Imagine relaxing in a blend of sea-water and geothermally heated water which is rich with silica, minerals and algae, surrounded by a lunar lava landscape. This is really good for your skin and a real treat for the mind, body and soul. The iconic white silica mud face mask is free to all lagoon guests. The man-made waterfall is exhilarating and a fabulous way to ease sore muscles. There are comfort, premium and luxury packages available or extra items may be added to the comfort or standard packages. Exclusive Blue Lagoon products are available at the Skin Care Shop. The café and Lava Restaurant are popular.
The Blue Lagoon has the Svartsengi Geothermal Power Plant to thank for its development! In 1976 their employee, Valur Margeirsson, asked if he could swim in the pool created by Svartsengi´s operations. He suffered from psoriasis and did not want to swim in a public pool. Bathing in the soothing water healed his skin, when other psoriasis sufferers tried it their psoriasis also improved greatly. The Blue Lagoon Clinic is now an internationally recognized psoriasis treatment facility!
For those who are short of time we recommend booking a combination tour which includes the Blue Lagoon, you choose whether you want a day tour or something longer, we organize everything – what could be easier or more relaxing?
Is the Blue Lagoon natural or Man-Made
Yes, and no – there isn’t a clear-cut answer to this question.
The water, the minerals, the white silica mud, the green algae, the color of the lagoon, the steam, and the moss-covered lava; this is all natural.
They way the water comes up from the ground, the way it is moved to a perfectly shaped lagoon, the even pool bottom, the temperature of the water; this is not nature’s work.
Why we still refer to it the Blue Lagoon as “el natural” is the incredible uniqueness, the natural minerals the water and its healing powers and how it is incomparable with anything man-made. But, to fully understand this Blue Lagoon you need to know the history.
The Story of the Blue Lagoon
Reykjanes, where the Blue Lagoon is located is an intensely active volcanic area. Not only are earthquakes common but the peninsula and its surrounding landscape is home to an immense amount of volcanoes, calderas and craters.
In the year 1226, six volcanic craters went off simultaneously causing colossal damage to the area but in the meantime creating this astonishing lava field we admire today. This lava field is called Illahraun and reaches from the brim of the Reykjanes peninsula and all the way into the charming harbor town of Hafnarfjörður. A part of the lava terrain is called Svartsengi e. The Black Meadow and since the year 1976 an active Power Station has been located precisely there.
With a growing population, using more and more energy the resources quickly became insufficient so the workers at the Power Station decided to drill down at a new spot to bring up warmth to create electricity and power as they had been doing for some time now. But this time something seemed off. The water that came up had almost a neon-blue color, seemed thick and the fumes were different. Still, being Icelandic they decided to just go for it and see what happened. As is turns out the “new” water was nothing like the water they had used before. There was some new material in the water that worked badly with the machines, coated the engines and eventually completely stopped them from running. Obviously, this was a big problem, Iceland is a cold country and the people need their houses warm, so as quickly as possible they dumped the trouble-making water onto the lava field and resumed to a safer area to pump up water. Completely forgetting about the milky blue water that didn’t behave any better this time, the minerals quickly coated the lava rock formations, sealing in the water and creating the first Blue Lagoon.
This water was of course not heat controlled but there were areas which were at a bearable temperature to bath in. This was known to a worker of the Power Station, a gentleman by the name of Valur Margeirsson. Valur had severe psoriasis but had noticed that during the time the mineral-rich water has been pumping through the engines he worked with his skin had been in a much better state. He started suggesting bathing in the water to friends and family who all thought that he was crazy to even consider bathing in this unreached blue water that seemed harmful or even poisonous to some. It wasn’t until his doctor gave him a hesitant okay that he went and bathed. Immediately, he felt a difference, his skin was a lot softer and he felt more relaxed. After bathing three times he saw a result he could hardly believe, at this point, he went to see his dermatologist who encouraged him to continue and so he did.
Word spread, as people started bathing in the lagoon, both those who were seeking a cure for skin problems but also those who lived in the neighboring town Grindavík. The lagoon became a party place – but was very unsafe, there were extremely hot areas, steam covered a large part of it and the depth ranged from 1 meter (3 ft) to about 7 meters (22 ft).
To meet the demand of people wanting to safely bathe in the magical turquoise lagoon a company was founded around it. In the year 1992, the Blue Lagoon company was established, the lagoon was moved further away from the Power Plant, the bottom of the lagoon was leveled out and heat controllers were installed to make sure everyone could feel safe at every corner in the lagoon.
All the facilities were greatly upgraded which had before consisted of two outdoor changing rooms. Soon after the Clinic was opened specializing in treatments for psoriasis patients and doctors began writing out prescriptions to bathe in the lagoon – this is still done today!
To follow the success of the treatments a line of skin care was released. The Blue Lagoon remains the number one treatment for psoriasis in Iceland and the company runs a Research lab where scientists continue to research the minerals in the water and how to harness their capability and potential.
The Silica hotel, Lava restaurant and a private more exclusive lounge became a part of the facilities infrastructure around the year 2000 and less than 20 years later a more luxurious hotel, the Retreat was opened with an new designer restaurant called Moss and an exclusive spa, going underground, for an even deeper experience with the water and its minerals.
Where is the Blue Lagoon?
GPS 63.8804° N, 22.4495° W
The Blue Lagoon is set in the heart of a lava landscape at Grindavík on the Reykjanes peninsula, about 10 km from Keflavík International Airport. Visitors often schedule their time at the Blue Lagoon to coincide with either their arrival or departure flights. The lava scenery around the lagoon will make certain those new arrivals truly appreciate they have arrived in Iceland! The attractions of Reykjavík are very easy to reach less than 50 km away.
How to get to the Blue Lagoon
There are a few different ways to get to the Blue Lagoon, there are buses going from both Keflavík airport and Reykjavík hourly, there is always the expensive taxi method and you can get a rental (parking is free).
The Drive from Reykjavík to the Blue Lagoon isn’t a long one, you pretty much stay on road 41, called Reykjanesbraut, from the capital area until you see a very clear sign to make a turn right, go under the busy road and towards the Blue Lagoon. There are signs leading the way and the smoke that rises from the lava field will help you find it.
How far is the Blue Lagoon from Keflavik airport and how to get there?
The Blue Lagoon is only about a 15 min drive from Keflavík airport and the transportation is very easy. Many take a rental car at the airport, other take a shuttle bus that goes every hour and other buy a ticket from one of the bus companies that offer a “layover” at the Blue Lagoon on the way to the city center. Any of these three options are recommended.
Latitude: N +63.881363 (63°52’52.9068″N)
Longitude: W -22.453115 (-22°27’11.214″W)
What can you do at the Blue Lagoon?
The Blue Lagoon is not just a pool, the Blue Lagoon is more like a spa. You can get an upgrade from the standard ticket and get a robe and slippers. There is the famous silica mud mask that will make your skin feel amazing. You can order a massage, in the water, so it feels like you are floating in thin air and there is both a sauna and a steam bath. The Blue Lagoon is a wondrous place with an excellent reward winning restaurant called Lava and a great caféteria for those looking to save a buck!
There is an inbuilt water bar in the water so you won’t even have to get out to get a drink and it’s all just charged to the bracelet that you get upon entrance that is actually also your locker key, so convenient!
There is a relaxing area for those who look to catch a break from the warmth, quite popular for those looking to fix a hangover or are feeling jetlagged. They have an amazing shop with souvenir and all the Blue lagoon products along with Icelandic design clothing and jewelry. Really, you can spend all day at the Blue lagoon and not a moment will feel wasted.
Accommodation and Hotels Near the Blue Lagoon
- Northern Lights Inn
- Geo Hotel Grindavík
- Guesthouse Borg
- Mar Guesthouse
- Harbour View
- Anita’s Guesthouse
- Lágafell Guesthouse
The Blue Lagoon Hotels
The Blue Lagoon company has two different accommodation options for those looking to stay the night. There is the “original” Blue Lagoon Silica Hotel and now also the luxurious Blue Lagoon Retreat.
The Blue Lagoon Silica Hotel
Originally thought of as a treatment hotel the Silica Hotel was designed for extreme comfort, wellness and wellbeing. Each room is spacious and gives you incredibly zen. There is a tranquil private lagoon for visitors with an inside entrance and buckets upon buckets of the Silica Mud Mask. There is a walking path from the Silica Hotel to the Blue Lagoon where you will have an open admission throughout your stay.
The price for the night starts at 67,000 ISK or 556 USD.
The Retreat Hotel at the Blue Lagoon
The newest addition to the Blue Lagoon complex and the first 5-star hotel in Iceland. If you are looking for a unique experience this is the way to go. The Retreat is a designer hotel through and through with intense beauty at every corner, a private lagoon, a spa and a new high-class restaurant. Each room gives you access to your own private smaller lagoon or a private balcony with splendid horizon views.
Included in a night at the Retreat Hotel is everything the Retreat has to offer, including a la carte breakfast, access to the Retreat Spa and Ritual, to the Retreat Lagoon, Blue Lagoon skin care amenities, in-room minibar, guided group hikes, yoga sessions, a host, access to fitness center and so much more!
The price for the night starts at 144,000 ISK or 1,196 USD.
When is the best time to visit the Blue Lagoon?
Any season really, the Blue Lagoon is always warm and welcoming. The only real difference apart from weather can be the price as it’s depending on demand so the price is lower during off season, this means that summertime is the priciest time to visit.
The best time during your stay would be when you are leaving for the airport or just arriving since the airport is located so close to the Blue Lagoon it’s the perfect combo. Either you’ll feel completely relaxed on the plane and ready to go to sleep or you’ll shake that jet-lagged feeling right off and get your mind and body soaked into Icelandic waters before you ultimate Icelandic adventure!
Good to know before visiting the Blue Lagoon
- You need to book an admission ticket before visiting
- You are not allowed to eat a packed lunch at the Blue Lagoon
- You don’t need to pay for parking
- If you are looking to get a massage at the Blue Lagoon make sure to book with good notice, the slots are fully booked most of the time
- You are allowed to wear make up into the lagoon BUT if you are going to use the masks we recommend not to
- At the Blue Lagoon are staff members called “greeters” they are often walking around the area taking complimentary photos of people and sending to you via email – if they aren’t out try asking for one!
Opening Hours for the Blue Lagoon
- 1st of January to 24th of May 8 am to 10 pm
- 25th of May to 28th of June 7 am to 11 om
- 29th of June to 19th of August 7 am to midnight
- 20th of August to 20th of November 8 am to 10 pm
- 1st of December to 31st of December 8 am to 9 pm
Holiday Opening Hours
- 24th of December 8 am to 3 pm
- 25th of December 8 am to 5 pm
- 31st of December 8 am to 5 pm
Blue Lagoon Prices
The admission ticket for a visit to the Blue lagoon starts at 6990 per adult but has no limit in time. Once you are in the lagoon you are free to stay until closing should you like to.
The price for a standard Comfort ticket starts at 6990 ISK or 58 USD per adult but can change depending on the time, season, if you need to rent any essentials or are looking for a more private experience.
Included in the Comfort is:
- Entrance to the Blue Lagoon
- Silica mud mask
- Use of towel
- 1st drink of your choice
The next upgrade us to a Premium and start at 9900 USK or 82 USD. Included in the Premium is:
- Entrance to the Blue Lagoon
- Silica mud mask
- Use of towel
- 1st drink of your choice
- Second mask of choice
- Use of bathrobe
- Table reservation at Lava Restaurant
- Sparkling wine if dining
What to bring to the Blue Lagoon?
- A swimsuit (you can rent one but it saves money bringing your own)
- A towel (again can rent but save $ if you don’t)
- Money, cash or card
- Sunscreen, any sunlight reflects very much from the lagoon making this place the ultimate for sunburning. Be on the lookout!
- Hair tie/band if you have long hair, you’ll thank us later!
The Blue Lagoon Masks – Silica, Lava and Algae masks
The Line of the Blue Lagoon Skin Care Products is constantly being developed, but the main three masks are the Lava Scrub Mask, the Silica Mud Mask and the Algae Mask. The Silica and Algae are the two most popular ones.
Just recently a new mask came out resembling the SIlica in look and color but with a completely new function, it is called the Mineral Mask.
Here we will cover all four masks.
The Silica Mud Mask
The most famous mask of the three is the Silica Mud Mask, that is the white one you might have seen on peoples faces and body in photos and videos from the lagoon. The Silica Mud mask is what creates the Aquamarine blue color of the lagoon when the light hits the Silica in the water it blue microorganisms reflect back the famous blue color. Basically, this means that if you bring a glass of the water inside where it is left without any daylight or sunbeams to cause the reflection the water will stay white.
The Silica mud is natural, and its makeup is mainly dissolved primary rock straight from the Earth’s mantle and enriched by essentials minerals. The Silica is the biggest influencer in the water at the Blue Lagoon.
The one of the key factors in the lagoon being such a healing paradise and the silica and the algae together compliment each other. The Silica main function is to strengthen the skin, renew, exfoliate and deep cleanse it. This is the main product of the Blue Lagoon skincare and handed out free to those bathing in the Blue Lagoon.
The Lava Scrub Mask
For those who are looking to do an extensive face cleanse, this should be the first step. Composted of actual lava grains this mask is an extraordinary exfoliator and leaves the skin smooth and energized. The Lava Scrub Mask was the third mask to come out in the skin product line and became a big hit right away.
The Scrub Mask is best suitable for those who are looking for those who are looking for a deeper cleanse, and the renewing of the skin but if you have sensitive skin it might be a little too harsh for you and then the Silica is plenty enough to cleanse.
The Algae Mask
The Algae mask is the final step in the process and the mask that will nourish and firm your skin. The Algae is mainly made up from blue-green algae that actually grows in the water and during summertime often plays an important character in the coloring of the lagoon.
The mask minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, is best served cold and is a welcomed addition after the deep cleanse and scrub from the other masks.
The Algae mask is especially great for those with dry skin and for those looking for an anti-aging remedy but isn’t advised for those with the tendency for acne or oily skin.
The (NEW) Mineral Mask
Composed of some of the Blue Lagoon most unique minerals this new addition gives your skin a deep hydration and renewed vitality. It isn’t really a part of the three steps, Lava, Silica and Algae but a product on its own and can be left on for 10-20 minutes or even overnight for those looking for a quicker result. It needs to be applied to clean skin and will make you feel relaxed and fresh.
The Blue Lagoon Restaurants
At the Blue Lagoon itself, you have two options for dining. There is the cafeteria, available both before bathing and at an in-pool area and then there is the Lava Restaurant. For those looking to get a drink in the water, there is an in-water bar where you can purchase items using your locker key.
The Lava restaurant is the fanciest option at the Blue Lagoon but if you are visiting the Retreat the Moss restaurant will bring you to a different caliber. Members of the National Chef Team in Iceland work at both restaurants and the views, the design of the surroundings and exquisite fresh local ingredients makeup the perfect culinary experience.
What does the Blue Lagoon do to your hair?
There is an ongoing myth about the Blue Lagoon ruining your hair and we sometimes even hear that it makes it blue or green, to start with we just want to tell you that this is 100% false.
What happens is that the minerals in the water coat your hair, the minerals aren’t like anything we are used to and will make the hair feel dry and stiff but what is actually happening is that the Silica is energizing your hair and giving it vitamins.
Still, this might not be something that you are in the need for, something that you are willing to risk having odd-looking hair in all your Iceland photos for or can be bothered to deal with. So, we advise to keep the hair out – put it up in a bun if you have long hair and load conditioner into the hair before going into the lagoon and leave it in.
Another trick, when you are showering, after the Blue Lagoon bath, put shampoo into your hair before going under the shower and massage it well into the scalp, this will help.
Filming at the Blue lagoon Hollywood Films, Tv Shows and Music Videos
Hostel part II (2007) where the film shows the Blue Lagoon it is supposed to be in Italy at a spa chosen by the director Eli Roth.
The Fifth Estate (2013) The Blue Lagoon is used as a backdrop.
The Simpsons (2013) at the end of the episode, the crew celebrates and relaxes in the soothing waters of Blue Lagoon.
Melanie C – Never Be The Same Again (2000) shot prior to the changes that were made facilities.
Zara Larsson, MNEK – Never Forget You (2015) shot in the Reykjanes lava field that the Blue lagoon sits in.
Interesting places near the Blue Lagoon
- Grindavík fishing village
- Gunnuhver geyser
- Seltún geothermal area
- The Viking World Museum
- The Museum of Rock and Roll
- Kleifarvatn lake