Attracting over a million visitors each year, the Blue Lagoon Hot Springs are the most recognizable thermal pools in the world and are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland. Luckily, the extensive hot springs provide plenty of space to host its myriad of visitors and offer a wide array of onsite services and amenities for a luxurious soaking experience.
Located on the Reykjanes Peninsula, about 45 minutes from Reykjavik, the Blue Lagoons Hot Springs offers a full-service resort that can accommodate visitors’ immersion into the mineral waters and an enhanced exploration of the surrounding countryside.
Whether seeking a weekend retreat to relax at the facility’s therapeutic spa or luxurious accommodation for basing an exploration of the country, this is everything you need to know before visiting Blue Lagoon, Iceland.
History of the Blue Lagoon Hot Springs
Despite its rustic design, the Blue Lagoon is a man-made thermal pool created accidentally by a nearby geothermal power plant in 1976. Established in 1971, the Svartsengi geothermal plant drills 2000 meters into the earth’s crust for hot waters, which are then transported to the radiators in the homes of Iceland’s residents.
Unfortunately, the water extracted from the springs is unsuitable for use in homes thanks to the high concentrations of minerals and seawater. To counteract this obstacle, the geothermal powerplant engages the spring water, naturally heated to 392 degrees Fahrenheit, to warm fresh water that is then used to heat Iceland’s homes.
Following this practice, the spring water is then released into the Illahraun Lava Field, where it was believed the water would simply disappear. Instead, the high levels of silica in the spring separated from the water and created a muddy layer overtop the lava that stopped the water from seeping through and, in turn, created the Blue Lagoon.
The Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Despite their accidental formation, the Blue Lagoon continues to be fed the discharged by-product of the Svartsengi geothermal plant’s heat-exchanging process.
However, it was only a short time before visitors discovered the therapeutic properties of the natural spring’s mineral-rich waters. Today the springs are serviced by an extensive full-service resort.
The most significant draw to the Blue Lagoon Hot Springs is the large soaking pool first created by the geothermal powerplant in 1976. The large pool averages 99 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit and offers plenty of space for visitors to escape the crowds and enjoy a private soak.
The spring is open to visitors aged two and up and features depths of 2.6 feet at its shallowest and up to 4.7 feet at its deepest. The waters are a vibrant shade of milky blue and feature high concentrations of silica, algae, and salt water, renowned for their ability to strengthen and repair skin.
Also featured within the Blue Lagoon’s large thermal pool is an in-water bar that serves a wide selection of soft drinks, beer, wine, juices, and smoothies. Furthermore, the Mask Bar offers an Algae Mask and Silica Mud Mask that offers deep cleaning and stimulates collagen production.
The Blue Lagoon’s extensive onsite Retreat Spa offers a vast catalog of specialty treatments that engages the mineral waters of the location’s natural resource to provide guests with enhanced relaxation for soothing weary bodies.
Along with providing an exclusive thermal lagoon to soak in, the Retreat Spa also features several spa treatments, including float therapy, beauty treatments, multiple massage packages, and a revitalizing in-water massage experience provided in half-hour, one-hour, and two-hour sessions.
Other services offered within the spa include The Blue Lagoon Ritual, which immerses visitors in the natural elements of the springs for a revitalizing sensation, and a collection of indoor and outdoor spaces that include hot saunas and cozy fireplaces to enjoy by the natural waters.
The Blue Lagoon Luxury Spa package offers 5 hours of unlimited access to all of the spa facilities and treatments, the complex’s thermal pool, access to the Spa restaurant, and a complimentary drink of each guest’s choice.
Whether visiting for the day or spending an extended vacation within the premises, the Blue Lagoon Hot Spring Resort offers four diverse dining options serving various dishes and beverages.
Featuring some of the most picturesque views from the shores of the Blue Lagoon, the Lava Restaurant specializes in traditional Icelandic cuisine accentuated by only fresh, locally sourced ingredients. This fine dining facility is open for lunch and dinner from 11:30 am to 9:00 pm. Visitors can even dine while wearing the resort’s bath robes until 4:00 pm.
A 2022 Michelin Guide-recommended restaurant, the Moss Restaurant offers a menu that takes a unique twist on classic Icelandic cuisines offered in set menus that vary between seasons and engage only locally sourced ingredients. Located at the highest point of the resort, the Moss Restaurant also rewards diners with some of the best views of the surrounding volcanic landscape.
Reserved only for patrons of the Retreat Spa, the Spa Restaurant offers an exclusive dining experience free from the crowding of some of the resort’s other restaurants. Unlike the other restaurants in the complex, this dining facility does not require a reservation and offers a calming setting for enjoying your meal.
Visitors that prefer a quick bite should stop by the Blue Café. Operating from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm, this smaller facility offers a delicious selection of snacks and beverages and features plenty of views of the lagoon.
Accommodations at Blue Lagoon Hot Springs
While the Blue Lagoon Hot Springs serve as a fantastic day trip destination from nearby Reykjavik or Grindavik, the full-service resort also features two luxurious hotel options for visitors that prefer to spend the night by the soothing springs. Both hotels feature premium admission to the Blue Lagoon and additional onsite comforts.
While both hotels feature premium pricing, the Silica Hotel is the more affordable of the two and provides visitors with clean, modern rooms with stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. Additionally, visitors staying at this hotel receive private access to the facility’s Silica Lagoon, which offers a quieter soak than in the public pool.
The most luxurious accommodation at the Blue Lagoon, the Retreat Hotel features opulent suite options and provides visitors with unlimited access to all of the hot spring’s services and amenities.
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Getting to Blue Lagoon, Iceland
As one of the most popular attractions in Iceland, the Blue Lagoon Hot Springs is one of the most accessible thermal pools in the country. Located only 20 minutes from the Keflavik Airport and 45 minutes from Reykjavik, visitors only need to follow Highway 41 or 43 to reach the resort.
While visitors are invited to make the journey via a private car or taxi, the Blue Lagoon Hot Spring Resort also features a public bus for added convenience. Destination Blue Lagoon makes round trips from Reykjavik and Keflavik several times a day throughout the year. Visitors should check bus schedules before visiting.