I had my doubts about the Blue Lagoon. I mean, it’s a pool surrounded by some rocks — how exciting could that be? But I put it on my must-do list for Iceland, anyway, given its popularity and the recommendations I’d read.
It wasn’t a mistake. Pulling up to the Blue Lagoon is like entering a mystical land. The water is bluer than seems real, especially against the backdrop of the dark volcanic rocks, and the rising steam lends an ethereal look to it all.
After getting an electronic bracelet key for our lockers, we headed for the showers, a requirement before jumping in the lagoon (and, yes, you must do this au naturel). Signs in the locker room urged the use of conditioner before getting in the water, and I can’t stress the importance of this enough — but more on that later. After a short walk from the locker room to the pool, all we wanted to do was get in. Although the water temperature hovers around 100° F, the same cannot be said for the air temperature, which was just north of freezing, even in the summer (or at least it felt that way). The water level isn’t very high, so we crab-walked our way through the lagoon to stay warm, as did everyone else we passed.
The pool itself is quite expansive, with an abundance of nooks and crannies to explore. The water, replete with a host of minerals, comes from the ground nearby after passing through a geothermal power plant and is renewed every 40 hours. It’s said to cure a host of skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema. Located throughout the lagoon are wooden boxes with white silica mud — instructions tell you to apply to your face and body and leave to dry for 5 to 10 minutes while the mud cleanses and exfoliates. Another fun feature is the massaging waterfall, which soothes tired shoulders and backs.
Bathing in supernatural waters isn’t all glamour, though. Those wonderful skin-softening benefits that come from the water don’t extend to your hair — in fact, quite the opposite. It felt as if straw had been glued to my head the entire plane ride home, and it took three or four showers before I recognized it as my hair again. I also have super-sensitive eyes and spent the whole time squinting, less from the sun and more from the steam (in fact, I don’t think there was any sun that day). And the sandy bottom could be sharp at times, especially the softer your feet got.
Still, these are small trade-offs for lounging in a therapeutically beneficial geothermal wonder-pool that left my skin softer than it’s ever been. Leave it to Iceland, well known as home of the mystical “hidden people,” to have a spot so magical.
The Blue Lagoon is located about 40 minutes from Reykjavík and 25 minutes from the airport. A number of companies offer transportation service to and from the Blue Lagoon. Flybus is the biggest, although we wanted to support the little guy and went for Netbus. The cost, which includes pick-up/drop-off at your hotel, admission into the Blue Lagoon, and pick-up/drop-off at the airport is 5900 ISK, or about $50 USD per person. Renting towels at the Blue Lagoon is an extra fee.