The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa found on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwest Iceland. It is the most popular attraction in Iceland drawing people from all across the world.
The Lagoon is just a fifteen-minute drive from Keflavík International Airport, or a thirty-minute drive from Reykjavík, located between the two. It is thus often visited straight after arrival to the country or right before departure.
There are few better ways to recharge after a long-flight or action-packed holiday.
The Blue Lagoon started as a pool of wastewater from the Svartsengi geothermal plant in 1976. The first person to bathe there was Valur Margeirsson in 1981. He was met with some resistance prior to taking the first dip as people thought he was mad for wanting to bath in a "blue mud pool". He and others soon began to notice the unusual but remarkable healing qualities of the azure waters.
Those with conditions such as psoriasis found the waters immediately soothing for their condition. News quickly spread, and by 1987, the first swimming facilities were officially opened.
Since then, the establishment has only grown, from an open pool with no surrounding buildings to a luxurious spa, research centre and hotel.
The Blue Lagoon is considered to have such notable regenerative qualities because the water is rich in silica and sulphur. A research and development facility on site finds cures and remedies for skin ailments, and silica mud is available for free on the sides of the pool for guests to enjoy a facemask.
The temperature in the bathing and swimming area is very comfortable, averaging 37–39° C (98–102° F). The Blue Lagoon also boasts the LAVA Restaurant, the Blue Café and the Lagoon Spa: you can thus enjoy cocktails, health products, delicious meals and treatments such as massages without leaving the premises. Saunas, steam rooms and a small waterfall are also on site.
For all of these reasons and more, the Blue Lagoon is considered to be one of the most enjoyable and romantic spots in the country. It is surrounded by a plethora of fantastic volcanic landscapes, and the water itself is opaque and vividly blue. Rising pillars of steam only add to the spa’s fantastic ambience.
The Blue Lagoon Spa is open throughout the year, and popular in every season. Due to the fact it has a maximum capacity for the comfort of its guests, it is essential that you book several months in advance to ensure your space. The vast majority of the time, you will be turned away at the door without a reservation.
More reserved guests might want to be aware that it is a requirement to shower naked in public before entering the lagoon, to ensure that the highest hygiene standards are maintained. Though uncomfortable for some, nudity has little taboo in Icelandic culture, so worry not; no-one’s looking.
Those who are travelling on a budget will note that the Blue Lagoon is quite pricey. There are other smaller spas and pools that can be entered for less, such as the Fontana Spa, Secret Lagoon, Mývatn Nature Baths and Krauma Spa. Of course, natural hot pools are free to enter.