You can have a short layover in Iceland, a five-day, 7-day, or even 10-day adventure on this island, the one place you will have make time for is a visit to the Blue Lagoon. There are geysers, crazy-beautiful waterfalls, magical lava fields, glaciers and mountain scenery all waiting to be seen and what a sight for sore eyes! Out of all the adventures this island has to offer, soaking up in the Blue Lagoon is up there on many an Iceland visitor's bucket list. I am a lover of all things Spa. For every long haul trip, I go on, I usually book an appointment at Ajala Spa. One of my favourites in London as they aren't far to get to and I have easy access to two in the city. For short weekend trips, I usually opt for a little pampering by way of Mani/Pedi with the massage chair of course. For the trip to Iceland, I skipped 'before trip spa' because I was preparing my mind, body and spirit for all that the Blue Lagoon was going to offer and I wasn't disappointed! There are places that are usually hyped up and when you get there, it is a pure and utter disappointment. That was not the case with the Blue Lagoon. It was everything I hoped it was going to be. I had spent about a week exploring Iceland by campervan(more on that in posts to follow), so I was very much looking forward to the spa day at the Blue Lagoon at the end of our trip. I was relaxed and floating on air by the time I left, so the spa did exactly what it said on the tin. So you want to visit the Blue Lagoon when you are in Iceland? Then read on...
I head the Blue Lagoon dries with your hair, is that true? How to prepare for your Spa day at the Blue Lagoon.
- You heard right. I heard that too before I went, so what can you do to counteract this and make sure your head doesn't end up dryer than the Sahara?
- Deep Condition your hair a day before your spa day.
- Then oil your hair the night before your Spa day. I love using coconut oil as it's easily absorbed into the hair. Do it just before bed the night before, and sleep with a satin or silk scarf. The warmth from the scarf created around your head means that the oil gets sucked right into the hair shaft. Oil also seals in moisture into your hair minimising the chances of the silica from the Blue Lagoon doing more damage to your hair. If you are worried about having greasy hair. Don't worry, you will shampoo right after your spa session. The key is just to minimise damage to your hair. Even with the oil, you will still get dry hair but just not as dry as if you don't prepare before going in.
- Do not attempt to go in with full make-up into the lagoon like I saw a couple of women do. You will end up looking like a panda as your mascara, brow liner starts streaking down. Don't do it! Instead, drink lots of water in the days leading up to your day at the lagoon that will help your skin look clearer, healthier so you won't need to feel the need to wear make-up at the spa. If you still need a little cover then bring sunglasses to hide any dark circles - It also makes you look cool and chic as well as make everyone jealous on why they didn't bring their glasses.
- This advice goes for the men as well. You will end up with crispy hair if you don't make the effort to condition before your session at the spa. Unless you are bald like the ginger I went with, in that case, deep condition that beard!
What to do when you get to the Blue Lagoon. First things first. DONT GO IN!
Wait, did I just say don't go in? Yes, but let me explain. I can guarantee when you leave the Blue Lagoon you will be so chilled out and probably flashed from sitting in the hot water for hours that the last thing you will want to do is take pictures, besides you may also be rushing to get back on coaches and all that. So, I say don't go in straight after arriving. While you still looking fresh, I recommend exploring the surrounding area of the Blue Lagoon and take pictures outside. The scenery is very dramatic with all the steam oozing from the Blue Pools. If you can manage to, arrive at least 30-40 mins before your session to look around and take pictures of the outside before heading in.
Spa packages available at the Blue Lagoon
- There are several packages available to choose from; Standard at €40+ which comes with entrance and silica mask, Comfort at €55+ which includes all of Standard plus towel and a free drink. Then there is Premium at €70+ which comes with all of Comfort package in addition to robe and slippers and Luxury at €170+ comes with everything in Premium plus a reservation at the restaurant including a glass of wine in the restaurant.
- You can also add massages to your bookings from €75 for 30mins but you can also have add-ons to that as well. We opted for the premium as it was a lot easier to just turn up at the spa with just my handbag and camera items than worrying about bringing my own towel, robe, slippers for the sake of sake of saving a few euros. If you are comparing the price to the standard then 30 is a small price to pay for the comfort of just walking in.
- Also, note that prices may vary, I believe the changes depend on what time your booking is. We booked premium which it says starts at €70 but actually paid €90 for a booking slot at 6-7pm. This came with a drink as well as the robe, towel and slippers, which were stolen from the spot I left them where my robe was hanging.
- We were so chilled out that we actually didn't need additional drinks while were in there. We cosied up, slapped on silica masks and mingled a little. Got lost in conversation with Americans about the Trump/Hilary elections. Floated away while discussing our adventures around Iceland and before we knew it our fingers and feet were pruney like granny hands. At 9pm and it was time to say goodbye and look forward to the looming flight the following day. At this point we were so chill, we may have might have actually floated all the way to our rental car in the parking lot because I sure as hell don't remember walking there.
When to visit the Blue Lagoon and what time should you book your slot:
- Come rain or shine, there isn't really bad time to visit the Blue Lagoon. It rained a little while we were in the lagoon. We just moved to a spot that was really deep and made sure the only body part out of the water was the head. That were you stay warm while the cold drops fall over you. (I am 5'9, the deepest spot came all the way but to my neck while standing).
- If visiting in the colder months I would suggest bringing a woolly hat which is usually allowed in most pools around Iceland but check before going in.
- Morning or Evening booking? This really depends on how much time you have if you have a layover or a couple of days in Iceland. If you are in Iceland for a long trip I would highly recommend leaving your visit to at least a day before your leave or morning of the day you leave if your flight is a late one. This way you can just relax and enjoy the Blue Lagoon without worrying about whether you have enough time for check-in and security and all that.
- I think leaving it to the end of your trip also gives you something to look forward to, because leaving Iceland will be difficult enough as it is. We were also exploring Iceland in a camper van so it was nice pampering after living in a car for a couple of days prior to our visit.
- We choose to visit in the evening. It's wasn't crazy busy when we were there, we still have plenty of opportunity to ourselves I don't think the time you book really matters, although I am sure they have busy periods but as the bookings are so spaced out you will still have an enjoyable time even when it looks as if there are plenty of people going in.
- Provision at least 3-4 hours for your stay as its so hard to leave this place.
Fun Facts about the Blue Lagoon
- It's man-made and fed with water from a nearby geothermal power plant Svartsengi(you can see this outside if you take my advice on exploring surrounding areas before going in) and is renewed every two days. Once you are in there you won't care about that as your whole body will want to curl up in child's pose as if it's finally found its happy place.
- The water temperature in the bathing and swimming area of the lagoon averages 37–39 °C (99–102 °F). That actually sounds hot but it really isn't unbearably hot. There are some spots that are cool if you want to ease yourself in.
- Iceland has a strict code of hygiene and guests are required to shower before entering the Blue Lagoon. This includes all other public hot pool around the country.
- In 1976, a pool formed at the site from the waste water of the geothermal power plant that had just been built there. In 1981, people started bathing in it after its supposed healing powers of the minerals were popularised. In 1992, the Blue Lagoon company was established, and the bathing facility was opened for the public.
- The Blue Lagoon is surrounded by lava that is over 800 years old.
Getting To The Blue Lagoon:
- The spa is located in a lava field in Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula.
- It's about 45 minutes from the Airport. There are coaches leaving straight from the airport to the Blue Lagoon. Booking is not always necessary as we bought tickets into town when we arrived in Iceland. You can also buy tickets to go to the Blue Lagoon from the same counters.
- We were in Iceland for a good ten days with a rental car so we drove ourselves from Reykjavik to Grindavik. The journey was just under an hour if memory saves me right. It's also fairly straight forward if you are thinking of renting a car and self-drive to the Blue Lagoon or exploring Iceland on your own for that matter.