My love affair with Iceland began the minute I saw a photo of the Blue Lagoon. I knew I had to go there one day.
Less than a year later, my friend found an airfare sale to Iceland and asked if I wanted to go. Um, yes duh of course. When do we leave?
We had a group of six and the men voted to skip the Blue Lagoon. But the ladies won that battle. Of course we did.
If you’re on the fence, I’d recommend making it there at least once because it’s so iconic. You know what they say–when in a fairytale island in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, right?
Below are some tips to help you plan your visit and photos of my experience. Realistic photos, because you’re not going to have the entire Blue Lagoon to yourself, ever. Unless you’re Beyoncé and even then, I doubt it.
Book in advance.
They have a maximum capacity, so you must make your reservation ahead of time. You’ll select a date and time of day. We booked about two weeks in advance and had no problem getting our desired time slot.
Go early if you can.
We went at 9 a.m. and it was still busy, but the crowds got thicker later in the morning. We spent about two hours there total, including time in the locker room.
Prepare for high(ish) prices.
We paid 10,000 ISK or $86 USD for our admission. This included an alcoholic beverage and two facial masks, plus a towel.
You have to shower before entering.
Before entering the lagoon, you must shower onsite in the locker room. There are group showers and private stalls for the more modest.
Protect your hair.
The Blue Lagoon contains high amounts of silica. This won’t permanently ruin your hair, but i’ll make it temporarily hard to manage. Even if you don’t put your head under water, you should still lather up with leave-in conditioner (it’s provided) in case of splashing.
The facilities are nice.
The facilities are modern and comfortable. To help control capacity in the changing areas, you will be assigned to one of their many gender-specific locker rooms. The process felt efficient and we never felt like we were on top of each other. They also have hair dryers, which are a nice touch.
Watch your bracelet.
You’ll receive an electronic bracelet upon arrival. This acts as your locker key, so it’s important that you don’t lose it. It also has any extras loaded to it, like your drink ticket and access to facial masks. It was so big that I was constantly afraid it would fall off of me, but I do have small wrists.
Bring a waterproof phone case.
There’s nowhere in the Blue Lagoon area to safely stow your phone outside of your locker room–and it’s a bit of a hike, so you can’t go back and forth quickly. If you bring your phone into the lagoon to take photos, I’d recommend using a waterproof case for protection.
It’s not in Reykjavik.
It takes about 45 minutes to get to/from Reykjavik and the Blue Lagoon. So if you don’t rent a car like we did, plan on arranging transportation.
Plan your visit around your flight arrival or departure.
The Blue Lagoon is only about 20 minutes from the Keflavík airport. This makes it a convenient addition to any Icelandic itinerary. Flights from the U.S. typically arrive early in the morning, so we went straight after we picked up our rental car. We thought it would be a nice way to relax after our long flight before heading north. Which brings me to my final piece of wisdom…
There are other options.
If the price is too high or you want something less touristy, Iceland is known for its pool culture. Every town has a heated pool where the locals gather to mingle and relax.
If you find yourself way up north like we did and want to experience a geothermal nature bath similar to the Blue Lagoon, the Myvatn Nature Bath is wonderful. I actually preferred it to the Blue Lagoon. Check out a blog post I wrote about all of the activities in Myvatn.
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