Blue Lagoon Iceland Travel Guide
The Blue Lagoon is truly one of the wonders of the world! I expected it to be beautiful from seeing it in photos, but wow it really is a sight to behold with your own eyes. The milky blue water covered in an enchanting cloud of steam looks more like something you’d find on another planet.
In November, I had the amazing opportunity to visit the Blue Lagoon for the ultimate 3-day weekend with a small group of bloggers and travel journalists. We had the best time experiencing all there is to do at the Blue Lagoon (it’s more than just a warm dip!) and even got to do some exploring around the Reykjanes Peninsula, where the lagoon is located. It was an incredibly fun trip with just the right amount of adventure and relaxation.
HOW TO GET THERE
You can get to Iceland very easily from the east coast, specifically if you’re flying out of New York or Boston. To get to Iceland and the Blue Lagoon, I took a direct flight on Icelandair leaving from Newark airport and had a really pleasant experience. I believe Icelandair also offers direct flights out of JFK as well. The flight time was only 4 hours and 45 minutes– that’s less time than it takes to fly to Los Angeles.
To visit the Blue Lagoon you’ll want to fly into Keflavík International Airport. This is Iceland’s largest airport located just outside of the capital city of Reykjavík. It’s also conveniently just a 20 minute drive away from the lagoon and the hotel where I stayed, Silica Hotel.
You can take a shuttle transfer direct to the Blue Lagoon from the airport or from Reykjavík. Renting a car also seemed like a popular way to get around. I noticed there was a very big parking lot near the walking path that leads down to the lagoon.
A lot of travelers who visit the Blue Lagoon often stay in Reykjavík as there are many more hotels and attractions there. I personally think the Blue Lagoon is worth a one or two night stay, however many visitors will come just for the day. Either way it’s worth it!
THE BLUE LAGOON
So what exactly is the Blue Lagoon? To put it simply, it’s a very large geothermal pond. The water in the lagoon is enriched with silica, algae, along with other beneficial minerals that contribute to the lagoon’s healing properties… and it’s gorgeous blue hue!
This unique geothermal spa attracts visitors from all over the world for more than just it’s beauty. The lagoon’s waters are particularly healing for those with skin ailments like Psoriasis.
Today the Blue Lagoon is so much more than just the lagoon itself— it’s a travel destination with two luxury hotels, a full-service subterranean spa, saunas, a boutique and two restaurants. I didn’t realize until I was there just how much more there is to do and see beyond going in the lagoon.
One thing I was really curious about was the “touristy” aspect and if the experience would feel cheesy. There’s no denying the Blue Lagoon’s popularity on social media— it’s definitely become a prime travel hotspot in the last five years. So did it live up to the hype? Honestly y’all, yes,
I truly didn’t expect to enjoy the experience as much as I did. I expected the lagoon to be beautiful, but I didn’t anticipate the high quality of the spa and the lagoon’s facilities.
I also completely underestimated the spa’s size. There are multiple locker rooms for men and women with rows of showers, bathrooms, etc. and there is plenty of seating for lounging inside.
The lagoon itself is also HUGE. I’m not talking olympic pool huge— it’s more like a lake. I honestly don’t even know what I could compare it to. Trust me though… You can easily find your own private spot to wade and relax in the water away from other people.
While the waters, locker rooms and common areas were definitely busy with other travelers, the environment still felt incredibly peaceful and luxurious. I also never felt crowded or overwhelmed by the number of people (and I HATE crowds.)
Some personal highlights of my Blue Lagoon experience were the swim-up mud mask and drink bar. Yes! These are in the water! They kinda reminded me of what you’d find in the pool of a big tropical resort— just Icelandic versions 😛
The mask bar was so cool. There’s a menu and you can choose a formula based on your skin concerns— dryness, anti-aging, etc. Once you pick a mask you apply it directly to your face while you’re chilling the lagoon. The “bar” bar had a variety of non-alcoholic and alcohol beverages— so yes, you can get your drank on in the lagoon too!
If you have the time and really want to take your Blue Lagoon experience to another level, I’d recommend booking a treatment at the on-site spa. Some services are even done directly in the water!
The Blue Lagoon tourism office was kind enough to book the lagoon’s signature service, an in-water full-body massage, for me and the other girls I was traveling with. Essentially you lay in the water flat on your back on a partially submerged mat, while a therapist massages your entire body.
Full disclosure— I was too scared of getting my hair wet (more on why below) so I just asked for a shoulder massage where I could sit upright. It was lovely and so relaxing! PS all in-water spa services are done in a private section of the lagoon blocked off from other guests.
If you’re planning a visit I’d recommend allocating at least half a day to explore the lagoon. It’s not an experience that you want to rush because the entire point is to relax and enjoy wading in the water.
Premium tickets to the Blue Lagoon start at $79 per person and include the entrance fee, two silica mud masks, towel, robe, slippers, one drink, a reservation at LAVA restaurant and a glass of sparkling wine with your meal at LAVA. A Comfort ticket is also available for $56 and includes the entrance fee, a silica mud mask, towel, and one drink. There is no time limit with either ticket— once you arrive you can stay as long as you’d like until closing!
Can you get your hair wet?
Yes you can and many people do! The reason why this is even a question is because the rich minerals in the lagoon adhere very easily to hair and can be difficult to wash out, if you don’t prepare appropriately. When you walk into the lagoon locker rooms you’ll notice huge containers of conditioner and signs instructing you to apply it liberally to your hair before entering the water. This is to protect it from the minerals and allow you to easily wash them out afterwards.
I personally opted not to get my hair wet because 1) I have extensions and 2) the minerals in the water are known to be difficult to wash out. I honestly just didn’t want to deal with the hassle of washing and drying my lion’s mane (I still had my extensions in from my wedding) so to save myself a headache I rocked a bun instead. No regrets!
WHAT TO WEAR
All you need to go in the Blue Lagoon is your swimsuit! The water is very warm, but by no means scalding hot– temps range from 37-40°C or 98-104°F. It felt similar to a hot tub!
When you check in at the lagoon, the spa staff will provide you with a cozy robe, slippers and a locker key so you can store your personal belongings. Street clothes aren’t allowed to be worn beyond the locker rooms, so I wouldn’t bother bringing your own sandals or coverup to wear over your swimsuit. The robes and slippers they provide are very comfy and you won’t need them much anyway since you’ll be going straight in the water.
PS the Blue Lagoon stays open in all weather– don’t let rain or snow deter you from visiting!
I visited Iceland in mid-November and was pleased to find the weather and outside temperature was similar to what I’m used to at home in New York and New Jersey. I want to say it was around 35°-45°F over the three days of my trip– aka chilly winter weather.
Mother Nature can get a little crazy in Iceland. You can experience all types of weather in one day: sun, rain, snow, hail, wind– it’s so unpredictable! I’d recommend packing layers and appropriate clothing for wet winter weather. When I was there we were blessed with partly cloudy skies nearly everyday, however there were a few random moment of rain and hail. It also snowed about an inch one night!
WHERE TO STAY
Travelers wishing to visit the Blue Lagoon now can stay overnight thanks to the recent openings of two new hotels: Silica Hotel and The Retreat Hotel. Both are nestled within the lagoon itself– The Retreat at the main lagoon and Silica just a few minutes away down a scenic walking path.
I stayed at the Silica Hotel and was very impressed. The property is incredibly luxurious and photogenic from the Scandinavian-style interiors to the exterior amenities that really make you feel one with your surroundings. There are just 35 rooms so the vibe is very private. Each room has floor to ceiling windows with gorgeous views of the surrounding volcanic terrain.
To me, the most amazing perk of staying at the Silica Hotel is the hotel’s private section of the Blue Lagoon. Guests of the hotel have access to their own oasis away from the main lagoon. It’s so serene, peaceful and gorgeous!
PS rates at the Silica Hotel start at $560/night and include Premium entrance to the main Blue Lagoon.
OUTFIT DETAILS // Lavender One Piece Swimsuit
While my trip was primarily focused on experiencing the Blue Lagoon and Silica Hotel, we did get in a little nearby sightseeing on the Reykjanes Peninsula. The Blue Lagoon team set up a guided tour for us with a driver who took us around to all of these incredible spots:
Reykjanes Peninsula Sightseeing:
+ Reykjanes Peninsula Lighthouse- the most popular lighthouse to visit among Icelanders
+ Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark- the only place in the world where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is visible above sea level
+ Brimketill- a small, naturally carved pool, by marine erosion, at the lava shore edge west of the town of Grindavík
+ Bridge Between Two Continents- This bridge was built as a symbol for the connection between Europe and North America
+ Gunnuhver- Iceland´s largest mud pool and steam vents. Legend says a female ghost inhabits the steam pits after being laid there almost 400 years ago.
+ Grindavik- a family-oriented fishing village located on the peninsula