Blue Lagoon is a must-do for a 1st-timer

By: Jim Bamboulis

There’s been a lot said about whether or not the Blue Lagoon in Iceland is worth the visit. Words like ‘overrated’, ‘hyped up’ and ‘tourist trap’ have all been used to describe the Lagoon itself and the experience you get.

It’s true that visiting and dipping into the sometimes scolding hot thermal pool will cost you a tad more than in previous years and yes it’s man-made after all. And how awesome is it to see loads of tour buses arriving throughout the day with fully dressed wannabe photographers standing around, taking pictures while you’ve got your calm on, body soaking, breathing in the crisp Iceland air?

Not so much, I understand.

The Blue Lagoon is one of those experiences that if you don’t do it, you’ll be questioned and judged by those who did do it and yada yada yada.  Sure, it can get annoying to see loads of tourists arriving but everyone is generally pretty civil and there to have a great time. Prices have gone up everywhere and yes including at the Blue Lagoon but that shouldn’t stop you either. And let’s be real, you’ll probably be considered one of those annoying wannabe photogs who wants to get in that one last picture.

Truth is, the Blue Lagoon is a must-do if you’re a first timer. And to make it more enticing for you, it’s conveniently and strategically situated between the airport and downtown Reykjavik.

You can rent a car and hit the road but if renting isn’t for you, then be aware that buses are the only way to get anywhere. The good news is that the buses make it easy for you to get to and from any major site, including between KEF and Reykjavik with an optional stopover at the Lagoon.

Although many people usually hit the Blue Lagoon on their way to the airport, at the end of their vacation, I decided to visit as soon as I landed. After all, this was a dream of mine for several years and to put it off was a crazy thought.

As for the experience itself?

Silica mud - exfoliant found at the Lagoon. Take a scoop, lather it everywhere, keep it on for 10-15 minutes and wash off.
Silica mud – exfoliant found at the Lagoon. Take a scoop, lather it everywhere, keep it on for 10-15 minutes and wash off

Fantastic. Loved it!

It was an incredible feeling and lived up to my expectations. I saw pics of this place years ago, dreaming of the day when I would be lounging in the water, on the western edge of the island country, eastern edge of the North American tectonic plate, in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, having a drink in the pool (there’s a swim up bar available) and looking around taking in the scenery and terrain of what could pass as the surface of the moon itself.


Swim up bar
Swim up bar

But would I do it again? Probably not.

Iceland is loaded with thermal pools that are frequented by locals both in Reykjavik and outdoors throughout the rest of the country that are just as phenomenal. At those pools, I imagine it’s more of a cultural experience than a tourist, ‘must-do’ experience. Next time, I will explore those and build on experiencing a more local flavour, more of what this spectacular country has to offer.

But for my first time in Iceland, this was a great time and one that you should consider doing for yourself.

Have you been to the Blue Lagoon? Got tips?

Tell us what you think and happy travels!


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