It’s one of the must-do things for any visit to Iceland: soaking in The Blue Lagoon.
On the road between Keflavik Airport and Reykjavik, there are actually airport buses to the Blue Lagoon to drop off stressed people who have just flown in, and pick up relaxed people ready to sleep away the flight home. There is a secure storage shed provided for luggage beside where the bus stops in the carpark.
The most important thing is to leave enough time. The Blue Lagoon is not something you will want to rush. A couple of hours is an ideal time to set aside for this. You’ll want time to explore the whole lagoon, which is big with crisscrossing bridges and little side bays for just floating peacefully.
The next most important thing is to remember your bathing suit: this is mixed bathing, and nudity is not allowed. And crucially, before putting on your bathing suit, you must shower thoroughly. The Icelanders are very strict about this: all pool changing rooms have big shower areas and provide soap and shampoo; this is where nudity is a must. Most Icelanders wash their hair before bathing but this is up to you – even though the pool is hot the air might be cold and you may not enjoy having your wet hair freeze into an icy helmet. If you do plan to get your hair wet in the Lagoon, add some conditioner to protect it; the water can be very drying because of the minerals.
The pool itself is big and very blue, edged with white geothermal mud, some of which has been scooped into boxes for you to dig in and wipe on your face as a free treatment pack. The water is full of minerals and has been voted some of the most healing water in the world. There’s a special health clinic associated with the Blue Lagoon where people come and stay for treatment. But, even an hour or so will make you feel great.
Paddle towards the building and you’ll find saunas, spas and a gushing waterfall to stand beneath for pummeling those tense shoulders. You can also book a massage and even have it in the water if you choose.
The Lagoon Bar and Blue Café are great for re-hydrating and adding taste sensations to your general feeding of the senses. When you arrive at the Blue Lagoon you’ll be given a blue plastic bracelet which accesses your locker and also can have drinks and snacks charged to it so there is no need to carry money.
One of my favorite moments from my tour of the Blue Lagoon was soaking on a cold winter’s day with thick steam rising all around when the mists parted and there stood a bearded Viking-type in his red and yellow lifeguard’s jacket and a woolly hat. That’s Iceland.