The Blue Lagoon

Iceland’s best-known hotspot, the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is the perfect place to start or end your holiday. Gently steaming at around 37-40°C, the idyllic open-air lagoon is deservedly popular. Pre-booking is required.

Imagine gently poaching yourself in warm, mineral-rich water that’s percolated from 2,000m underground, absorbing all sorts of therapeutic goodies along the way. Total bliss! Wading into the languid waters (the lagoon is mostly 0.8-1.2m deep), you can scoop up silica mud for a rejuvenating face mask, or order a healthy smoothie from the swim-up bar. Covering 8,700m2 (about the area of 1¼ football pitches), the Blue Lagoon is easily big enough for you to find your own quiet space for total relaxation, and there are various spa treatments available as well.

The 9 million litres of water are naturally self-cleansing – the entire contents of the lagoon are renewed every 40 hours. And if you were wondering why it’s blue, well, the water is actually a milky-white colour. It’s the silica it contains – and the way it reflects sunlight – that produces the dramatic turquoise tones.

Where is the Blue Lagoon?

Just 23 km (a 20-minute drive) from Keflavik International Airport, the Blue Lagoon is located in the rugged lavascape of the Reykjanes Peninsula in south west Iceland. It can easily be added to the beginning or end of your itinerary, after you’ve landed at Keflavik, or before your flight home. Just ask one of our Iceland Travel Specialists to prebook a visit. If you want to stay nearby, we recommend the Northern Light Inn – as well as a 360-degree observation lounge, perfect for aurora spotting during winter, it’s right next door to the Blue Lagoon. The capital, Reykjavik, is 47 km (about a 50-minute drive) away. Our 3-night Blue Lagoon Spa Break is based here.

iceland blue lagoon silica masks

What can I do at the Blue Lagoon?

Relax! The expanded lagoon was completed in January 2016 and has a new area for ‘enhanced tranquillity and relaxation’. Another new addition includes an in-water spa treatment area where you can indulge in a floating massage featuring the Blue Lagoon’s signature range of scrubs, wraps and oils.

At the Silica Bar in the main lagoon, simply help yourself to handfuls of wonderfully squidgy, soft silica mud, apply to your face and body, leave for five minutes, then rinse off for soft, radiant skin. There are also sauna and steam rooms carved into the natural lava around the lagoon, while a spectacular manmade waterfall provides an invigorating dousing.

As well as a relaxation area next to the changing rooms (modern and spacious with private lockers activated by wristbands), there is an Exclusive Lounge for privacy and an extra touch of luxury.

Built into a basalt cliff with views across the Blue Lagoon, the Lava Restaurant offers contemporary fine dining using local Icelandic ingredients, while the Blue Café – with its spectacular floor-to-ceiling windows – is the place to head for light bites. A shop stocks the full range of Blue Lagoon skincare products.

Exploring the Reykjanes Peninsula

The bewitching backdrop to the Blue Lagoon, the Reykjanes Peninsula is an extraordinary landscape full of other geothermal and volcanic surprises. It is well worth spending a day or more roaming this desolate, gnarled finger of land – join our excursion from Reykjavik, Reykjanes & Blue Lagoon by Superjeep or alternatively contact our Travel Specialists about incorporating it into your Iceland self-drive holiday.

iceland blue lagoon reykjanes peninsula

Highlights of the Reykjanes Peninsula (a UNESCO Global Geopark) include mysterious Lake Kleifarvatn and the conspicuous cone-shaped peak of Keilir, formed during subglacial eruptions in the last Ice Age. You can witness bubbling mud pits and steaming vents at Gunnuhver and walk across the Bridge between Continents, which straddles the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. At Katlahraun there are amazing basalt formations where lava flowed into the sea some 2,000 years ago, while Hafnaberg is renowned for its sea cliffs – home to nesting guillemots and other species during summer.


It was such a well planned trip we had a fantastic adventure. Having the iPad was so helpful and such fun, we couldn't get lost or miss any interesting sights. The route was well staged, the hotels were beautiful and food was superb.
Alan Phillips and Jan Walters
Essential Iceland

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