Ahh, what a good final day in Iceland! If you’ve been to the Blue Lagoon, you know what I’m talking about. The whole reason it exists is to provide a place to relax and, in some cases, even help alleviate some skin issues (it’s all that mineral-rich water, ya know). And I’m sure making money is some kind of priority for them too and we happily forked some over to be there. Worth it!
Now, is going to any kind of spa at the top of my list when traveling? No, not really. I don’t get much out of spas, but the Blue Lagoon is one of those places you kind of have to visit when you’re in Iceland. It’s not as straight-forward as just showing up at their door though – oh no! You need to pre-book in advance (at least a day or two, I should think) to make sure you can get in when you arrive. Perhaps unsurprisingly, we booked our trip through Viator again and it worked like a charm. They do have several Blue Lagoon options, some of which only provide transportation and some of which include your booking/entrance fee, so choose wisely. And if you’re just coming to Iceland on a long layover, don’t worry! There are options built specifically for that which include transportation to/from the airport. Pretty slick! The Blue Lagoon itself seems to be set up very well to accommodate layover guests as they have a building specifically for luggage storage. So don’t miss it!
Per the second link above, there are different levels of entrance tickets – we just opted for the Standard entry. Your mileage may vary of course, so pick the level that works the best for you based on the perks you want (or in our case, don’t want)! We didn’t want to have to mess with packing swimsuits or towels, but that wasn’t a problem because you can rent them both there for around ~$12 USD. We were totally willing to pay for that convenience! For the men’s suits (no idea on the women’s suits – sorry ladies!), I recommend going one size larger than you would normally wear at home (European clothes always fit smaller). And guys, if you’re worried about having to wear a Speedo, don’t be – they’re plain ol’ trunks. 🙂
Overall, I was really impressed with the facility – it’s VERY clean and operates really efficiently. Upon check-in, you’re given a bracelet that controls everything you need. It’s how you get through the turnstyle at the entrance and exit, it’s how you lock/unlock your locker, and it’s how you pay for things at the swim-up bar and café. Genius! The only downside is that it causes a bit of a traffic jam when you leave because a staff member scans it on your way out and then you pay for whatever you charged on it while you were there. I couldn’t help thinking how much less efficient the Blue Lagoon would work if it was in the US instead of in Iceland, but thankfully, that’s not a problem!
The lagoon itself is nice – the water really looks blue, but it’s actually milky-white due to the silica it picks up from where it originates, about a mile underground. It’s actually the sun’s reflection that makes it look blue, but it’s gorgeous regardless of the reason! It’s kept at about 100° F, which feels amazing in Iceland’s cooler temperatures (it was about 55° outside when we were there). Once you’re in the water, it’s all about relaxing, swimming around, and enjoying the lagoon’s famous silica mask. You can also opt to purchase additional massages and spa treatments – it’s up to you. Since we weren’t doing anything extra, we enjoyed the water for about 90 minutes, got out, changed, and ate a little meal in their café. They also have what I’m told is a great restaurant on-site, but since we weren’t all that hungry, we opted not to eat there.
Take a look at our Blue Lagoon experience in pictures below!
I wasn’t sure if we would do anything else today, but we did make a couple more stops. The first was to the Handknitting Association of Iceland so we could check out some authentic wool items (handmade, even!). Our Airbnb hosts recommended this place as a good one to visit to find genuine, handmade goods so we could support local craftspeople vs. buying stuff that’s commercially-made. The prices aren’t cheap (a handmade sweater will run you well over $100 USD), but the quality is supposed to be amazing. Check it out when you’re in Reykjavik!
The other stop we made was to Perlan, which is a combination tourist destination, observation deck, shopping stop, and revolving restaurant, all rolled into one and sitting about 85 feet in the air on four hot water tanks. So, you’re not likely to find anything else like this anywhere else! While we didn’t eat at the restaurant (it doesn’t open until 6p and we were there before that), we did enjoy the observation deck (and maybe a snack in their café). The observation deck provides great views of Reykjavik and it’s free! A word of warning though – since it sits on a hill, the walk up to it can be a bit grueling, especially at the end of the day. I believe there’s a bus stop there though, so that’s another option if your walking shoes are worn out. However you get there, I recommend adding it to your Reykjavik itinerary.
A few more pictures? Why not!
And that just about closes the Iceland chapter of this trip! Tomorrow, it’s off to Norway (first to Oslo, and then to Bergen). We’re flying on SAS, which neither of us have used before. They look nice, but if anyone has any feedback on them, drop it in the comments! Oslo is another two hours ahead of Reykjavik, so it will be close to 6p by the time we get to our apartment there. Remember that this is a trip of first-time visits for us, so we’re accepting all suggestions of things to see/do/eat, so leave your feedback below.
See you in Norway!