lava’s langoustine soup and cod. The meal was on par with our meals at some of the top restaurants that we dined at in Reykjavik. One of the perks of dining at Lava is that you can wear your robe and slippers in the restaurant! If you’re looking for a quick bite, the Lagoon also has a Café near the entrance.
- Want a massage? – The Lagoon features relaxing in-water mineral oil massages conducted right in the lagoon waters. We really wanted to schedule a massage but the Lagoon did not have availability on the date of our visit. We tried to book a massage 3 weeks in advance and learned that there are a very limited number of massages conducted during the day so it’s best to book as early as possible for greater availability.
- Silica and Algae Mud Mask Bar – Whatever entrance ticket you book, you will receive complimentary silica mud to apply over your face and/or body. The silica mud can be obtained at the swim-up mud bar in the lagoon. If you purchase either the Comfort, Premium or Luxury entrance package, you will also receive a complimentary algae mud mask.