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Blue Lagoon: the Geothermal Tourist Trap

ICELAND | Friday, 18 April 2014 | Views [2546]

© Blue Lagoon Iceland (sorry, didn't bring my camera into the pool)

© Blue Lagoon Iceland (sorry, didn't bring my camera into the pool)

Blue Lagoon is justly famous in Iceland. It is also probably the most touristy place you will visit on your journey. Not to say it is a bad thing but just be ready for waves of people coming in on large tour buses going either to or from the airport.

With my touring buddies and a rental car we decided that a trip to Blue Lagoon, the well-known man-made geothermal spa about a 40 minute drive from Reykjavík near Kaflavik International Airport, should be on our itinerary. So we bought day passes online for €35, drove over from Reykjavík, and headed straight inside without a wait. We were handed blue water-proof bracelets to put on and then made our way into the changing rooms where we all had to shower down first before headed into the steaming smoky hot waters outside.

The pools are of a murky turquoise blue hot enough to be happily warm but definitely not scalding. There are also mud stations located at a few side areas where you apparently slather yourself with this salty white mud which is supposedly good for your skin. I tried the ritual but I can’t say I noticed much of a difference but it was quite odd feeling the mud harden and almost cake off of my face.  What was almost weirder was seeing all these strangers doing the exact same thing so everywhere you looked there was someone covered in white mud.  A unique experience to be sure.

On that note, I do want to mention how busy it was – very. Even though we were in Iceland in early March and it was cold and snowy there was still a huge number of people in the pools of all ages from the elderly to the young. It is easy enough getting about the pools but any photos to be had would be filled with other people in it.

As for the pools themselves, there was one main pool that most people were hanging out in and a few smaller pool areas off to the sides with bridges to swim under to get there. You can also visit the bar while in the pool to cool yourself down with a nice drink (alcoholic or not) and you “pay” for said drink with your bracelet which I thought was kind of cool. Of course the drinks will be horribly overpriced but it is all about location and for the price this was a good one.

After a long hot soak a friend and I went inside to one of the buildings facing the pool that had reclining beach chairs in it and we spent another half hour air drying while watching people splash about outside. And then it was time to shower again, change, and sleepily make our way back to the car.

I’m not huge on pools, geothermal or otherwise, but was still happily surprised how much fun I had here. It was fun to try on the mud mask and swim about talking to other tourists that happened to be in the near vicinity. But the best part of the day was when it started to snow. Here I am sitting in a geothermal hot springs surrounded by smoky steam with snow falling into my hair and eyelashes before quickly melting away. It was a surreal moment but one that I will definitely cherish.

If you don't have a rental car there are buses that will take you to Blue Lagoon after arriving at the airport or before returning to the airport. And they seem to come at a decent pace so you can plan out your day to spend however much time here that you think you might want. It's not too expensive and I would definitely recommended stopping by if you get chance.

Happy swimming!

Tags: blue lagoon, geothermal, hot springs, iceland, keflavik airport, reykjavik

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