Blue Lagoon Tips – A Guide to Iceland’s Most Popular Geothermal Spa

by Jenna Lee

Blue Lagoon Tips to Know While Planning A Trip to Iceland

Post last updated August 30, 2019

Visiting the Blue Lagoon in Iceland has been on my bucket list for YEARS. Last year, I finally got to check that box after booking an incredible round trip fare to London that included a 24 hour layover in Iceland. Now I’m here to share some helpful Blue Lagoon tips and FAQ to help you plan your own trip to Iceland’s most popular geothermal spa.

View from inside the Blue Lagoon with steam rising from the water.

One Day in Iceland. One Epic Experience.

If you ever have the chance to book a great fare that also includes a stopover, I highly recommend it. These long layovers are a perfect opportunity to sample a new destination you may not have otherwise been able to visit. The best part is that it often won’t cost any extra, at least not on your plane ticket. The downside to these whirlwind experiences is that one day in Iceland, or any city or country, is not long enough to enjoy a full cultural experience. You will definitely leave wanting more! 

While short, one day or weekend in Iceland is absolutely long enough for at least one epic experience and many memories that you will treasure for a lifetime. I boarded my flight home so grateful for the opportunity, but also sad that my time was so brief. Savor this bittersweet moment. There are so many incredible adventures in Iceland and the natural beauty that will leave you speechless. Rest assured that this little island is worth its own trip in the future.

Lava Rock at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland

Making the Most of 24 Hours in Iceland

Traveling to a Iceland with such limited time means you are forced to narrow activities down what you want to do the very most and focus on how to make that work. This right here is the single hardest thing involved with travel planning – at least for me! There is always so much to see and do and never enough time. Iceland is no exception with a long list of bucket list worthy activities. However, for us, visiting the Blue Lagoon was mutually non-negotiable. Fortunately, visiting the Blue Lagoon on a layover in Iceland is easy to work out if you plan in advance. The trick is figuring out how to tackle this efficiently without sacrificing the experience and, ideally, having the time for at least one additional Icelandic experience. That’s what I’m here to help you with today.

Downtown Reykjavík with a view of Hallgrimskirkja Church
With careful planning, we were able to spend an evening exploring Reykjavik in addition to visiting the Blue Lagoon during our layover in Iceland.

There is so much to do in Iceland from diving between two continents to driving the Golden Circle to visiting one of the many natural geothermal pools. It really is hard to choose how to spend your time! Did you know that the Blue Lagoon isn’t actually a natural phenomenon? It is true that the lagoon rests in a lava field filled with natural minerals. However, the lagoon itself is the result of water runoff from a nearby geothermal power plant.

Despite the fact that it’s man-made, it is the  largest and most popular geothermal spa in Iceland. If you choose to visit this semi-natural wonder, these Blue Lagoon tips should help you while planning a trip to Iceland and (hopefully) having the best experience possible.

5 Important Blue Lagoon Tips

The Blue Lagoon sign early in the morning.

Blue Lagoon Tip #1: Book WELL in Advance

One of the most important Blue Lagoon tips to keep in mind while planning a trip to Iceland is to book in advance. This is especially true if your time in Iceland is limited, you would like a little added luxury with the massage and/or dining options or you are visiting during the summer. Preferred visiting hours are typically booked days and sometimes weeks or months in advance. Because timing was so important to us, I booked our entry 2 months in advance for our March trip.

The Blue Lagoon is open year round but hours of operation vary based on time of year and, of course, holidays. Summer is the busiest season for visiting, weekends are the busiest days, and late morning to early afternoon are the busiest hours. You will find these times often booked months in advance. I’ve included ticket costs and a link to the website below these tips where you can look up hours and availability for your specific travel dates.

Blue Lagoon Tip #2: Visiting the Blue Lagoon Before or After your Flight Saves a Ton of Time

Few people realize that the Blue Lagoon in not actually in Reykjavik. It’s actually located in Grindavik which is only about 20 minutes from Keflavik Airport. Meanwhile, Reykjavik is about 45 minutes from the airport. This means it’s easiest to visit upon arrival into Iceland or on your way back to the airport.

We flew in from London for a 24 hour layover in Iceland on our way home to the States. Following an afternoon arrival, we took the Flybus straight to Reykjavik and booked an early morning entry to the Blue Lagoon. This meant we could spend a full evening enjoying the town.

Our bus picked us up at 7:30 the next morning. With a 5:30 pm flight out, we had plenty of time to enjoy the early hours of the lagoon and a nice lunch at the on-site restaurant before catching the Flybus back to the airport. It was really nice to board our long flight home relaxed and refreshed after an amazing time abroad.

An over-the-wing view of Greenland Sea
Flying over the Greenland Sea on our way home from Iceland

Blue Lagoon Tip #3: Book a Transfer with Reykjavik Excursions Flybus

This is truly the easiest and cheapest way to get from Keflavik to Reykjavik, vice versa, and to the Blue Lagoon. Although I chose to book in advance, it isn’t necessarily something you have to do unless you want to avoid a line at the kiosk. Reykjavik Excursions promises that there will always be a seat available on airport transfers.

If you are booking a Blue Lagoon transfer, you will want to go ahead and book in advance with your Blue Lagoon ticket. This is done directly from the Blue Lagoon website at the time of your day visit reservation. The Flybus will pick you up at the City Centre Bus Stop (or possibly even your hotel), take you to the Blue Lagoon and then transfer you on to the airport or back to Reykjavik for a set fee. If you decide rent a car instead, here are a few tips for driving in Iceland.

Reykjavík Iceland Harbor in the early morning
Enjoying the view on our early morning transfer to the Blue Lagoon

You don’t have to worry about whether a bus will be available from any of these points or if they will be on time. Upon arrival to Keflavik, we boarded the first available bus with our pre-purchased, one-way ticket. With our Blue Lagoon Entry ticket, we scheduled a bus ride for the next morning.  For an additional small fee, we chose hotel pick-up to avoid needing to take a taxi to the bus stop.

You can rent a car if you have more time in the country and plan on exploring other things like the Golden Circle on your own If you’re not up to driving, plenty of tours are available for various activities. Booking a taxi is also an option for your airport or Blue Lagoon transfer but be aware that it will cost you an even prettier penny for that 45 minute ride.

Blue Lagoon Tip #4: Arrive Early in the Morning

Blue Lagoon cafe is empty before crowds arrive.

Save time and avoid annoying lines by being one of the first people to arrive for the day. Depending on what time you arrive and the season, people can wait in line for upwards of an hour just to get in even if you book in advance. If you have to make the most of limited time like we did, booking an early morning entry is a must.

Whenever you do decide to go, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to enjoy this amazing experience! We spent about 5 hours and still felt rushed. Here is how we spent our day: 9:00 am entry, 11:00 am in water massage (60 minutes) and 1:00 pm lunch. Time flies when you’re having fun!

Blue Lagoon Tip #5: Lather those Locks with Conditioner!

If you’re researching a trip to the Blue Lagoon, you’ve probably read about all the horrible awful things that will happen to your hair. Don’t panic! Lather those locks with the free conditioner provided in the locker room and have yourself a fabulous day. Twist your hair up in a bun if you are worried but don’t worry too much. If you want to leave your hair down, let it flow! Just be sure to saturate your hair with generous amounts of conditioner before entering the pool.

Standing in the Blue Lagoon hair care tips

Why does hair care end up on a list of Blue Lagoon tips? Well, the minerals in the water could leave your hair a little “crunchy.” That said, it’s nothing a few washes with clarifying shampoo won’t remedy. My personal experience was far less dramatic than I anticipated. As you can see, I pulled my hair into a bun for added protection. I still managed to get my hair all kinds of wet, but I had no issues afterward. I did give my hair a good wash and condition on the way out.

Bonus Tip: A Northern Lights tour was high on my list but it sadly just didn’t make sense at the time. Luckily, I still got my wish and was able to see the Northern Lights from the plane! If you are flying to Iceland and want to try to catch the Lights from the plane, be sure to book a window seat on the respective side of the plane. I still look forward to catching them from the outdoors. Until then, I am happy to have viewed them from the air.

Beyond Blue Lagoon Tips: More Info You Need to Know

White silica on the black lava inside the Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon Entrance Fee

The Blue Lagoon currently offers three options for your day visit.

Comfort: From 55 USD* Includes entry, mud mask, towel and one drink

Premium: From 78 USD* Everything included in Comfort plus slippers, a robe, and a table reservation at Lava along with a glass of sparkling wine.

Retreat Spa From 623 USD* (per person, double occupancy) Includes exclusive 4 hour entry into the Retreat Spa and Blue Lagoon, private changing rooms, Retreat Lagoon, the Blue Lagoon Ritual and more.

*Prices vary based on time and season. Check the Blue Lagoon website linked above for more details and pricing during the time of intended travel.

More about Flybus Transportation (Reykjavik Excursions)

Reykjavik Excursions offers transportation to and from Keflavik airport and also to the Blue Lagoon via Flybus service. Tickets can be booked on line. There’s no need to select a date as your ticket will be good for whenever you decide to use it. Buses will be available for every arriving flight even if your flight is delayed.

If you plan to visit the Blue Lagoon, it is best to book your transfer as an add-on to your Blue Lagoon entry. For example, I purchased one way bus tickets from KEF to Reykjavik for our arrival. My transfer from Reykjavik to the Blue Lagoon to the Airport was booked with my Blue Lagoon ticket through the Blue Lagoon website. Otherwise, you can book a bus transfer through Reykjavik Excursions or through Get Your Guide.

Current Flybus Prices According to Reykjavik Excursions Website

One Way

(KEF-Reykjavik or Reykjavik-KEF): Adults (Ages 16+) from 3299 ISK.The Flybus brochure declares a 50% discount for children ages 12-15 and free rides for children ages 0-11.

Round Trip

(KEF-Reykjavik-KEF): Adults from 6299 ISK; Teenagers from 2750 ISK; Children Free

Blue Lagoon Transfer

(Includes return service) From 4500 ISK. Children Free. This option is available through the booking portal on the Blue Lagoon website.

In-Water Massage

If you want a truly unique experience and are in a position to splurge, I highly recommend the in-water massage. This experience involves lying on a mat and floating in the warmth of the Blue Lagoon waters while being treated to a relaxing massage.

30 Minute Treatment 137 USD

60 Minute Treatment 240 USD

LAVA Restaurant

Lunch and Dinner is available at this on-site gourmet restaurant. Built into a lava cliff, you can enjoy beautiful views and a delicious meal. You can even experience fine dining in the comfort of your robe and slippers! Keep in mind that, like most things in Iceland, lunch at LAVA won’t come cheap. A 3-course lunch will run you about 62 USD. I regret not trying the Langoustine Soup but the Lamb Fillet was delicious!

Other Good to Know Blue Lagoon FAQ

Now that you know all of my best Blue Lagoon tips, here are a few more Blue Lagoon FAQ to help you with planning a trip to Iceland!

Calm waters of the Blue Lagoon surrounded by lava formations.
How much time do you need at the Blue Lagoon?

I recommend that you allow yourself at least 4 hours to experience the Blue Lagoon. This will allow for time in the entry queue, changing, showering/preparation upon entry and exit, and a couple of hours to relax. If you would like to take advantage of amenities such as in-water massages and lunch at LAVA, consider blocking out more time for a luxurious experience.

Will I need my wallet inside the Blue Lagoon?

No. The Blue Lagoon provides everyone a wristband which is used to make any purchases at the swim up bar. Your wristband will also serve as an electronic key for your locker. You will settle your tab on your way out. Do NOT lose this wristband!!

Can I take my phone into the Blue Lagoon?

Yes. However, I would strongly encourage you to only take it into the Lagoon if you have a water-safe pouch with flotation. Should you drop your phone into the water without a way for it to float, the odds are that you won’t be retrieving it. Go ahead and put this on the list of very important Blue Lagoon tips. Protect your phone!

Should I purchase the Comfort or Premium Package?

Honestly, this is totally up to you. We purchased premium tickets mainly because the robe sounded awfully nice to have walking around in the freezing weather. Also, we knew we wanted to eat lunch there at Lava rather than at the airport. I changed back into my clothes before lunch but you can actually go have a beautiful lunch at Lava in the comfort of your robe! For us, Premium was worth the extra dollars during that particular visit. That’s not to say I might not just stick with Comfort next time.

Can I bring my own robe and slippers?

Yes. If you’d like a robe but don’t want to pay for the Premium package, this is the perfect solution to save some money!

What are the benefits of silica and algae?

Silica benefits the skin as a natural cleanser. Algae serves as a moisturizer and is said to aid in collagen production.

Do I have to shower naked?

Yep! However, individual showering stations are available and you can close the door for privacy.

Can I take my kids to the Blue Lagoon?

Absolutely! Children are welcome but must be at least 2 years old to enter. Going as a family is actually the best way to get the most bang for your buck! Those ages 2-13 recieve free entry to the Blue Lagoon. All children must be accompanied by an adult, of course.

I hope this guide has helped you with planning a trip to Iceland and these Blue Lagoon tips make your trip a little easier. If you have any tips for the Blue Lagoon that I missed, please feel free to share them in the comments to help other readers! As always, I welcome questions and will do my best to help you.

If you’re headed to Iceland and would like a great guidebook. I highly recommend Rick Steves’ Guides. Buy Rick Steves Iceland Guide for a ton of useful information on this amazing country.

If you found these Blue Lagoon tips to be helpful, share this article on Pinterest!

You may also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. For more information refer to our privacy policy. Accept Read More