What To Know Before Swimming In Iceland's Blue Lagoon

There are 101 reasons to visit Iceland, but not many that will leave you more relaxed and with skin smoother than a baby's bottom. You might be thinking that this sounds like your typical trip to the local spa and yes, you could save the plane ticket and go there instead. However, you'd be missing out on the amazing Blue Lagoon in Iceland.

What makes this place so special and worthy of your attention? The Blue Lagoon is an outdoor geothermal spa located about 45 minutes from Reykjavík in the town of Grindavík. As its name suggests, the water in the lagoon is a milky blue color and chock full of minerals which are said to soothe a variety of skin ailments from psoriasis to eczema and even aging skin. As always, take these claims with a grain of salt — or silica, as it were. Still, it can't hurt to try.

Mostly, visitors to the Blue Lagoon go there for pretty much the same reasons they'd go to any hot springs: to soak in the warm waters, have a beer, and treat themselves to a little mud mask. But there are still some things that may surprise you if you don't read up ahead of time.

Plan ahead for your trip to the Blue Lagoon

To get to the Blue Lagoon, you'll either need to rent a car, take a bus, or hire a taxi. However, Blue Lagoon partners with Destination Blue Lagoon, a transport provider that can pick you up either from Reykjavík or Keflavík International Airport. So if you want to get straight to your R&R time, you can absolutely do that.

As for when you should visit the Blue Lagoon, the summer will offer the best weather. With that, you can expect more crowds and more expensive accommodations with less wiggle room for last-minute changes. Yes, the winter is colder and fewer activities are available, but there are fewer crowds, and the activities and accommodations that are available are less expensive.

No matter what time of year you go, you should book your tickets to enter the Blue Lagoon in advance. Currently, your options are (in USD): Comfort ($63), Premium ($80), and Luxury ($483). Each package includes entrance to the lagoon, a towel, a silica mud mask, and a drink of your choice. Premium throws in an extra drink, a few extra masks, and a bathrobe, while Luxury includes five hours at the Lagoon, a private suite, and exclusive access to other areas of the spa.

Expect a relaxing experience

A day at the spa should come with no surprises, so here's something you should know before you enter the Blue Lagoon waters: You are required to take a shower without your swimsuit on. Yup, birthday suit style. This is because Icelanders expect a high degree of hygiene. While you should adhere to this rule, it's not strictly regulated or monitored. Yes, some people may see parts of you only your mother and significant other have seen, but isn't it nice to know that you and everyone swimming around you is nice and clean?

If you want a drink to up the relaxation factor, just be careful and stay hydrated. Drinking while soaking in hot water can be dangerous, which is why there's a three-drink maximum. So you can't go too crazy anyways.

Lastly, for those with damaged or chemically/color-treated hair, keep your head above water. And we don't mean that as a motivational entreaty. Seriously, keep your hair out of the water unless you want to cosplay as Beaker for the rest of your vacation. This is such a common phenomenon that Blue Lagoon recommends applying complimentary conditioner to the hair before getting in the water.