The Blue Lagoon is aimed to be a magical and awe-inspiring experience for all of its visitors, but we left feeling less than inspired. We had been dreaming of visiting the lagoon for months only to find it wasn't exactly what we had expected. Read on to find out why you might be better off saving your money than visiting the Blue Lagoon Iceland.
Oftentimes, you see images of the lagoon capped in snow and almost deserted. It looks foreign and inviting, appearing as though you could wander through the steam rising off the vibrant blue waters without running into any other people. In reality, the Blue Lagoon Iceland is overcrowded and feels as though you can only find some room to breathe by purchasing special access passes. The crowds are probably because of it's proximity to the capital, the airport, and it's first page Google ranking.
Prior to arriving we'd found a deal online for $28 admission, but when we arrived we were told the tickets were invalid. Purchases had to be made online at least 24 hours in advance. Ultimately we spent around $70 per person, keep in mind this didn’t include towels (luckily we had some on hand), algae masks, or access to the "special" pools. So obviously our "budget adventure" walked out the door the moment we walked in, but we were determined to soak in the world's biggest hot tub! Read on to find out everything else we learned the hard way about the famous famous Blue Lagoon Iceland.
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The Four Best Things about The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon Iceland is only 20 minutes from the airport and only 45 minutes from Reykjavik, perfect for a quick layover adventure or afternoon day trip. Check out five free things to do in Reykjavik if you're looking for after you visit the lagoon. Pairing this with the incredible scenery around the lagoon (with exception of the power plant) the location is perfect. The drive from the capitol is extremely easy (in Icelandic standards) so you don't have to sweat getting lost. As for those quick layover adventures, tour buses pile into the parking lot filled with people who want to relax before their next flight.
Everyone who worked at the Blue Lagoon Iceland 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 speak English so communication was a breeze! Whether we were asking about towels, the lagoon itself, or other fun things to do in Iceland, they had answers for us! The staff also seemed to love working there (maybe they get free swims?). Either way, it makes everything so much enjoyable for the guests, so thank you!
It's Camera Friendly
Seriously—you can even take your electronics into the pool itself—just be careful! They even sell waterproof cases at the lagoon so you can take your phone in, we chose just to be extra careful. We wouldn't try testing the cases underwater (it looks like a Ziploc bag) but it should hold up against a splash. Being able to take pictures with your family and friends in the lagoon is one of the best parts. If you're looking for great pictures of the lagoon to share, we recommend getting there early. It really is the only way to avoid the crowds.
The temperature and the color of the lagoon is incredible. They really contribute to the foreign, otherworldly experience. The lagoon even has warm and cold areas, with temperatures ranging from 98° F to 104° F. For the science nerds out there, like me, we have some cool facts about the water to share! The water rises from 6,500 feet below the earth's surface into the lagoon. All of the water in the Blue Lagoon Iceland is recycled within 48 hours. Meaning that in only 2 days the pool has "emptied" and refilled itself with hot, clean water! The Blue Lagoon holds around 1.5 million gallons of warm, blue, geothermal waters. Pretty cool, let us know below which fact you liked the most!
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The Four Worst Things about The Blue Lagoon Iceland
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. You would think that at $70 a person they could more than make their money. The additional charges for towels, face masks, and private pools also makes you feel like you're the invitee to a country club pool. If you're looking for budget adventures in Iceland the Blue Lagoon is not for you. To help bring costs down, be sure to book online beforehand. On the bright side, kids are free, and teens are around half price. Go kiddoes! (More coming on the family friendly note later.)
As Iceland continues to grow in popularity, the lagoon will only get busier. If they are already logging 400,000 annual visitors, one can only imagine what the Blue Lagoon Iceland will look like in 10 years... I'd guess like an over-stuffed aquarium. They do a great job of breaking the lagoon into different pools but, unless you buy access, the private pools are restricted. Shoot for less busy times between 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM or after 6:00 PM to help avoid crowds and more richly enjoy your experience. Just to note: that picture was taken mid-afternoon in the shoulder season, when crowds are at a minimum.
Though not the lagoon’s fault, some customers seem to forget basic etiquette during their visit. Whether they are have a splash war or yelling across the pool, it can be a little annoying. The crowds are obviously another key factor here, more people again means a higher chance of inappropriate behavior. On the bright side, most people really do seem to respect others and where they are. Like they say though, one bad apple. If it worries you, avoiding peak times will help to alleviate this problem.
The Blue Lagoon's Not Family Friendly
Just trust us! Many of the couples seemed to get caught up in the romance of a foreign land, you know what we mean. If you do take kids along just be sure to stick to more open areas of the pool where people are on their best behavior. The changing rooms are well kept and wide open, so you need to be comfortable with changing in front of others. With most hot springs they request you shower completely nude before entering, and the Blue Lagoon Iceland is no different. Minus the sheer amount of people all scurrying for a shower. They do offer small cubicles that afford you a slightly more private shower if you're willing to wait for one.
The Final Verdict
Ultimately, if you have spent the money to get Iceland, we recommend you visit the Blue Lagoon at least once. There are plenty of amazing things to do in Iceland but no trip is complete without the lagoon. Be sure to avoid peak times from 10 AM – 2 PM and 4 PM – 6PM, remember to book online as it will save you time and usually money, and remember to pack towels!
If you're considering visiting the Blue Lagoon Iceland and still have questions please let us know. Have you ever been or would you ever go to the Blue Lagoon? Be sure to let us know in the comments which part of the review you liked best. Please remember to subscribe and share our blog, God Bless!
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