A true wonder of the world, Iceland’s Blue Lagoon welcomes over 1 million visitors annually and is the country’s top attraction.
Contrary to popular belief, the Blue Lagoon isn’t actually a natural hot spring. This massive misty lagoon was created accidentally by condense discharge from a nearby geothermal power plant.
Today, this unintentional phenomenon has emerged as a top bucket list item for travelers across the globe. Continue reading to discover the best ways to get to the Blue Lagoon, the best time to visit, what to do there, and important things to know before you go.
Where Is The Blue Lagoon?
The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa located in southwestern Iceland, approximately 10 miles from the nation’s capital city, Reykjavik. Due to its proximity to Keflavik Airport, the Blue Lagoon has become a popular layover destination.
How To Get To The Blue Lagoon
Renting a car is one way to visit the Blue Lagoon and is a good option for those visiting Reykjavik for an extended amount of time. The drive from Reykjavik to the Blue Lagoon takes about 40 minutes, and there is free parking on the lagoon’s premise.
If you’re looking to rent a car in Iceland to visit the Blue Lagoon, be sure to check out Lagoon Car Rental for advanced bookings.
By Private Transfer
Arranging a private transfer is a great option for travelers visiting the Blue Lagoon on a time crunch, say during a layover in Reykjavik.
Hiring a private transfer eliminates the hassle of waiting and lag times that inevitably result from traveling to the Blue Lagoon by bus. This is undoubtedly the most comfortable and luxurious way to visit the Blue Lagoon, albeit the most expensive option.
For budget travelers who aren’t on a time crunch to visit the Blue Lagoon, signing up for a tour that includes transportation and entrance fees will likely be your best bet. Tours pick up from most hotels and guesthouses throughout Reykjavik and can be booked at hotel reception desks upon arrival. You can also book your Blue Lagoon tour ahead of time here.
For more Blue Lagoon touring options, check out Viator’s Best Blue Lagoon Tours and Activities.
When Is The Best Time To Visit The Blue Lagoon?
Though the Blue Lagoon attracts visitors year-round, the largest number of travelers tend to visit between May and September, with the tourist season peaking during the summer months.
If you want to avoid large crowds while visiting the Blue Lagoon, consider visiting during spring or fall months when temperatures are mild and there are fewer tourists.
What Is There To Do At The Blue Lagoon?
There’s actually more to do at the Blue Lagoon than just floating and swimming around. Mud masks, swim-up bars, restaurants, saunas, and massages are just a few things travelers can enjoy while visiting the Blue Lagoon. Here are the ins and outs of each…
Visit The Mask Bar
Entrance to the Blue Lagoon includes one free silica mud mask. Located in the center of the lagoon, a small mask bar offers bathers a splotch of silica mud meant to be lathered on the face, arms, neck, and shoulders. Silica mud masks are especially soothing for those with skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema.
Relax In The Steam Cave
That’s right, the Blue Lagoon has a steam cave where visitors can take shelter in an “earthen chamber of moist heat.” This is especially relaxing for those who are worn out from long days of sightseeing in Reykjavik, or for those who want to relax during their long layovers!
Dine At One Of The Blue Lagoon’s Restaurants
The Blue Lagoon offers two different restaurants to choose from: Lava Restaurant and Moss Restaurant.
Lava Restaurant features gourmet dining on the shores of the Blue Lagoon, with a menu featuring classic Icelandic flavors and fresh local ingredients. Set menu items at Lava include birch and juniper-cured arctic char, langoustine soup, and lamb fillet.
Moss is a restaurant recommended by the 2019 Michelin Guide, with five- and seven-course set menus that change seasonally. Moss also offers a vegan menu and a chef’s choice menu.
Get An In-Water Massage
Combining the indulgences of massage therapy with the relaxing powers of geothermal water and unparalleled views of the lagoon’s volcanic landscape, the Blue Lagoon’s in-water massages are a great way to treat yourself and enjoy the lagoon to the fullest.
Prices for the Blue Lagoon’s in-water massages are $141 for 30 minutes, $246 for 60 minutes, and $395 for a signature 120-minute massage (all USD).
Have A Drink At The In-Water Bar
With an alluring selection of smoothies, juices, soft drinks, beer, and wine, the Blue Lagoon’s in-water bar lets visitors quench their thirst and socialize over a drink, without ever leaving the water!
Other Things To Know About The Blue Lagoon
In order to avoid big surprises, there are some useful tips travelers should familiarize themselves with before heading to the Blue Lagoon. Enjoy yourself to the fullest while visiting this incredible world wonder by knowing the following about Iceland’s famed Blue Lagoon…
It’s A Great Place To Visit On A Long Layover
The Blue Lagoon has become a popular layover hotspot since many flights from Europe and other countries around the world make stops in Reykjavik on their way back to the U.S.
If you want to tick the Blue Lagoon and Iceland off of your bucket list, consider searching for flights that have long layovers in Reykjavik on your next international adventure. This is exactly what I did on my return home from Spain a few years back, and it gave me just enough time to spend a few hours relaxing at the Blue Lagoon before my long flight back home.
Not to mention, this was also the cheapest flight I found from Europe to the U.S. due to the long layover, which usually turns people away.
Why not take advantage of that time (and the savings) to visit one of the most unique places on earth?
It’s Not A Cheap Attraction
Iceland in general isn’t the cheapest country to visit, so it’s no surprise that their most popular attraction will cost you a pretty penny.
Entrance fees for the Blue Lagoon can cost anywhere from $56 to $638 USD, depending on what package you choose.
The most basic package includes entrance to the Blue Lagoon, a free silica mud mask, use of a towel, and one included drink.
For just $24 more, the Premium Blue Lagoon Package includes all of the above-mentioned items, plus a second mask of your choice, slippers, use of a bathrobe, a table reservation at the Lava Restaurant, and sparkling wine (if you choose to dine).
It Will Make Your Hair Incredibly Stiff And Can Damage Jewelry
The Blue Lagoon’s geothermal silica seawater has some incredible healing effects on the skin, though it can cause your hair to become stiff and can even damage jewelry.
Before hopping in the water, make sure you use a liberal amount of hair conditioner during the obligatory shower. Luckily, I read about the effects the Blue Lagoon’s water could have on my hair before visiting, so I did myself a favor and bought a damage control conditioner and travel sized bottle and brought this along with me. Though this didn’t completely protect my hair from the inevitable stiffness, it did reduce the impact of the dehydration the lagoon’s geothermal seawater causes.
As previously mentioned, the Blue Lagoon’s silica water can also damage jewelry, so make sure you remove any jewelry before taking a dip.
You Should Arrive Early
While your entrance to the Blue Lagoon will have a set arrival time, you still have to check in upon arrival, and these lines tend to be very long. Not to mention, if you have luggage with you, you’ll have to check it in separately.
If you’re visiting the Blue Lagoon on a layover or facing a time crunch for any other reason, you won’t want to waste time checking in. Arriving one to two hours before your ticketed arrival time will allow you to take full advantage of your allotted time at the lagoon.
You’ll Have To Shower (Naked) Beforehand
If you want to avoid any snarky looks while visiting the Blue Lagoon, don’t skip out on the pre-lagoon shower. Icelanders are very cleanly people and the Blue Lagoon requires that guests shower naked before dipping into the water. When in Iceland, do as the Icelanders do!
If you’re nervous about showering nude in front of strangers, there are a handful of shower stalls in the locker rooms that offer additional privacy.
For a fun look into some tips and norms for visiting hot springs in Iceland, check out this helpful video by the Iceland Academy, an educational site hosted by Promote Iceland.
Kids Get In For Free!
That’s right! Children ages 13 and younger are admitted to the Blue Lagoon for free when accompanied by a parent or guardian, making it an excellent family-friendly attraction.
If you’re planning a trip to the Blue Lagoon in the near future and are curious about Iceland as a whole, be sure to check out these fascinating things you should know about Iceland.
If you’re looking for places to visit in Iceland other than the Blue Lagoon, check out our favorite stops for an Icelandic itinerary.
Photo Credit: Puripat Lertpunyaro / Shutterstock, dalish / Shutterstock