The Blue Lagoon
Iceland is now tourism hot spot and sits at the top of travelers to go to list. It’s filled with wonderful landscapes, an exotic culture, and a great location to experience the northern lights! What people don’t usually think is that it can be a great layover destination going from between North America and Europe.
Which is exactly what we managed to do for our Europe trip. Rain and I were trying to find the cheapest flight from Boston to Europe, and during our search we concluded that Denmark was the cheapest. Surprising to us, it was much cheaper than any of the other countries we wanted to visit. During our research, we had a wild idea, what if we could squeeze in a small trip to Iceland somehow and add one more country to the list.
What we needed to figure out was if it stayed within our budget. This meant exchanging another day somewhere else. Long story short, we made it work. Although we had to sacrifice a day in Germany and, Munich unfortunately didn’t make the cut.
Back to Iceland, we didn’t have a ton of extra time to spend in the country. It was 6:30am when we arrived to Keflavik international airport, and we were just over an hour from the capital of Iceland. Having a tight budget meant we probably couldn’t get a taxi from the airport to Reykjavik. Turns out that was a very accurate assumption. A single taxi ride that took 15 minutes totaled to be roughly $75 USD. Scary, I know. Although, traveling in a group, while renting a car could (as in possibly) save your bank account. Mention renting a car with friends and family.
Iceland has a small population, which means the economy has to make up for it. The country makes most of its profits on the tourism and trading. With Americans being the highest tourist, the locals would probably attempt to get as much money out of us as they could. Thank god that we were only going to be there for a single day, because we probably would have spent a lot more money.
To keep us from spending too much money, our day in Iceland included a walk down through the town and along the coastline, sleeping a little due to jetlag, and the Blue Lagoon. If you have never heard of the Blue of Lagoon, let me be the first to tell you that it is one of the most relaxing places on Earth.
The lagoon is a large manmade hot spring that is heated from the geothermal energy below Iceland. Inside the spring, clay and other highly concentrated minerals giving the water a rich blue color.
Because of the minerals, your skin barrier will be strengthened as well as prevent premature skin aging. So yeah, you should go. When you make a reservation to the lagoon, you have a few options. The options vary in how much you want to spend and how much you want to get out of your experience. In my opinion, if you just want to spend the evening relaxing just get the first cheapest package. However, if you’re willing to spend the money you should stay within the resort at their hotel and have complete access to the spa. If I could have stayed, I would have loved to spend the night and an extra day there.
If you aren’t sure if its something you want to spend the money on, Rain and I made our reservations about six hours in advance. So, as long as you aren’t in the height of tourism season you should have some thinking time. I think you should go, but that’s just me.
When making our reservation, we had options on which time we wanted to have access to the park. Unsure on what this exactly meant we chose to do an evening time slot. What was confusing for us was how long you were allowed to stay in the resort with your reservation. The prices were different based on what time you entered too.
If you wanted to arrive early when it opens it is more expense compared to arriving later on. The biggest thing to take from this, is once you’re inside you can stay as long as you want until it closes. This is what was great for our stay. We arrived around six in the afternoon, and originally only planned on staying for as long as our reservation allowed. Then we found out we could stay until it closed.
When you’re dropped off at the entrance to the lagoon, you walk through a passage made of lava rock. It was a cool feeling, and I felt as if I was on the set of a movie. Once you make it through the passage, you enter the resort and are greeted by the staff. Shocking to us at first, we were the only ones in line and got quick access to the spa.
Something cool that they do there is, provide each guest with personalized waterproof wristband. The use for this is to organize all transactions within the park. You can buy face masks, other than the free one you are given, and additional drinks. You may also use it in the gift shop, too.
The cheapest package permits you to have one free drink of anything you choose, and a complimentary silica mud mask.
Inside the spring, you have a bunch of places to sit and relax. The best places are over by the edges where you can lay your head back and close your eyes. If there isn’t anywhere comfortable to lean against, floating isn’t so bad either. The water level is only about 5 feet max. Most of the time I was just floating around on my knees.
Thankfully there weren’t a lot of people at the time we were there because we were able to freely move around the spa and not wait in any of the lines for silica masks or drinks.
The silica mask that we were given was probably the funniest thing we experienced in Iceland. First off, there is a little hut in the spring where the staff provides you with silica mask. When we went over, the staff member said hold out your hand and dropped a giant ladles worth of the silica into my hand. He also assured me that it was yogurt so if I was hungry I could eat it.
This was not the case and I am not responsible if you ingest it.
The other staff member then reassured us that we shouldn’t eat it. After we got the mask, the hard part was to putting it on ourselves. Our solution was to be a cute couple and put the mask on each other. So, while one person held the GoPro, the other would apply the mask. This was much more challenging that we anticipated, due to the consistency of the silica mud it really was like yogurt and we sure did make a mess of it.
After about 5 minutes of making a mess on each other’s faces, which is documented by the way; we relaxed over by the edge again. If you know anything about Iceland, then you know that the weather there can be very volatile and unpredictable. Which meant we got treated to some snow flurries while floating around in the lagoon. If you don’t think that’s relaxing, I am not sure why you would want to visit Iceland.
Weather was pretty bizarre for us during our one night stay. Especially when we were originally exploring the coast and the town. Within 30 minutes of walking the streets we experienced snow, rain, and 100mph winds (okay maybe not that strong of winds, but it was pretty intense).
After a nice long evening in the spa, Rain and I decided it was time to head back to the AirBnB and hopefully get some diner. We got out of the springs, grabbed out towels and headed back to the changing room. Just in case you were wondering, the air temperature was not friendly. So, after spending such a long time in the water I was very eager to get inside and dried off.
Pro Tip – When visiting the lagoon, it asks you to rinse of before and after. I highly, highly, suggest that you spend as much time as you need in the shower afterwards and really rinse off. They offer some free shampoos and body wash too. If you don’t take your time to wash off the minerals, then you will end up having a nice 3 days of chalky skin.
It seemed like no matter how much we showered afterwards, the sensation of chalk on our skins would not fade. We made it all the way to Flensburg Germany, two and half days later with this annoying feeling. So rinse off good while you are there!
Other than that one instance, I would recommend everyone visit the Blue Lagoon at some point in his or her life. Take advantage of some extra time in between flights, or give yourself an entire day there. I know Rain and I will definitely be going back in the future, and we are going to make sure we spend some time out on the countryside as well and see some other landscapes.
If you’ve been to the Lagoon, let me know how your experience was! I hope it was just as wonderful as ours! If not, I hope you go again and get a better experience!