5 Things to Know Before Visiting the Blue Lagoon

Icelanders will tell you the Blue Lagoon is a tourist trap, and while it is a bit pricey to visit, we loved our time there. When you’re in the lagoon, everything takes on an ethereal, dreamlike quality.

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The lagoon is quite big- there are various pools to explore, caves to wade through, connecting bridges, cleansing sauna, floating bar and massaging waterfall.

Exhausted from an overnight flight, we spent a morning floating in the lagoon’s milky-blue waters, relaxing with silica mud masks on and sipping wine. Wading into the hot, mineral-rich water was a blissful refuge from the icy cold air.

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The lagoon is next to a power plant, but the actual plant is hidden in the surrounding lava rock fields.  Water temperature in the lagoon varies- some areas are almost too hot to bear, but it’s largely comfortable throughout. The water itself is enriched with  silica, blue green algae, and mineral salts, which helps exfoliate and soften skin. 

Would I visit the Blue Lagoon again? Absolutely. It’s the epitome of serenity.

But, if I were doing a road-trip around Iceland, I’d also check-out some of the country’s other natural, geothermal hot springs that are less commercial.

5 Things to Know Before Visiting the Blue Lagoon to Ensure an Unforgettable Trip

  • Go on your way to or from the airport: While trip planning, I read visiting the Blue Lagoon is best to do on your way to or from the airport since it’s 20 minutes from the airport vs. 45 minutes from Reykjavik.
    • Reykjavik Excursions makes it easy to visit the lagoon on your way to/from the airport with frequent bus transfers
    • Don’t worry about your luggage, you can pay 3 EUR to store your luggage at the lagoon. An attendant watches your bags, but I would still suggest bringing a lock. I knew the lagoon would be our first stop, so I made sure my swimsuit and a change of clothes were easily accessible
    • I’m glad we decided to go to the lagoon on our way to Reykjavik rather than to the airport for our departure because water residue from the lagoon dries on your skin. Yes, your skin feels softer, but there’s a flaky, almost film-like layer left on your skin until you take a thorough shower
  • Visit early in the day: As the website says, would recommend booking your visit to the lagoon ahead of time since it admission can sell-out.
    • We arrived at the lagoon when it first opened at 9 am, which allowed us a few hours to enjoy the lagoon in peace (and meant we saw the sun rise over the lagoon!). Around noon, the crowds started to arrive
  • Pack a towel or be prepared to rent one: If you’re trying to cut down on what you pack, I’d suggest booking a package that includes a towel. 
    • We opted to book the Comfort package because we planned on spending half a day at the lagoon. We decided to rent robes separate to our package once we realized how cold it was walking to/from the lagoon, as well as to the locker room and cafe (reminder: we visited in December). A robe wasn’t a necessity per se, but it did make our morning a lot more enjoyable 
    • Regardless of which package you book, you’ll be given a bracelet (similar to Disney’s Magic Bands) that gives you access to your locker and allows you to buy drinks, food or other extras throughout the day without carrying around your wallet
  • Do not get your hair wet: There are a lot of guides for visiting the Blue Lagoon floating around the Internet, one thing they all have in common is advice to not get your hair wet.
    • The locker rooms at the lagoon offer leave-in conditioner you can use during your pre-lagoon rinse, but it’s still advised you keep your hair above the water if you don’t want it to become completely dehydrated/destroyed
    • In-lagoon water massages are a popular spa treatment for visitors, but I opted not to have one because my hair is color treated and I was worried about the silica and sulfur in the water
  • Forget about being self-conscious (no one else will be): Yes, you have to take a shower (naked) in the changing rooms before using the lagoon.
    • Before visiting, I’d read reviews (mostly from Americans) who were surprised by the locker room experience. But, it’s important to remember you’re in another country, and not everyone in the world is as obsessed with privacy as most Westerners. Plus, there are cubicles with doors so you can shower in privacy if the communal one isn’t up your ally. 

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Additional #1 Tip: The outside balcony in the restaurant (to the right of the stairs) provides great panorama views of the lagoon.

Additional Tip #2: The Blue Lagoon sells waterproof phone covers. I bought one so I could bring my phone around the lagoon and snap pics throughout the day without worrying about water damage or having to get in/out of the lagoon to grab it. It’s something I’ll use on future trips to the beach or excursions where my phone may get wet, so 100% worth the expense.

For more Iceland travel tips, check out my 5 Days in Iceland guide.

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