Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is a thermal oasis in the midst of a frozen lava field. It looks like the moon out here – not a living thing growing. No trees, no animals, and not even people can survive in the barren wasteland between Blue Lagoon and Reykjavik.
After an hour drive through this black broken land the Blue Lagoon comes into view with a plume of steam and a strong smell of sulphur. It’s a prime destination for visitors and you must have reservations to enter.
A long walkway through volcanic rock leads to the Blue Lagoon entrance. You’re issued a wristband, robe and towel, and directed to the changing rooms. Lockers are provided and after donning a bathing suit it took me 10 minutes to figure out how to scan my wristband so the locker would close.
The waters of the Blue Lagoon are silica laden and truly blue. It’s salt water heated by underground thermal springs and the temperature was perfect! Picture a two-acre hot tub and you’ve got the idea.
Iceland treats visitors like grownups. They expect you to behave yourself and not do anything stupid. So there’s no rules or regulations posted, no lifeguards to snipe at you (it’s only waist deep) and best of all there’s a float-up bar in the middle serving a large menu of adult beverages.
Silica mud is provided in big buckets to slather on your face. (It’s supposed to be good for your skin.) You can just splash it off with Lagoon water when you’re done.
There’s something about the heated water and the silica that slows you down. Everyone wades around in slow motion, like gangly ducks pushing through the water. Just like any lake there’s a small current and hot and cold spots in the water. You’ll hear the phrase, “Here’s a warm spot!” in many languages.
Although your reservation specifies an entry time to the Blue Lagoon, there’s no limit on how long you can stay in the water. Just come out when you’re good and pruned.
After your long hot soak you can shower up in the locker area and melt your way downstairs to the excellent Lava Restaurant for a good but pricey meal.
We spent the whole day at Blue Lagoon, including all four hours of daylight, and returned back to Reykjavik in the darkity-dark of early evening. Perfect way to celebrate the Winter Solstice!