All About Visiting The Blue Lagoon in Iceland

All About Visiting Iceland's Blue Lagoon

One of the most popular things to do on a visit to Iceland is to visit the Blue Lagoon.  With the dreamy images of a pale blue pool with steam rising off it, face masks on, and drinks in hand, it is very appealing!  However, there is a process involved to make sure your time here goes smoothly so we will lay it all out for you in this guide.

Some people say it’s overrated and not worth the money.  However, we decided to go ahead and try it, being first time visitors to Iceland.  If traveling from the US or the west, you’ll most likely be arriving early in the morning following a red-eye flight.  This makes a visit here a great way to pass time in between your early morning arrival and heading to your lodging.  

What is the Blue Lagoon?

The Blue Lagoon is a man-made lagoon located on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwest Iceland.  Its location makes it a great stop when arriving in Iceland or even on the way back to the airport when departing.  

Located in an expansive lava field, you’ll see the Svartsengi Geothermal Plant and the Blue Lagoon from the road.  It is sort of an oasis in the middle of this land that looks like it’s from another planet.  

Funny enough, the origin of The Blue Lagoon began as a pool of wastewater from the Svartsengi Plant.  In the 1970s, a man decided to take a dip in it much to the chagrin of others.  However, it was soon realized that the lagoon contained healing properties due to the silica and sulfur filled warm water and its popularity began to take off.  The Blue Lagoon officially opened for business in 1987. 

Today, visitors can bask in its warm waters, which remain between 98-102 degrees F.  The facility is aesthetically designed and well run to meet the demands of tourists.  This remains the most popular attraction in Iceland.

I had a lot of questions before visiting.  With my laying out the full experience below, I hope it helps you in planning your visit to The Blue Lagoon!

Purchasing Tickets

It’s best to purchase tickets ahead of time to get the time slot you desire.  Because of its popularity and cap, there is no guarantee that you can show up and get in – in fact, it’s pretty unlikely.  Purchase tickets here on the website.   

There are three different Blue Lagoon entrance tickets you can purchase:

Comfort:  Cost as of 2022:  $64.  This covers your entrance, one mask, one drink, and use of towel upon exiting.

Premium:  Cost as of 2022:  $82.  This covers your entrance, three masks, one drink, a robe, and use of towel upon exiting.

Luxury:  Cost as of 2022:  $439.  This includes five hours at the Retreat Spa, unlimited use of The Blue Lagoon, private changing room, drinks, skincare, and access to other areas.

We opted for the Premium package.  We wanted the robes to cover going from the locker room to the lagoon in our suits.  I’m glad we did as it was a bit chilly!  However, if you don’t care about the robe or multiple face masks, the Comfort package will be just fine.

Children 2-13 years old are FREE!  The cheapest ticket for ages 14 and up is currently $64 USD.  The prices fluctuates a bit so best to get your tickets as soon as you know your dates.

You have the option to add on either a 30 or 60 minute in-water massage as well.  Prices for those treatments begin at $118.

Timing it just right

Timing is important because you don’t want to miss your time slot and not be able to get in.  Here is how we did it:

We booked an arrival time of 9:00 am.  With an arrival time of 9:00 a.m. this means you can arrive anytime within the 9:00 hour:  9:00 am – 9:59 am.  That gives you a little bit of a flexibility with timing.

Our red-eye flight from the US landed around 7:30 am.  We deplaned, went through a quick customs process, got our luggage, and waited about 15 minutes for a shuttle bus to take us to our rental car company, National.  We rode the shuttle, got our rental car, and drove the 20 minutes to the Blue Lagoon, arriving at about 9:05 am.  The process is pretty quick getting out of Keflavik airport, even with the shuttle wait time and ride to the lot.

How to get to the Blue Lagoon

Because we had a rental car during our time in Iceland, we drove ourselves to the Blue Lagoon from Keflavik Airport.  

There is also a bus service which will take you straight from Keflavik Airport, to the Blue Lagoon, and onward to your lodging in Reykjavik.  This is a great option for those who do not plan to rent a car. 

The driving route from Keflavik Airport to the Blue Lagoon

To get from Keflavik Airport to the Blue Lagoon if self-driving is easy.  Take Highway 41 to Highway 43 and follow the signs.  While driving, you will soon see the Blue Lagoon and rising steam next to the geothermal plant as you get closer.

Taxis are also available to take you to and from The Blue Lagoon.

How to Prepare & Pack

I knew we would want easy access to our swim suits, flip flops, and a fresh change of clothes for after our Blue Lagoon experience.  Each of us had a packing cube with such items as well as our toiletry kits handy.  We purposely put these on the top of our suitcases so when we arrived we could easily grab them and not have to dig through our suitcases to find needed items. 

I had read a lot about how the silica in the waters of the Blue Lagoon can really wreak havoc on your hair.  My recommendation is to do what others have said:  during your pre-Lagoon shower, shampoo your hair, followed by putting conditioner in your hair, but don’t rinse it out.  Also consider putting your hair up in a bun.  I opted to leave my hair down thinking the conditioner would help it however it was like straw after and I wish I had put it up! 

The girls and Mike – Braden is out there somewhere!

Afterwards, the girls and I washed our hair twice with Ouai Clarifying Shampoo and conditioned with Living Proof Anti Frizz Conditioner.  Later that evening, once at our hotel, we used Olaplex 3 treatment and followed with the same shampoo and conditioner routine and it was almost completely back to normal.

The Experience

There is a parking lot if self-parking and a luggage storage center on site.  I took in my valuables, including my camera equipment in my travel backpack, our passports, purses, and of course packing cubes with swimsuits, flip flops, and and a change of clothes and our toiletry kits. 

The beginning of the pathway to the Blue Lagoon

As you start the walk to the Blue Lagoon, you’ll walk along a long walkway, but the scenery is beautiful!  Large lava rocks on either side shelter the walkway, a great introductory scene into being in Iceland.  Once we entered the building we queued and waited to check in.  We were each given wristbands which would be our way to get our free drink and masks while in the lagoon as well as how to lock and unlock the lockers in the locker room.

After checking in, you head into the locker rooms.  One locker fit my backpack, toiletry kit, large purse, and clothing items in the packing cube.  Luggage will not fit, but smaller soft-sided bags such as backpacks will along with a few additional things.  It is also recommended to take off all jewelry as it can tarnish in the water.

It’s required to shower prior to entering the Lagoon.  I was pleasantly surprised that there were plenty of stalls with doors – although the doors do not lock.  After showering it was time to head out to the Blue Lagoon.

The Blue Lagoon was beautiful!  The steam rising up off the light blue water while surrounded by black volcanic rock was a beautiful scene.  Some complain about seeing the adjacent Svartsengi Plant, however it isn’t a factory churning out smoke, it is harvesting the warm waters and releasing steam into the air – the same warm waters that heat the Blue Lagoon!  It didn’t take away from the experience at all for us.

Once in, we chose our drinks.  It was early but our internal clocks needed to be reset so why not start the morning off with an Icelandic beer? ;).  The kids all enjoyed a slushie.  With our drinks in hand, we waded around, soaking in the waters.  Ava and I enjoyed the masks – we got a series of three masks with our Premium Package and our skin never felt so soft as it did afterwards!

After about an hour and a half, we all had our fill of soaking and headed in to shower.  We got our toiletry kits from the lockers and waited for one of the shower stalls with doors to open up.  There are just a few changing stalls for after showering that lock and the girls and I opted to wait for those.  After dressing, there are large mirrors and blow-dryers available.  Then it was time to head out!

Dining at the Blue Lagoon

Initially, we had a reservation at the Lava Restaurant, which I booked with our Blue Lagoon entrance.  I cancelled it prior because after looking at the menu ahead of time, I realized the kids would not really like the food there.  I have heard it is an excellent meal but best suited for those with non-picky palates!  The café on hand had some great fresh options, much more up our alley:  cheese, meat, and olive trays, sushi, sandwiches, salads, and a variety of drinks.  We grabbed a few things and relaxed with our snacks for a bit before heading to Reykjavik.

A large gift shop is on site selling a variety of bath salts and mud masks in case you want to take any of your experience here home with you.

And that is it!  That was the Blue Lagoon experience.  I had heard some love it, some think it’s overrated, but we enjoyed it.  It was a great way to pass time in between landing on a red eye and checking in to our lodging.   And what is better than getting off a red-eye flight, showering, and relaxing in warm waters with a drink?!

Read More!

For our full five-day Iceland itinerary, check out Iceland Itinerary – Five Days in the Land of Fire and Ice.

And for a more in-depth look into exploring Reykjavik, check out, Great Things to do in Reykjavik, Iceland

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