The Blue Lagoon is basically the Disneyland of Iceland. It’s touristy AF, and happens to be 100% manmade (who knew?!), but is also one of those “you’ve gotta do it because everyone else has done it and Instagrammed about it” things that we all end up doing while traveling.
And as much as I hate to say it, it is really worth it.
Despite the fact that there are long lines and a zillion people and the locker room is so crowded you will likely graze an accidental boob while you change into your bikini, the Blue Lagoon is an awesome experience. It’s basically like hanging out in a bath where you can float, get drunk and lather yourself in expensive face masks you’d probably never let yourself buy (… they’re $150 a pop in stores, FYI). It really is a must-do on any trip to Iceland, and it’s SoOoO easy to get to that you really don’t have an excuse to skip it. You can do it as soon as you land, or right before you hop on a flight back home, because it’s 20-minutes from the airport and there are showers and locker rooms and everything you could possibly need.
As someone who went, loved it, and regularly dreams about going again, here are my v. important must-know tips for visiting the Blue Lagoon.
Take Proper Care Of Your Hair
I was legitimately terrified about what was going to happen to my hair in the Blue Lagoon. I’d read all these horror stories online about how brittle the mineral water can make it (especially if you have highlights, like I do) and when we got there the staff employed some pretty serious scare tactics when instructing us on what to do. I can honestly say that I had zero problem, and followed these few precautions:
- Slather your hair in leave-in conditioner- You have to shower before you enter the Lagoon, and the showers have enormous pumps filled with their own branded conditioner. Use as much as your little heart desires, then use a little more. DON’T wash it out.
- Tie your hair into a medium or high bun- Keep your hair as far away from the water as possible on your head.
- Don’t go under water- Honestly, there is no need for you to fully immerse yourself in the Lagoon. I thought I would definitely want to, but once I was in there it didn’t seem at all appealing. There’s really no point, and it’s not at all worth it given the damage you can do to your hair.
- Rinse and wash ASAP- Lather, rinse and (actually) repeat as soon as you get out of the Lagoon to make sure you get rid of any of the mineral particles that may have wound up in your hair.
- Slather your hair in leave-in conditioner, pt. 2- I hadn’t heard of anyone doing this before, but I’m convinced it made all of the difference in my own hair. The second time you shower, use the same leave-in conditioner tactic that you did before the Lagoon. I left my treatment in for a little under 24 hours, and when I washed my hair again the next morning it felt silky smooth and not at all brittle.
Upgrade Your Package
We originally bought the standard package for $75, but upgraded to the “Comfort” option when we arrived which got us a towel, a free drink and a free algae mask. The next package up is the “Premium,” which gives you all of that plus a robe, a reservation at LAVA restaurant and a glass of sparkling wine at lunch. The bougiest option is the “Premium,” which gives you a private changing room and a set of products to take home. The upgrades all sound really expensive, but everything in Iceland is expensive and not having a towel at the Blue Lagoon (even in the summer) would be absolutely hellish. I was really happy with the Comfort package, and would likely do the same one again.
Skip The Massage
The idea of getting a massage in the Blue Lagoon sounds amazing, but I’m not totally convinced about how relaxing it is. It’s not in a super private area, so you’re still surrounded by dozens of tourists, which to me isn’t exactly and ideal spa situtaion (especially given the $95/30Min price tag). However, the Blue Lagoon products are SO good, it may be worth it.
Note: The Silica Masks Are Free
If you do decide to go with the Standard Package, know that the Silica Masks are free and you can use as much of them as you want. Feelfree to lather them all over your face and body, but know that you will 100% look like Robin Williams in that scene from Mrs. Doubtfire when he slams his head into the cake.
Hop On The Bus
Buses to and from the Blue Lagoon could not be easier — both to and from the airport and to and from Reykjavik City Center. I booked a bus for $23 back to Reykjavik, and the process was absolutely seamless. It took 45 minutes, they dropped me off exactly where I needed to go, and the bus even had WiFi. Taxis in Iceland are INSANELY expensive, so don’t even bother.
3-4 Hours Is Definitely Enough Time
Eventually, your body will start to prune up and you’ll hit your limit on the “maximum three drinks” rule. If you do want to stay longer, though, opt for lunch at Lava Restaurant, which overlooks the lagoon. The rez is included as a part of the Premium and Luxury packages, or you can make one yourself.
Coordinate It With Your Airport Arrival Or Departure
The Blue Lagoon is 45 minutes outside of Reykjavik, but only 20-ish from the airport. You can do it right after you arrive as a little post-flight relaxation, or before you leave as a lovely way to say goodbye to Iceland. They have easily-accessible luggage storage, showers and buses that go back and forth every hour.
Get Ready For Your Skin To Feel The Best It’s Ever Felt
In my package, I got to use the Silica Cleansing Mask and the Algae Hydrating Mask, and afterward my skin was absolutely glowing. My body also felt silky smooth for days after the fact, which I’m fairly certain I can attribute to the mineral water. I tried to buy the products to take home with me, but the masks are $110 a pop which is super depressing.
Don’t Pee In The Blue Lagoon
If you do, the water around you will turn red. (Not really, but I just really don’t want you to do it!)