Everything you need to know before visiting the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. Read on for Hours, Best Times to Visit, Rates, Tickets, Reviews & More.
When you think of Iceland, an image of the Blue Lagoon may be one of the first things that comes to mind. The blue thermal waters with steam rising off are practically iconic. Even better, it’s not a Photoshop trick! The water really looks that milky blue in real life. The water isn’t actually blue though, it’s a milky white due to the silica and other minerals in the water. The sunlight reflecting off the silica-rich water is also why it appears to be blue.
What many people don’t realize is the Blue Lagoon is actually man-made! The waters are heated as a byproduct of a nearby geothermal energy plant. Interestingly, the Blue Lagoon also operates a research facility to study how their mineral-rich waters can help skin conditions.
Here’s everything you need to know before you visit…
Blue Lagoon General Information & Tickets
The Blue Lagoon is located about 45 kilometers outside of Reykjavik. If you have a car, it’s about 45 minutes to drive. The Blue Lagoon is actually closer to Keflavik Airport than Reykjavik – 23 kilometers or about 20 minutes by car. No car? You can still book private transfer via a tour company or when you buy your ticket.
Buying entry tickets in advance is essential. When we went in May 2017, basic tickets were 6100 Icelandic Krona, which is about $60 US. There are also three additional levels of tickets which include add-ons like slippers, towels, drinks and even a private lounge – if you have $550 lying around that you want to burn. What we chose, and what I recommend, is the ‘comfort’ option. It’s one step up (and $20) from the standard ticket and includes a towel, an extra beauty mask inside the lagoon and also your first drink. You can book your tickets here.
Blue Lagoon Amenities
Don’t skip the face mask that comes with your ticket! With the Comfort level tickets, we had access to two face masks and we happily tried them both. My skin felt amazing the next day! It was soft and had a very even texture. The mask ingredients are actually made from the same components of the water that you’re in, so once your mask is done you just rinse it off in the lagoon.
Blue Lagoon also has a floating bar that offers alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. We each had a drink included in our Comfort tickets. Keeping with the spa theme, we went with a yogurt smoothie and a green juice, both of which were delicious.
Blue Lagoon Water is Bad for Your Hair
If are going to get your hair wet, make sure you plan ahead! The thermal waters are harsh on your hair. If not protected, your hair will get brittle and it will take several showers to get it to feel nice again. To protect your hair, slather your hair in conditioner before you enter the lagoon. There is free conditioner in the Blue Lagoon bathrooms which worked just fine for my hair. I’ve read different experiences online though so keeping your hair completely out of the water is always the safest option if you’re concerned about damage.
Don’t Forget to Stay Hydrated!
This is huge, especially if you are going directly from the airport like we did. After a long flight, you’re probably already dehydrated. There are a few spigots of water that have flowing fresh water. You can splash it on your face or into your mouth, or just go for it (like we did) and put your mouth right under the spout.
Things to Bring With You to the Blue Lagoon
- Waterproof phone case or Waterproof camera
- Conditioner (optional)
- Water bottle
- Swimsuit (NO nude bathing is allowed at any Iceland hot springs)
- Towels (if getting the basic ticket package)
Best Times to Visit the Blue Lagoon
We went directly from the airport to the Blue Lagoon, as recommended by a friend. This was the best idea ever. What better way to get over a 10 hour flight than with a shower and a soak in a hot springs? It also saves you time as the Blue Lagoon is much closer to Keflavik International Airport than it is to Reykjavik.
Our flight got in early, so we made a reservation for when the Blue Lagoon opened at 8 a.m. If you can go early, I would highly recommend it. There were only a handful of people in the water when we arrived and it really felt more like a private lagoon than a tourist trap. By the time we left around 10 a.m., it was starting to feel more crowded. The experience was much more meaningful because we missed the crowds. I’ve also heard that after 4 p.m. things start to thin out again.
But is the Blue Lagoon Worth It?
This might be the biggest question people have about Iceland’s Blue Lagoon. Tickets are not cheap. That being said, nothing in Iceland is cheap these days. Everywhere we went, prices for us were at least 1.5 times as expensive, if not double from even what we pay here in San Francisco. When you realize that standard price for a beer is $15 and a basic hotel room costs around $200, $60 is just a drop in the bucket for your visit. Even the ‘Secret Lagoon’ in the Golden Circle was $35 per person and this didn’t include any amenities.
Our opinion? Blue Lagoon was one of our favorite experiences in Iceland, and worth every penny.
P.S. – Need more Iceland travel info? Check out my Guide to the Golden Circle.