With the rise in tourism to Iceland, so comes the rise in visits to the country’s most popular attraction: The Blue Lagoon. Odds are, you’ve seen pictures and videos of the thermal milky blue waters plastered across your social media lately. And there’s no surprise why. The Blue Lagoon is a very unique place to visit and offers a luxurious experience within its warm water. If you’re planning a trip to Iceland and thinking about making a stop at this one of a kind spa, here are 21 important things to know before you visit the Blue Lagoon.
Enhance your Reykjavik layover
If you happen to have a long layover at Keflavik Airport in Iceland, this is the perfect time to make a stop at the Blue Lagoon. There are buses to take you to and from the airport, so visiting the Blue Lagoon on a layover is very easy! You can purchase your transfer tickets right in the arrivals hall of the airport. Plus, who couldn’t use a little relaxation and pampering before or after a long flight? I would recommend spending your layover at the Blue Lagoon only if you have 6 or more hours at the airport, just to leave a time-cushion.
Book your tickets early
When you know for sure that you want to visit the Blue Lagoon, book your tickets. Waiting until closer to your visiting date could have you paying more for your ticket, or even finding that all the day’s tickets have sold out! The Blue Lagoon sells tickets based on a timed entry. You choose your arrival time when you purchase the ticket. This way, the Blue Lagoon isn’t filled with a rush of visitors all at one time. But because of this, they only sell so many tickets per time slot. In order to get your ideal time and a lower price, book your Blue Lagoon tickets as early as possible.
Prices will vary depending on when you visit the Blue Lagoon
The admission price for the Blue Lagoon with also depend on what time slot you prefer. Choosing an arrival time for later in the day (after 7pm) will usually reduce the price of the ticket. However, it also reduces the amount of time you can enjoy the Blue Lagoon, as it closes between 10:00PM and midnight, depending on the time of year. Or, if you’re an early riser, you can book your tickets for early in the morning (7am) and save a bit of money as well.
Do the math, save some dough
There are three different tiers of tickets you can purchase for entry to the Blue Lagoon. The most basic, the Comfort Package, is the cheapest and includes entry to the Blue Lagoon, a silica mud mask, one free drink, and the free use of a towel. The next level ticket builds upon that initial package, but the math doesn’t really add up to me.
For almost $30 more, all you get is another face mask, slippers and a robe (which you don’t need), a reservation at the on-site restaurant (which you can do yourself, for free), and sparkling wine during your meal. Now, if you’re on a time crunch, or trying to visit the Blue Lagoon on a budget, odds are you have no need to visit the restaurant, so getting this ticket makes no sense.
The third level ticket is crazy expensive, and you won’t be getting that one unless it’s a super special occasion or you’re rolling in the dough. If that’s the case…Hi, I’m Brianna. Let’s be friends…
Arrive early to your ticket time
Once you have your tickets booked, you’ll want to plan to arrive slightly earlier than your ticketed arrival time. When you get to the Blue Lagoon, first you must walk a few minutes to the reception area from the parking lot. Then you have to visit the front desk for check-in. Sometimes there’s a line for check-in, so this can take up more time too. Also, if you have larger luggage pieces with you, you’ll have to take the time to check those into the separate on-site luggage storage facility. If you’re on a time crunch, like an Iceland layover, these are things you’ll want to consider when arranging your plans.
Get over your modesty
Yes, what you’ve read is true. If you plan on getting in that blue water, you are going to have to shower off, completely nakie. It’s both a cultural and an environmental thing. It protects the water to ensure that all your bodily oils and bits are cleaned off before entering the Blue Lagoon. In addition, nudity is not seen as shameful, as it often is in other parts of the world. If you really have an issue, there are a few shower stalls with doors, but I say go have yourself a cultural experience.
Beware Blue Lagoon hair
The silica in the water of the Blue Lagoon can be great for your skin, but wreaks dang havoc on hair. Getting the Blue Lagoon water in your hair will lead to a heap of dry, brittle sadness on your head. There is hair conditioner supplied in the showers, so I recommend coating your hair with a bunch of conditioner, tying your hair up, and leaving the conditioner as a protective coating. There’s really no need to put your hair into the water, so it’s pretty easy to avoid getting Blue Lagoon hair.
Take off your jewelry
Not only will the silica-water be mean to your hair, but it can also straight up ruin your jewelry. I’m talking the nice stuff too. You’ll want to take off all your jewelry before entering the water, to avoid it being damaged and discolored. I wasn’t so sure about leaving my white-gold wedding band behind, but the storage lockers are actually pretty safe.
Protect your eyes
That’s right- the silica strikes again! If you wear glasses, the water can damage the lenses and the warm steam coming from the water will make it difficult to see. Contact lens wearers can’t escape either. If you get water in your eyes, the silica can scratch up the soft lenses and ruin them. If you can see alright without your correctional wear, I’d go that route. But if you can manage to not get water in your eyes, I’d say you can keep your contact lenses in.
The down-low on luggage storage
Before entering the main lobby of the Blue Lagoon, there is a smaller building just for luggage storage. If you have larger suitcases or backpacks (think like backpacking backpacks), you can store your belongings here for a fee of 600ISK per bag. However, if you’re traveling carry-on only you should have no problem getting your belongings to fit inside the locker that is included in your entry fee.
Bring the right stuff
You’ll want to make sure you have all the right stuff with you to make your Blue Lagoon trip just perfect. If you’re visiting the Blue Lagoon on a layover, you may want to carry a smaller bag with all your Blue Lagoon necessities. Of course, you’ll want to pack your swimwear. If you plan on taking any photos, it might be good to have some waterproof gear so you can take your camera or phone into the lagoon with you. Other things you may want to bring include a hairbrush, sunblock, and silica-removing shampoo (if you just can’t stop yourself from dunking your head in.)
Rehydrate throughout your stay
It’s always important to stay hydrated, but especially so at the Blue Lagoon. Sitting in warm mineral water can actually suck moisture out of your body. Luckily, there are drinking fountains around the Lagoon that are free of charge. It can be a bit of a shock if you visit during the colder season, as you have to get out of the water to drink, but hey- free water is free water.
Don’t cancel because of rain
If you see that it’s going to rain (or even snow!) when you’re planning to visit the Blue Lagoon, don’t cancel your trip! In fact, the Blue Lagoon might be one of the better places to be during rainy days. Instead of just staying inside your hotel room wasting your precious time in Iceland, you can still make use of your day! Plus, the cold raindrops actually help regulate your body temperature while sitting in the Lagoon, and help you not get overheated.
Take advantage of that free drink
Your entry to the Blue Lagoon includes one free drink. There is a swim-up bar area right in the Lagoon that serves a variety of beverage options, from beer and wine, to sodas and smoothies. Don’t leave the lagoon without taking advantage of this! I recommend the strawberry smoothie, made with Iceland’s famous skyr.
Don’t skip the face mask
You’ll also want to make sure that you take advantage of your free silica mud mask! Right in the lagoon, there is a small kiosk where you can get a dollop of the silica mud, and slather it onto your skin. Let the mud dry before washing it off in the Blue Lagoon water. Remember, don’t open your eyes under the water, and try not to get water on your hair.
Don’t worry about carrying cash
If you plan on enjoying more than just your one free beverage, or one free facial mask, you don’t have to worry about carrying cash into the lagoon with you. At check-in, you’ll be given a super fancy bracelet with magic technology, that will allow you to lock and unlock your lockers, as well as charge your expenses to your Blue Lagoon account, much like a credit card. At the end of your stay, you can pay for everything back in the lobby area.
Eat before or after to save money
The food at the Blue Lagoon is pricey. Their restaurant, Lava, has main dishes that start around $40 and go up in price from there. Even the small snack shop in the lobby has some expensive food. Unless, you’re visiting the Blue Lagoon for a special occasion or with wads of cash, I recommend eating before or after arriving at the Blue Lagoon, in order to save a bit of money.
The sulfur is not that bad
One of the secret ingredients to the Blue Lagoon’s color and magical healing properties is actually sulfur. Anyone who’s had a run in with sulfur is well aware of the slightly offensive smell it carries. Typically associated with the smell of boiled or rotten eggs, it may sound like the Blue Lagoon will be just a pool of smelly fart-water. Luckily, the area around the Blue Lagoon isn’t too bad. When the wind blows, you may catch a slight whiff of the stench, but it’s really not unbearable. You can leave your noseplugs at home.
Don’t just sit there
There is so much more to the Blue Lagoon than just sitting in the water! Go enjoy that free drink! Slather that silica mud on your face! You can even go into the hot saunas or enjoy a free back massage from a waterfall! There are lots of little sitting areas and nooks to explore in the Blue Lagoon, so don’t just sit there and twiddle your thumbs in the water!
Don’t let the crowds deter you
Yes, the Blue Lagoon is becoming more and more popular, which means you are not likely to ever have the lagoon all to yourself. But the great part is that the lagoon is so big, and has plenty of little alcoves that you won’t be sitting shoulder to shoulder with every other visitor. If you’re really worried about it, then I recommend scheduling your visit for the early morning hours or late evening hours.
Make your own judgments
Before visiting the Blue Lagoon, I read so many mixed reviews about it. Is it even worth it to visit the Blue Lagoon? Some people said it was amazing. Some people said it was a waste of money tourist trap. The whole reason I finally settled on visiting the Blue Lagoon myself, was so that I could go and make my own judgments. For me, I learned that it’s all in your mindset. If you go understanding that the Blue Lagoon is a unique attraction that can’t be found anywhere else, that extra cost doesn’t seem like such a stab in the wallet. I say, go to the Blue Lagoon once, and make your own judgment on whether or not it’s worth the visit.