The Blue Lagoon: Must-Visit or Tourist Trap?

The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most popular sights. Almost everyone who visits our little island spends some time at the Blue Lagoon. The popular geothermal spa made National Geographic’s Wonders of the World List. It was among the 25 places in the world that are amazing natural wonders, according to the popular travel magazine.

Recent visitors to the Blue Lagoon say that steep entrance fees and touristy vibe are not what they envisioned when visiting the site. So, is the Blue Lagoon a must-visit or should you skip it? In this article, we’ll take a look at the Blue Lagoon and whether or not it is worth a trip.

What Is The Blue Lagoon?  

The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa located in a lava field just outside the Keflavik International Airport. The landscape surrounding the Blue Lagoon is otherworldly. It contrasts starkly with the milky blue waters of the spa. This creates quite the experience for people who come to relax in the warm waters of the Blue Lagoon.

The Blue Lagoon was created by accident in the late 1970s, the pool of blue water formed as runoff from a nearby geothermal power plant. The water from the Blue Lagoon comes from deep within the middle of the Earth and contains beneficial algae and silica that are good for the skin. The baby blue water stays at a constant 37 to 40 degrees Celcius (98 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit), which makes it perfect for a rejuvenating soak.

Due to its proximity to the airport, most travelers visit the spa before or after a flight to Iceland. It makes for a relaxing time right after a long flight. The Blue Lagoon very rarely closes because of weather. The water still feels great even when it is snowing or sleeting outside.

The Blue Lagoon

Cons Of Visiting The Blue Lagoon

Although the Blue Lagoon is an amazing place to visit, there are some definite cons that you should take into consideration before booking a ticket.

Crowds

Back in the 1970s, the only people bathing in the Blue Lagoon were locals. The warm blue water became a favorite spot for Icelanders to bathe in after they discovered that it helped heal certain skin conditions. Eventually, the site was transformed into a spa. As more and more people found out about this amazing place, its popularity exploded.

Today, the Blue Lagoon is one of the most-visited attractions in Iceland. There were more than 1.2 million visitors to the spa in 2017, according to Business Insider. During peak times, the crowds can be quite staggering. You may have to wait in a long line just to get in. Once you do make it inside the spa, it can be hard to find a secluded place to relax.

Cost

Another disadvantage of visiting the Blue Lagoon is the cost. Prices start at 6.900 ISK ($57) per person USD. However, if you go during peak times, the cost will be much more. The Blue Lagoon uses a variable pricing structure that varies the admission cost based on demand. So, it can be hard to actually find a ticket for $57. Most midweek adult tickets start at 10.000 ISK ($88) and up. This price does not include transportation. It includes only a silica mud mask, towel, and one drink. If you want a bathrobe, slippers, access to the spa restaurant or other amenities, tickets are much higher. You could easily pay several hundred dollars per person for a Retreat Spa ticket.

Advance Booking Required

Because the Blue Lagoon is so popular, you will likely need to book in advance. You cannot just show up and get a ticket. Popular dates can sell out weeks in advance. And, the longer you wait to book, the more you will pay.

Note that it just might be more economical to buy a tour of the Golden Circle that includes a ticket to The Blue Lagoon, if you’re planning on doing that kind of tour anyway, and those tickets tend to be available on shorter notice. You can book a tour of the Golden Circle with admission to the Blue Lagoon, and Kerið, a gorgeous volcanic crater, right here.

What to see in Iceland

Why You Should Visit The Blue Lagoon

In spite of the cons, a stop at the Blue Lagoon is still a must-do for anyone who visits Iceland. Here are the reasons why you should visit the Blue Lagoon at least once:

  • Great way to rejuvenate after a long flight – The warm blue water is so nice after a long flight. Spending a couple of hours soaking in it is a great way to relax. It feels like you are soaking in a nice, warm bath tub. It really is the perfect temperature.  Or if you choose to do it as a part of a tour, it’s really nice after spending all day on a bus.
  • One-of-a-kind experience – A visit to the Blue Lagoon should be on everyone’s bucket list. The environment itself makes the price of admission well worth it. It is something that you will not find anywhere else.
  • Good for your skin – Unlike regular water, the composition of the water in the Blue Lagoon is unique. It contains a high concentration of silica and algae that are not known to exist anywhere else in the world. Researchers have been studying the benefits of the milky blue water for decades.

Tips For Visiting The Blue Lagoon

Following these tips can help you get the most out of your visit to the Blue Lagoon.

  • Book early – The earlier you book your ticket, the cheaper the price. As soon as you know that you will be visiting Iceland, go online and reserve your ticket.
  • Go in the morning or late at night – Enjoy a much more serene time at the Blue Lagoon by booking an early or late time slot. The first time slot available is for 7 AM and the last one is 10 PM. Go during either of these times and you can avoid the crowds. In the summer months, Iceland’s midnight sun provides nearly continuous daylight making either of these slots perfect.
  • Skip the Premium Package – The Comfort Package features a towel, silica mask and drink. The Premium Package includes a bathrobe, set of slippers and a second silica mask.  The Premium Package is not really necessary for several reasons. The bathrobes are identical. Once you hang it up with the scores of other bathrobes, it can be almost impossible to locate it again once you get out of the water. People often just grab others’ robes too. The same goes for the slippers. The silica masks are free with admission. So, you do not have to purchase the Premium Package to get a second mask.
  • Consider doing it as a part of a Golden Circle tour. It’s well worth the price, and combining these activities in one day will free up more time during your visit to do other fun things.

The Blue Lagoon is a unique experience. It definitely lives up to the hype and is something that everyone should visit at least once. Although there are a few negatives, these can be negated with some planning.

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2 Responses

    1. Are you looking for a swimming pool in the city, or do you mean a natural one?

      As for the swimming pools, any one that is convenient, I would say. They’re all good, in my opinion. So just find one that’s close to where you’re staying and you’ll be good.

      If you’re looking for a more natural one, close to the city, I recommend the Secret Lagoon. (Not 100% natural, but it’s a wonderful place.)

      Hope that helps. 😀

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