As Iceland becomes more popular by the day as a tourist destination, there is one place almost everyone stops off at during their time in the beautiful country – The Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon is the perfect melting pot of Iceland’s incredible natural geothermal activity and the innovative harnessing of this renewable energy that occurs across the country. The pools were created by the pumping out of water which had been drawn up from deep under ground, the high mineral and silica content meant the water collected in the lava field, and The Blue Lagoon was born.
These days the steaming warm water is an inviting prospect for chilly visitors and a huge array of buildings has popped up around the pools complete with shops, changing rooms, saunas, restaurants and a specific pool for massages and relaxation treatments. It is about as far from rustic as you can get, but it is a novel experience and a great way to warm yourself up after days trekking around the icy countryside! It is of course absolutely rammed with people as you arrive, and the swim up bar (yes there’s a swim up bar!) has a near constant queue but as you drift into the further corners of the lagoon it is quiet and peaceful and you can barely see another soul through the mist that surrounds you.
Entrance fees to the lagoon vary according to which package you get, but the standard package includes entry, use of the showers, saunas and steam rooms and the silica mask that sits in pots around the edge of the lagoon. You’re given a wristband as you arrive which is your locker key and method of payment for anything you buy in the lagoon – the pool bar sells beer (around £9), wine and prosecco (around £11) and a variety of non alcoholic drinks. As with everything in Iceland it’s pretty pricey but nothing more than you might pay in London. It’s become the go to destination for tourists (receiving around a million visitors last year) so pre-booking is now mandatory – either book through your travel agent, one of the many excursion companies in Reykjavik or online before you fly! It’s not far from the airport so it’s the perfect stop off on your way home if you have time.
I had heard tell of Blue Lagoon hair and so took heed of the advice to slather your hair in the free leave in conditioner in the showers before entering the pools. Whilst we’re talking about showers – in Iceland it is expected that before entering any public swimming pool you will shower completely naked, which is a bit of a shock to the system for Brits! If you’re not brave enough for the communal single sex showers there are plenty of cubicles available at The Blue Lagoon, but if you visit any of the many outdoor pools in Reykjavik then you might not be so lucky!
What To Bring:
- A towel – a patterned or bright one is best so you can identify yours easily among the hundreds of plain white towels!
- A waterproof camera or camera case to snap a few pictures
- A bottle of water – the heat of the pools and a glass of prosecco can leave you feeling a little light headed so stay hydrated
- A good cleansing shampoo for afterward as the minerals in the water build up in your hair leaving it a little crispy
- Money to pay your bill afterward!