The Blue Lagoon. Billed as the “must-visit” attraction in Iceland. Sorry, but that really depends. As timings would have it, we arrived rather late into Reykjavik on a cold October day and by the time we reached the Blue Lagoon at 5pm, not only was it dark, but it was also raining.
Tip: The guides say you should plan your visit to the Blue Lagoon either upon arrival or departure, but if you’re coming off a long-haul flight, you may want to do this on your return, once you’ve acclimatized to Europe and gotten rid of your jetlag.
We had no choice but to visit upon arrival as our departure timing was too early in the morning.
Back to the experience. We had booked a Blue Lagoon Premium package online at 70€, because we wanted some “luxury” of the towel, bathrobe and slippers, but on hindsight – save your money. Go for the towel-only package at 55€ or if you bring your own towel, it’ll be just 40€. The bathrobe and slippers become redundant once you change into your swimmers and access the lagoon via an internal pool. It’s not like you’re going to be lounging around in your robe and slippers – it’s too cold to lounge!
So here’s the lowdown. When you arrive, you head straight to the luggage storage area. Then, we’re taken through the registration process, given an electronic bracelet which you use to lock your lockers, enter the site, pay for drinks etc – be very careful not to lose it as there’s a penalty. Frankly, the whole scene reminded me of the check-in process at an airport.
Then off to the lockers. We were there in end October. Not exactly what one would classify as the peak period. But still, there were hordes of people, particularly, excitable teenaged girls, all jostling for locker space, stripping to their birthday suits and comparing notes. You get the picture.
So you find your space amidst the chaos, take off the many layers of winter wear, heavy boots, your modesty, and head to the showers, where you’re supposed to shower in the buff. I did, but I also saw some people showering in their swimmers.
After which, you can either walk out into the cold and jump into the lagoon or you can slowly slide yourself into the inside mini pool that leads to the lagoon. Well, the premise here is that once you’re in the water, it’s warm and so, you should feel nice and toasty as you wade out to the milky blue waters of the lagoon. The reality though, is that they water isn’t all that warm (some spots are a little warmer), and once you wade out… brrr..the chilly air and if you’re unlucky and it’s raining, you’re going to feel cold.
Still, there are a couple of “fun” activities to do that might distract you from the cold. There’s a pool bar that you can buy a drink from, wade on to a warm spot and hang while trying to admire the milky blue, misty atmosphere. Even better, go slather on the silica mud that’s available in the vats dotted around the lagoon. Thing is, it was so cold and rainy when I was there, I couldn’t even bother to wade to the mud vats, but I ended up buying the silica mud mask and algae mask at the store, and I can safely say, now that I am back in Singapore – the masks are awesome! They really refresh and make your skin glow – more than any other masks I have tried! Darn, I should have tried swimming up to the vats with an empty jar and filling it up. Kidding.
Oh one thing, do not, on any account, immerse your hair in the water! It’ll stiffen up no end, and even though there’s copious amounts of conditioner in the showers, you are reminded several times not to do so..and with good reason, I am sure.
So, then you shower, and if you’re feeling splurgy, might as well dine at the onsite restaurant, Lava. We had the degustation menu, and although the food, service and ambience was good, it had been 20+ hours of travelling, we were so tired, we just couldn’t fully enjoy the dinner at all.
So learn from my lessons. If you want to enjoy the full Blue Lagoon experience, shoot for a sunny, warmer day and remember, don’t be too tired when you arrive!
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For other reads on Reykjavik, check out my posts below:
Where to Stay in Reykjavik – Castle House Luxury Apartments