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The Blue Lagoon, Iceland is among the most famous tourist attractions in Iceland and is located only 20 kms from Keflavik International Airport. It is a human-made lagoon that was created serendipitously from water released from a geothermal power plant that drills for hot water and steam. Visitors to the geothermal spa love to bathe in the Blue Lagoon because the water is rich in minerals and blue-green algae which have proven to be extremely beneficial for the skin. Many people with skin conditions like psoriasis have found great relief by bathing in the Blue Lagoon waters. The water is warm (around 39°C) throughout the year and always remains warm because the water gets completely renewed every 48 hours by the continuous water stream from the plant. The lagoon has been upgraded in a state of the art wellness center fully equipped with modern spa and treatment facilities such as saunas, massage stations, in-water massages, in-house skincare products using ingredients sourced from the lagoon and other amenities. Overall, the Blue Lagoon, Iceland is an excellent spot for those who want to unwind, destress, and relax in therapeutic and nourishing warm waters, while getting a top-notch spa treatment for their skin.
Nearest Airport: Keflavik International airport
How to reach: 20 min drive from Keflavik airport
Famous for: Hot water pools rich with minerals
Best time to visit: Jan to Dec
Main attractions: Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, Alien lava field, Northern lights or Aurora Borealis (October to March), The Retreat Spa.
Restaurants and bars: Blue Lagoon Bar, Lava Restaurant, Moss Restaurant, Spa Restaurant, and Café.
The Blue Lagoon, Iceland history dates back to 1976 when it formed next to a geothermal power plant called Svartsengi. The power plant drills for hot water at around 200°C, which cannot be used for warming up houses (as the minerals will damage the pipes), but is instead used to heat freshwater that is supplied to the homes. The excess hot water is drained into the nearby lava field which is believed to be from a volcanic eruption in the year 1226. The water accumulated over time and formed what is now the Blue Lagoon.
The first person who tried bathing in the Blue Lagoon was Valur Margeirsson, who suffered from psoriasis and decided to dip in it for the first time after getting permission from the plant in 1981. He subsequently discovered that the minerals and algae could do wonders for his skin condition and christened it the Blue Lagoon, a name which stuck for posterity.
It opened to the public in 1987, with locals with skin problems being the first visitors to the lagoon, until it bloomed into a tourist hotspot. In 1999, it was moved further away from the plant and was refurbished with modern amenities.
Is the Water in The Blue Lagoon Natural?
The water in the Blue Lagoon is not natural since the lagoon itself is not a natural phenomenon, but the water is completely safe and does not contain any harmful toxins, and only dissolved minerals and blue-green algae mixed in seawater that has proven to be highly beneficial for the skin. Some of the dissolved minerals include silica, chloride, and natron (sea salt), calcium, and traces of sulphur, carbonate, and magnesium. The water is clean, and its average temperature is around 39°C throughout the year. It always remains this way because the water gets completely renewed every 48 hours by the continuous water stream coming from the plant.
Bathing in the Blue Lagoon is not your typical swimming pool experience. There are a few essential measures to take before entering it. They are elaborated below:-
Guests are expected to shower before entering the lagoon using the showers provided at the spa.
It is recommended that you wear sunglasses to protect your eyes as the water can get very reflective due to the presence of minerals especially when it gets extremely sunny.
Don’t wear contact lenses as the silica can get stuck in between your eye and the lens.
The high concentration of minerals in the lagoon can make your hair brittle and stiff, so it is advisable to use a conditioner (you can try the lagoon brand or use your own) afterwards.
The minerals can also damage jewellery, so you should take them off before entering.
The lagoon water will not damage your swimsuits, but it is advised to rinse them with cold water and soap after bathing.
Restaurants and Cafés in The Blue Lagoon
The dining experience at The Blue Lagoon, Iceland is enriched by three fine restaurants and a relaxing café. The main restaurants are Lava Restaurant, Moss Restaurant, and Spa Restaurant. Here’s more on them:-
Moss Restaurant: This restaurant is perfect for smart-casual evening dining. The ingredients are fresh, seasonal, and locally sourced, and they even offer a special vegan menu along with their permanent menu and their special chef’s table feast.
Lava Restaurant: The Lava Restaurant is built into an 800-year-old lava cliff on the west bank of the Blue Lagoon, giving it a unique architecture and design. They provide gourmet lunch and dinner menus made from fresh and seasonal ingredients.
Spa Restaurant: The ambience in this restaurant is meant to be relaxed and an after-spa experience—you are even allowed to dine here in your robe. You can choose a fresh and delightful meal from their all-day menu.
Café: The café is open throughout the day, providing an impressive range of snacks and refreshments with a relaxing ambience and a stunning view of the lagoon.
The Blue Lagoon Skin Treatment
The Blue Lagoon, Iceland offers skin treatment and luxury skincare products for people with psoriasis, and it is one of the only treatments available to psoriasis patients. The Blue Lagoon Clinic provides in-house treatment in a private lagoon with UV light therapy and in-house products.
The spa is fully equipped with all the facilities needed in a modern spa such as saunas, showers, massage stations, in-water massages, and much more. They also sell luxurious skin products such as silica mud masks, algae masks, shampoo, hair conditioners, body lotion, foot balm, hand cream, lava scrubs, mineral face exfoliators, day and night creams, moisturizers, eye cream, lip balm, and oils among many more.
What is the Best Time to Visit The Blue Lagoon?
The Blue Lagoon, Iceland is open throughout most of the year and the preferred time to visit are the winter months as it gives visitors a chance to see the Northern Lights. It is also vital that you book your entry tickets in advance to ensure that you get a spot at the spa since the number of tickets available per day is limited.