The Ultimate Guide to Blue Lagoon | Everything you need to know
The Blue Lagoon is a wonderful place, and a must do when visiting Iceland. Here we present the ultimate guide, filled with everything you need to know about the Blue Lagoon.
The history of the Blue Lagoon
Let’s go all the way back, in 1226 a huge eruption happened on the Reykjanes peninsula area. Five huge volcanic craters triggered each other and all went off simultaneously causing quite a big scene on Reykjanes. In short, the lava you see at Keflavík when you land, Hafnarfjörður (the first town you enter when reaching Reykjavík) and at the Blue lagoon is from the same eruption. The lava is called Illahraun or in English evil lava.
The reason for it is that the word for evil and difficult is the same in Icelandic. Illa-hraun could then also be translated difficult lava and was named this due to the fact that traveling across it walking or on a horse was quite the challenge.
Now we have established that the area is very volcanically active. It takes 4500 years of no activity for a volcano to be considered dormant so an area that had an eruption less than 800 years ago, well, let’s just say it’s not dormant.
Let’s now quickly move past a few hundred years and picture yourself at the year 1976.
The Geothermal Power plant at Svartsengi started its operation and they were drilling down into the lava field to find hot water to then pump up through mills and make electricity. *Fun fact this geothermal plant now makes about 90% of the electricity the peninsula uses.
Anyway, one time they were drilling a new hole and up came this strange water. It wasn’t like the water they had been using before and they weren’t sure if they should even try it but being Icelanders they thought “ahh let’s just try it and see what happens”.
What happened is the white in the water, what we know now is silica, started to coat the machines and slowly stopped them completely.
This of course, meant big trouble, I mean, it’s Iceland it’s cold and we need electricity and we need to stay warm. So as quickly as they could they got rid of the water. This they did by dumping it on the lava field next to the plant.
But like you might have guessed, the silica, of course, coated the lava like it had coated the machines and the water got stuck there. Voilá the lagoon was formed!
But no one dared to even touch the water and many thought it was poisonous because of the color of the water.
BUT there was this one man, Valur Margeirsson, who had been working in the Power Plant when the water had been going through and he had a severe case of psoriasis. When handling the water and steam he had noticed some change on his skin and wanted to bath in the water. Many tried to stop him, no one thought it was a good idea but after asking many times he finally got the okay from the man running the Power Plant.
After only 3 days he saw a great difference. He visited his dermatologist which encouraged him to continue. Quickly the word spread and many were bathing in the lagoon. It is located close to the town Grindavík and it was a bit of a local party place, a great place for an after party.
But at this time it wasn’t safe. It had rough lava floors, some places for many meters deep and nothing controlled the heat. Obviously, there were going to be some accidents, people burning themselves or worse.
So in 1992, the Blue Lagoon company was formed, the lagoon was moved further away from the Power Plant, the lava was straightened out and now there are great heat controllers so no one has to worry about getting burnt. The facilities were greatly upgraded which wasn’t hard to do since before that time there had been two outdoor changing rooms.
Quickly after a special clinic for psoriasis patients opened up and doctors in Iceland started to give our prescriptions, basically “here you go, 10x to the Blue Lagoon” this is still done today.
Following this was also a line of skin care came out and since then the Blue Lagoon has gotten bigger, cleaner, better and now you can purchase the products all over Iceland and even shipped abroad making it much more accessible for psoriasis patients all over the world.
The Blue Lagoon is still the number one treatment for psoriasis in Iceland, they run a Research lab where they continue to research the Silica, the Algae and all the other minerals in the water that help keep people’s skin healthy and young. This is where the skin care products are made and they are always finding out new and great things about these magical minerals found at the Blue Lagoon.
What’s in the Blue Lagoon?
|Carbon dioxide (CO2)||11.4|
Blue Lagoon’s Silica
The silica is the white you have probably seen pictures of people wearing on their faces, it’s what the lagoon is famous for.
The silica is what makes the water white (the blue colors only appears when the light hits the water, it’s kind of an illusion). It is a natural product, mainly a dissolved primary rock brought straight from the Earth’s mantle and enriched by essential minerals. It is the most characteristic element in the geothermal seawater of the lagoon.
The silica is known to strengthen skin, renew it, exfoliate and deep cleanse. This is the main product of the Blue Lagoon skincare and personally my ultimate fav!
Blue Lagoon’s Algae
The algae is the green stuff you see in between the rocks at the Blue Lagoon. It grows naturally in the Blue Lagoon and is especially strong in summer when the sun is out.
I often say that the lagoon is prettier in winter but it makes you prettier in the summer.
The algae activities collagen in your skin and helps keep your skin young and wrinkle-free.
The Blue Lagoon skin care is mainly produced from two types of algae, filamentous and coccoid both of which grow naturally in the water. About 60% of the organisms that are found in the lagoon are new and have never been found before. Blue Lagoon algae are among these organisms. Making the Blue Lagoon and its products even more special!
What you need to know before the Blue Lagoon?
- Book a ticket in advance
- There is no guarantee you will get into this busy paradise if you haven’t got a ticket already. They don’t like too many people in there at the same time so there is limited access.
- You can rent a swimsuit, towel and most things needed for the lagoon.
- The lagoon’s minerals can take away from bright colored swimsuits so if you love your neon multicolored piece religiously I recommend choosing another one.
- The shampoo (body gel, works the same) and conditioner are complimentary in the showers. No need to bring.
- You aren’t allowed to eat your packed lunch inside so don’t bother bringing one.
- Stay hydrated, the water is warm and this can cause you to get lightheaded if you get dehydrated easily.
- The Blue Lagoon has staff taking photos and sending to your email for free. No need to bring your cameras inside. You don’t want to drop it in the water, trust me!
- You can store luggage at the luggage storage by the parking lot.
- Don’t put your hair into the water. For a more thorough read, have a look at our Blue Lagoon hair guide.
A nice video the Blue Lagoon made to have you prepare for your trip to the lagoon. What to expect and what not. NOTE* it was made before pre-booking was required.
Blue Lagoon Transfers
A common question is “How to get to the Blue Lagoon?” and the answer is that you have a few options.
If you don’t have a car I would always recommend the bus.
The lagoon is located in between Keflavík and Reykjavík. This makes Blue Lagoon the perfect stop when going to or from the airport that is located in Keflavík.
Latitude: N +63.881363 (63°52’52.9068″N)
Longitude: W -22.453115 (-22°27’11.214″W)
Opening hours for the Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon prices
The Blue Lagoon company now has this super-efficient system that has the price varying a little bit. This means that when openings get busy the price is higher. This is done to have the flow of people more even and that no time is too busy.
The price is usually the lowest really early, late or in down seasons. If you are going at a super busy time book far in advance. Then you get your tickets before the price goes up!
The price for an adult starts at 6.100 ISK.
Is the Blue Lagoon okay for pregnant women?
The answer will always have to be consulted with your doctor, it’s quite unusual circumstances and your doctor is best to say no or go. Some women are okay with warm water during their pregnancy but others might struggle with is. Best to be safe!
What do you need to bring to the Blue Lagoon?
- A swimsuit
- A towel
- Money, cash or card
- Sunscreen. No, I am not joking. Iceland is located so far north which means the sun is closer which means you burn easily add to this the reflection of the water and bamm you got yourself a sunburn
- Hair tie if you have long hair
- Makeup remover. It’s best to go in make up free so you can make the most of the complimentary products Silica and Algae
What to do at the Blue Lagoon?
The Blue Lagoon is more than just a pool, it’s more like a spa. Once you have entered you can stay in as long as you want. Explore and soak in the atmosphere. Here are my suggestions:
- You can order a massage which is outstanding, you float on a mattress in the water and the massage therapists use all the products made from the minerals in the water.
- There is a sauna and a steam cave made from lava rocks. It’s very cool!
- There is a quite powerful waterfall which you can go under, it’s a free massage and feels super nice. Just remember it’s the same water as in the lagoon so your hair, well let’s just say it could get weird.
- The relaxing area is one of my favorites. The lagoon is quite warm and usually, I only stay in the water for about 30-40 min at a time. Between I like to get a drink from the indoor bar and sit in the super comfy chair above the indoor bar. Nice to take a nap and especially good if you are suffering from jet lag.
- Eat – I will cover your options for eating below.
- Take a Blue Lagoon tour. There are special guides that you can book a tour with that’ll tell you and show you everything about the lagoon. I especially recommend it before going in. It’s amazing and you get a drink and some snacks with.
- Put on the masks. Silica is available for anyone visiting. It’s kind of a must!
- Get your picture taken, the greeters are super friendly and they take photos and send to your email for free.
Eating and drinking at the Blue Lagoon
So you basically have three options. All great it kind of just depends on what mood you are in or where you stand on your budget.
The in-water bar
Once you have entered the water you don’t have to go out to buy some drinks, there is a bar right there in the water, cool right? Another smart thing is that your bracelet, the is your locker key as well will work like a credit card in there. So if you wish to buy a drink you just have it scanned onto your bracelet and then pay then leaving.
They have smoothies, juices, water, Gatorade, whine and much more. If you are looking for food then you should head to either of the next options I will cover.
There are two cafés. One is right there when you enter the building or after you check out. This one has all sorts of sandwiches, sushi, cheese, chocolate, ice cream, juices, wine, beer and much more. Everyone should be able to find something to fill their stomach. I personally recommend trying the dry fish. It’s a real Icelandic treat!
This is the less expensive option but still really great.
Lava Restaurant – the fancy option
They have half of the Icelandic National chefs’ team working in there! But the price is still the same as in the restaurants in Reykjavík. It’s amazing food, fresh fish from the harbor of Grindavík like 3 min away, great lamb and the butter they serve OMG!
It’s a mix of Icelandic butter, skyr (the famous Icelandic yogurt) and probably drops from heaven.
The look of the place is stunning, the drinks are fantastic and the staff is outstanding.
This is I recommend to the fullest.
How Deep is the Blue Lagoon?
The shallowest point is half a meter and the deepest point is around 1.60m.
You should be able to walk everywhere.
When is the best time to visit the Blue Lagoon?
This is very different for people. I personally love going in winter when it’s dark and there is a chance to see the Northern Lights. There is no feeling quite like bathing in hot water when snow slowly falls down on your face and the perfect balance is established. The lagoon is located quite deserted in the lava field so there isn’t much light pollution. This makes for better visibility, stars and sometimes Northern lights. Like in the video below, feast your eyes!
Another time I love is super early on a summer morning. Be the first person into the lagoon. The peace, the silence, the endless water and the stunning location. The birds singing in the sky and just you and the lagoon in the of a lava field. This is amazing.
Places to stay around the Blue Lagoon / Accommodation near Blue Lagoon
Hotels connected with the Blue Lagoon
- The Silica Hotel
A beautiful hotel with your own private Blue lagoon, you can get treatments, they have wi-fi, tv in rooms, complimentary bathrobes and you can go as many times to the actual Blue Lagoon as you like! The hotel has won many design awards and no wonder, the hotel is built in harmony with the surrounding landscape (lava, moss and vast mountain ranges). All rooms offer private facilities and a veranda, with breathtaking views. The night is about 57.000-67.000 ISK (about 545$-641$) depending on season and room.
- The Retreat at Blue Lagoon
The 1st of April 2018 the Blue lagoon will open its Retreat!
This is the first. The price for the suites starts at 144.000 ISK per night (about 1.377$)
Hotel within walking distance from Blue Lagoon
- The Northern Lights Hotel
Located only 0,7 km from Blue Lagoon it is in walking distance. Has a great on-site restaurant and epic views to enjoy whilst you have your meal. The rooms a comfortable and clean and this reviews are all in sync, people love it. Breakfast is included and the staff is super friendly. The price is about 38.000 ISK (about 363$)
Then you have many options of hotels in Grindavik (9 min away) and hotels in Keflavik (20 min away)
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