The Blue Lagoon is a magical place not to be missed on a holiday in Iceland. The otherworldly landscape, warm geothermal waters and relaxing spa make for an invigorating day. Soak in the milky blue waters and experience the healing powers of one of Iceland's most popular destinations. Learn more about the world-famous lagoon below.
Geothermal pools and baths can be found all over Iceland, but none are quite like the Blue Lagoon. Because it is a one of a kind place, there are a few things visitors should know before dipping their toes in the warm blue waters. This is your complete guide to the Blue Lagoon.
You’ll find the lagoon in a sprawling lava field on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwest Iceland. Only fifteen minutes from nearby Keflavik and half an hour from Reykjavik, it is perfectly situated to accommodate those on layovers and/or in need of a relaxing day trip.
The Blue Lagoon is first and foremost a resort spa which also conducts geothermal seawater research and produces an innovative skincare line.
No. The lagoon was originally formed as a reservoir for extraction well water that was deemed unusable by nearby Svartsengí geothermal power plant. When bathers reported remarkable results from soaking in the waters, researchers began examining its unique properties. Years later, the lagoon was moved away from the power plant, and the Blue Lagoon opened.
Gray Line Iceland offers private tours to the Blue Lagoon with all levels of admission (from Comfort to Retreat Spa) and complimentary pick-up and drop-off service. Taxis and car rental are also options, but they do not offer admission to the lagoon.
Guests of the lagoon have four delicious options to choose from, including the Michelin Guide recommended Moss Restaurant. With two other restaurants and a cafe on the premises, guests are sure to find something to suit their tastes. There’s even an in-water bar!
All you really need to bring is your bathing suit, and even that can be rented. Towels, shampoo and conditioner are included with all admissions, and robes and slippers are available for free or rent depending on your type of admission. But you are welcome to bring your own towels, robes, slippers or whatever else you might need.
Silica, blue-green algae and mineral salt are key components in the lagoon water and give it its milky-white color, which in the right light reflects an ethereal blue color. Because water enters the lagoon continually, it completely replenishes itself every 48 hours.
The deepest section of the lagoon is 1.4m (4.7ft) with the shallowest areas being less than a meter deep or around 2 and a half feet. With this variation in depth, children and adults alike can find cozy places to either submerge themselves in the water or splash around in the shallows.
On average, the temperature of the lagoon is between 37ºC (98.6ºF) and 40ºC (104ºF). This can vary depending on the weather and time of year but the lagoon is always warm. Soaking in the warm water while snow falls all around is a magical experience so don't let winter weather deter you from enjoying the lagoon.
Guests usually spend about two hours in the lagoon. It is really up to you but including time to eat at one of the restaurants and explore the various offerings of the lagoon, most people end up staying around four hours in total.
Some of the first people to take a dip in the lagoon, back when it was just water from the power plant, were psoriasis sufferers. When they reported the benefits of soaking in the waters, scientists took notice, and to this day, the Blue Lagoon continues to conduct research and provide treatment for psoriasis.
The lagoon is open all year round and is a very popular destination so tickets should be booked as far in advance as possible. Visiting the lagoon at different times of year will result in different experiences. In the summer, the moss in the surrounding lava field will be varying shades of green and set against the dark lava rock and blue white water of the lagoon, it is striking. In the winter there is the possiblity of the lava field being coated in snow which makes for a winterland kind of experience. There is always a chance of fog in Iceland and that mixed with the steam rising from the lagoon can create a rather mystical atmosphere.
● Tie up and/or cover your hair. While geothermal seawater is great for your skin, it will make your hair feel like straw so tie it up in a bun or cover it. Swim caps are sold in the Blue Lagoon store.
● If you do want to get your hair wet, remember to use and leave lots of conditioner in your hair before and after entering the lagoon. The showers are fully stocked so use as much as you need.
● Leave your jewelry in your locker. Not only can the water damage some jewelry, but it will also be impossible to find should you drop it in the water.
● Facilities are available for those who wish to change and shower in private.
● Stay hydrated, especially if you plan on enjoying the saunas, and don’t forget to eat.
● Rinse your swimsuit thoroughly after swimming in the lagoon to prevent silica mud from getting stuck in the fabric.
Your Blue Lagoon with Admission Ticket gives you the option to choose between the full range of Blue Lagoon experiences including:
● Comfort Admission - A two-hour stop at the Blue Lagoon, entrance to the lagoon, a towel, complimentary silica mud mask and one drink of your choice.
● Premium Admission - A four-hour stop at the Blue Lagoon, entrance to the lagoon, a towel, bathrobe and slippers, one drink of your choice, silica mud mask, a second mask of your choice, optional restaurant reservation and sparkling wine if dining.
● Retreat Spa Admission - A six-hour stop at the Blue Lagoon, entrance to the lagoon, access to the Retreat Spa for 4 hours, private changing room (price is per changing room, 1 or 2 guests sharing), The Blue Lagoon Ritual, Retreat Lagoon, skincare amenities, access to the Spa Restaurant and first drink of your choice. Age limit for Retreat Spa Admission is 12 years.