The Blue Lagoon is not what you're expecting. 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. That said, let's dive into our favorite and least favorite parts about the Blue Lagoon!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
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.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Online, you'll see images of an empty lagoon wrapped in snow. It almost appears as if you could wade through the rising steam without ever seeing another person. In reality, the Blue Lagoon is much like the worlds largest hot tub party. Sure it's a nice hot tub, but it's a crowded, sweaty hot tub party nonetheless. Now some of you don't mind sharing, and that's fine, we've got plenty more to tell. Enjoy!
Hey there! Don't forget to pin our review of the Blue Lagoon for later 🙂
Our favorite things about the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is only 20 minutes from the airport and only 45 minutes from Reykjavik. It's perfect for a quick layover adventure or afternoon day trip. The drive from Reykjavik is actually pretty easy and fairly well marked. The roads are all paved and well maintained so there's no need to worry about getting stuck. Trust us, that's a real concern for anyone familiar with the region. If you're making a quick trip between flights there are numerous tours direct from the airport. By planning ahead, even a 3-4 hour layover can be spent at the lagoon. If you're heading back to the capital after, check out these Five Free Things to do in Reykjavik!
Everyone 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 speak 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 people this isn't a huge deal. If it isn't for you just go ahead and skip to the next section. For people looking to commit your time at the Blue Lagoon to memory you're in luck. The entire lagoon is camera friendly (with exception of the locker rooms). Lots of people splurged on the little waterproof cases they sold at the entryway but if you're careful 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.
The water at the Blue Lagoon truly is as advertised. It's kind of a foggy, opaque color in direct sun but shifts to the vibrant blue 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). The lagoon even has warm and cold areas. Temperatures range anywhere from 98° F to 104° F.
For the nerds out there like us, we have some cool facts about the lagoon's waters. The source of the water is over 6,500 feet below the earth's surface. Every 48 hours all of the water in the Blue Lagoon is recycled. Meaning, in only 2 days the pool has "emptied" and refilled itself with hot, clean, blue water! Overall, the lagoon holds around 1.5 million gallons of water. That's like filling 30,000 bathtubs.
Want to learn how to save hundreds on flights? Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you our exclusive guide for free! In it we share our favorite secret travel hacks that consistently save us hundreds on airfare. Sign up to see for yourself!
The worst things about 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. We just 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 shining proudly on their nose. On the bright side, kids are free, and teens are around half price. Go kiddoes! More coming on the family friendly note later.
In the sake of honesty, the picture above was taken in a hidden 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 Blue Lagoon Iceland will look like in 10 years... we'd guess like an over-stuffed aquarium. 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. 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.
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 exit.
The Locker Rooms
The Blue Lagoon had stunning facilities and the locker rooms were no exception. Only there were 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 just wearing a wrist strap and key would have been.
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 private curtained showers, but they all fill quickly. Regardless of the level of privacy you choose.
Some customers seem to forget basic etiquette during their visit. Whether they are have a splash war, rush to take the shower, or generally cause a scene there's certainly no shortage of entertainment. 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 their environment. 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 seemed 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 review of the Blue Lagoon for later 🙂
Ultimately, if you have spent the money to get Iceland, we recommend you visit the the Blue Lagoon at least once. There are plenty of amazing things to do in Iceland but no trip is complete without a dip in the Blue Lagoon. 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 hearing our story, 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!
To read more about our time in Iceland check out: