Should you visit the Blue Lagoon?

Chances are if you’ve thought at all about going to Iceland the Blue Lagoon is at the top of your list. Steam rising from ethereal blue waters surrounded by an otherworldly volcanic landscape the setting is certainly enticing and there is a reason National Geographic included the Blue Lagoon on a list of 25 Wonders of the World. Searching the internet you’ll find a wide range of reviews from travelers;  ranging from glowing accounts of a mystical experience in the turquoise geothermal waters to an overpriced, overcrowded tourist trap. It can be hard to decide if you want to include the Blue Lagoon on your trip to Iceland.Like any other travel attraction or vacation activity knowing what to expect goes a long way with having a good experience. We’ve all likely had a travel experience where the reality just didn’t meet up to our expectation and its definitely frustrating.

First, let me go on the record by saying I enjoyed my time at the Blue Lagoon. It came at the end of a pretty busy 8 days in Copenhagen and then exploring Iceland’s South Coast and relaxing in the warm water of the Blue Lagoon was just the thing I needed to return home renewed and refreshed. Like many travelers to Iceland I knew I wanted to visit the Blue Lagoon so I did a little research to make sure my experience went as smoothly as possible. With that in mind here are a few things you may want to know before going to the Blue Lagoon.

Should you visit the Blue Lagoon in Iceland? www.casualtravelist.com

The Blue Lagoon is popular. Really, really popular

As I mentioned before the Blue Lagoon is the most popular attraction in Iceland with scores of people looking to soak in the turquoise water. Over a million people visited Iceland in 2015 with the vast majority of them stopping at the Blue Lagoon at some point during their stay. If you have dreams of floating blissfully without another soul nearby you will probably be disappointed. The Blue Lagoon get particularly crowded in early afternoon with day trippers based in Reykjavik as well as after an international flight arrival as many visitors make the Blue Lagoon their first stop due to its proximity to the airport. If possible try to go early in the morning to beat the crowds.

Should you visit the Blue Lagoon in Iceland? www.casualtravelist.com

 

Price

Iceland as a destination can be a bit on the pricier side and that goes for the Blue Lagoon as well. Prices start at 40 Euro for a standard package (which includes entrance to the Blue Lagoon and a silica mud mask) and go up to 195 Euro for the Luxury Package which includes access to an exclusive lounge and a reservation at the onsite LAVA restaurant.

Reservations are now required

Due to the Blue Lagoon’s popularity reservations are now required. In fact the Blue Lagoon is often fully booked two days in advance so the earlier you reserve a spot the better.

Should you visit the Blue Lagoon in Iceland? www.casualtravelist.com

It’s not a natural phenomenon

Contrary to what many people imagine, Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is not a natural wonder. The Blue Lagoon is the result of the nearby Svartsengi geothermal power plant. Super-heated water sourced from a nearby lava flow is used to power Reykjavik’s municipal hot water system. By the time the water is fed to the Blue Lagoon it has reached a constant(and soothing) 104 degrees Farenheit.

You have to get naked first

The locker rooms can be an experience in an of themselves. Upon check in guests are given an electronic bracelet which provides access to your locker (as well as keeping tabs of any drinks you might get from the swim up bar). All guests are also required to shower before accessing the lagoon.

No big deal, right?

The Blue Lagoon wants you to shower naked, as in birthday suit naked. Nudity is fairly common in the locker area of spas throughout Europe, but if you are on the modest side its definitely something to be aware of.

Should you visit the Blue Lagoon in Iceland? www.casualtravelist.com

Silica mud masks

While a few of the Blue Lagoon packages include a little skin care gift set you can find boxes of alabaster silica mud situated throughout the pool area. Smooth some on your face, wait about 10 minutes and rinse clean for smooth, soft skin.

Your hair will be destroyed.

The same minerals that leave your skin glowing will absolutely wreck your hair. Be sure to slather on the provided leave in conditioner both before and after your dip in the lagoon or avoid the hassle in the first place by keeping your hair up.

Other Options

Iceland has countless geothermal pools(at a fraction of the price) and natural hot springs(that are free!) throughout the country. Myvatn Nature Baths in Northern Iceland and Laugervatn Fontana near the Golden Circle offer the hot spring experience in a relaxing environment and with a much better price point. Also most Icelandic cities and towns will have at least one municipal geothermal pool.

Should you visit the Blue Lagoon in Iceland? www.casualtravelist.com

Is the Blue Lagoon pricey? Yes.

Touristy? You betcha.

Worth it? Totally.

As I mentioned before I’m glad I had a chance to visit the Blue Lagoon and having done my research beforehand I ended up having a very relaxing experience though on my next visit to Iceland I’ll bypass the Blue Lagoon for a more local hot spring experience.

 

Have you visited the Blue Lagoon? Do you want to? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 

59 Comments on “Should you visit the Blue Lagoon?

  1. Great piece on the Blue Lagoon – since its on my list too (ah no surprise there), it comes in really handy. Any idea “why” they want you to be birthday suit naked in the shower and hey.. who checks btw ? 🙂 Just curious about this wacky rule!

    • I have no idea why they want you to shower naked and I didn’t see any Icelandic shower police.

    • I think a lot of times the negative reviews come from when the reality of the Blue Lagoon didn’t live up to what people imagined.

    • I’m so glad you found my post helpful :). I can’t wait to hear about your time in Iceland, I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do!

  2. I agree that the Blue Lagoon is totally worth it, especially after a long flight en route from the airport to Reykjavik. My friend and I enjoyed a couple hours relaxing here after a redeye and it completely cured our jetlag! We went right as it was opening and were able to take advantage of minimal crowds, which made it a much better experience overall.

    • So good to hear another positive experience with the Blue Lagoon. I think I need to visit a hot spring after every international flight 🙂

  3. We decided on not visit the actually Blue Lagoon, but we checked in to the Blue Lagoon hotel, and I think that’s an better deal (yeah, more pricy). We had the lagoon completely to ourselves at some points and we could take as much mask we wanted. You also have admission to the Blue Lagoon too. Loved our stay there 🙂 But you have to be aware of that this is a clinic hotel.
    Monica @We Travel Together recently posted…How to apply for a Chinese VisaMy Profile

    • I’ve heard a few great reports from the Blue Lagoon Hotel and its good to hear another!

    • While I loved the Blue Lagoon, I’m going to check out some of the other hot springs in Iceland on my next trip.

  4. I haven’t been and although I do want to visit Iceland, I have no desire to visit the blue lagoon. I hate crowds and I am not a spa person and none of it is my cup of tea! BUT the photos are gorgeous!

  5. I was there last week! Totally loved it, although it was a little touristy. I’m interested in going to the Myvatn baths to see how they compare.

  6. What a fantastic guide… I have seen so many posts on the Blue Lagoon but had no idea that 1) It wasn’t a natural wonder and 2) that it was pricey and 3) that you need reservations. We don’t have a trip planned yet but I believe we will be visiting somewhat soon and this post will be incredibly useful. Pinned for later 😉

  7. I did hear before that the blue lagoon is very busy and very touristy, but I think I would not skip it if I will go to Iceland. It’s good that they take reservations now to prevent over crowding it. I think it’s an experience itself and even if it is probably number one on the what to do in Iceland list, I would still go.
    Joanna recently posted…Havana – The first glimpsesMy Profile

    • Pretty dry and tangled for a few days from what I’ve heard.

    • I definitely want to try the Myvatn baths on my next visit to Iceland

  8. I haven’t been to Iceland, and I was allllllll in until I read birthday suit nude. #nodeal
    I would much prefer to visit a natural hot spring, especially one that is minimal or free entry.
    Great advise tho, I now know what I need to look for, and won’t pick the touristy option.

    • I still think the Blue Lagoon is worth a go, at least once.

    • The nudity is limited to the locker room so its really not that bad.

  9. I’m probably one of only a handful of visitors to Iceland who HASN”T visited the Blue Lagoon. We drove north instead. But next time….and I’ll remember your tips on hair care.

    • Definitely an enjoyable experience when you make it back.

  10. This place looks great. The water looks silky smooth. I’m heading there this September and I’ve added this to my list as well as bookmark this page. Thanks 🙂

    • Either way you go I’m sure you’ll have a great time.

  11. Wow Blue lagoon Iceland looks like an amazing Place..Cool placeto Relax , full of fun, Adventuorous and beautiful !!

  12. I had a feeling this would be one of those I can’t miss it even though it’s touristy destinations. I can’t wait to get my chance to go to Iceland. It seems so surreal and the topography and its flaura and fauna is enough to make me want to book a ticket right now if I had the means.
    How is the food like there though?
    Thank you for the insights!!!
    Trisha Velarmino – P.S. I’m On My Way recently posted…What a time to be alive in SiargaoMy Profile

    • There are certainly better places in the world to eat but the food I had was much better than I expected. Try the lobster if you can!

  13. I was in Iceland 12th- 15th November did the research read all the negative reports and found them true go to Fontana instead but visit the blue lagoon and do what we did walk smugly away

  14. Hi! what site or package did you book for the blue lagoon? Seems like there are so many options, not sure which is the best and who to use. Any insight would be helpful!

    • Hi Danielle, there are a ton of options aren’t there? I personally got the Comfort package as the Premium and Luxury packages had extras I wasn’t interested in. Whatever package you get you’ll have a blast!

  15. My husband and I visited the Blue Lagoon two years ago on our way to the airport before returning home. It was very crowded, especially in the locker and shower rooms, so much so I skipped the supposedly mandatory shower but I didn’t see anyone checking! It was very relaxing in the warm waters but I must say it made me rethink the shower; maybe the purpose is to make sure people are very clean when they get in there. The warm water temperature seemed perfect for incubating germs! I am not normally a germaphobic person at all but I couldn’t help think of all the bacteria swimming around which somehow detracted from the experience. I probably wouldn’t have thought about this if it was less crowded. I would advise checking whether the time of year makes a difference to the crowds or looking into one of the alternate spas mentioned.

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