By Mac Harrison
I recently took a trip to the Blue Lagoon and I wanted to write a review! I read so many articles and Pinterest blog posts before I went. And now that I have visited the Blue Lagoon, I want to give y’all my honest-to-god opinion of Iceland’s biggest tourist attraction.
My Honest-To-God Opinion of the Blue Lagoon
I visited Iceland in February of this year. One of the things I had almost at the top of my bucket list was going to the Blue Lagoon. Now, I am aware that this essentially is a tourist trap. And, in my opinion, it’s a damn good one. Just because it caters to tourists doesn’t mean it’s not worth going to!
I read a lot of blogs that wrote off the Blue Lagoon because it wasn’t something the locals would do or because it’s expensive (which, fair, cause it is). But, where else in the world are you going to get an experience like this? In my opinion, the Blue Lagoon was worth it in the end so I decided to write a review to tell you why…
What is the Blue Lagoon?
The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa located about 20 minutes from the Keflavík International airport and 40ish minutes from Reykjavík. It sits in a lava field near Grindavík and is supplied by the water from the Svartsengi geothermal power station. DO NOT LET THAT SCARE YOU. It is perfectly safe!!
The lagoon is actually man-made! The water is a byproduct of the powerplant next door. Superheated water is used to run the turbines which generate electricity. After the turbines, the hot water and steam pass through a heat exchanger (which provides heat for a municipal water heating system) and then goes into the lagoon. The vividly milky blue water results from the high silica content and some blue-green algae. The water renews itself every two days and contains NO environmental bacteria, fungi, or plants.
The Blue Lagoon company was established in 1992 after the facilities opened in 1987. After a psoriasis patient bathed in the Lagoon in the 80s, their symptoms were alleviated. Studies in the 90s then confirmed the lagoon has beneficial effects on skin ailments and particularly psoriasis. The Lagoon sells the products (face masks, serums, and scrubs) containing the silica, algae, and salt from the pools.
In 2015, there were over 1 million visitors to the Blue Lagoon and the number increases each year!!
I LOVED THE BLUE LAGOON. It was truly a unique experience that was worth every penny. I went to the Blue Lagoon directly from the airport. My friend and I booked the bus transfer through the Blue Lagoon website and they picked us up from the Keflavík airport at 7:30 AM. We arrived at the Blue Lagoon just before 8.
If you have luggage you will have to check it at the small building by the parking lot. From there, you will walk up a small path to the main entrance of the lagoon. You purchase your tickets for a specific check-in time slot. We chose 8AM and were actually some of the first people to check in and go to the lockers.
As we were the first check in time, the lockers were almost empty. We had no issue finding places to put our clothes or shower, and we got into the lagoon with almost no one in it! You can stay at the lagoon as long as you want but you must check in during your hour time slot (so for us it was 8-9AM).
Go in the Morning!
I cannot stress this enough, GO FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. I am not a morning person. At all. But I felt so rejuvenated and awake after going to the lagoon that I didn’t even feel jetlagged the rest of the day (and I arrived at 5 AM). Not only will there be much fewer people, but you will pay less. And, if you go in the winter like we did, you will get to see the sun rise!
I really enjoyed watching the sunrise over the lagoon and seeing the water change to every possible shade of blue. Although we had a lot of wind and some rain at times, the water was so warm that the rain actually cooled us as we swam around.
If you go in the morning like we did and are interested in taking pictures (who isn’t), you should do like we did and wait until the sun is up (begins around 9 and is fully light around 9:45) to do your mask. You get one free mask and one free drink with your basic purchase.
The mask is amazingggggg. I don’t have the best skin but my skin felt so good. It was truly so much smoother and softer afterwards. I wish I could’ve bottle up that water and taken it with me home!! You can purchase the masks at their store or in the airport or even in downtown Reykjavík but, fair warning, they are superrrrr expensive. I’m talking like $50 for a travel size mask or about $100 for the full size.
Suffice to say I did not end up purchasing the masks to take home but if I ever get major bucks there is an online store that ships to the US.
A True Cost Breakdown
No Blue Lagoon Review would be complete without mentioning the cost of visiting.
So here’s the thing. The entrance fees for the Comfort (basic) package for the Lagoon range from as low as about 55 dollars (evening, weekend entrance) to about 100 (midday, weekend). Obviously, the Premium package becomes more expensive with the minimum amount being in the 70s for a 10pm check in.
Keep in mind that the Lagoon closes at midnight. If you choose an evening slot you may not have much time.
I went in the morning and paid in the 80s for my 8AM time. We stayed in the lagoon until 11AM before showering and blow drying our hair and getting on the bus around 12. The Comfort Package includes one mask and one drink. Assume a drink would be about 10 dollars. Next, pretend the face-mask would be 10 dollars as well (steep for a face mask I know but just assume). I was paying around 60 dollars for the lagoon itself. Since I spent three hours in the water, it comes out to about 20 dollars per hour I spent in the lagoon.
A Few Tips For Visiting
Here are my tips for visiting the Blue Lagoon and what contributed to this review being so positive in the end.
- Go early in the morning! There are less people, it’s cheaper, and you can see the sun rise (in the winter) or in the summer you will have full daylight hours the entire time!
- You can buy food but it’s very expensive. Bring snacks and eat them in the cafe instead of buying lunch in the restaurant.
- Arrange for the bus transfer from the airport and to Reykjavík. It is about 40 dollars but makes it so much easier. They will take you from the airport (or Reykjavík if you’re going in reverse) to the Blue Lagoon and then to Reykjavík (or the airport).
- Take a GoPro (or a knockoff) or a waterproof camera, or a waterproof camera phone case. They do sell them at the lagoon bar but they are about 20 dollars. Tbh that is not that bad of a price but in my opinion it’s better to buy a waterproof pouch or phone case at Target or Walmart than at the lagoon.
- There are lots of spots to take pictures in the lagoon. If you come out of the entrance to the showers and go to the right, there are lots of little pools and bridges around the steam room and sauna.
My Take-Aways From The Blue Lagoon
So there is my comprehensive Review of the Blue Lagoon. For any more information, you can check out their website https://www.bluelagoon.com/. And be sure to read my Solo Traveler’s Guide to Iceland before you go! Say Hello to Iceland and the Blue Lagoon for me!