The Blue Lagoon is a popular geothermal resort in southwestern Iceland, located on the Reykjanes Peninsula, 38 from the capital Reykjavik. The geothermal complex consists of several pools of bright blue water and is one of the main attractions of Iceland.
The picturesque Blue Lagoon is surrounded by lava fields and fantastic landscapes covered with gray-black blocks. In places, piles of lava are covered with pillows of green moss, and in the distance you can see the outline of the Svartsenga geothermal plant. The Blue Lagoon is a one-of-a-kind natural monument on the planet, and 300,000 people from all over the world come here every year.
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Video: Blue Lagoon
So how did this unusual thermal body of water form? Seawater escapes to the depths through porous lava. In the depths of the earth are geothermal underground reservoirs consisting of sea water (65%) and fresh water (35%) heated to a temperature of +100 ° C. As it rises to the surface, the water cools to +37. +40 ° C. Silicon dioxide, which is very abundant in the Blue Lagoon, refracts the sun’s rays, which makes the natural body of water get its amazing color. Depending on lighting and time of day, it varies from bright turquoise to greenish and milky blue.
It is noteworthy that both in summer and winter, the water in the Blue Lagoon has a comfortable temperature for swimming, so the resort operates all year round. Many people like to swim in the hot water on frosty days and watch the flashes of northern lights. In Iceland, which is completely covered in snow in winter, the hot baths allow you to relax and forget about the cold.
People come to the Blue Lagoon not only for recreation, but also for treatment. The water contains many mineral compounds and blue-green algae. The salts of the minerals have a strong relaxing and therapeutic effect.
The water in the Blue Lagoon is renewed every two days and the purity of the thermal pool is ensured by taking daily water samples. The prestigious status of the spa is confirmed by the Blue Flag. This international award is given only to those beaches with the highest international standards of cleanliness, service and safety.
History of the Blue Lagoon Resort
The Reykjanes Peninsula is formed by porous lava and has high geothermal activity. The last eruptions here took place about 800 years ago. In 1976 the Svartsengi geothermal plant was built on the peninsula. It was the first plant in Iceland where steam from underground reservoirs 2 km deep was used to generate electricity and heat buildings. Around Svartsengi, a large lagoon of 8.7 thousand square meters was formed naturally, reaching a depth of 1 to 3 meters.
As time passed, the station workers began to notice that the water in the Blue Lagoon had healing properties. Those who bathed in the hot waters were cured of skin diseases, joint diseases, and their well-being significantly improved.
In the 1980s, the first equipped bathing facilities were built on the Blue Lagoon, which gradually grew into a modern spa complex. Nowadays there is a hotel near the thermal pool. Included in the price is a visit to the thermal pools and breakfast. However, most tourists come here for one day.
Treatment and recovery
Bathing and white clay from the bottom of the reservoir are used for the therapeutic effect. Many vacationers bathe by putting a clay mask on their face. Included in the water and clay blue-green algae have a beneficial effect on the skin, softening and nourishing it. Healing clay is used for cosmetic procedures and for applications for skin diseases. After its application the skin is purified, getting elasticity and firmness.
Visitors to the Blue Lagoon travelers need to be aware that long bathing in highly mineralized hot water dehydrates the body. Everyone taking a warm bath is advised to drink plenty of plain water before and during the procedure. In addition, the water in the lagoon dries the hair, so after bathing is worth using a conditioner. Moreover, in the showers of the resort complex shower gel and shampoo-conditioner for free.
An hour and a half to two hours of staying in the hot water is quite enough to achieve a state of complete relaxation. After visiting the Blue Lagoon you should not plan a large motor activity and long walks. A relaxed body will find it hard to cope.
Blue Lagoon today.
The main part of the Blue Lagoon resort complex is the spacious outdoor thermal pools. These are warm bathers surrounded by black fields of frozen lava. The lagoon is equipped with bridges, comfortable passages, and small waterfalls, with which you can massage the muscles of the shoulder girdle.
Near the ponds built a modern spa complex “Blue Lagoon”, the road to which is cut through the thickness of the lava. In front of the buildings is a large free parking, where the paved walkway.
From a distance, the reservoir looks blue, but up close, the color of its water appears white. Smooth clay bottom and an average depth of 1.5 meters make it very comfortable to swim here. Water is opaque, so you should move along the bottom of the reservoir slowly.
When the temperature of the Blue Lagoon drops to +37 ° C, its surface forms a white mush. This happens because the water contains many salts of silicon. The concentration of this mineral reaches up to 140 mg/kg. The viscous mush sinks to the bottom of the Blue Lagoon and clogs the lava, making it watertight. From this, the body of water is constantly enlarging. Today it reaches several kilometers in length and is up to 200 meters wide.
In the Blue Lagoon you can not only swim. On the shore built several steam baths and sauna. There is also a clinic where consultations are held by medical specialists. Blue Café and Lava Restaurant are open for visitors.
In addition, the resort has a store, where they sell natural cosmetics – masks and creams of the popular brand “Blue Lagoon”. In the store they also sell beautiful lava costume jewelry and knitwear made of warm and soft Icelandic wool.
Useful information for tourists
The resort is open all year round. It opens at 8:00 a.m. and finishes receiving guests between 3:00 p.m. and 24:00 p.m., depending on the day of the week and the season. If a tourist group of 11 people or more comes to the Blue Lagoon and does not plan to swim, it can book a guided tour. Such a tour is conducted in English and costs 15 euros per person.
Entrance to the Blue Lagoon is paid. The price depends on the time of day, season and the requested package. On average, a visit to the resort costs 33-40 euros for adults and 15 euros for children 14-15 years. Children under 13 years can swim in the lagoon for free.
Visitors are given a plastic bracelet with a magnetic chip, which opens a personal locker. The wristband is water resistant and you can safely swim in it. Dressing rooms are divided into men’s and women’s. There are showers and toilets. On the territory of the Blue Lagoon there is a storage room, where you can leave bulky luggage. The cost per piece of luggage is 4 euros.
Blue Lagoon guests should not forget their swimsuit/swimsuit, towel and bathrobe. No special shoes other than the usual flip-flops are needed here, as there is nowhere to hurt your feet. Conveniently, towels, bathrobes and flip-flops can be rented on the spot. Visiting time is not limited, but because of the high salinity in the hot water is difficult to sustain more than two hours.
Thermal water spoils jewelry, especially silverware, so you should remove it before bathing. On a clear day, you should wear dark glasses because the surface of the milky-blue body of water strongly reflects sunlight.
Visitors to the Blue Lagoon are asked to take care of the northern nature, which is hard to regenerate. All tourists are advised to use the paved paths, not to climb the lava ledges and not to trample the green moss.
How to get there
Blue Lagoon is 38 kilometers from Reykjavik. You can get to the resort by cab or by bus from the bus station. The trip takes 40-50 minutes.
In 15 km to the north-west of the Blue Lagoon is the largest international airport in Iceland Keflavík. There are no direct flights from Russia. You can reach this airport with connections in Oslo, Riga, Helsinki, Copenhagen and other European cities. The trip from the airport to the Blue Lagoon takes 20-25 minutes.
Most Icelandic tour operators organize bus tours to the popular thermal lake. As a rule, children under 11 years travel for free, and for children from 12 to 17 years is a 50% discount. Residents of Iceland prefer to come to the Blue Lagoon by private cars.
Blue Lagoon Thermal Spring in Iceland (Bláa lónið)
One of the most famous and popular thermal springs in Iceland is the Blue Lagoon Lake. It is located 40 km from Reykjavik and 23 km from Keflavik airport on the Reykjanes Peninsula part of which is protected by UNESCO as a national park. This place attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world every year.
The peninsula is notable for its geological activity: there are several thermal springs, open displays of volcanic activity occur, and the landscape of the peninsula is endless, covered with sparse vegetation and mosses, fields of frozen lava. The landscape that surrounds Blue Lagoon was shaped in 1226 after the tremendous eruption of the Eldborg Volcano. All electricity on the peninsula is generated by power plants that use the energy of thermal springs, and Blue Lagoon Lake was formed near one of these power plants.
Ticket prices 2022 to the Blue Lagoon
There are several options for visiting the complex. There are trips and tours designed for several days with accommodation in one of the hotels: the cost differs depending on the category of rooms. Check the availability and cost of rooms on the website of the complex. When staying here for a few days, keep in mind that there is nothing else around for a few kilometers except this complex. Hotel Silica is organized by the clinic for the treatment of psoriasis, information on treatment can be seen on its official website.
Most often tourists come here for a day. The baths are open from 10:00-21:00 in June and May, and from 9:00 to 20:00 at other times.
Visitors are offered two day programs: Comfort (62 €), and Premium (80 €). They include the bathing itself, a mud mask, a drink at the bar of your choice and a towel. The Premium Package also includes an extra mask, bathrobe, slippers and a glass of champagne at the Lava Restaurant. Children up to 13 years old are admitted free of charge, children up to 15 years old receive a discount. Additional services are available for a fee: massage, sauna, medical procedures.
Guests are given plastic wristbands from the locker. There are all the necessary services: locker rooms, showers with shampoos, conditioners and hair dryers, toilets, bathrobes and slippers for rent, its own storage room for large things. According to reviews, the resort in the season is overcrowded and the showers may be in line.
Be careful! From bathing in mineral water can darken gold and silver jewelry, so it is better to remove them. It is also recommended to remove glasses and contact lenses – the water can damage them. Your head should be wet with care: the water is very “hard” here. It is recommended to apply a special conditioner to the hair before bathing. Children are allowed in the baths from 2 years.
In addition to bathing, guided tours of the area are available for organized groups.
The lake .
The lake is of artificial origin: it is an accumulation pond next to the Svartsengi power plant. The power plant runs on thermal energy, pumping heated water from underground reservoirs at a depth of 2 km through wells. It is a mixture of sea water and fresh water, which is enriched with mineral salts and silicon dioxide along the way. The water temperature is about 200° C at depth: it immediately turns into steam as soon as the pressure is lowered, which is how the power plant works. Once in the lake, water is cooled to a comfortable temperature of 38-40 °. The area of the formed lake is about 9 thousand square meters, its depth is up to 3 meters. The lake is irregularly shaped, with indented bays and picturesque shores, its maximum width is 200 m, and its length is about 3 km.
The lake was named after silicon dioxide, which gives the water its bluish hue. But in fact, the water is not transparent, but milky blue: the second component of the water is a suspension of white mineral clay. The bottom of the “ennobled” and arranged for bathing sections of the lake is made of clay. Finally, the lake is not lifeless: single-celled blue-green algae proliferate here.
This place is fantastically beautiful. In 2012. Blue Lagoon was included in the list of 25 wonders of the world by National Geographic.
At first, the pond was purely technical, but since the early 80’s the locals began to bathe here, and in the early 90’s were noticed the healing properties of the local water. In 1992, doctor Grimoire Samundsen began studying them, and in 1995 a cosmetic line based on three elements was launched: algae, white clay and silica. These products can now be purchased in the spa store or ordered from the official online store.
In 1999, the first wellness center was opened on the shores of the lake, and in 2005, a clinic for psoriasis and other skin diseases was opened. In 2018, a full-fledged Blue Lagoon resort was established here. It includes two hotel complexes (Silica and Retreat Hotel) and two restaurants (LAVA and Moss). The Retreat Hotel’s lobby is decorated with a large collection of 1600 pieces of 20th century ceramics, collected by the artist Anna Ejolfdottir. Moss Restaurant is on the highest point of the resort and has stunning views of the surrounding area. It has its own wine cellar carved right into the lava. It is a fine dining establishment and is listed in the Michelin guide. Restaurant Lava is located on the very beach by the thermal complex: during the day you can come here in your bathrobe after the procedures.
The resort includes an underground spa complex, saunas and steam rooms. There are several parking lots and a store. Right in the bathing area is a bar with drinks, there is a place with a waterfall.
In addition to bathing, you can walk around the lake. Architect-designer Sigrid Sijorsdottir has designed it so as not to disturb the natural beauty: among the lava fields there are neat paths, from which it is not recommended to walk.
Panorama of the Blue Lagoon baths on a Google map
How to get there
A visit to the Blue Lagoon is usually part of most sightseeing tours of Iceland. You can also book a round trip (or round trip) transfer from Reykjavík and Keflavík on the resort’s own website, or you can buy both a transfer and a ticket to visit at once. The transfer from Keflavik airport can be booked directly there at the Direct desk.
By car. The Blue Lagoon can be reached independently from Reykjavik by highway 41 following the signs. There is free parking next to the resort.
By bus. From the Kringlan station in Reykjavik, there is a municipal bus number 55 to the Blue Lagoon.
By cab. It is easy to get here by cab from anywhere in Iceland. There are services like Kiwitaxi, Uber, but there are also local apps like Hey Taxi Iceland.