Don’t Miss: Morning at Iceland’s Blue Lagoon

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.

The Blue Lagoon in January—at 9 a.m.!

There are many words to describe the Blue Lagoon, but “sublime” might be the most accurate. The cold air, the warm water, the DIY silica mud masks that left our skin silky soft even on as we boarded our plane, the swim-up bar, and the light snow that fell as we lounged in the cerulean blue spa… it doesn’t get much better than that.

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?

A blue cocktail at the Blue Lagoon.


233 thoughts on “Don’t Miss: Morning at Iceland’s Blue Lagoon

      • Sounds perfect…now where did I put those airline tickets to Iceland? Would “The Secret Garden,” by Mr.. DuBour, be similar?…At OUR POETRY CORNER? on Word Press?

      • Thanks for reminding me how wonderful the blue Lagoon is. Soft skin, warmth, relaxation!!!
        No creatures can live around the sulfur. They all need fresh drinking water. It is totally natural, except for the building to change your clothes in.
        It always used to be free: Free bus from the airport, free swimming. I hope it has not changed.
        Iceland is expensive, but it is still my favorite layover. I plan my flights so I have at least 4 or so hours to go swimming.

    • I visited Iceland in May and we also hit the lagoon…definitely something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Glad you were able to go, too!

  1. I LOVED the Blue Lagoon. It was probably my favorite “excursion,” if you want to call it that, while I was in Iceland. It is an absolute must for all tourists to Iceland.

  2. Hey…I want a blue cocktail!!!


    What an amazing place — awesome post. I’m a freelance writer too (full time, baby!), yet I don’t find myself globetrotting in cool locales. In fact, this weekend I’m spending in a haunted hotel for an article I’m writing for a lifestyle magazine.

    Must figure out how to do the Blue Lagoon!

    • I don’t know, a haunted hotel sounds pretty darn cool to me! Nic and I are traveling on our own dime, sadly. (I’m a full-time freelancer, but I get paid mostly to write about health and wellness, not travel.)

  3. I’m heading to Iceland in June and was thinking I could skip the Blue Lagoon because “It’s a tourist trap. It’s a manmade attraction. It’s expensive.”

    I think I’ve been convinced!!

    • Don’t skip it! You can hit it up for a few hours on the way to or from the airport—the bus goes right there.

  4. Beautiful pictures – thank you. I will definitely have to go to Iceland one day. For now I just have to make do with Icelandic book for A Year of Reading the World, which arrived this week. It looks great there though.

  5. Ugh, I’m pining for Blue Lagoon so badly now. I went last year and it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. We also had a fluttering of snow when we went – gorgeous isn’t it?

    • Thanks! I have a degree in writing and publishing, so I’ve always been in this field, although I was on staff for many years before going off on my own. Best advice I can give is network, network, network. It’s all about who you know. And try not to write for free if you can help it (unless you’re blogging). Good luck!

      • Would you consider writing for product writing for free (I do theatre and concert reviews for free but my wife and I get to see a lot of cool stuff without paying)? It’s funny, but I might start writing for a small magazine which will pay me $10 per review and this really excites me. Thanks for the reply.

    • Allegedly, it’s between 98 and 102 degrees F. Carri and I LOVE hot water, so we could have handled it even warmer; Nic is sensitive to heat, so she was often too warm. I guess it’s all relative! Definitely wasn’t ever too cold, though.

  6. Thanks, everyone! Iceland is a super-easy trip if you live in Boston or New York: It’s about a 4.5-hour direct flight, and IcelandAIr is always running great package deals, which is what we did. Our friend Carri came from London, and she said that was very easy, too.

  7. Oh, wow! See? Shocked into monosyllables! What a brilliant place.
    I’m hoping to enter the Icelandic Highland Games next summer, so now my brain is plotting furiously to fit in a visit to the Blue Lagoon around that…
    Thanks for sharing!

  8. I think maybe it’s scenes like this that attract readers to Nordic crime fiction…whether the authors describe this scenery in their novels or not, we can’t help but think of it. ‘How can anything bad happen there?’–probably runs through their minds. Thanks to your lovely photos, we can get a very good look at the otherwordly beauty! -Vicky

    • I wish I could remember! I don’t usually “do” blue food and drinks, but when in Iceland…! I believe the cocktail was free with the bathrobe/towel rental package.

  9. Planning to go there for our 10 year anniversary in a few years…Iceland is a place I’ve always wanted to visit and this makes my wanderlust lust for it!! :) Thanks!

  10. I second your sentiment on getting there early. For me it was worth making a separate trip out of Reykjavik for this rather than stopping on the way to/from the airport. Going on the first bus out meant there was barely anyone there, and there was a real difference by the time I left. I would have found it less relaxing generally with the crowds.

  11. This is beautiful. I love all of the different shades of blue! Iceland has always been on my list of places to travel to and this just makes me want to go even more.

    Also, congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! Your blog is gorgeous, I’m looking forward to reading more.

  12. I’ll be going to Iceland (at the end of my Europe trip) at the end of October and I’m planning to go to the Blue Lagoon Spa! The only thing I’m thinking about is whether it’s worth it to stay the night at the clinic (my friend and I were thinking, we’d get accommodations AND admission to Blue Lagoon Spa so we thought it might be worth it.). Did you get a chance to talk to any guests that were staying there? Oh and did you get a chance to catch the Northern Lights while you were in Iceland?

    • We didn’t (on both counts). We did go on a Northern Lights tour, but never saw them–another reason to go back!

  13. Amazing pictures! Good information, I’ll have to jot this down in my someday-I-want-to-go-here book! Thanks for sharing. By the way, I love your title and caption on your blogs header, very cute!
    God Bless,

  14. Recently, the universe has been *hinting* at a trip to Iceland — everything about it looks surreal, I can’t wait to see it! :)

  15. Wow! Amazing pictures! I’ve dreamt about going to Iceland for so long now, hopefully it’ll be a dream come true soon. I’m definitely even more keen now after seeing your pictures.

  16. I totally agree that visiting the Blue Lagoon is an Iceland must-do, even though you could think of it as a tourist trap. It’s beautiful and I loved how it never felt crowded or loud, no matter how many people where there!

  17. Thank you for sharing this…and making me “blue” with envy. Iceland is my dream destination, and after reading your blog- I don’t think I can delay the trip any longer! :D

  18. I love the Blue Lagoon!! I use to be a flight attendant and once spent an entire summer laying over in Keflavik. Going to the Lagoon was one of our only great sources of entertainment, that an golfing! Your pictures captured it beautifully.

  19. Went to the Blue Lagoon in the late 90’s. It wasn’t built up at all but it was still beautiful. Our hair was frozen to our heads while standing shoulder deep in warm/hot water with light snow falling around us. It is a time we will never forget…Thanks for sharing!!!

  20. I was in Iceland for a week last September and it is truly remarkable, Geysers, marvellous waterfalls, Glaciers, whales and black beaches. A photographers dream ! The day I was in the Blue Lagoon it was freezing cold outside and raining… heaven in the hot water..

  21. Okay- I’m convinced! Those photos were amazing- love the colors and mist. Well done, and another flippin add to my bucket list! I don’t know where you’re going next, but I’m a-following!

  22. Pingback: Hotel Keflavik « The Passionate Eclectic

  23. I was lucky enough to go to Blue Lagoon in February this year, I had never been to a hot spring bath before, it was certainly very interesting!! Very relaxing and a unique backdrop, I felt like I was on another planet.
    Loved the silica mud under the water in some places, until I took a big handful off the bottom and it was all full of people’s hair!

    It’s certainly weird for me to have a bath in a hailstorm!

    • Thank you! We are both based in Boston, but have flexible schedules and work like crazy most of the time so we can fit in a few trips each year. : )

  24. When I travel I try and pay little attention to people’s negative comments about tourist attractions. I figure I’ll make up my own mind, and I’m usually happy about the experience. Great post.

  25. Great post. My wife and I went to Iceland in March and got to the blue lagoon really early as well, it was amazing having the place to just ourselves and a few other early risers, by the time we left you could barely move though! What a place, I really loved Iceland!

  26. Amazing pictures! I just wrote an article on Iceland. I hope to go there some day! Thanks for sharing about the Blue Lagoon. I will definitely put that on my itinerary.

  27. Isn’t the Blue Lagoon awesome?! I went there in the winter, and I have to say it’s even more cool when it is snowing on your head while swimming in the warm waters. I don’t know why anyone would want to skip it. I actually got on the wrong bus once my plane landed, so I made a surprise stop at Blue Lagoon before ever even getting to my hotel in Reykjavik. Its as great a start to an Icelandic vacation as it is an end!
    Congrats on being freshly pressed!
    – Nate

  28. Can’t stop breathing…! It reminds me of the scenes from the movie “The Pirates of Caribbean” and the mermaids in the blue lagoon…
    Super splashy…!

  29. I never had any desire to go to Iceland until now! That looks and sounds amazing! I admit most of my hesitation to go there was simply because I had no idea what I’d find there but this gives me a great place to start! Gorgeous shots!

  30. fantastic pics! Iceland and blue lagoon are very much in my list of must visit. Thanks for reminding me of my earnest desire. Wish I make it there sooner or later. Keep posting your amazing journeys around the world.

  31. I was really surprised to notice that even the drinking water in Iceland has no additives in it – it’s like drinking from a bottled water source! Iceland is definitely on my list of DESTINATION vacations…and I live in Hawaii now.

  32. hi my name is nining and i come from indonesia… ….what a beauty place…….i wanna go there……This looks so AWESOME…….Blue Lagoon IS MY BIG DREAM…someday i want one

  33. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Quite, steady, sometimes boring weekends in one’s own city will spur on the need to travel so far and wide, you may see ice dragons and bi-frost portals. If you don’t get it ask Cam about his holiday to Jodenheim. Anyway this is Iceland. D-ope.

  34. I remember going to the blue lagoon in 2005 – it was just as the pictures show! I’d love to go back. Great post!

  35. That looks awesome!!! No doubt it is a tourist trap – word gets out how amazing something is and every one wants to go! Add me to that list – I would love to go. Iceland needs to be on my bucket list – and I can add this to the list of places to go.

  36. Wow, those photo shots are awesome! And i love the idea that you can swim in warm water in a winter setting. This definitely got me wanting to visit this place for sure. It’s facinating how such a place could exist but that is mother nature for ya -,o

  37. We may have been there at the same time. I was there January 7 to 15, 2012 and not only recommend the Blue Lagoon at the end of your trip but also at the beginning. What better way to relax after a long plane flight (and most likely a late night of packing the night before) than to indulge in the Blue Lagoon?

    Since it’s so close to the airport, I went there first before going to Reykjavík. Even though I arrived in the afternoon, I was able to get about 2 hours of time there and it was the perfect introduction to Iceland.

    At the end of my trip, I took a special bus that goes to the Blue Lagoon and then leaves in the afternoon for the airport.

    So I recommend going there twice when visiting Iceland – at the beginning and at the end.

    Since it is such a rare experience, you might as well do it twice and I am so glad I did.

    The one caveat I have is when to visit. As your pictures show, the darkness is a major negative factor and I would not recommend going to Iceland in the winter unless you are there for the Northern Lights. The fact that the sun is only out for about 4 hours really limits the outdoor sightseeing.

    I spent over a week there and never saw the Northern Lights. I heard about a partial one. That was it. I spent hours outside staring up at the skies hoping for one but never saw a hint of one.

    The weather can be terrible, the driving can be difficult and conditions can be miserable, especially outside of Reykjavík.

    With so much to see – waterfalls, the lighthouse, the coastline, geysers, tectonic plate and more – that require sunlight, it is much better to go during the warmer months when you have a lot more daylight.

  38. i’m going to iceland within a few months. and coincidentally i found your post about blue lagoon. what a perfect timing to get some info. thx for posting! ow, just wondering. did you stay nearby the blue lagoon? does it have its own resort?

  39. Happy memories of the Blue Lagoon – went to Iceland for 16 days back in 2007 and it is still one of my favourite travel destinations. The Blue Lagoon is a great treat for people arriving into the country to chill out in as not even that far from the airport really. Ahhh – bliss! Thanks for the photos

  40. I love the Blue Lagoon! This was our first stop on our very first trip across the Atlantic. Reading this made me remember how it seemed so surreal to me as I floated around in the lagoon. Beautiful!

  41. Reblogged this on unlocktheteacher and commented:
    Great pictures and good utilization of adjectives…hint: all you middle school and high school ELA teachers…very compelling blog and make all of us on the Unlock the teacher team want to visit the Blue Lagoon!

  42. AHHH Stunning!!!! I have been dreaming of visiting The Blue Lagoon, Iceland for 15 years now, I will get there one day! Thank you so much for sharing!!!!!!!!

    ♥ Love and light ♥

    ~ Jennifer

  43. That looks simply spectacular! I will definitely be putting this on my to do when I’m rich list. Thank you for this wonderful post, it really made me feel like I was there! I could just jump right into some of those pictures. Wow! Such a great share! I love what you do and am now following you.
    Much love and abundant blessings,

  44. Pingback: Don’t Miss Mornings at Iceland’s Blue Lagoon : Unlock the Teacher

  45. Agghh!! I visited Iceland many years ago but foolishly declined the opportunity to visit this wonder. I’ve regretted it ever since, and your post has only served to remind and reinforce that position! :-)

    Great photos though!

  46. Brilliant! I was there in January bobbing around in the warm water while my face was being battered by wind & hail, fantastic! Iceland gets under your skin, Ive been twice and am wanting to return already!

  47. Pingback: GBF–Say hello to Jessica… « theghostlife

  48. Pingback: A Sidetrip to Watkins Glen, NY | Have Baggage, Will Travel

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