What (and Where) Is the Blue Lagoon in Iceland?

Most people consider a trip to Iceland for the amazing views, rich culture, or local landmarks. In fact, one of the biggest local attractions is the Blue Lagoon.

The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa located on the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland.

The lagoon gets its name from its beautiful, cloudy blue water, which maintains a temperature of around 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.78 degrees Celsius).

This article will discuss the Blue Lagoon, its creation, and the best way to plan a trip.

Also, see Who Discovered Iceland? to learn more.

All About Iceland’s Blue Lagoon

While the Blue Lagoon is truly a sight to behold, people visit it for many other reasons.

It is known for its gorgeous landscapes and the water’s healing properties. Given below are some more details about what it is and where to find it.

The Blue Lagoon’s Location

The Blue Lagoon in Iceland is not hard to find. Visitors can find it 30 minutes from Reykjavik, about a fifteen-minute drive from the Keflavik Internation Airport [1].

Reykjavik is Iceland’s capital city and offers many guided tours, including the Blue Lagoon. T

ourists can join a guided tour from Reykjavik or rent a car if they prefer to control the trip.

How the Blue Lagoon Became a Geothermal Spa

The term geothermal comes from the Greek words geo, meaning earth, and therme, meaning heat [2].

By definition, geothermal energy is heat that is generated within the earth. While this makes it sound like the Blue Lagoon is a natural hot spring, it actually isn’t.

While the land around the Blue Lagoon formed naturally, its heat comes from an outside source.

The geothermal energy used to heat the water comes from a nearby geothermal plant, which draws its energy from the nearby volcanic land.

Thus, the Blue Lagoon’s notable color and temperature are actually runoff from the geothermal power plant.

Historically, an accidental discharge from a nearby plant in Svartsengi created the Blue Lagoon. At the time, many expected the water to disappear over time.

However, the lava created a watertight area which prevented the water from sinking into the surrounding sediment.

The origin of the Blue Lagoon makes it sound dangerous, as power plants have a reputation for being harmful. However, that is not the case here.

In fact, this geothermal spa is actually full of healthy minerals, so there is no risk of harm from entering the Blue Lagoon. 

How the Blue Lagoon Gained Its Appearance

The blue, milky water of the Blue Lagoon is truly astounding, but many visitors wonder how it gained its unique appearance. Well, the answer is silica.

Silica is one of the most common minerals found on Earth [3]. It’s a reflective element when submerged, which creates the glowing blue look of the Blue Lagoon.

Fascinatingly, silica reflects only the color blue underwater, despite its ability to reflect other colors outside the water.

Thus, the Blue Lagoon’s characteristic shiny blue waters are indicative of the silica within [4].

The Healing Properties of the Blue Lagoon’s Water and Sand

The Blue Lagoon has a unique combination of algae and silica with healing properties that affect the skin.

Many people say that a soak in the lagoon helps in the management of skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.

Planning a Trip to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland

Anyone visiting the Blue Lagoon must book tickets to gain entrance. It’s an immensely popular destination and can become quite crowded.

It’s best to book tickets ahead of time and choose a convenient time slot in anticipation of these crowds.

It’s essential to plan in advance to secure a spot in the lagoon.

Consider purchasing a tour that includes the price of a ticket. These tours are often cheaper and ensure there’s proper transportation to and from the venue.

If visitors don’t plan their journey to the lagoon, it’s easy to miss the chosen time slot.

Those who have arrived later than their scheduled visit might have to come another day or purchase a new ticket.

Here are a few things to remember when visiting the Blue Lagoon.

Follow the Rules

What tourists may not expect when visiting the Blue Lagoon is that there are many rules they need to follow to enter the water.

  • All visitors must shower before entering the lagoon. There are showers near the lagoon for easy access, and personal items like shampoo and soap are available to guests. So, visitors do not need to bring their own items.
  • Guests must shower completely naked. This is to ensure they are fully clean before entering, but it can make some visitors nervous. Visitors will also have access to lockers to hold their belongings while they swim and shower.
  • Food and drinks are not allowed inside the premises. However, plenty of restaurants are available nearby if the guests get hungry during their visit.

Extra Tips for First-Time Guests

Here are some tips for first-time visitors to the lagoon that can help make the experience easier and more memorable. These aren’t mandatory rules, but they can help make the experience more enjoyable.

  • Wear eye protection: Guests visiting during the day will need eye protection to combat the reflective nature of the water. While it is a beautiful sight, the silica in the water reflects sunlight. Wearing eye protection reduces the glare from the reflected sunlight.
  • Protect all valuables: During the visit, guests will have access to a locker for their valuables. Taking advantage of this feature is important because the water may damage things like bags, jewelry, cash, and other valuables.
  • Use the offered hair care products: The water in the Blue Lagoon may dry up and strip the hair of its natural oils. However, the employees at the Blue Lagoon offer every guest conditioner. Apply this before getting in the lagoon for maximum hair protection.
  • Visit more of the country: The Blue Lagoon is a phenomenal experience, but there is a lot more for tourists to see. For more details about other places to see, check out this article “What Is There to Do in Iceland?.”

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Christian Christensen

Christian started Scandinavia Facts to explore his family heritage, raise awareness of one of his academic interests as a professor, and civilly promote the region. Please see the About page for details.

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