If heaven on earth exists, it may well be located at Blue Lagoon, one of Iceland's most popular destinations. Harnessing the power of geothermal seawater, this man-made destination has become synonymous with rest and relaxation; the silica mud and algae much sought-after beauty products exported around the world. As Blue Lagoon Skincare hits shelves in the U.S., our Editor-In-Chief traveled to the source to get the low down on one of the most Instagram-ed destinations.
I’ve never liked being a tourist so I was a little apprehensive about heading to Blue Lagoon—Iceland’s most popular attraction. Located in a lava field in Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula, it attracts over 700,000 visitors per year with bus loads of spa-goers eager to experience the healing effects of Iceland’s famous geothermal seawater.
You can imagine this kind of deluge could prove problematic when seeking peace and relaxation however, the sheer size and efficiency of this beauty destination does not disappoint.
While the carpark is teeming with tour buses, Blue Lagoon has hospitality down to a fine art. At the entrance, you’ll find specialty-built suitcase storage for those seeking a revitalizing lay-over. Further in, the pathway winds through lava fields bringing you to the main entrance where friendly staff process guests smoothly and efficiently.
There are four levels of entry: Standard, Comfort, Premium and Luxury—each with a specified price and list of services. We chose Comfort, which included entry free, towel, first drink of choice, Silica Mud and Algae beauty mask for a cost of 8100kr per person (approx. US$78). For me, this was the sweet spot—still a treat but not the kind that would break the bank.
On entry, you’re allocated a wrist band fitted with an electrical chip—this is genius. Wave it over your dressing room locker and it instantly locks. Present it at the beauty and beverage bar to redeem your free drink (and/or order more). Take it to the beauty bar for your Silica Mud and Algae beauty mask.
Capitalizing on the need for a good selfie, Blue Lagoon also sells water-proof cell phone cases. We decided to take a couple of pics then leave the phone locked away to truly be present in the moment. I’m still a little torn about our decision. While it was amazing to be phone free, there is part of me that wishes we had captured the amazing images of the sun setting and the steam coming off the pristine blue waters.
Reality vs. Instagram Filter
We all love a good filter however, it can leave us feeling a little deceived when we get to a venue that doesn’t quite match the Insta-magic. This is not the case with Blue Lagoon—or Iceland for that matter! Pictures do not do this country justice. Blue Lagoon is more stunning in real life. Even on a cloudy day, the colors are vivid; the scenery breath-taking and the sheer magnitude of the landscape unforgettable.
While there was a lot of people, it’s easy to find your own little nook to rest and relax in peace. The sauna and steam room can get crowded but are worth doing to add to the experience.
Once we settled into the relaxing waters, we headed to the bar, grabbed our drink then made our way under a little bridge to the far corners of the lagoon. Here, you can indulge in the silence and the beauty of your surroundings as you let the stress melt away.
Contrary to popular belief, Blue Lagoon is not a natural hot spring, it utilizes the “waste” water from the nearby geothermal power plant. While I realize this does not sound alluring, it’s important to keep in mind that geothermal energy uses the steam from the water not the water itself.
The water is rich in minerals such as silica and sulfur—which is said to be good for the skin (but not your hair so don’t put your head under!).
The temperature stays between 37–39 °C (99–102 °F). The deepest area in Blue Lagoon is 1.40m and the shallowest is 90 cm. There are also lifeguards on duty at all times, for anyone who might get into difficulty.
Once you’ve let the warming waters melt away the stress, head over to the beauty bar—built into the lagoon—for the beauty treatments on offer. There, a friendly employee will dish out your single serve which you’re instructed to apply and leave on for 5-10 minutes. After that, you simply wash it off in the lagoon water.
Composed of the Blue Lagoon’s iconic white wonder the Silica Mud Mask provides a deep-cleanse and strengthens your skin, reducing the visibility of pores. It leaves your skin feeling refreshed and hydrated.
Composed of unique patented Blue Lagoon algae, the Algae Mask nourishes your skin from within, minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It provides an immediate lift and youthful glow. So that your skin shares the same stress free feeling as your body after a few hours relaxing in the lagoon.
The Low Down
While Blue Lagoon has taken some heat lately for being “too touristy,” I definitely think it lives up to the hype. I hate crowds and tourists, and yet after two hours I was ready to move in and never leave. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible so for now, I’ll have contend with using my Blue Lagoon Skincare mud mask. Until next time! — ANGELA GILLTRAP