The Blue Lagoon Spa: A must-see in Iceland
Does it often come to your mind that it’s no good following the well-trodden tourist paths, because prices are inflated, places are crowded, you barely see or learn anything and the topic is already well-worn? When planning my trip to Island I included the Blue Lagoon Spa as an alternative place to visit. It is probably one of the most visited tourist attractions in Island. I wasn’t really willing to rub shoulders in a crowded puddle, as I then imagined it. However, when there was some free time in the daily schedule, me and my girlfriend set out to the Lagoon. But I overlooked one thing. In order to be able to enter the spa, you have to buy a ticket in advance, since there are hordes of visitors, even out of season. Prices for midday tickets were higher, while morning and afternoon tickets were cheaper. Eventually, while trying to make adjustments to our itinerary, we were left with only one choice – an early morning visit. Having come to terms with the idea that we will have to go to the spa, located on the territory of a former geothermal power plant, before daylight, we thought that we were going to be the first visitors, but it wasn’t to be… Crowds of visitors who got off buses were lining up in a long queue at the entrance. Clients arriving straight from Keflavik airport or boarding a flight at it later are given the opportunity to leave their luggage in a separate storage area.
In Iceland they don’t get naked at saunas or spas, so you have to have a bathing suit to wear. In women’s changing area I was surprised to see how many people of different races have come here driven by curiosity and the will to explore Island. This worldly atmosphere seemed to have another side to it – it was quite cold and not very wellcoming.
As we went outside, the atmosphere changed. Though it was slightly freezing, we plucked up enough courage and took a dip into the milky blue water under the open sky. We could still see the stars above us and the cold wind was tingling our cheeks, but the water was really warm and we had no chattering teeth. As we got more relaxed, our eyes were following the black outlines of the pool – piles of black lava rock seemed to protect us from the external world as a wall. The first impression was that we were in a black ceramic cup where a child has just rinsed a brush covered in blue gouache paint. There were lifeguards walking on duty along the icy sides of the pool, dressed in neat suits and extra warm jackets. Curiosity drove us to explore the farthest end of the pool. There, having found a small cosy bay, we stopped for quiet floating. The people were scaterred randomly. The rocks along the pool lines were covered in viscious and sticky silica mass. This is the special silica mud that makes this place so unique.
Playing like little girls, we were smearing the healing mud over ourselves and were very happy to be the first to find such a treasure in the rock crevices. But as we stayed longer in the water, due to temperature difference, our hair started freezing and our heads got a bit cold. So we decided to get our faithful sauna hats that we had left in lockers. The way back seemed rather long and it took quite a time to reach the main building. I suppose that initially, drawn by curiosity, we failed to grasp the actual size of the place. As the late northern morning dawned, we could see more and more people in the water and the glowing lights of phones were all around us. Truly, this is the only place that I visited where I saw so many people of different nationalities from all over the world and so many smartphones in the water☺. We too waded through the water to our bay, wearing our hats and holding phones in hands. Just in time for taking same great photos, as more and more people kept coming. We were happy to have arrived so early, otherwise we would be crowded just like bees in a hive, and the four hours spent there passed in no time. That’s how long we were soaking in water until we realized that we had not gone to the sauna and relaxation area there yet. On our way to the sauna we dropped into the silica mud bar where with a large spoon from a small tub you can scoop the cleaned mud, as white as rich cream, and apply it to your face as a nourishing mask. You can use as much of it as you wish, while the green mask can be purchased for money.
Having enjoyed the heat of a cosy small sauna and refreshed ourselves in the outside pools, we climbed, with our full concentration, up the wooden stairs that were a bit icy. Upstairs in the resting room, tired after bathing, we lied down for a quick nap. We had such an excellent relaxation and such a great time, so it wasn’t until late afternoon that we went back to Reykjavik. On our way back we kept saying to ourselves, “Oh, how lucky we are to have arrived early in the morning and to have not been discouraged by the crowds!”
This spa centre also offers an overnight stay and a full range of health and welness programmes as well as massages, catering for different poeple’s needs and providing a variety of agreeable rest and relaxation opportunities.
If you are in Iceland, it is really worth paying a visit to the Blue Lagoon Spa!