Project Description

Welcome to the Blue Lagoon! This is the name of the now famous spa resort in south-western Iceland. Its waters come from the Svartsengi geothermal power plant which, thanks to a drill at more than 2000 meters deep, draws water under pressure (12 bar) at 240°C heated by volcanic activity on the island. This water then supply the turbines and produces electricity in addition to heat the towns of Grindavik and Reykjavik, nothing less! Once used, the spring water rich in silica is ejected from the plant at a temperature between 30 and 39°C and goes directly into the spa and the artificial lake of over 200 meters in length located in the heart of a volcanic area, surrounded by lava fields and lichen.

This water is naturally rich in minerals, silicates and blue-green algae, and it is these last that give the lagoon its milky turquoise-blue color and his nickname. Water has healing properties with regard to certain skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema. A clinic to treat some of these dermatoses opened in June 2005 here and an enlargement of the site is currently underway (2015). This should allow the lagoon to expand and to add different spa facilities and a hotel. The completion is scheduled for 2017.

Thanks to its location, the Blue Lagoon is a must-do activity for tourists, even if they usually stop here on the way back to the airport before leaving Iceland, but it is not our case. The first impression upon arrival is strange: we are facing a great modern looking complex located in the middle of a lava field where nothing grows except foam. We arrive on the huge parking lot, but instead of following the flow of tourists heading straight to the entrance of the spa, we follow a path among the rocks and bordered by small pools.

We finally arrive to the famous artificial lake and perceive the geothermal power plant in the distance. The color of the water is quite beautiful and we can clearly see now all its mineral content. This milky appearance is also found in the waters of the spa. About this, it is time to head to the entrance, as the buses of tourists that we’ve seen earlier in the parking lot must have already invested the premises! We continue our journey along the lake and eventually enter the complex.

Once inside, the setting is very chic and the design simple but pleasing. It’s time to go through the cash register and pay the entrance price of EUR 35.-. All necessary information is included (in English) on the official website of the Blue Lagoon. This may seem expensive for a European, but do not forget that we are in Iceland and therefore, a different price scale applies here. But let’s be honest, we are in a tourist mecca and all occasions are good to make us open our wallet for any occasion. Nothing is free here and a simple day to the Blue Lagoon could cost you a lot! To ensure that you spend a minimum of money, take with you a towel and flip flops, that’s less things to rent on site.

We are given an electronic bracelet which will be our locker key and our electronic “wallet”, I’ll come back to it a little lower. We reach then men dressing rooms, naturally separated from the women ones. It’s very clean and hygienic, nothing to say about this. We drop our shoes at the entrance of the locker room, we choose our locker in which we put all our stuff and double check that the locker is correctly locked before processing to the next step: showering. It is compulsory, so try to do it in Icelandic style, which means totally naked! For the more modest, there are also shower stalls. It’s a bit the same principle as in Japan, we do not bathe to wash, but to rest. Once clean, we finally get into the outside pools.

Water is rather blue-white, opaque and we can’t see anything through it. It must be so nice to enjoy a swim in this hot water while the surrounding landscape is covered by snow! But for that, you’ll need to come to Iceland during the winter months. What is not so nice once in water however is the inequality of the ground. Indeed, it is not a proper swimming pool, but a pond artificially created in a lava field. Thus, the ground is uneven and there are number of small rocks and pebbles that we can not distinguish through the opaque water, hence the need to have a pair of flip flops with you. The pools are very large and have here and there a number of more or less hot areas.

You’ll soon see people wearing a clay mask and it is one of the few free things in the complex. Locate one of the few wooden bowls around which tourists congregate, use the ladle to take some clay and generously cover your face. This “cream” is full of minerals and is very good for the skin, but be careful anyway if your skin is more sensitive than the average (burning sensation). There is also a bar where you can order various drinks and charge the payment to your bracelet. When you leave the pools, you will have to scan your bracelet and proceed at that time to the necessary payments.

Staff members also move around and offer to test different creams or to take pictures of you. After a good hour of proper resting interspersed with small breaks in the sauna/on a deckchair, we leave the pools, take a shower, get our belongings back from the locker and head to the restaurant. Just before the latter, you will find a small shop offering beverages and simple meals, toilets and a big store selling different products. Yes, you got it, this lagoon is exploited to the maximum! But that does not prevent us to enjoy a delicious meal. On the menu ; lobster soup, cod with asparagus and butter sauce and a crème brûlée “orange-vanilla”, yum!

In the end, we had a great time at the Blue Lagoon and it’s with a full belly and more than relaxed than we continue our day of sightseeing. The site infrastructure is of high quality and everything is very clean. Is it worth the EUR 35.- entrance fee though? I think so. It is true that if we add up the various expenses on site, such as rental of flip flops, bathrobe, one or two drinks and a meal, the bill will be very expensive. The choice is yours, but remember that prices are higher here than on the mainland, and it must be recognized that the high quality and professional service go along with the price. And isn’t it fun to be able to swim in the hot pools of milky blue water?

Also note that if you are in the area from June through August, you can enjoy the midnight sun. Sunlight is therefore present almost all day long and taking advantage of this phenomenon comfortably installed at the Blue Lagoon is, in my opinion, a good reason to try it out! As for me, no regrets as I will go back there for sure at each of my visits to Iceland! And in order to finally motivating you, here is the official video of the Blue Lagoon in English. Enjoy!