You can’t visit Iceland without checking out the Blue Lagoon. Oh, I’ve heard all the arguments against it: It’s a tourist trap. It’s a manmade attraction. It’s expensive. All these claims are at least somewhat true—but that doesn’t detract from the fact that the Blue Lagoon is still pretty freaking awesome.
Located in a lava field midway between Reykjavik and the airport, the Blue Lagoon is a perfect last stop in Iceland before you fly home, as Nicole, our friend Carri, and I discovered during our recent visit. With an early evening flight, we had a whole morning to kill—and what better way to while away the time than by relaxing in a geothermal spa?
We pulled up to the Blue Lagoon at about 9:30 on the morning of our departure, winter dictating that it was still pitch black outside. Still, we could make out the steam floating up from the water as we stowed our luggage and checked out the gift shop, waiting for the facilities to open.
Yes, there are plenty of other tourists, but the spacious complex and constant steam can make you feel like you’re almost alone. Go early as we did, and you’ll likely even have the place to yourself for a bit. And don’t forget to eat: We capped our visit with lunch in the on-site restaurant—where else can you eat gourmet sushi in a bathrobe?