Is it Worth Visiting the Blue Lagoon in Iceland?

29 August, 2018

Before we visited Iceland, we debated on whether to book a trip to the Blue Lagoon but ultimately decided against it because we felt like it was likely overhyped and a bit too touristy for our liking. Plus, we were on a budget and Iceland is not cheap! However, a couple of days into our Icelandic adventure, we started to regret the decision of not pre-booking or planning a trip to the Blue Lagoon so, on a whim, we booked our tickets & a return bus for the following day from our Airbnb in Reykjavik. You could say that the FOMO truly got the better of us. But, was it worth it?

If you want a short quick answer to this post then the answer is absolutely YES. 1000%. It's worth every penny even if the entry cost does make you wince.

Sometimes certain spots are flocked by tourists for a reason and it's not necessarily a bad thing to also include these spots in your itinerary. Sure, it's great to go off-the-beaten track and live like the locals but you shouldn't miss out on some of the more popular spots, especially if it's your first time visiting a particular destination. Places like the Blue Lagoon usually become popular with travellers for a reason and it's simply because they're nothing short of spectacular so don't let your ego stop you from visiting like it almost did for us.

Believe it or not, the Blue Lagoon is actually an entirely manmade lagoon within a lava field that was created by a nearby geothermal power plant, Svartsengi. The plant uses superheated water, which is vented deep from within the ground near a lava flow and used to run turbines that generate electricity across the country. The warm waste water from the process is then directed into the Blue Lagoon, which people flock to day-after-day. There's no need to worry as the water is clean, completely free of any chemicals and is renewed every 48 hours. Despite the fact it is manmade, there's still no denying its beauty with its aqua blue waters and otherworldly surroundings.

It's said that the water in the Blue Lagoon possesses certain healing properties as the geothermal water in the lagoon is unlike anywhere else in the world. In fact, it's even home to two algae plants that haven't been found anywhere else in the world and it's very rich in minerals like silica and sulfur, which leaves your skin feeling incredible and has been know to help people suffering from certain skin conditions such as psoriasis.

We visited Iceland at the start of April so the weather was utterly unpredictable. On the day we arrived, we experienced torrential rain followed by a heavy blizzard and ended the day with a gorgeous clear pink sky for sunset; Iceland is truly unlike anywhere else in the world. When we awoke on the day of our visit to the Blue Lagoon, we looked out of our window to be greeted with everything you'd hope not to see the day you plan to spend frolicking in a lagoon; thick, grey clouds as far as the eye could see, relentless rain and even plummeting hailstones. All of a sudden, it seemed that the £150 we had spent for the two of us on our entry and return bus didn't seem so worth it.

Obviously the weather for us was the complete opposite of what you would hope for but it didn't hinder our experience in the slightest. Despite the fact that outside temperature was absolutely baltic and we were being pelted with freezing rain, the lagoon always stays between 37 and 39°C so it feels like you're bathing in a giant, milky, consistently warm bath! The only not-so-pleasant part of the experience was stepping outside in the Icelandic winter in nothing but a swimsuit and making a mad dash for the warm water!

Now, I'm a pretty restless person, especially when travelling, and I never tend to stop to relax whilst I'm away. I'm not someone who can spend hours lounging around by the pool or indulging in a spa day so I didn't expect to hang around in the Blue Lagoon for long before getting itchy feet and wanting to head back to explore Reykjavik again. Surprisingly, we spent six whole hours at the Blue Lagoon lounging around, drinking overpriced beers and marvelling at the beauty of our surroundings.

Some tips to know before you visit the Blue Lagoon:

Pre-book your trip before you fly

Basically, don't make our mistake and book your tickets the day before. We were actually pretty lucky to be able to book a spot so last minute as the Blue Lagoon is incredibly popular and it tends to sell out. We were hoping for an evening admission so that we could enjoy the sunset and float around the lagoon under the stars but as we booked it so late, there was no evening admission available at that point so we had to settle for a morning time slot instead.

Purchase a waterproof pouch for your phone beforehand

It goes without saying that you'll want to take photos during your time in the lagoon as it's absolutely breathtaking. I highly recommend on you purchasing a waterproof phone pouch before flying as I thought a sandwich bag would be adequate but surprise, surprise - it's wasn't! So, I ended up begrudgingly forking out for waterproof pouch at the Blue Lagoon, which set me back the equivalent of £20. If you're smart, unlike me, then you'll pre-purchase one from eBay for as little as £3!

Visit the lagoon just after your flight into Iceland or before your flight home

The Blue Lagoon is considerably closer to the airport (20 minutes drive) than it is to Reykjavik (45 minutes drive) so it makes sense where possible to visit it just after you land in Iceland or just before you leave. I recommend the former as you won't have to worry about keeping an eye on the time and worry about missing your flight home. The Blue Lagoon is a beautiful place to just kick back and relax so you don't want to be stressing about leaving in time to catch your flight, however, if you have an evening flight and can spend the day at the lagoon then it could work out.

If you do schedule in your trip post or pre-airport then it also usually works out considerably cheaper paying for the shuttle bus compared to having to take a return journey from Reykjavik city centre in the middle of your trip.

Apply conditioner to your hair before you enter the lagoon

Before I entered the lagoon, upon advice, I slathered my hair with conditioner before I went in. They have free shampoo and conditioner in the changing rooms at the Blue Lagoon or you can bring along your own more intensive conditioner. The water in the lagoon dries out your hair considerably and even after washing the conditioner out afterwards and re-conditioning it, my hair still felt a quite brittle until I applied a decent hair mask at home. I also recommend tying your hair up in a bun because whilst it's impossible not to get your hair wet, it still helps keep most of it out of the water.

You won't have to take your wallet into the lagoon to buy a drink or any other extras

Upon entry, you'll be given a digital rubber wristband, which you can use to purchase any drinks or extras at the bar, restaurant or spa. It can be easy to lose track of what you're spending but it saves bringing your wallet into the water. The wristband allows you to open and close your locker so it's important to make sure you don't lose it in the water! You then settle your bill upon leaving.

The silica masks are free

Even if you book the basic package, like we did, then the silica masks in the lagoon are still free. If you wander over to the mask bar, you can help yourself to as much as you need and just apply it to your face for 10 minutes before washing it off in the water. Your skin will look absolutely radiant afterwards! Additional algae masks can be purchased with your digital wristband if you wish.

You can book packages to the Blue Lagoon starting from 54 euros per person on their website here.

Have you visited the Blue Lagoon before?

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  1. It looks amazing - and the digital wristbands are such a good idea! We went to a waterpark recently where we struggled to buy anything and this would have been the perfect solution.

  2. I'd love to visit this place, looks stunning, amazing pictures! :) x

  3. Fablous tips. We are going Ice Land next year, so this is really useful. Like the tip about the phone bag too x

  4. Iceland is top of my bucket list and I hope to visit later this year. The Blue Lagoon is a must for me

  5. I would absolutely love to visit the Blue Lagoon! It's one of my bucket list items I think as it sounds like such a relaxing and interesting experience.

  6. I went to the Blue Lagoon last year when I visited Iceland for the first time in December - however I still think it's overpriced and touristy. Having been to natural pools in the Westfjords region of Iceland during my second trip, I would advise others to find somewhere less crowded, less touristy and more "off the beaten track" if they want a more authentic experience :) x

  7. Wow this looks like an amazing experience. Great tips, especially about taking a waterproof pouh for your phone. x

  8. That's a really useful guide to the Blue Lagoon - particularly the bit about hair conditioner and visiting just after arriving or before leaving since it's close to the airport. I'd love to go.

  9. Blue Lagoon is fascinating and magical place. I am planning to visit it soon. Can't contain my excitement.

  10. I would love to visit here, it looks amazing! Amazing places are bound to bring in lots of tourists but often it it totally worth it. Perfect tips too :) x


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