The Best Way To Experience Blue Lagoon in Iceland
Ah, Blue Lagoon. Many people know of this magical hotspot, as it is one the the top 25 wonders of the world. However, not everyone knows exactly what it is. This isn’t your normal idea of a hot spring. Heated by the lava fields it rests on, the mineral-rich waters are an incredible place to relax. You can watch the piercing blue water let go of steaming white clouds that roll away into the icy wind. Grab a drink or a silica mud mask and watch the Northern Lights dance above you. The opportunities are endless.
I had booked a roundtrip bus transfer from Reykjavik, planning to arrive at Blue Lagoon at 4:00PM. This was strategic for a few reasons. Firstly, it was about 13 Euros less expensive to arrive at 4:00PM versus 5:00PM. However, it does not matter when you arrive: You can stay as long as you’d like and enjoy Blue Lagoon for a discounted price! Second of all, during the winter, we were able to see Blue Lagoon glimmering during the daylight, as well as Blue Lagoon steaming under the night sky, with a chance at spotting the Northern Lights above us.
Checking Into Blue Lagoon
I checked into Blue Lagoon and the cashier handed over a waterproof bracelet to wear once inside. This bracelet was actually an electronic check that would collect any purchases from the spa or bar once in the lagoon, so we didn’t have to carry a wallet into the water. Like Dans Le Noir Paris, we were told to keep all of our possessions safely in the locker room, including any jewelry or watches. However, this time it was because the water was so harsh that it could leave permanent residue or damage on these trinkets after only a few hours.
Along with that, was the dreaded keep-long-hair-in-a-bun speech. Blue Lagoon has SO many minerals in it, that, after coating each strand of your hair, it has negative effects. Your hair can become dry and brittle, even if it wasn’t before. This came as a surprise for me, because I’d always thought of the Blue Lagoon as being restorative. Along with this, how is a girl supposed to get a good Instagram picture in a wet, messy bun?
I stepped into the women’s room and placed my belongings in the locker, taking note of the number for later. Everyone is required to shower before entering the Blue Lagoon, however, this is especially helpful for those of us with long hair. Since I was planning on leaving my locks down for a bit, the front desk recommended that I condition my hair, but not rinse the conditioner out before entering the pool. After showering, though I didn’t upgrade far enough to get the bathrobe, I was surprised I didn’t have a towel yet. I walked out the opposite door leading to the lagoon and asked the staff.
“Only after,” he replied, motioning to the snowdrifts lining Blue Lagoon outside.
Entering Blue Lagoon
Fair enough, if I’d have grabbed a blanket now I’d have nothing but a wet, icy cloth to dry off with later.
I peeped the door open a crack to gauge the weather. It must’ve been 30 degrees Fahrenheit outside, not counting the strong winds. Being in a bikini, this was going to call for a quick dash. I closed my eyes, counting down from three, and barged the door open, sprinting toward the hot spring like I was finishing a 400-meter-dash.
As my frozen toes made contact with the sizzling water, a light sting radiated across them. I looked around, surprised to see only a few other groups of people in the springs.
“So, where to first?” I asked, motioning out into the spacious blue waters.
We looked to the right as a group of Germans rounded the corner with beers in hand. With the Comfort package, the first drink was free, so, of course, we had to go get our money’s worth.
“A glass of champagne, please,” I told the cashier, as she scanned my bracelet.
I have to say, I was impressed with how high-tech this system was. However, I wasn’t impressed with the broken hinge on my bracelet. I didn’t want to find out how much it costed if you lost one of those, but I imagined it was far more than any tab I would run up. Securing the strap with my hair tie, I tugged the bracelet tightly onto my wrist.
Now, champagne in hand, we crossed through the hot mist billowing over the water and found our next source of relaxation: A Silica Mud Mask.
Getting A Silica Mud Mask
The outdoor spa was much like the bar–I didn’t need to leave the comfort of the hot bath to use it. The aesthetician held a bowl in her hands that looked to be made from volcanic stone. With a wooden spoon, she mixed the milky, powder blue cream until it was smooth. I reached my hands out in front of me as she scooped a goop of Silica Mud Mask and dropped it into my palms.
“Make sure you spread it around on the entirety of your face. Once you’re done, leave it there until it dries– about 10 or 20 minutes– and then wash it off in the Blue Lagoon.”
Wading through the steaming water, I made my way over to one of the large mirrors adorning the side of the pool. I slid the smooth mud mask over my skin, coating my cheeks, my forehead and chin and then the tip of my nose. I laughed looking at the others around me. The mask made it look like we were frozen from the shoulders up–just a bunch of snowmen chilling in the Blue Lagoon.
Walking further, we crossed under a bridge, heading toward the sound of running water. I gasped as I found the source. A steaming waterfall ran off the side of the saunas, pouring into the shallows beneath. A few brave souls stood under the stream, washing the milky residue from their faces.
Exploring the Amenities
My face mask wasn’t quite ready to leave yet, but I still had some exploring to do in the meantime. I braved it once more into the cold. As I opened the door to the sauna, I was met with a roll of balmy mist. This was a pleasant greeting compared to the windy atmosphere swirling outside.
The sauna was empty and I took this as my queue to lie down and enjoy the moment of peace. I stretched out, with my hands interlaced behind my head and closed my eyes. I could hear the faint sound of the waterfall just outside and the sizzle of the volcanic rocks beside me. With the heat and the noise, I found myself back in Mexico, inside of a dark jungle hut during the Temazcal Ceremony. As the drumming got louder, the space got hotter and hotter until I could no longer stand it.
Flinging the door open, I was now happy to see the flip side of my last encounter: Being greeted with a frozen hug from Mother Nature. I could feel the heat still seeping out of my pores as I splashed into the Blue Lagoon. By this time, my Silica Mud Mask was more than ready to be washed off into the water. Scoop by scoop, the hot mineral water slid down my face, disintegrating into the lagoon. As the last sludge dripped down my cheek, I had a rejuvenating moment. I swear I could feel every wisp of air that floated around me as it made contact with my fresh face. It was absolutely wonderful.
A Night Well Spent in Blue Lagoon
By this time, we’d explored most of what the World Wonder had to offer. The sun was now set and the white haze turned into dark clouds, illuminated by the spotlights shining overhead. It was a cloudy night, so the Northern Lights weren’t as visible as they had been my first night in Iceland. Even so, I enjoyed a relaxing night under the stars.
Once I was content with my time spent in the toasty waters, I made the icy journey back inside and collected my cozy, white towel. In the locker room, we had access to the official Blue Lagoon Shampoo and Conditioner. To get some of the silica buildup out, I made sure to shampoo 2-3 times before applying the conditioner. If you can, I recommend leaving the conditioner in overnight to get your hair back to its normal, healthy self after the mineral overdose.
For my first time experiencing Blue Lagoon, I have to say that there’s no wonder it is the most popular tourist spot in Iceland. From the amenities to the service to the experience, everything went seamlessly. I ended up booking during the middle of the week to have a relaxing day after my Icelandic adventures. However, Blue Lagoon happens to be settled between the Keflavik Airport (the international airport) and Reykjavik (their capital). If you’re planning to hit up Iceland on a tight budget, you may consider stopping at Blue Lagoon on your way to or from the airport. They do have space to store your luggage inside. Happy traveling!
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