The Blue Lagoon, Iceland

C7

The Blue Lagoon and the geothermal plant, Svatsengi

For our anniversary two years ago, RBJ surprised me with  a weekend trip to Iceland – the land of Fire and Ice. We had such an amazing time visiting the Blue Lagoon, hunting for Northern lights and seeing the dramatic volcanic landscape, that when my sister suggested a group of us go to Reykjavik for New Years 2014, our flights were booked before you could say “fermented shark meat”.

On 28 December, we landed in Reykjavik for 5 days of thermal baths, vodka shots and fireworks. And first on our agenda – the magical place that is the Blue Lagoon, a.k.a. my happy place. The weather on day 1 was a little fierce (to put it mildly) and my photos from the day are pretty overcast so I have included a few photos from 2012 to show you the Blue Lagoon in all its glory:

Photos showing the difference between 2012 and 2014:

C1

Entrance to the Blue Lagoon in November 2012


A

Entrance to the Blue Lagoon in December 2014


C5

RBJ relaxing in the cool, calm waters – Nov 2012


a1b

RBJ as he so nicely put it – “freezing his gnads off” while I make him pose for a picture – Dec 2014

The Blue Lagoon is only a 25 minute drive from the airport so we landed, picked up our hire cars and hit the icy roads. We arrived and made our way through a winding path dug into the volcanic rocks leading to the main building.

c2

To the left of the entrance building is a wee platform which makes a great backdrop for taking photos and gives you a first glimpse of the steaming waters

Now the Blue Lagoon is not cheap but my god is it worth every penny. Basic entry now costs 35 euros and this only includes your entry (no towel), so we upgraded to the “Comfort package” which was 50 euros* and included:

  • entrance
  • a white fluffy towel
  • a drink of your choice from the floating bar in the lagoon
  • an algae face mask
  • a bag of branded Blue Lagoon skin care trial products

*kindly paid for by Mummy McVean for my Christmas pressie 🙂

My sister’s boyfriend, a man who appreciates the finer things in life, decided to upgrade his again to the “Premium package” which included a bathrobe and slippers for an additional 15 euros.  I think it is a shame that the towel, robe and slippers don’t come as standard as the Blue Lagoon is a luxury spa and back in 2012 this was part of the standard entry cost. I would recommend to anyone visiting in winter to splash out and going for the Premium package so you have something to keep you warm when you’re not in the water.

C3

Don’t leave your valuables in the pocket of your bathrobe – they all look the same and are hung on communal rails, so someone could very easily wander off with your stuff.

The Blue Lagoon is located beside the Svartsengi geothermal power plant which is used to create electricity and hot water for local towns. One of the things I love most about these thermal baths is the juxtaposition between the naturally occurring hot waters coming from thousands of metres below the earths surface and the man-made, industrial  plants that engulf it. It is hard to describe until you have experienced it but the overall sight is quite incredible.

The facilities at the Blue Lagoon are very clean and they provide shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hairdryers etc. The changing rooms are communal (with separate ones for men and women). We were asked to take a compulsory naked shower before donning our bikinis and heading into the lagoon.

The Blue Lagoon is one large thermal pool, which fluctuates in temperature from lukewarm to HOT (at its hottest it reaches around 40 degrees). You can chose to stay around the main area, drink beer or smoothies and be entertained by the expressions on peoples faces as they walk/run from the hooks where they leave their towels into the  water. Or alternatively you can go and explore the outer edges of the lagoon and find a secluded spot to relax and take in the tranquillity around you. There are wooden pots of the silica mud for your face interspersed around the lagoon too

DSCN0361

Looking gooooood in our silica face masks

There are then a couple of hot saunas and a steam room carved into the rocks which are fine – a little cool for my liking and ram packed full of people so we couldn’t really lie down or relax in them. We also found a hot waterfall which was amazing to massage your neck and shoulders.

After about an hour and a half, we went to the café to get a bite to eat. There is a restaurant called Lava which is quite fancy and serves hot food, or there is the café which is on your right as you come out the changing rooms which you can get sandwiches, sushi and drinks from in your robes/ towels. We went to the cafe and I got some tasty Icelandic sushi for about £10 – not too pricey considering where we were. The wristband you are given on entry serves as your locker key and contains a microchip so that you can pay for your lunch on it and don’t need to head back into the lockers to get your purse. You can also use this at the bar too.

c8

 Sushi break – Nov 2012

After lunch we went back in the water, used our free drinks voucher (uploaded on to your wristband) to get a drink from the floating bar. Us girls went for the pink sparkling wine while the boys reluctantly got either beer or skyr smoothies (Iceland has a zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving – bad luck boys!). I can honestly say that nothing beats relaxing in a geothermal pool while sipping a glass of sparkly 🙂

DSCN0375

Girls enjoying the pink fizz


DSCN0373

Skal!


DSCN0369

Mmmm, Skyr….


DSCN0393

Deeee-lish

In total we had spent around 4  and a half hours in the Blue Lagoon, including our half an hour lunch break. It is an absolute must for anyone visiting Iceland, whatever time of year it is.

I also highly recommend Reykjavik for NYE – it is insane! Here are a few photos from the rest of our trip, including our photos from New Years eve:

IMG_2805

Our first glimpse of the Northern Lights!


IMG_9487

Geysir


IMG_9428

Gulfoss Waterfall

 NYE:

IMG_2893h

Bonfires are lit all over Reykjavik on NYE


IMG_2910

All Icelanders buy their fireworks from one large cooperative and from about midday onwards, the city is alive with flashes and bangs, getting louder and more frequent as midnight approaches


IMG_2907

The best place to go for midnight is the Hallgrimskirkja church, where crowds gather to see in the new year


IMG_2925

The sound of fireworks is deafening


IMG_2926

Me and RBJ

We are already planning our next trip to Iceland! I am especially keen to get down to the black sand beaches in the south and to go to the thermal town of Hveragerði to visit the natural saunas and swim in the hot river Varma. Maybe a summer trip though this time so we have a few more daylight hours to see the sights (in December the sun rose at 11am and it was dark again by around 3pm). One thing is for sure – we will definitely be returning to the Blue Lagoon for a third time!

Blue Lagoon scores:

COST: 4/5 (it is expensive but luxury, and for the Comfort package you do get the drink and the products which if you added them up are worth quite a bit)

CLEANLINESS: 4/5

IN 3 WORDS: LUXURY, STEAMY, TOURISTY*

*This isn’t meant as a criticism, however don’t go the blue lagoon to get a feel for how the locals do it. If that is the experience you are looking for, head to Laugardalslaug, the baths in Reykjavik town, to sample the hot pots and saunas there. For me personally, up there as one of my favourite things to do in Iceland.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “The Blue Lagoon, Iceland

  1. pennyalexander says:

    We loved our visit to the Blue Lagoon. I love Iceland – I met some Icelandic girls working in a hotel in the uk as a student and they became friends for life. We went in winter too, it was so cold. Have also been in summer, spooky how short a time it goes dark for. NYE and the northern lights look so amazing, love your photos! Must go back.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s