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The Blue Lagoon in Iceland is a definite must you need to experience whilst in Iceland. Iceland is actually located on the boundaries of two large tectonic plates, these being the Eurasian plate and the North American plate.
Iceland is very volcanic and there are many geysers and hot springs throughout the country. The Mid Atlantic Ridge actually runs from the East coast of Iceland through Reykajik to the centre of Iceland.
The reason I am telling you all this is so you get a feel for the destination and appreciate that although Iceland has many natural heated waters nothing can quite prepare you for the Blue Lagoon.
Location / Getting There ---------------------------------
The Blue Lagoon is based in the middle of nowhere, nearer to Keflavik airport than anywhere else in Iceland. It is about a 40-45 minute drive from Reykjavik via road.
The only way to the Lagoon is via road the best way to get there is to go to the BSI bus terminal for daily excursions run by Reykavik Tours or there are other excursions from different tour operators and leaflets are available at the airports, bus stations and hotels to collect information of prices etc.
The terrain in Iceland is very rocky and rather bland to look at, so although the Blue Lagoon is in the middle of nowhere and idilic it does not hold stunning views, it is mainly black rock. But that won't matter because you won't see that far anyway. On arriving at the Blue Lagoon I was rather shocked to see how close it was to a power station actually it was right beside the power station. This is really off putting and got me thinking what on earth!
The Surrounding Area --------------------------------
The Blue Lagoon is a Lagoon full of natural hot water and minerals from the hot springs and geysers below. It is warmer in some areas, and surprisingly strange when swimming or walking and suddenly hitting a hot patch.
The vast majority of Icelands hot water is used to power heating hence the large power station next door, and the many other scattered throughout the landscape.
The floor is quite slimey and sludgey where the minerals such as silica and algae lay in the water and on the floor of the lagoon.
The Price -------------
We booked in advance as we didn't want to take a lot of money away with us, and also it avoids disappointment when you want to book a massage or treatment.
The entry was £20.00 and then towel hire was £2.00, you can also hire dressing gowns, slippers and even swimsuits if you forget.
As I said we booked our massage in advance through the Blue Lagoon website at www.bluelagoon.com we paid 6100 Icelandic Kroner on our arrival this equates to roughly £40, for this we got our entry and 1 towel each, a free moisturiser and the all important 20 minute in the water massage.
As I said early to get to the Lagoon you will have to arrange transport yourself and we did this via the Reykavik Excursions company, they charged us 2500 kroner for the return 45 minute bus journey, this was solely transport, they do however offer lots of other packages, including transport and entry etc this would cost you up to 4000 Kroner.
The actual facility is very modern and very large with lots of open space and glass, so you get the full feeling of the lagoon from inside, it comes up to the windows in the café and is visible from nearly everywhere inside. I think the design of the building is one of sustainability, it seems all natural and the majority of the building (not the floor to ceiling glass windows and doors) is made from wood.
The amenities inside includes:
- A café - A restaurant - A bar - Meeting/conference rooms - Chamging rooms - Showers - A shop selling all Blur Lagoon theray treatments and spa products
The chamging rooms are quite large and have many showers, they are open and have plenty of lockers for your use, free of charge. You are given a wrist band which enables you to lock and unlock the locker with your stuff in and also lets drinks and food be charged to you, and you pay on exit. The changing area is clean and tidy and there are employees there to help if need be.
Personally I am not a fan of nudity, just be prepared the locals seem to love getting naked and I'm not a prude (perhaps just an uptight English girl) but everyone in the changing rooms was quite naked. The changing rooms are single sex though so that's something.
Only a few showers have curtains so if you choose to brave it you will see a lot of nakedness. The Blue Lagoon also provide shampoo, conditioner and a body lotion in each for everyone's use.
The Lagoon Itself -------------------------
To get in to the actual lagoon itself is quite fun, you can either walk straight outside and in to it via steps, which I wouldn't recommend as whilst I was there it was -4 degrees and bloody cold! The other way in is to get in to a small area of water that is inside and get down in it then swim to a door which you pull open and it leads outside, by this time you are already under the water so do not feel the cold as much.
It's a gradual decrease and gets deeper, although not rediculously deep where you can't stand. There are different depths throughout, so look for signs. I wouldn't recommend taking children to the Blue Lagoon, I am a cold person and love hot baths, even I found some bits rather hot. Besides, it is relaxing and I can't imagine anything worse than kids splashing around.
The water is a milky light blue and is very dense and salty, the consistency of the salt means it's very easy to float. The milky substance lies on the floor and as I said before is sludgey but soothing not yukky.
There are various buckets and ladels around the edge of the lagoon called "Silica stations" it is one of the natural minerals that is said to exfoliate and moisturise skin. Lots of people put this on an continue to swim around with it on, until it dries and hardens then wash it off, to which is just sinks to the bottom.
The temperature can reach higher than 38 degrees, hotter than the Arbian Gulf in August. Due to the heat the steam is immense. You can't really see very far in front of you and with the wind and everything it can be a bit freaky. I went with my mum and sister and I sawn a metre in front of them, and they couldn't see where I had gone.
There is a waterfall and a few coves off the main lagoon which is nice for sitting and relaxing, as well as getting your shoulders massaged from the waterfall.
We had all booked a 20 minute massage and made our way to the cove area, to take it in turns to enjoy 20 minutes of water massage. I went last, it had started to snow, and I was made to lie on a lilo mattress type thing on my back, the massieur put a large thermal blanket over me that was wet and I was floating looking up at the sky (and snow) while she massaged me while oil in the water. I was amazed at how great it was. A real experience, the only thing I wasn't sure of to start with was the lying on my back with my eyes shut in water (I get sea sick) and this was a bit weird (like being sooooo drunk and when your eyes are closed and the room spins).
It was so relaxing and you have to do it while you are there, but book in advance it does make it cheaper!!
The best bit of Iceland, oh and it isn't a timed ticket, so you pay and you can stay in there all day if you wish, we went in about mid day and came out about 5.30 when it was dark!!