Trip duration: 2 hours | Approx cost: Entrance from £30 | When: Year round
Doinit factor: Have a hot dip in Iceland’s iconic and surreal soundings!
Well on Iceland’s tourist trail is the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa which is perhaps one of country’s most popular attractions, and rightly so. The steamy blue waters project a bizarre sense of tranquillity as they rest, encapsulated by the surrounding lava formations make this an experience not to pass on.
Iceland has a reputation of being notoriously expensive and it’s a notion that I sadly cannot dispense; however, there are deals to be had. Iceland Air periodically offers city break packages from about £300, including accommodation in a reasonable hotel. They also allow you to add on tours, such as a visit to the Blue Lagoon. This allows you to plan almost your entire visit before you even step on the plane. Granted, this approach won’t be for everyone, but Iceland’s a unique case with so much to see and do, and with high prices this can be the best option, especially if you’re there for a short stay. It’s worth noting that recently low-cost airlines are adding Reykjavik to their schedules with Easy Jet leading the way and the new Icelandic airline WOW Air now offering possibly more competitive fares. The Blue Lagoon’s location midway between Reykjavik and the airport makes it easy to incorporate (as many operators do) into your transfers, meaning it can either be your first or last experience of Iceland. Whichever you choose, your visit to the Blue Lagoon is sure to be a memorable one.The mineral properties of the Blue Lagoon purportedly help suffers with various skin ailments and the geothermal spa even runs its own research facility to develop effective cures utilising natural resources found in the lagoon. Of course, if you have the money, elaborate spa treatments and their own brand of skin-care cosmetics are on offer. But corporate machine aside, a visit to the Blue Lagoon is expensive, but well worth the money. If you’ve not included this in a tour package, the entry price is 35/40 Euro (which includes a locker and a towel)
Above: It’s claimed the white mud is good for your skin
The lagoon is an amazing sight. The water is light blue with white steam rising in the confines of the black lava hills surrounding the area. The warm waters maintain their average temperature of 38 degrees Celsius all year round. This all makes the Blue Lagoon quite possibly one of the most wonderful bathing experiences in the world. The lake swimming areas are quite extensive and an adult of average height will often be able to stand on the bottom. Be sure not to stray into any of the out of bounds areas, as they will not be watched by lifeguards. Various fountains and mud dispensers are incorporated into the lake. The white silica mud is meant to be smeared on your face as a facial.
You can be forgiven for thinking that this amazing geothermal body of water is a natural feature of the renowned Icelandic landscape, but the waters are in fact a by-product from a nearby geothermal power station where hot groundwater powers its turbines…. Don’t panic—it’s perfectly safe. Apparently, the water’s also renewed every two days, so hygiene levels are high. However, grab a hand full of mud from below the surface and you’ll no doubt pull up a few stray hairs left behind by one of the thousands of visitors. On second thought, best not do this after all: out of sight is out of mind.A visit can be made year round, but in my opinion there’s a certain something about having a hot swim amidst a freezing Icelandic winter landscape.
Above: And yes there is a gift shop