When we started planning our trip to Iceland, the first destination we wanted to visit was the Blue Lagoon.
It is the perfect destination to visit either to or from the airport as it is just a 20 minute transfer aboard a coach and they offer a separate secure Luggage House in the carpark, where you can store your luggage securely for a small extra charge.
We opted to pre-book for the day we arrived, with our swimming stuff carefully transported in a cabin bag and boarded the transfer bus at the airport. Our bus tickets also included transfers from the Blue Lagoon to Reykjavik.
The queue at the Luggage House was queuing out the door, but we were relieved to see that it was moving quickly and we were soon inside the main building, where we checked in and collected our towels and colour coded wristbands, which give you access to secure electronic lockers.
The changing rooms are brilliantly arranged with lots of small changing areas, private cubicles and separate shower and WC facilities and areas for you to dry and style your hair. The exit from the changing rooms comes out in a conservatory style area where you can hang your towels before you get in the pool. You do have to shower before entry to the lagoon.
The Blue Lagoon is filled with geothermal seawater, from volcanic aquifers 2000 meters underground where freshwater and ocean water converge in a tectonic realm of searing heat and immense pressure. It contains high levels of silica, algae, and minerals which can make even the sleekest of hairstyles go wild, so they also provide a handy hair conditioner to apply before you get in.
The minimum age for using the Blue Lagoon is 2 years old and children aged 8 and under must use the floaties (arm bands) provided. I will admit that Eliza, who swims for a swimming club at home, was most unimpressed by this, but the staff insisted she wore them at all times.
Before our visit, I had visions of us walking on a stony, rocky surface, but although uneven and gritty in places, it is a smooth surface under the water and wooden walkways around the outside.
The deepest part of the Blue Lagoon is 1.4m, but most areas are shallower and there is a handy map at the entrance to show you the depth levels. The water temperature is between 37°C and 40°C and I would liken to that of a warm bath, but there are clearly marked water output areas which are substantially warmer and I would avoid those areas with the kids.
I was also surprised to find that the Blue Lagoon didn’t smell unpleasant, although the kids did make a beeline for the geothermal waterfall at one point and made a quick retreat when they realised it smelled of eggs.
Dotted around the Lagoon are In-Water Bar areas. The first one we found was the in-water mask bar where we got apply the water’s iconic white wonder—silica mud—to our faces.
Adults are advised to rinse it off after 10 minutes, whereas the kids you leave on for just 5 minutes. It does leave your skin feeling tight and clean, just like a face mask at home. Other masks on offer include algae, mineral, and lava and are available at an additional cost.
The second In-Water Bar area we found was the bar for drinks.
They served everything from soft drinks to healthy smoothies, alcoholic drinks to kids slushies.
We also found a handy cold water drinking fountain under one of the bridges too.
Top 10 Tips on visiting the Blue Lagoon with Kids
1. Go Early – we arrived at 11am and the Blue Lagoon was relatively quiet. We left around 3pm and it was substantially busier.
2. Wristbands – Everyone is required to wear a colour coded wristband. Only the adult ones operate the lockers and work as in-water credit card, whereas the kids ones signify their age and whether they need to wear floaties. They come off really easily, so make sure they are put on correctly and the little plastic strap secures them in position as you will be charged if you lose one.
3. Inflated Floaties – Kids aged 8 and under have to wear floaties (arm bands). These are available inflated in the covered area by the entrance to the lagoon.
4. Take a Break – The lagoon is huge and there is plenty of places to explore, both in and out the pool. It was -3°C during our visit, but we relished our cool down moments out of the heat as much as we loved being in the lagoon.
5. Try a Face Mask – a free silica face mask is included in the entry price and leaves your face feeling fresh and clean.
6. Enjoy a Drink – As part of the comfort package, my husband and I were entitled to a complimentary drink from the In-Water Bar.
There are a range of beverages to choose from and if you require anymore, you can use your electronic bracelet for cashless payment. As kids are entitled to free entry to the Blue Lagoon, they do not get a free drink, so factor this into any costs.
They will want a drink as the water is so warm and salty that it makes you thirsty. Mine all chose Slushies, which are amusingly called Krap.
There is an ice cold water fountain located under the bridge closest to the face mask bar.
7. Avoid the Output Points – because the lagoon’s water is naturally renewed constantly, there are several output areas. Here the water is a few degrees warmer than the rest of the pool and the kids felt it was too hot for them here. These points are clearly signed though.
8. Avoid the In-Water Bar areas – unless you are getting a face mask or a drink, avoid the in-water bar areas as this is where the lagoon is at its busiest
9. Pre-booking is essential – you cannot just turn up to the Blue Lagoon, book a ticket and hope it is not busy. We chose the Comfort Package which entitles you to entrance to the Blue Lagoon, a silica mud mask, use of towel and the 1st drink of our choice. Kids under 14 are free but must still be pre-booked.
10. Explore Outside – once you have finished your session, take some time to head outside and explore the area.
To the left of the entrance (as you look at it), is a pathway that leads you through 800 year old lava fields with some pretty spectacular views of the landscape and volcanic craters.
The water has the same milky texture of that we bathed in and although most of it is still geothermal, we were surprised to see that some of it is frozen over, particularly at the farthest points from the lagoon.
All in all, we loved our visit to the Blue Lagoon and yes, it really did help my skin (I suffer with psoriasis). The only downside was Eliza having to wear floaties as, because she is a strong swimmer, she found them both uncomfortable and annoying.
Have you been to the Blue Lagoon before?