On our final day in the Land of Fire and Ice, we headed to The Blue Lagoon Iceland to relax. The hot thermal baths of the Blue Lagoon is Iceland’s most famous attraction so we didn’t exactly have it to ourselves. But I didn’t mind. I’ve wanted to visit for ages and this winter I finally got the chance.
Before my trip to Iceland, I spent tons of time researching important tips, like: Can you bring your camera? How much does it cost? Is it safe if you’re pregnant? (yes, it is, btw). And how much time should we spend there? So if you’re going to the Blue Lagoon, here’s the lowdown with the most important tips I picked up.
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FACTS ABOUT THE BLUE LAGOON ICELAND
Fun fact: Did you know that Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is manmade? I’ve always thought that it was natural, but it isn’t. The lava around it is natural, but the water is actually the result of runoff from the power plant next door.
Random fact: The Blue Lagoon Iceland got its name because the water looks blue when reflected in the sun. In reality though, the water is milky white.
Reason to visit: The water of the Blue Lagoon is full of minerals, algae and silica, and it’s really good for your skin. Especially if you have psoriasis or other skin conditions.
Best part: The temperatures of the milky water hover between 37 and 39°C all year round. It basically feels like you’re taking the bath of your life in a giant hot bathtub.
Downside: Thanks to the sulphur in the lagoon, it smells a little. But just a little. The good news is that after a while you won’t mind.
JOIN A DAY TRIP TO THE BLUE LAGOON
When I travel, I’m all about seeing as much as possible. If you also want to get the most out of your time, you can join a day tour and fill two needs with one deed. With the Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon: Full-Day Small-Group Trip, you’ll get a full day tour of sightseeing around the Golden Circle with relaxation at the Blue Lagoon at the end of the day.
Alternatively, if you’re short on time, you can also pre-book transport to the lagoon from the airport or Reykjavik. After having enjoyed everything The Blue Lagoon has to offer, you can either return to Reykjavik or be dropped off at Reykjavík International Airport.
You may also like: From Reykjavik or Keflavik: Blue Lagoon Transport
Ok, so let’s begin with the unpleasantly high entrance fee you need to pay. Prices at the Blue Lagoon Iceland are steep and they’re also dynamic, depending on: 1) the season and time of day you visit, and 2) how far in advance you book. You choose between three types of entrance tickets at The Blue Lagoon and you can rent towels, slippers, robes and swimsuits as add-ons. Here are your choices:
- The Comfort ticket ($70) I recommend this one
- The Premium ticket ($90)
- The Luxury ticket ($500) for 2 persons
Also, you need to pre-book your ticket to get in, which you can do on the Blue Lagoon’s website. And this is important: If you’re visiting in the high season (summer), be sure to pre-book months in advance. And yes, I mean months in plural.
2. HOW TO SAVE MONEY
Like anything else in Iceland, a visit to the Blue Lagoon doesn’t come cheap. BUT, there are ways to save money. For instance:
The silica mud masks are free – You’ll see people putting white mud-stuff on their faces – that’s silica and it’s really good for your skin. The mud masks are supplied out of a swim-up bar and you just help yourself to as much as you like.
Bring your own towel and anti-slip water socks – that way you don’t need to rent a towel, bathrobe or slippers.
Drink from the tap – the tap water in Iceland is some of the cleanest in the world so there’s no reason to buy pricey bottled water at the lagoon.
Go for the Comfort entrance ticket – there’s really no reason to buy the Premium or Luxury ticket unless you want “the full spa experience”.
3. IT’S NOT COLD AT THE BLUE LAGOON
Despite how snowy and cold it is, you won’t freeze your butt off at The Blue Lagoon. We went in January, which is one of the coldest months of the year, and the lagoon was the perfect place to warm up. Remember, the water is almost 40 degrees all year round, so while the air might be cold, the water is not.
Read next: How to visit the Golden Circle
4. HOW TO PROTECT YOUR HAIR – GUYS, TOO
I’ve read several blogs about how the Blue Lagoon will damage and turn your hair into straw, but that wasn’t my experience, really.
How I treated my hair
Before going into the lagoon, I wet my hair and applied a lot of conditioner (they have free shampoo and conditioner in the showers). Afterwards I washed and blow-dried it. It felt a little brittle, but nothing too concerning, and it went back to normal after a day or so.
If you don’t want to take any chances, you can always just avoid getting your hair wet or wear it in a bun. Or you can bring along a small bottle of clarifying shampoo. It strips the minerals out of your hair, and you can use it at home afterwards.
5. VISIT BEFORE OR AFTER YOUR FLIGHT
The Blue Lagoon is located in a lava field in Grindavík about 45 minutes outside of Reykjavik and 20 minutes away from the airport. We went there just before our flight back and it couldn’t have been better planned. I felt so relaxed afterwards, and I wouldn’t have done it any other way. If time doesn’t allow it, you could also visit the lagoon right after your flight lands in Iceland.
If you don’t have a car, you can travel with ease with a Blue Lagoon transport. The bus picks you up/drops you off at the airport or your hotel in Reykjavik.
6. GO EARLY TO AVOID THE CROWDS
Our flight was at 2pm so we went to the lagoon at 8am. In the winter, the sun doesn’t rise until 11am so it was still dark when we got in – which was actually kind of nice. The best thing about visiting early though is that you avoid the queues and the hordes of tourists. I hear that noon till afternoon is the worst time to visit.
Read next: The must-see sights in South Iceland
7. GIVE YOURSELF ENOUGH TIME
We spent around 4 hours at the lagoon and it was perfect. If you’re going for a massage or having a bite at the restaurant you might spend more time. Plus, depending on what time you visit and in which season, there might be queues. Long queues. You’ll want to take that into consideration, especially if you have a flight to catch.
8. YOU DON’T NEED YOUR WALLET INSIDE
When you arrive at the Blue Lagoon, you get a digital rubber wristband. Do not lose this wristband! It will open and close your locker and you can buy stuff from the bar, the reception, wellness and restaurant. When you leave the lagoon, you settle the bill.
Read next: How to plan the best road trip in Iceland
9. MORE TIPS FOR VISITING ICELAND’S BLUE LAGOON
You can bring your luggage – If you’re on your way to or from the airport, you can store your luggage in the Service Center building next to the parking area for ISK 550 (US $5,2) You can fit your hand luggage, clothes, camera, etc. in private electronic lockers in the changing rooms.
Bring a waterproof sleeve for your phone – Don’t bring your phone into the lagoon unless you have a waterproof case. I bought this one for $7 on Amazon and it was brilliant – not just in the lagoon, but also when we visited waterfalls or when it rained! Also, I wouldn’t bring my DSLR into the lagoon – you really don’t want to accidentally drop it (oh, horror!).
Don’t wear contact lenses – The Blue Lagoon Iceland strongly recommends against wearing contact lenses in the water. The reason is that the silica can get into your eyes and make it super painful if you’re wearing contact lenses.
Also, don’t wear any jewellery – Not only to prevent loosing it, but the silica, algae, minerals can damage the jewellery.
10. PACKING LIST – WHAT TO BRING
- Swimwear – You’ll need a swimsuit or swim trunks to enter the pool and saunas. I brought this blue swimsuit.
- Sunglasses – Expect any kind of weather in Iceland, including sharp sunlight. Add to the fact that the lagoon reflects the rays – so, it’s a good idea to bring a pair of sunglasses. I went for the blue aviator style.
- Camera or a phone with camera
- A waterproof case for your phone. This is a MUST if you plan on bringing your phone into the lagoon. It’s humid in there. So even if it doesn’t get wet, it might get damaged from damp. Find something that will make your phone waterproof, but still useable. You could invest in a Lifeproof case to keep it safe, or get something simple like a dry sleeve (what I did).
- Hair elastics
- Hair brush
- A bottle of water (Optional to save money)
- Your own towel (Optional to save money)
- Slippers – if you visit in the winter, the floor is ice-cold. You can bring a pair of slippers or anti-slip water socks, which are super effective in the cold.
As mentioned earlier, the Blue Lagoon Iceland provides free shampoo and conditioner. They also have blow driers.
WHERE TO STAY IN REYKJAVIK
Gestinn Guesthouse – Lovely guesthouse, located just by the bus stop 8. It’s close to everything and there’s an extremely helpful staff. Click here to see the latest prices.
Heida’s home – it’s as welcoming as it sounds. Comfy bed and helpful staff that goes out of their way to help. There’s free parking nearby and it’s close to a supermarket and tourist sights. Click here to see the latest prices.