Before our trip to Iceland, we read a ton Blue Lagoon Iceland Reviews. They all followed the same idyllic melody of tranquil waters, amazing facilities, 5-star dining, and incomparable luxury. If your visit goes like ours it won't be what you're expecting. Follow along to hear our true thoughts on the Blue Lagoon.
Sure the waters really were blue and the staff was friendly, but the lagoon felt more like an overstuffed hot tub than a geothermal wonder. Online, you'll see images of an empty lagoon wrapped in snow. It looks like you could wade through the rising steam without ever seeing another person.
In reality, the Blue Lagoon is much more like the world's largest hot tub party. Sure it's a very nice hot tub, but it's a crowded, sweaty hot tub nonetheless. Now if you don't mind sharing more power to you, but hang on we've got plenty more to tell. We hope you enjoy our honest Blue Lagoon Iceland Review!
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The Best of the Blue Lagoon
The lagoon is only 20 minutes from the airport and 45 minutes from Reykjavik. It's perfect for a quick layover adventure or day trip during your stay. The drive from Reykjavik is very easy and fairly well marked. The roads are all paved and maintained so there's no need to worry about getting stuck if you're visiting in winter. Trust us that can be a real concern!
If you're visiting between flights there are numerous tours that leave directly from the airport. Plan ahead and even a 4 hour layover can be spent at the lagoon. Headed back to the Reykjavik after? Check out these Five Free Things to do in Reykjavik!
Everyone me met who worked at the lagoon was very kind, helpful, and made it clear they wanted you to enjoy your visit. They do a great job of training their employees and it really shows.
Big bonus: they all spoke English so communication was a breeze. If you're up to par on your Icelandic, I'm sure they speak it as well! 😉 Besides being easy to communicate with, the staff also seemed to love working at the Blue Lagoon. Who knows why... maybe they get free swims? Either way, it made everything so much enjoyable for us, as I'm sure it will you.
It's Camera Friendly
For some reason this is left off a lot of other Blue Lagoon Iceland reviews. We guess it's not a big deal for others, but for people looking to commit their time to memory you're in luck! The entirety of the lagoon is camera friendly (with exception of the locker rooms). We noticed many visitors purchased "Blue Lagoon" waterproof phone cases at the entryway. Great marketing plan by the lagoon but you shouldn't have any trouble without the case. This isn't a wave pool after all!
Personally, we'd recommend taking them out at the start, getting a couple pictures, and then putting them away. Enjoy the free mud masks and your time instead of hunting the perfect shot. Unless you're visiting in the shoulder season you'll have a tough time finding it.
The water at the Blue Lagoon is definitely as advertised. It's kind of a foggy, opaque blue in direct sun but shifts to the vibrant hue as the light becomes less harsh. Temperature wise, it's pretty much like swimming in a giant hot tub (this time in a good way). With warm and cold areas, temperatures range anywhere from 98° F to 104° F.
We actually found some cool facts about the lagoon's famous waters. The source of the water is over 6,500 feet below the earth's surface and within 48 hours all of the water is recycled. Meaning, in only 2 days the pool has "emptied" and refilled itself with hot, clean, blue, geothermal water. Overall, the lagoon holds around 1.5 million gallons of water. That's like filling 30,000 bathtubs to the brim!
As you can see, the lagoon clearly has its draw. Its waters, staff, and location are all spectacular, and being able to use your camera is a big plus. On the other hand, there are also some major drawbacks. Read on to hear our least favorite parts about the lagoon in our Blue Lagoon Iceland review!
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The Worst of the Blue Lagoon
To be clear, we're not saying we didn't enjoy our time at the Blue Lagoon. In fact, we'd recommend it to anyone who has the time and funds to visit. We're saying not everything about the lagoon was as magical as we were led to believe. In other Blue Lagoon Iceland reviews it was built up to be something it wasn't. Ultimately, we hope to present the information fairly to you and let you make your own decision.
When we visited the price was around $70 a person for the bare minimum entrance pass. While they clearly have a right to charge for their beautiful facilities and a dip in the tranquil waters, the price seems outrageously high. We saw a stat that 80% of the countries 500,000 annual tourists visit the Blue Lagoon. That means 400,000 people visit the Blue Lagoon Iceland each and every year. This number is only going up as Iceland continues to grow in popularity.
What really bothered us most were the hidden charges. Sure you could get towels, face masks, and entrance to private pools, but only if you were willing to fork over your wallet. The additional charges left a bad taste in our mouths and had us feeling like the invitee to a country club pool. You know, the one who shows up with the big glob of white sunscreen on their nose. On the bright side, kids are free, and teens are around half price.
In the sake of honesty, the picture above was taken in a cove, around midday in the shoulder season. It better represents how the Blue Lagoon would look at it's emptiest. As Iceland continues to grow in popularity, the lagoon will only get busier. One can only imagine what the lagoon will look like in 10 years... we'd guess like an over-stuffed aquarium. To be clear, all Blue Lagoon Iceland reviews mention the crowds as the main downside.
The crowds begin as soon as you enter, follow you to the lockers, and finally down into the lagoon. Strangely enough, once you work your way into the lagoon the crowds do disperse some. With the exception of high traffic areas like the saunas, silica mask stations, and entrances you can usually find some room to breathe. Shoot for less busy times between 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM or after 6:00 PM to help avoid the people and more richly enjoy your experience.
The Locker Rooms
The Blue Lagoon had stunning facilities and the locker rooms were no exception. There were still a couple problems: the wristbands were terrible, the shower situation was nuts, they were poorly organized. When you arrive you're given a waterproof wristband that works as your locker key and charge card throughout the Blue Lagoon. My strap didn't clasp and Kestra's wrist was too small for the wristband to stay on. I ended up wearing hers' and pocketing mine so they wouldn't get lost. They were more of a pain than anything.
In the locker rooms, patrons choose their own lockers and they fill quickly. It's tough to find a pair or trio of lockers close together if you're going as a group. They require you to shower before and after hopping in the lagoon. We mean full out stripped down showers. They even have 'guards' organizing traffic and making sure you shower. Public showers can be tough for some people so they do offer semi-private curtained showers, but they fill quickly.
The Lack of Instruction
After you pay you really are on your own. We managed to meander our way to the locker rooms and observed the proper steps from there. The time spent in limbo trying to figure out where to go and what to do next was definitely a bummer though. The basic steps after entry are to: find a locker, strip down and shower, get on your suit, and then make your way to the lagoon. After a little random navigating in the locker rooms you should be able to find the showers and the exit.
Some customers seem to forget basic etiquette during their visit. Whether they are having a splash war, running to take the shower, or generally causing a scene, there's no shortage of poor behavior. The crowds are obviously another key factor here, more people means a higher chance of inappropriate behavior. On the bright side, most people do seem to respect others and their surroundings. Like they say though, one bad apple. If it worries you, avoiding peak times will help to alleviate this problem.
It's Not Family Friendly
Just trust us! Many of the couples seem to get caught up in the romance of the lagoon. It's kind of like they're having their own hot tub party... yuck. If you do take kids along, be sure to stick to open areas of the pool where people are on their best behavior. You can also try to arrive in the middle of the day and most of the issues are mitigated. Again, fewer crowds.
Almost forgot? Remember to pin our honest Blue Lagoon Iceland Review for later 🙂
Ultimately, if you have spent the money to get Iceland, we recommend you visit the the Blue Lagoon at least once. While it does have its downsides the tranquil blue waters manage to wash them all away. Our main takeaways would be to be sure to avoid peak times from 10 AM – 2 PM and 4 PM – 6PM, book online beforehand (it's required), and pack a towel to save a couple bucks.
So please let us know in the comments below… Have you ever been or would you ever go to the Blue Lagoon? After reading our Blue Lagoon Iceland review, would you still visit? Still have questions or comments, let us know in the comments! Where’s your next vacation taking you? Please remember to like and share😊 God Bless, K+J!
Want to read more about Iceland? Check out these posts!
- What We Wish We’d Done in Iceland
- What We'd Spend More Time Doing in Iceland
- 5 Things We Wouldn’t Do Again in Iceland
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Verse of the Week: James 1:17
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."
Something we're trying to incorporate into everyone of our blogs is a quick devotional. As Christians we believe it is important to spread the good news and take account of all we've been blessed with. The ability to worship freely, the gift of traveling the earth, having companionship and good friends to share our joys and concerns with, the list of blessings goes on and on. Most importantly, every single one of these gifts have been given to us by our creator. They won't be taken away or withheld from us. We were made by a loving God who cares for us and wants to see us prosper. This week, we encourage you to take a look at the gifts you've received and remember to thank God for them.
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