As soon as we’d booked our holiday to Iceland I knew that a trip to the Blue Lagoon was going to be a must. It’s so iconic and if you mention Iceland to most people they think of the Blue Lagoon. No bucket list can be without a visit to it. I booked our slot for our visit in advance. If you arrive when a certain time is booked up you may not be allowed in. Although once you are there you can be there all day they like to stagger the number of people that are in the changing rooms. So if you arrive when a coach party does and you aren’t pre-booked you may either be turned away or have to wait a long time. In general, the Blue Lagoon is fully booked so advance booking is essential.
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This was day 19 of our #80dayschallenge to have at least 80 days out in one year.
Visiting the Blue Lagoon in Iceland – Review
The one thing that really struck us about our drive to the Blue Lagoon is how baron it is in this part of Iceland. The Blue Lagoon is located south-west of Reykjavik and takes around 50 minutes to drive there. We were visiting from the south-east so our route took us around the bottom of Iceland. It is an area that has clearly been hit by a lot of volcanoes in the past. There is barely a thing growing there. The drive was one of the highlights of our day for us as we’d never been through a landscape quite like it before.
We used google maps to get us there but once you are close there are a few signposts. There are so few roads in Iceland it’s hard to get lost. As you get closer you can see the steam from the plant and the lagoon rising above the earth. Then as you get even closer the smell of eggs hits you. To be honest the smell in the car park was far worse than at the Lagoon. It isn’t a rotten egg smell but more like someone has just peeled a boiled egg.
It was supposed to be a relatively nice day weather-wise (for winter in Iceland). But here there was a bitterly cold wind blowing and we were dreading getting into our swim costumes. On the walk from the car park to the main entrance, you are literally walking between cut out rock. It gave the whole place quite an atmosphere. To the left of this, there are some other lagoons which are worth having a walk by. The water in them is freezing cold but wonderfully blue and white.
When you arrive at the main building it becomes obvious how busy it can get as they have roped off isles of waiting areas. I had booked us in for 10 am and luckily there was only a couple of other people in the queue. We went to a pre-booked counter and there we were given our wristbands for the day.
The wristbands open and close your locker and also log what you have spent on drinks and or face masks. They have a bar for drinks at the Blue Lagoon and also a bar area where you can use your wristband to purchase or receive your already included face masks. Then when you leave your wristband is scanned again and you then pay what is due. Our entrance ticket included one free drink which we were delighted about as it included any alcohol drink, smoothie or soft drink. We also had one towel each which wasn’t massive but it was fine to swap it for another if it got too wet etc. You can upgrade your package to include a dressing gown and slippers.
The changing rooms
After you are checked in and given your wristbands you then need to scan your wristbands to gain entry to the changing rooms. They have separate male and female changing and each has about 5 areas for changing in. Be warned that they are mostly open changing areas with just 1-2 private cubicles in each section. We never had any trouble finding a private cubicle. Children from 6 years old must go to the correct changing area according to their gender. Luckily my son is 5 so he was able to get dressed with us. They do state on their website that staff members can accompany your child if they are nervous about going in by themselves.
No photos are allowed in the changing rooms. They are very swish and modern but not at all warm. They also have large seated and mirrored areas to dry your hair. It was a bit rocket science getting our lockers to lock but luckily there are plenty of members of staff on hand to help.
Showering – It’s Serious Business
We then had to get showered which is a very serious business. They have shampoo and conditioner in plentiful stock in the showers but you have to virtually undress and there are no locks to the shower doors. They also weren’t very warm. You are advised to literally coat your hair in conditioner and not wash it out. The reason being if your hair gets wet without conditioner on you will more than likely be left with very dry hair for the next week or so. We coated ours in plenty of conditioner and got it wet in the lagoon and all three of us were fine after. Although we did all use plenty of shampoo and conditioner afterwards as well.
Entering the Blue Lagoon
You then go into a large indoor area with tables for spectators and plenty of places to hang your towels. We had been told that we could enter the water of the Blue Lagoon from in here without having to go out in the freezing cold. We could only see an exit door – it later turned out this is where they meant.
Children under 8 years old must wear the armbands that they provide. There is a big basket by the main door of already inflated armbands. You must then put these on your child regardless of if they can swim or not. The bottom of the Blue Lagoon is quite slippy from the mud and you can’t see the bottom at all so I totally understand why this is a requirement. One parent can accompany two children.
The dash from the building to get in the Lagoon was a very cold one but you certainly feel the benefits when you enter the water. The water temperature ranges from 37°C and 40°C (98-104°F). We found that while we were walking around the water temperature would often change quite dramatically. I was so relieved that I’d bought us beach/pool shoes before we left home. I didn’t fancy walking around on a squelchy bottom and these shoes protected our feet from rocks and mud. These are the shoes we took and I can highly recommend them.
In the Blue Lagoon
Most people who visit the Blue Lagoon walk around. It was rare to see anyone swimming. Because my son couldn’t touch the bottom he swam around but a lot of the time I carried him with me as the Blue Lagoon is huge and little legs can soon tire. The funniest thing is seeing everyone walking around holding their phones, GoPros and drinks in the air. Everyone there is so friendly and people often chatted to us as we passed them. If you can see a wooden area on the edge the chances are very high that there is somewhere to sit hidden in the water.
As mentioned above there is a bar where you can get drinks and also a bar where you can get face masks. It is so handy using your wristband to ‘pay’ for what you want. We spent almost two hours in the water walking about, drinking and exploring.
Make sure you do exit via the door that leads inside from the water as there’s a lovely little cave right by the exit door. My son also loved going under the bridges and it’s certainly one of the highlights for him. You can see by his face below just how much he enjoyed being at the Blue Lagoon. It was a highlight for all of us and an experience we aren’t likely to forget.
Eating at the Blue Lagoon
Because we arrived at 10 am and we were out of the pool around lunchtime we had no choice but to eat at the Blue Lagoon. It’s miles to anywhere else in the direction we were going back in. We ate at the cafe which overlooks part of the Blue Lagoon. It was jaw-dropping expensive but oh my goodness was it good. My Mum loved her sandwich and I had some of the best sushi I’ve ever tasted. Yum. They weren’t especially child-friendly when it came to food but we made do.
I did sneak a peek at the menu for the restaurant that they also have there. It was about three times the price of the cafe but some of the dishes sounded wonderful. There are not many places you can eat with a setting quite like the Blue Lagoon.
Children aged 13 and younger are admitted free when accompanied by a parent or guardian. The minimum age for using the Blue Lagoon is two years old. This is because children younger than two are highly sensitive to the water’s elevated mineral content.
You are welcome to bring your own towel, dressing gown and or slippers. You are also allowed to wear flip flops and pool shoes in the water but no other form of shoes are allowed in the Lagoon.
We booked the cheaper comfort package. My 5-year-old was free and then we paid ISK 6 990 each (approx. £44). This included – Entrance to the Blue Lagoon, Silica mud mask, Use of a towel and 1st drink of your choice. This does not include a drink for a free child. You can book online here.
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