The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most popular attractions drawing the attention of hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. The lagoon is actually a geothermal spa fed by water from a nearby geothermal plant. The water originates near a lava flow from 6,000 feet at its deepest level (2,000 meters). The actual lagoon sits on a Lava field and the walls that surround the walkway (the very long walkway) were built from actual lava rock that comes from the field. When you swim in the lagoon you technically are swimming on top of two different continents. Iceland sits on top of the Mid Atlantic Ridge where the North American and European plates are separating at roughly 2 centimeters a year.
Above you can see the first view of the lagoon right before you enter the facilities, notice the lava field on all sides. Being 45 minutes away from the biggest city in Iceland, Reykjavik, you have to either take a tour or find other means of transportation. Being roughly 25 minutes from the airport many tour operators package Iceland tours to the Blue Lagoon and the airport together. You can have a relaxing day at the spa and then catch your flight in the afternoon. The package tour generally costs the same if you are taken only to the airport, currently roughly $25 (depending on the exchange rate) it makes for a very cost effective visit, until you get there.
The Blue Lagoon Iceland is a tourist trap by any definition as there are many other geothermal spas that you can visit throughout Iceland (some that are actually free). The current costs to get in as of 2010 are 28 Euro to enter, 5 Euro for a towel, 5 Euro for a bathing suit, and 9 Euro for a bath robe. You read that right, they charge you for towels and a robe, so in the end it doesn’t come out that cheap. That doesn’t include the costs for food if you are going to eat there or for any of the premium services like the skin treatments, massages, and restaurants. Even though it can get a bit pricey there are ways to keep your costs down by bringing your own towel, you dont need the robe. I would still recommend that you visit the Blue Lagoon because it really is a great thing to experience. Lockers fortunately are free.
I would recommend that you visit in the winter (no im not crazy) for three reasons; the first being that you wont enjoy a geothermal spa as much in hot weather, the second is that you cant see one of the most popular things to do in Iceland in the summer which are the Nothern Lights, and the last reason is that you will avoid the heard of tourists that arrive in the summer. Who would want to sit in 100 degree water at the Blue Lagoon Iceland in the summer anyway? It will get cold so make sure to bring a jacket along with your towel. Once you step into the lagoon you will feel a slight slushy feeling on your feet which is the silica mud that many have found medical refuge in. Its known to be an effective treatment for psoraisis and other skin ailments.
You can enter the water from outside the facilities or from inside so you dont have to step out into the cold weather in the winter. After entering the kids pool as I like to call it, the Blue Lagoon Iceland surprises you with a waterfall that you can sit by and enjoy (no time limits!). I must have stood there for at least 15 minutes because it really felt like a water massage. As you start to find your way around the lagoon there are certain canisters where you can scoop the silica mud and place it on your face.
They aren’t kidding when they say this stuff is magical. Once you pick it up the silica mud it feels very slimy with little stones inside. Once you place it on your face you wait for it to dry and start to peel it off. It feels like cement when you start to peel it. After you get it all off your face starts to tingle like when your arm goes to sleep. It’s not as strong of a sensation but I did stare at the mirror a little longer than usual before I walked out because it felt that much different. The locker rooms at the Blue Lagoon Iceland are very roomy but they pack you in the showers like a sardine can. While there is still some room to pick up the soap once you drop it (happened to me more than once) the door and walls feel cold once you bump into them. Def a must see in Iceland!