If you’ve never seen pictures of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon, start Googling—just be prepared to buy a spur-of-the-moment flight to Reykjavik once you do! Iceland itself is a beautiful place, but the Blue Lagoon really takes the cake. It’s a geothermal spa, so if you’re looking for something relaxing to do during your trip (especially if you’ve been out trekking or doing some of the other outdoors activities that Iceland is known for), then this is the place to be. But even if you’re not dying for a soak, the scenery—strange, bright blue-colored water colored by a nearby geothermal plant, surrounded by black volcanic rocks—is certainly something to feast your eyes on.
What can I do there?
Other than admire the views and take ten thousand photos, the Blue Lagoon is an ultra-relaxing spa. It’s a great place to soak away the day in the thermal pools—but there are also saunas, steam rooms, a man-made waterfall, and relaxation rooms. Plus, there are a number of treatments that you can have done, including facials and in-water massages. But before you get started with any of that, perhaps it’s best to arrange for a tour of the place. You’ll get to learn about the history of the incredible place that you’re seeing and much more! Unfortunately, tours are only available for groups of eleven or more, but ask at your hotel and they may be able to hook you up with other people who are interested.
How do I get there?
The Blue Lagoon is located about 30 miles away from Reykjavik, and it typically takes about an hour to drive there—but if this is the route that you choose, you won’t have to worry about the road conditions, as they’re kept in great shape even during snowy winter months! You also won’t need to worry about parking once you arrive: the lagoon has ample parking spaces, and you won’t have to pay any extra fees on top of your entrance ticket to the lagoon. That said, many people choose instead to avail themselves of either the hourly bus system or a private shuttle (which can be arranged through a number of tour companies or, frequently, through your hotel).
Where should I stay?
Given the lagoon’s proximity to Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik, many guests choose to make a day-trip out of their visit and return to accommodation in the city for the night. But if you’re really ready to get away and forget it all, the Northern Light Inn is an amazing option. It’s located very close to the Blue Lagoon and offers free shuttles to the lagoon and also to and from the airport—plus, they can help you arrange horseback riding tours during your stay! Inside, the first thing that you’ll notice is the lounge, which not only has an amazing, panoramic view of the surrounding area but also is equipped with a fireplace to make those cold winter nights even more cozy. And if you’re in need of someplace to eat, look no further than the delicious Icelandic meals in their restaurant.
Is there anywhere to eat?
There are a couple different dining options for you to try during your stay at the lagoon. The LAVA restaurant more of a sit-down restaurant, and their specialty is unquestionably any kind of seafood—although their scrumptious dessert options like poached pears might make you forget all about main courses! The Blue Café, on the other hand, is a quicker and less expensive option—and bonus: they offer free WiFi so you can share all those beautiful photos you’ve been taking.
When is the lagoon open?
Good news: the Blue Lagoon is open every day of the year, including holidays! The hours vary slightly depending on the season: 1 Jan – 25 May: 8am – 9pm; 26 May – 29 Jun: 8am – 11pm; 30 Jun – 20 Aug: 8am – midnight; 21 Aug – 1 Oct: 8am – 10pm; 2 Oct – 31 Dec: 8am – 8pm. Note, though: hours are typically shorter on holidays, and they are subject to change based on the current daylight hours. Check the official website for more details, just to be on the safe side.
How do I buy tickets?
You can purchase tickets online, directly from the attraction—it’s that easy! Of course, you can also purchase tours from a number of travel companies, which oftentimes will sort out your transportation, making things a lot simpler for you. However you do it, you will definitely want to make sure you book your tickets ahead of time, though: this is one of Iceland’s most popular attractions, and especially during peak tourism season (that is, mid-June through early August), you may have difficulty finding tickets for the day you want to visit if you wait until the last minute!
How much does it cost?
Tickets to the Blue Lagoon vary depending on the season and on what ticket level you purchase. The most inexpensive tickets are their standard tickets, which include simply entrance to the lagoon and a mud mask. These cost 5400 ISK (about $48 US, at the time of writing) in the offseason—that is, September to May—or 6100 ISK ($54) during peak season. This is on top of the transfers or car rental so that you can actually get to the lagoon. And premium tickets, their most popular package which includes use of a bathrobe and slippers plus drinks and some other perks, cost even more!
Suffice it to say, unfortunately, the Blue Lagoon may not be a possibility for all travelers, especially if you’re hoping to see all that the country has to offer. But there are a number of other options around the country that can satisfy your need for a hot soak—and some of them are even created in the same way as the Blue Lagoon, but come without the hefty price tag!
Is it possible to visit the Blue Lagoon if I only have a short layover in Reykjavik?
Well, that depends on how short your layover is, but the answer is—probably! It takes about twenty minutes each way to drive to and from the lagoon, and you’ll want to factor in time for getting through immigration, finding your ride, and then getting back through security so that you can get on your connecting flight. That said, the lagoon really does their best to make things easy for you, even offering a luggage storage service in their Service Center so that you can ditch your bags while you soak your travel stress away. If you’re flying Icelandair, they make it even easier for you by arranging all the details!
Although the healing powers of the mineral-rich Blue Lagoon are still somewhat up for debate, there’s no denying that a soak in some warm waters can be just what the soul needs, especially after a hectic bit of travel. So go ahead and treat yourself—you deserve it. And hey, if you come home with pictures that astound your friends and have them planning their trip as well—clearly the day wasn’t just about pampering yourself, right?