The Blue Lagoon
Iceland’s best-known hotspot, the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is the perfect place to start or end your Iceland holiday. Gently steaming at around 37-40°C, the idyllic open-air lagoon is deservedly popular and therefore pre-booking is required.
Imagine immersing yourself in warm, mineral-rich water from 2,000m underground, soaking in minerals as well as the stunning rugged scenery all around. Total bliss! Wading into the languid waters, you can scoop up silica mud for a rejuvenating face mask, or order a healthy smoothie from the swim-up bar. The Blue Lagoon is easily big enough for you to find your own quiet space for total relaxation, and there are various spa treatments available as well.
Where is the Blue Lagoon?
Just 23 km (a 20-minute drive) from Keflavik International Airport, the Blue Lagoon is located in the rugged lavascape of the Reykjanes Peninsula in south-west Iceland. It can easily be added to the beginning or end of your itinerary after you’ve landed at Keflavik, or before your flight home. Just ask one of our Iceland Travel Specialists to pre-book a visit. If you want to stay nearby, we recommend the Northern Light Inn – as well as a 360-degree observation lounge, perfect for aurora spotting during winter, it’s right next door to the Blue Lagoon. The capital, Reykjavik, is 47 km (about a 50-minute drive) away. Our 3-night Reykjanes Explorer and Blue Lagoon Break is based here.
The water is actually a milky-white colour but the silica it contains as well as the way it reflects sunlight, produces a dramatic turquoise tone!
There are 9 million litres of naturally self-cleansing water in the Blue Lagoon and the entire contents of the lagoon are renewed every 40 hours.
The lagoon at it’s shallowest part is 0.8 metres / 2.6 feet, perfect for perching or those that don’t want to swim. At it’s deepest it reaches 1.2 metres / 5.9 foot deep.
The Blue Lagoon covers 8,700m2 which is about the area of 1¼ football pitches! So there’s plenty of space for you to find your own little piece of serenity!
Most visitors spend a couple of hours in the water and around 3-4 hours in total including snacks or lunch at the restaurant or treatments at the spa.
Our favourite time to visit the Blue Lagoon is in the winter, when it’s cold outside the water feels gloriously warm. At nighttime you can lay back and enjoy the stars.
The Blue Lagoon is open year round, with opening hours as follows:
1 Jan – 24 May 8:00 – 22:00
25 May – 28 Jun 7:00 – 23:00
29 Jun – 19 Aug 7:00 – 00:00
20 Aug – 1 Oct 8:00 – 22:00
2 Oct – 31 Dec 8:00 – 21:00
What can I do at the Blue Lagoon?
Relax! The expanded lagoon was completed in January 2016 and has a new area for ‘enhanced tranquillity and relaxation’. Another new addition includes an in-water spa treatment area where you can indulge in a floating massage featuring the Blue Lagoon’s signature range of scrubs, wraps and oils. At the Silica Bar in the main lagoon, simply help yourself to handfuls of wonderfully squidgy, soft silica mud, apply to your face and body, leave for five minutes, then rinse off for soft, radiant skin. There are also sauna and steam rooms carved into the natural lava around the lagoon, while a spectacular manmade waterfall provides an invigorating dousing.
As well as a relaxation area next to the changing rooms (modern and spacious with private lockers activated by wristbands), there is an Exclusive Lounge for privacy and an extra touch of luxury. Built into a basalt cliff with views across the Blue Lagoon, the Lava Restaurant offers contemporary fine dining using local Icelandic ingredients, while the Blue Café – with its spectacular floor-to-ceiling windows – is the place to head for light bites. A shop stocks the full range of Blue Lagoon skincare products.
Exploring the Reykjanes Peninsula
The bewitching backdrop to the Blue Lagoon, the Reykjanes Peninsula is an extraordinary landscape full of other geothermal and volcanic surprises. It is well worth spending a day or more roaming this desolate, gnarled finger of land. You can join our excursion from Reykjavik or explore at leisure as part of a self drive holiday.
Highlights of the Reykjanes Peninsula (a UNESCO Global Geopark) include mysterious Lake Kleifarvatn and the conspicuous cone-shaped peak of Keilir, formed during subglacial eruptions in the last Ice Age. You can witness bubbling mud pits and steaming vents at Gunnuhver and walk across the Bridge between Continents, which straddles the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. At Katlahraun there are amazing basalt formations where lava flowed into the sea some 2,000 years ago, while Hafnaberg is renowned for its sea cliffs – home to nesting guillemots and other species during summer.