Iceland · Uncategorized

The Blue Lagoon – My Least Favorite Thing in Iceland

On our last full day/night in Iceland, we headed back towards Reykavik to spend our final afternoon and evening by the famous (or perhaps infamous) Blue Lagoon.  We stayed at the Silica Hotel which is right next door to the Blue Lagoon and is about a 5-8 minute walk from the main entrance.  I give very high marks to the Silica Hotel, which had lovely modern rooms overlooking the moss covered lava fields.  Our room was a Double Mountain View category.  I will say that the hotel is not cheap but it’s best amenity is that it has its own private “blue lagoon” just for hotel guests, which ended up being a real boon for us.

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View from our room at the Silica Hotel

The Blue Lagoon is located about 15 minutes away from the International Airport so it’s a great place to stay on either your first day or your last day of your trip.  If you stay at the Silica Hotel, each guest is also given a “Premium Pass” to enter the Blue Lagoon, which means your entrance fee is covered and you get the “premium” entrance, which is a shorter line and also gets you a robe, slippers, a free drink at the Lagoon bar and two face masks included. Shortly after checking into our room, we got our passes from the front desk and walked over to the Lagoon.  That’s pretty much where the good news ended.

I will say that the pool itself is massive and the warm/hot water did feel wonderful but my sister and I couldn’t get past the awful locker room experience.  You are given wristbands and those keep track of your drink and food purchases, open and lock your locker and get you your face masks.  The locker room is massive with over 200 lockers but there were just too many people in there for me.  Hundreds of wet, mostly naked women all over the place, sopping wet, dirty towels laying in puddles on the floor, humid, loud and just generally gross.  You also have to take a shower before you enter the pool, which I completely understand and appreciate the hygiene but you can’t do it with your swimsuit on and the shower area is just nasty.  I will say that the employees there were doing their absolute best to keep it clean but there were just too many people and they couldn’t keep up.  The Blue Lagoon is clearly a tourist cash cow and they are busing people in here everyday by the thousands.  They really should limit the number of people that come in at once (and I think they do to some degree but not enough).

After the horrible locker room, we walked out and into the pool.

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Blue Lagoon – this was around 5:30pm and it was still pretty crowded

Our first assignment was going to get our free drink.  They tell you that the Premium Pass gets you two free drinks but it really doesn’t.  After the first drink, the second one can only be had in the main restaurant and you have to order food with it.  It was fine because their choices at the bar weren’t all that great.  My sister and I each opted for a plastic cup of prosecco and then waded around.  We met a nice couple from Atlanta, Georgia and chatted with them about their Icelandic experience for about 20 minutes.  We spent the next 30 minutes finishing our drinks and people-watching, which was pretty entertaining.  This place is Instagram central – so many people posing, preening and trying to get that perfect Blue Lagoon shot.

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Bar at the Blue Lagoon
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Getting our drinks
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Plastic cup of Prosecco
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The geothermal plant that produces the Blue Lagoon water and the heat is right next door
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When you get closer to the back of the pool, it’s less crowded

After about an hour in the pool, we decided that we’d seen enough of it and headed back into the locker room to quickly change and get out of there.  We decided to wait and shower/rinse our hair back at our hotel. The water at the lagoon, while very good for your skin, is extremely drying on your hair so you definitely want to avoid getting your hair wet if you can and then rinse it with conditioner afterwards.  We walked by the geothermal plant on our way back to the Silica Hotel, where we sat in the lobby and had some white wine.  After two glasses of wine, we decided to change and try the Silica Hotel’s private pool/lagoon experience and that was SO much more relaxing and better.  There was no one in the much cleaner locker room and the pool was practically empty.

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Blue Lagoon

I ended up soaking twice in our hotel’s pool and they also had various face masks for the guests to sample.  I tried the silica mask, which I found to be a little drying for my skin and the algae mask, which I really liked and bought a travel size to take back with me.  Our hotel pool also left the bottom natural so you could feel the silica mud under your feet whereas the Blue Lagoon was just a concrete pool.  The hotel pool was open until 11pm and my sister and I did a late night soak as it was still daylight thanks to the midnight sun.

So, overall, I thought the Blue Lagoon itself was massively overrated and was a big tourist trap.  That being said, I know you can pay for the “luxury” experience that gets you a private changing room and private shower and I really think it’s worth it, even though it is pretty expensive.  The pool itself is fine but the locker room experience really made it an unappealing experience for us.

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Silica Hotel Private Lagoon for guests only
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Enjoying a much better glass of wine at the hotel before going for a private soak

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