If you’re planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Iceland and are currently mapping out your Ring Road itinerary, then you need to visit the Blue Lagoon. Despite my initial skepticism, I can confidently say that the Blue Lagoon lives up to the hype and its milky-blue waters are every bit as enchanting as they are relaxing. Whether you decide to relax before heading from Keflavik to Reykjavik or as the last thing you do before you head home (like me!), keep reading and see why the Blue Lagoon is 100% worth visiting.
- What is the Blue Lagoon?
- Where is the Blue Lagoon?
- Is the Blue Lagoon Worth It?
- 7 Reasons to Visit Blue Lagoon
- 1. There is no substitute for the milky blue waters at the Blue Lagoon.
- 2. The surrounding volcanic landscapes are equally stunning.
- 3. The Blue Lagoon is a phenomenal spa that will leave you rejuvenated and pampered.
- 4. It’s conveniently located.
- 5. It’s not more expensive than other spas in Iceland
- 6. And despite the reviews, you can escape the crowds.
- 7. No other spa is a bucket list.
- What to Expect When Visiting the Blue Lagoon Experience
- Tips for Visiting Blue Lagoon
- Alternatives to Blue Lagoon
- FAQs About the Blue Lagoon
This post may contain affiliate links for highly recommended products or services that I want to share with you!
🏆 Top Pick: Rent a car with Blue Car Rental and self-drive to the Blue Lagoon (best option)
🚌 Best Shuttle Option: Schedule your route to Blue Lagoon with Destination Blue Lagoon (most flexible & economical transportation option)
What is the Blue Lagoon?
The Blue Lagoon is a manmade, geothermal spa located outside of Grindavík and just 20 minutes from Keflavík Airport.
The water that feeds into the lagoon was found by accident when the nearby Svartsengi power plant unearthed steam and hot water while searching for geothermal energy. These waters are rich in silica, which is what gives the water its signature milky blue hue. The combination of silica, algae, and other minerals makes the hot spring a perfect place for skincare treatments, while also being one of the most scenic places to bathe.
Where is the Blue Lagoon?
The Blue Lagoon is located approximately 20 minutes from Keflavik Airport (~23 kilometers), which is why it’s many people’s first or last stop in Iceland. If you’re coming from Reykjavik, it’ll take about 45 minutes to drive to the Blue Lagoon (~50 kilometers).
The easiest way to get to the Blue Lagoon is by renting a car, which I highly recommend doing anyways if you plan on visiting other sights on the Ring Road. My favorite car rental experience ever is with Blue Car Rental so I will always recommend them as the #1 pick for car rental companies in Iceland.
If you don’t have a car, I’d highly recommend booking your transportation through Destination Blue Lagoon. The best part about booking with Destination Blue Lagoon is that you can select your preferred route, meaning you can schedule a transfer from Keflavik Airport to the Blue Lagoon and then another transfer from the Blue Lagoon to Reykjavik.
💡 TIP: I wouldn’t recommend booking a tour that includes the cost of your ticket as part of the tour as they tend to be more expensive than just booking things separately.
Is the Blue Lagoon Worth It?
The Blue Lagoon is worth doing at least once, especially if this is your first time in Iceland. I was so skeptical after reading numerous reviews saying it was overrated that I didn’t end up going when I first visited but I’m so glad I eventually did.
Is it touristy? Yes.
Is it cheap? No, it’s definitely one of the more expensive things you’ll do in Iceland.
But is it worth it? 100%. If you plan ahead and set realistic expectations, I truly believe you’ll have a magical experience.
Here’s 7 reasons why the Blue Lagoon is worth visiting.
7 Reasons to Visit Blue Lagoon
1. There is no substitute for the milky blue waters at the Blue Lagoon.
The #1 reason to visit the Blue Lagoon is simply because there’s no substitute. The Blue Lagoon’s iconic milky-blue waters can be found only at the Blue Lagoon itself. The color is a result of the unique combination of silica, minerals, and algae present in its geothermal water.
While other geothermal spas and hot springs in Iceland may offer their own stunning natural beauty, you will not find the same milky, ice blue that the Blue Lagoon is known for anywhere else. The closest alternative you’ll find is the Myvatn Nature Baths, which has a darker milky-blue color.
2. The surrounding volcanic landscapes are equally stunning.
The Blue Lagoon is nestled amidst a volcanic backdrop that creates an otherworldly contrast between its vibrant blue waters and the rugged, black lava fields. It’s also surrounded by untouched and unspoiled natural beauty, which creates a tranquil atmosphere that will leave you at peace and in awe during your stay.
While the surroundings are similar at Myvatn Nature Baths, it’s really the contrast between the blue hue of the water and the black volcanic rocks that makes the Blue Lagoon notably beautiful.
3. The Blue Lagoon is a phenomenal spa that will leave you rejuvenated and pampered.
If you read the negative reviews about the Blue Lagoon, you’ll notice they’re about how touristy, crowded, and expensive it is and not about the spa itself.
And it’s true – the Blue Lagoon is touristy, it can get crowded, and it is an expensive thing to do in Iceland. But, it’s also a state-of-the-art spa with exceptional amenities and services. Its silica mud mask, algae mask, and in-water massages are unique to the spa that can’t be found anywhere else.
4. It’s conveniently located.
It’s also conveniently located and an easy trip from Keflavik to Reykjavik.
If convenience is your sole consideration, then Sky Lagoon is a great alternative (but not a replacement).
5. It’s not more expensive than other spas in Iceland
Are there plenty of free, geothermal hot springs to enjoy around Iceland? Yes. But that’s comparing apples to oranges. If you’re going to compare the cost of the Blue Lagoon to other spas, then the closest competitors are, all of which are similarly priced:
- Sky lagoon
- Myvatn Nature Baths
- The Fontana Spa
- Krauma Spa
- GeoSea Baths
- The Vok Baths
6. And despite the reviews, you can escape the crowds.
Escaping the crowds at the Blue Lagoon is entirely achievable with some strategic planning. One of the best ways to enjoy a more tranquil experience is by booking your visit well in advance and opting for off-peak hours – typically first thing in the morning or late in the evening. Weekdays generally tend to be less busy than weekends, so consider this when scheduling your visit.
If your travel plans mean you have to visit during the busiest times, don’t let that put you off. The Blue Lagoon is big enough that you’re sure to find a peaceful nook where you can relax, undisturbed. Even though I visited at noon on a Sunday, I was still able to find pockets throughout the lagoon where I could get pictures without a bunch of people in the background.
7. No other spa is a bucket list.
The Blue Lagoon is undoubtedly the crown jewel among all the geothermal spas in Iceland.
Like many others, I had heard about the Blue Lagoon from blogs and friends who had visited Iceland. On my first Iceland trip, I missed out because I thought I didn’t need to go and ended up leaving with a nagging sense of FOMO. The regret of not going at least once stayed with me so when I came back to Iceland, I knew a visit was non-negotiable.
I’m not someone who has to do every bucket list item when I travel but trust me when I say there’s no substitute for seeing the milky blue waters of the Blue Lagoon in person. The only reason why I wouldn’t recommend a visit is if you really hate crowds and you don’t have any strong desire to see the color of its water in person.
What to Expect When Visiting the Blue Lagoon Experience
1. Make a Blue Lagoon Reservation
Visiting the Blue Lagoon requires you to pre-book a spa package for a specific time and date. The lagoon is open 365 days a year but hours may vary depending on the season. Also, the prices listed on the website are subject to change depending on seasonality, time of entry, and availability. If you know your dates and are able to book in advance, you’ll generally be able to get a better price unless you’re traveling during peak season.
Select Your Blue Lagoon Packages
You’ll be able to enter the Blue Lagoon by choosing either the Comfort or Premium package.
- A basic package is all you need if you want to enter the lagoon and try the silica mud mask.
- If you want to use a bathrobe, a glass of wine onsite, and two additional masks, you may enjoy the Premium package.
- If you want to experience the Retreat Spa, you’ll need the luxury package which includes access to both the Blue Lagoon and the otherwise exclusive Retreat Lagoon.
We chose the Premium package for use of a bathrobe, which was perfect since we ended up eating inside the restaurant.
Choose Your Date & Time of Arrival
Once you identify your preferred package, you can book your reservation. You’ll be asked to select the date and time of entry (note: there is no time limit on how long you can spend at the lagoon). When selecting a time, keep in mind that check-in must happen within a one-hour window of your booking.
- January-May, from 09:00-21:00
- June, from 08:00-22:00
- July-August, from 08:00-23:00
- September-October, from 08:00-21:00
- November-December, from 08:00-20:00
The lagoon closes at different times depending on the season. Regardless, guests are required to exit the water 30 minutes prior to closing.
Pick Any Add-Ons
During the booking window, you’ll be able to add-on other treatments and make a reservation for the restaurant. A restaurant reservation is recommended but not required. If you’re flexible or unsure, you can always check-in with the host on the day of to see if they have openings. We didn’t have a reservation but we were able to secure one the same day. (Tip: most of the patrons at the restaurant were wearing their bathrobe over their swimsuits. I’d highly recommend getting the Premium package for the bathrobe if you think you want to eat at the restaurant).
2. Checking-In at the Blue Lagoon
When you first arrive, you’ll see signs for the check-in area where someone will confirm your reservation.
As part of the verification process, you’ll receive a wristband which is your key to access the facilities within the Blue Lagoon. This electronic bracelet has a chip in it that functions as a contactless key to access your locker and cashless wallet so you can make purchases on-site without having to carry cash or card around.
3. Getting Ready Inside the Blue Lagoon Locker Rooms
After checking-in and getting your wristband, you’ll make your way to the locker room area where you can store your belongings. If you got a bathrobe as part of your package (which I’d highly recommend), you’ll be given one on your way to the locker rooms.
Lockers come in various sizes so err on the side of bringing less items in case there are only small ones available.
Once you’ve selected your locker, you’ll put your belongings away, strip down naked, and rinse off in the shower area. All of the shower stalls have soap and shampoo dispensers readily available for you to wash up.
Afterwards, you’ll make your way back to the changing rooms to get into your swimsuit before you’re finally ready to enter the lagoon.
4. Exploring the Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon Overview
- Temperature: 37°C and 40°C (98-104°F)
- Main Areas: In-water mask bar, in-water bar, lagoon waterfall, sauna/steam room, and viewing deck. All these areas are connected by the walkway that wraps around and cuts through the main pool.
What to Do at the Blue Lagoon
- Grab a Drink: Be sure to head to the swim-up bar so you can grab a drink of your choice. The first one is included as part of both the Comfort and Premium packages.
- Apply Face Masks: The Blue Lagoon’s silica mud mask is a signature feature of the spa and included in both the Comfort and Premium packages. You can wade your way to the in-water mask bar, where you can apply the mineral-rich mask that will nourish and exfoliate your skin. If you purchased a Comfort package, you can pick 2 additional masks to apply (other options include algae, mineral, and lava masks).
- Relax at the Geothermal Pool: Make the most of your time here while indulging in different forms of relaxation. Discover a cozy nook or simply float in the pool as you unwind and let the water do its magic. If you want to get out of the water but you’re not ready to leave, there are plenty of loungers scattered around the perimeter where you can take a nap. Even the walk around the pool offers a peaceful experience as you take in the views of the Blue Lagoon.
- Get Steamy in the Saunas and Steam Rooms: I don’t personally enjoy saunas but you can explore the sauna and steam shelter, which are included as part of your Blue Lagoon experience.
- Pay Extra for an In-Water Massage: Book an in-water massage that combines the soothing warmth of the lagoon with the benefits of skilled hands-on treatment. This luxury experience is an extremely popular feature of the Blue Lagoon so make a reservation ahead of time.
- Pay for Exclusivity: For a more private experience, consider paying for the “Retreat Spa” package. This will allow you to enter the exclusive spaces like the Retreat Spa & Lagoon, in addition to the public Blue Lagoon.
Food & Dining at the Blue Lagoon
At the Blue Lagoon, there are several places where you can grab a bite to eat:
- Blue Cafe – casual eatery near the entrance of the Blue Lagoon providing a variety of light meals, snacks, and desserts.
- Lava Restaurant – sit-down restaurant serving a la carte Icelandic-inspired cuisine with a view of the lagoon. Reservations recommended.
- Spa Restaurant – another sit-down restaurant with similar vibes to the Lava Restaurant. The Spa Restaurant wasn’t open when we went but I wish I had known about it so I could compare the two menus.
- Moss Restaurant – experience Michelin-level fine dining with a tasting menu that features Icelandic flavors and culinary techniques. Reservations required.
At most places, you can choose to dine fully clothed or comfortably in your robe. Eating in your robe works for a quick meal at the Blue Cafe but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re eating at the Lava Restaurant. Based on my experience, I noticed that I started to get cold pretty quickly, especially because my hair was still wet. If I could do it over, I would have preferred to shower, change, and freshen up before eating a sit-down meal.
Blue Lagoon Gift Shop
Before you leave, be sure to check out the Blue Lagoon Gift Shop. Here, you can buy Blue Lagoon skincare products that are created from the lagoon’s mineral-rich geothermal waters – including the same silica mud mask that you applied during your visit!
You can also buy additional face masks, creams, and lotions, all of which contain nourishing properties from the lagoon. If you’re having trouble picking just one thing, you can buy a boxed set that comes with multiple travel-sized products, perfect for trialing.
Tips for Visiting Blue Lagoon
- 🌅 The best time to visit the Blue Lagoon is first thing in the morning or late evening if you want to experience the serenity of the lagoon. While it wasn’t packed when we went at 11:00 AM, it definitely was crowded – which only got worse as the day went on. I’ve read that closing can be just as peaceful and even more majestic if you’re able to catch the sunset or Northern Lights. If you go in the evening, just make sure you give yourself enough time before closing.
- 🕟 Plan to spend about 2-4 hours at the Blue Lagoon. We spent 4 hours total in the lagoon, 3 of which were in the lagoon and 1 was spent eating at the restaurant. If you don’t plan on eating at the restaurant, 2 hours should be enough time to get your mask and wade around to the different sections of the lagoon.
- 🙅🏻♀️ Do not put your hair in the water. However, tempting, I strongly advise not putting your hair into the water. While it won’t damage your hair, the mineral build up feels heavy and leaves your hair feeling dry and brittle. I personally found that it took several days of shampooing and conditioning for my hair to feel back to normally – would not recommend.
- 🕶️ Be careful with glasses in the water. Since the lagoon has mineral-rich waters, your lenses will get scratched if they get wet. Sadly, I learned this hard way and now have a scratch right in the middle of my sunglasses. I still recommend bringing sunglasses because it does get bright outside but be super careful or bring a pair you’re willing to part with.
- 🎒 Pack light but smart. In the locker room, you’ll have access to day lockers, showers with the essentials, towels, and blow dryers. Besides the essentials like change of clothes, bathing suit, and flip flops, I’d also recommend bringing:
- Hair tie or clip
- Waterproof phone case
- Small bag to hold your jewelry
- Water bottle
While not an item to bring, I would also recommend eating beforehand. You’re not allowed to bring your own food and the food onsite is quite pricey.
Alternatives to Blue Lagoon
- Secret Lagoon: Located near the Golden Circle, the Secret Lagoon is Iceland’s oldest geothermal pool. It has a more natural feel and is less crowded compared to the Blue Lagoon but lacks the extensive facilities and amenities.
- Myvatn Nature Baths: Found along the Diamond Circle route, Myvatn Nature Baths offer a relaxing spa experience amidst a lava landscape. It’s less touristy and cheaper than the Blue Lagoon, but is harder to get to for most tourists (especially if you’re primarily staying along Iceland’s South Coast).
- Sky Lagoon: This newly opened geothermal spa just outside of Reykjavík offers a unique oceanfront experience with dramatic Atlantic Ocean views. It provides the same luxury feel as the Blue Lagoon but is not as popular… yet.
- Reykjadalur Hot Springs: The Reykjadalur Hot Springs, located just outside Hveragerði, refers to a natural hot spring area, featuring a hot river perfect for bathing. It’s completely free and set in the stunning Reykjadalur Valley, but does require a bit of a hike.
FAQs About the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is famous for its milky-blue, geothermal waters that are rich in minerals and known for their healing properties. It’s also a luxurious spa experience with various amenities. If you’re looking to treat yourself during your Iceland trip, a visit to the Blue Lagoon is the perfect way to do so.
Yes and no. The Blue Lagoon itself is man-made but is filled with water from a nearby geothermal plant that is completely natural and rich in silica, algae, and other minerals.
Yes. The water in the lagoon is continuously circulated and filtered to maintain high levels of cleanliness. Moreover, the natural minerals present in the water possess inherent antibacterial properties, eliminating the need for any disinfectants to keep the lagoon pristine.
Final Thoughts: So Is the Blue Lagoon Worth it… Really?
I would 100% recommend a visit to Blue Lagoon. It’s conveniently located, super relaxing, and absolutely beautiful. While there are other hot springs to visit in Iceland, I really did love the milky blue water that’s only found here.
I would do things differently for my next visit like booking an early timeslot, not putting my hair in the water, and eating a meal ahead of time. We didn’t personally find Lava Restaurant to be worth it because there weren’t that many items on the menu that appealed to us at the time and it’s quite pricey. The menu does change so I’d only go if there was something that sounded especially appetizing.
I was honestly skeptical after reading numerous reviews saying it was overrated but I’m so glad I went. We felt so relaxed during our visit and felt Iceland’s Blue Lagoon was the perfect way to end our long, Ring Road self-driving trip.