When talking about arguably the most touristy attraction in Iceland (a spa no less), it’s best for an adventure-travel website to tread with caution. However, popular and pricey as it may be, it’s also true that, when done right, the Blue Lagoon can provide an incredibly unique geothermal experience the likes of which you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else in the world. First there’s the color: a rich, milky, mineral-laden blue that stands in stark contrast to the near-black lava fields of Grindavík. Then there’s the temperature: a constant 37–39 °C (98–102 °F) that has an uncanny way of relaxing adventure-weary muscles year round. Throw in a little steam and complimentary silica mud and the place becomes as serene and surreal as it sounds.
Okay, that’s the good stuff; now here’s the other side of the coin. First off, the Blue Lagoon isn’t exactly “natural;” it was (and still is) created by output water from the Svartsengi Geothermal Plant. Ergo, anyone telling you that you can find other, less crowded and more authentic hot springs in Iceland has a valid point. Then there’s the price (you’ll never pay less than $45 USD to actually enter the pool, and often you’ll pay a lot more) and the crowds, which can consist of drunk adults, rambunctious children, or both.
So what’s a traveler to do? Our take is pretty simple: 1.) Know what you’re getting into. It’s going to be expensive and potentially crowded, so prep yourself, and 2.) Try heading off season, late in the day, and/or both. The transition from sunlight to startlight at the Blue Lagoon is actually pretty fantastic, and it’s usually when most tourists start to head out. We’ve included the official, posh-looking spa website in case pretty pictures will help make up your mind, so enjoy this enigmatic addition to the Iceland experience.
Location:Southern Peninsula, Iceland