Blue Lagoon: A Guide to Visiting the Salubrious Geothermal Spa in Iceland

Bathe in the warm milky-blue geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon, Iceland, whatever the weather
Bathe in the warm milky-blue geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon, Iceland, whatever the weather | © Peter Barritt / robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
Celia Topping

The next time you visit Iceland, soak in the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon, the country’s most famous spa. Discover more about the water temperature, ticket prices and the best time to visit in our guide to The Blue Lagoon below.

Why visit the Blue Lagoon?

As the most popular tourist attraction in Iceland, your trip really wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the milky-blue warmth of the geothermal Blue Lagoon. Although Iceland is full of natural springs, it may come as a surprise to learn that the Blue Lagoon isn’t one of them – it’s actually man-made, and is fed from the Svartsengi geothermal plant next door.

Don’t let this put you off though. There’s something quite special about soaking in the pale-blue steamy waters, set deep in surreal black basalt lava fields. It may be a little crowded and commercial, but it’s still an attraction you’d be sorry to miss – and a fitting finale to our thrilling five-day Iceland adventure.

Join visitors bathing in The Blue Lagoon, a geothermal bath resort in Iceland, Reykjavik

Submerging in the geothermal seawater is known to bring many health benefits, as it’s enriched with silica, algae and an array of skin-strengthening minerals. Your entrance fee includes a silica mud mask, the iconic white mineral the Lagoon is famed for. Daubing yourself with the mud brings out a naturally radiant glow. You will leave the spa feeling energised and softer than a baby’s proverbial.. ever wondered why Björk always looks so young?

What to expect inside the Blue Lagoon

Your SK 6,990 (£40) entrance ticket includes a towel, silica mud mask and a drink at the swim-up bar. The wristband you’re given on arrival is a convenient way to pay for everything and it locks your locker too. Get changed in the large, modern complex, then make a short sprint through the arctic air into the reviving warmth of the water. It hovers at a delightful temperature of 38C year-round.

The Blue Lagoon welcomes up to 4,000 people a day, so you certainly won’t be alone. For a more exclusive stay, upgrade to the Luxury Retreat for 49,000 ISK (£286) and enjoy unlimited access to two spas, private subterranean and outdoor spaces, and a secluded lagoon. You can also book an in-water massage. Extend your stay by booking a night at one of the two on-site hotels.

What to wear

This is a firmly swimsuit-on spa experience. The only time you must be naked is while showering before entering the lagoon. Although the water is great for your skin, it’s not so good for your hair. So if you’re concerned, take advantage of the free conditioner available in the changing rooms, or simply wear a swim cap.

Best time to visit

Summer is peak time in Iceland. For a more peaceful soak, the dark winter months are ideal. Of course it’s far colder, but enjoying the frosty air in contrast to the sublime warmth of the water is a uniquely glorious pleasure. You’re also far more likely to see the Northern Lights in winter – although probably not at the lagoon itself because light pollution is too great. Get there at opening time for picture-perfect scenes without the crowds, or stay late (it’s open until 11pm) if you prefer your experience to be kid-free.

You can now travel to Iceland with Culture Trip on our adventurous five-day trip out of Reykjavík – led by our Local Insider, this tour will take you to waterfalls and mountains that inspired The Lord of the Rings, along frozen glaciers and into the milky warm waters of the Blue Lagoon.

The bridge over the Blue Lagoon thermal baths and spa

How to get there

The lagoon is on the way from Keflavík Airport to Reykjavik so it makes sense to stop off either on your arrival in Iceland or on your way back home. If you’d rather stop by mid-trip, take Highway 41 to Highway 43 from the capital; it takes around 45 minutes. The Blue Lagoon also offers a return bus transfer from Reykjavik and Keflavik for a fee.

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