Visiting the Blue Lagoon spa is a must-do for anyone traveling to Iceland. The Lagoon’s water is naturally heated by mineral-rich thermal springs, meaning it’s great for your skin and super warm year-round! It’s definitely touristy, but it’s still a unique, fun, and relaxing experience and a great way to escape the cold for a few hours. I’d definitely keep it on your list if you’re headed to Iceland. Read on for your go-to guide to visiting the Blue Lagoon in winter!
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GETTING TO THE BLUE LAGOON
The Blue Lagoon is actually not anywhere near the main Reykjavík area – which is about a 45-minute drive away. It’s a 20-minute drive southeast of the airport (headed away from Reykjavík), in an area called Grindavík. So it makes much more sense to plan your visit either right after you land at Keflavík Airport, or the day that you leave.
If you don’t have a car you can still get to the Lagoon no problem! If you want to go straight from the airport, there are bus transfers available which you can book here for ISK 2500 ($25 USD). You can also add a bus transfer when booking directly on the Blue Lagoon site for ISK 4500 ($45 USD) – those transfers are operated by Reykjavík Excursions and you can find their timetable here.
If you would rather book a visit out of Reykjavík, there are a lot more options available. There are loads of tour packages which include Blue Lagoon admission + a transfer from Reykjavík city + some additional activities!
(PRE) BOOKING YOUR VISIT
The Blue Lagoon requires you to pre-book your visit – you can’t just show up. Book well in advance because slots do sell out quickly, even in the winter! There were tourists literally everywhere when I visited and I can only imagine how much worse it is in summer.
A ton of people flooded into the Lagoon RIGHT at opening at 8 AM even though it was probably -1° outside (if that). By noon-ish the Lagoon was totally packed and there was a queue to get in! Book an early time slot if possible so that you get your money’s worth, and enjoy the Lagoon before it’s swarming with five billion other tourists.
There are a few different packages you can select when planning your visit. These changed recently (on March 1, the day we visited!) so older posts you’ve read might not be accurate unless they’ve been updated. You can double-check rates and inclusions here.
As of February 2020, pricing operates on a sliding scale based on the time of day that you visit.
COMFORT (ISK 6990/USD ~69.90 to ISK 11990/USD ~95)
This is the standard package and the lowest rate. The Comfort package will get you:
- entrance to the Lagoon
- a complimentary mud mask
- a towel
- one free beverage from the swim-up bar
You don’t get a robe or slippers, but it turns out they really aren’t necessary. You don’t have to walk outside to get into the Lagoon – there’s a second entrance inside, just to the left of the locker rooms. So you don’t have to brave the cold at all to get into or out of the water, and would be totally fine with just a towel!
PREMIUM (ISK 9990/USD ~99.90 to ISK 14990/USD ~120)
We went with the Premium package, which gets you everything included in the Comfort package plus:
- a complimentary algae mask
- a robe and slippers
- a lunch reservation at on-site restaurant LAVA
- a complimentary glass of sparkling with lunch
The restaurant was quite good and the slippers and robe were nice to have, so the extra $$ was worth it for me personally. We also loved our algae mask and felt like it made a noticeable difference in our skin!
LUXURY (ISK 53000/USD ~530 for two guests to ISK 79000/~625 USD)
I can’t think of any reason why anyone would ever need to purchase this package lol but in the interest of being informative: it includes everything in the previous packages plus entrance to the “exclusive lounge”, a private changing room, and a “spa journey product set”.
Pre-remodel, the showers in the locker room were communal, and paying for a separate changing room would have been understandable. But there are stalls now, you don’t have to change in public unless you’re comfortable doing so, and a private room is totally unnecessary. I hope management considers adding some extra perks to their luxury packages to make it worth the extra money.
LOCKERS AND FACILITIES
The Lagoon does provide a luggage storage service. This is located in the Service Center building by the carpark. There’s a charge of ISK 550 (~USD 5.50) per piece of luggage. Iceland has a stupidly low crime rate so we left our luggage in the car, but if you’d prefer to store it more securely for your peace of mind you’ve got options 🙂
There are lockers provided in the changing rooms, which are big enough to fit your clothes, shoes, and a small personal item like a backpack or purse.
The lockers lock via a smart wristband provided to you when you enter the Lagoon, so no one else will be able to access it but you. The whole locker room is super well-organized, modern, and secure, so I felt totally comfortable leaving my valuables there.
Changing Rooms and Showers
You have to shower (naked, sans swimsuit) before entering the Lagoon, but you definitely don’t have to do it in front of other people. There are a bunch of private stalls for you to shower in, in addition to the communal area! I got one right away at 8 AM – by afternoon there was a line, but it was moving quickly.
You don’t have to worry about holding onto your wallet – you charge all your purchases to the smart wristband you’re given at check-in and settle your bill when you leave! This makes for the most seamless purchasing process ever. Grabbing a cider from the swim-up bar with a tap of my wrist was too easy.
There were some great non-alcoholic options too, for those of you who aren’t keen on getting your drink on at 8 AM. My friend got a Skyr (Icelandic yogurt) smoothie and it was delicious!
WATER TEMP & GETTING AROUND
I’m a fan of scalding hot showers/jacuzzis and I was worried the water wouldn’t be hot enough. Turns out it’s deliciously warm (37-40°C/98-104°F) year-round! Though the Lagoon is actually manmade, the water is naturally heated by geothermal activity in the surrounding lava field. This means that the water isn’t the same temperature throughout the Lagoon, so you can meander around until you find a spot that’s suitably warm! I found plenty of spots that were searing hot.
It’s also huge, so even when it’s crowded with other tourists it doesn’t feel claustrophobic. There are plenty of areas to explore and little alcoves to hang out in, and all the bars are really easy to spot. The Lagoon is very well-organised so you won’t have any problem finding your way around.
MUD MASKS AND MASSAGES
Every entry to the Blue Lagoon gets a free silica mud mask from the swim-up bar. The mask makes you look like a demon, but it leaves your skin feeling super dewy and clear once you wash it off. The algae mask that comes with the Premium and Luxury packages was also wonderful, and my friends and I came out of the Lagoon looking & feeling totally refreshed!
There’s a steam room on-site as well, but we didn’t visit it as we were all feeling super jet laggy and probably would have passed out. But it looks lovely. There are also in-water massages that you can book (starting at $100 USD, so not cheap) which might be worth the splurge if you have some extra money to throw around.
PROTECTING UR HAIR
The water at the Blue Lagoon isn’t actually blue – it’s a deep, milky white, and it only appears blue because of the way the light reflects off it! But it gets its cloudy color from its mineral-rich surroundings – the geothermal water is filled with silica, algae, and a variety of other minerals. This is amaaazing for your skin, but absolute garbage for your hair.
It’s basically impossible to keep your hair dry even if it’s up, so I’d recommend lathering it in the provided conditioner to protect it. Your hair will be ruined otherwise so make sure you get a good coating on there!
PROTECTING UR JEWELRY
The minerals in the water which are so luxurious for your skin are NOT GOOD for your fave rings. Make sure you take off all your jewelry before you get in the water, or you might risk discoloring it or getting mineral buildup around any stones.
VISITING LAVA RESTAURANT
A reservation at LAVA is included in the Premium & Luxury packages, and I thought it was worth a visit. We got a 3-course lunch plus complimentary glass of champagne for $75 USD each, and it was all delicious and beautifully plated!
I started out with an absolutely divine langoustine soup with seaweed dust and creme fraiche, followed by the Icelandic lamb with roasted vegetables (above), and finishing with the crème brulee! Housemade Icelandic bread with whipped butter was also provided free of charge and it was amazing.
You can also wear your bathrobe and slippers into the restaurant. It was one of my goals in life to sip champagne in a fancy restaurant in a bathrobe, so I pretty much insisted on this one lol. Most of the other diners were in robes as well. We had a really lovely lunch which was the perfect end to a luxurious spa day.
IS THE LAGOON ACTUALLY WORTH IT?
I thought it was TOTALLY worth the money and would recommend it to anybody planning a visit to Iceland. We had such a nice, relaxing day and it was just what we needed after a long flight. I actually enjoyed it so much that if I fly WOW again I’ll probably book a stopover in Iceland just to squeeze in a lil spa day on my way to Europe!
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