Travel

Beginner’s Guide to the Blue Lagoon

I’m not expert on the Blue Lagoon, but I wanted to share my experiences as a first-time visitor. Hopefully this can help you avoid my blunders!

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A little background…

  • The Blue Lagoon actually is not a natural phenomenon. It is a man-made spa. A geothermal power plant (Svartsengi) was built close by in 1976 and the surplus water developed a pool in the nearby lava field. In the early 80s people started bathing in the lagoon because it was thought to have healing powers and the Blue Lagoon spa was established in 1991.
  • The lagoon isn’t that hot – it fluctuates between 37-40°C year-round. The water is naturally heated.
  • Three active ingredients in the geothermal water are believed to improve your skin: silica, algae, and minerals.
  • The water has an off-white, milky color. The sun gives the water it’s blue color.
  • The lagoon is about a 20 minute drive from the airport and about 50 minutes outside the city of Reykjavik.

Diving into Blue Lagoon Tips…

Pre-booking is a must!

First things first, book your ticket! The lagoon has become increasingly popular and they manage the traffic flow very carefully to ensure their brand of being a luxury spa. You don’t want to show up only to be turned away!

Due to its location, I recommend going to the lagoon upon your arrival or departure. There are also shuttle transports that can accommodate your trip to/from the spa and the airport. Our flight landed at 6am so we decided to go to the spa first and booked our ticket for 8am, right when the spa opens.

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8am entry means limited crowds!

Ticket variations

We chose the Comfort package because we felt the $18 USD difference between Standard and Comfort was worth the additional items.

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Lagoon entry prep

There’s a lot of chatter about damaging your hair when you go to the lagoon. To best way to prepare is to use the provided leave-in conditioner!

There’s a locker room before you enter the lagoon. You must take a quick rinse before you enter the lagoon. I was a little unnerved at first because I saw open shower stalls in a shared space with no zero privacy. Fret not! If you walk a little further into the locker room, you’ll find individual shower stalls with walls and doors. Be sure to slather your hair with the leave-in conditioner! I even stepped back in to put in more conditioner during my trip.

Embrace the electronic wristband

The electronic wristband may look dorky and may get in the way of your best Instagram moments, but it’s your lifeline at the Blue Lagoon! You will pay for purchases with the wristband and it also determines the type of mask you pick up while in the lagoon. Don’t miss out on the swim-up bar!

Things to bring

Depending on the ticket you purchase, you may not need to bring all of these items. Here’s my recommendation on what to bring:

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Feeling rejuvenated post-dip

Cleaning up

The changing rooms have everything you need and it’s extremely organized. You’ll find it stocked with hair dryers, cotton swabs, shampoo and shower gels. There is also a rack with plastic bags to separate your wet items.

Sustenance at LAVA

There’s a small cafe where you can purchase salads and sandwiches by the sourvenir shop. We made reservations at LAVA for lunch and it was quite delicious. There is a prix fixe menu and showcases Icelandic foods.

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Sleepy but satisfied

Souvenir Purchases

I loved the masks so I wanted to purchase the assorted mask selection: silica mud mask, algae mask, and lava scrub. You can select the bundle in a sleek box or create your own combo. I browsed for ages but decided it was too pricey to splurge on.

We had a bit of extra time at the airport, and luckily, I found the exact same package and it was significantly cheaper (duty-free at airport).


Here’s my full recap of my Iceland trip if you’re looking for itinerary suggestions. I also strongly, strongly recommend looking at Auður’s I Heart Reykjavik blog.

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