Monday, April 14, 2014

Iceland grand finale - relaxing in the Blue Lagoon

By: Janine

As I mentioned here in my previous post, our Icelandair package included transportation to the Blue Lagoon and then directly to the airport from there, which is only a short 15 minute drive. After an awesome 3 days in Iceland full of jammed packed activities with little sleep, we all were really looking forward to relaxing in this geothermal hot tub for a few hours. Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperating at all. It was extremely windy and raining, which conveniently turned to hail just as we arrived at the blue lagoon. We soon realized this wouldn't be the relaxing experience we were hoping for, but being the good sports that we are, we decided to make the best of it anyway.

The lagoon will hold your luggage for you, but beware that they charge about $5 per bag for this service. Since we had no other option, we paid the $15 to have them hold our 3 suitcases. Once that was taken care of, we began the long 10 minute walk to the actual spa area. Here is where you hand in your vouchers and receive your robe, towel, lotion, and a bracelet. Before you do anything else, make sure this bracelet is securely fastened to your wrist. This is the key to your locker, your entrance card, and your wallet all in one, as it will pay for your drink and face mask in the lagoon (or in our case, it was our free drink and face mask voucher due to the comfort package)

We found the whole process of getting ready for the lagoon to be really confusing. Make sure you wear your bathing suit to the spa as there is only one private changing room. Once we had everything in our lockers, we had to use the bracelets to lock them, which was a mission in itself. There was a centralized locking area where you had a few seconds to press the button, close your locker, and swipe your bracelet so that it would lock and give you the correct number. I had multiple attempts at this before correctly locking my own locker. We then entered the shower area, where we were told we had to shower before entering the lagoon. Similar to the changing area, there were only 4 private showers. The other showers had no doors and were opened for everyone to see. There were women letting it all hang out everywhere we looked... We waited for the private showers, and then were finally ready to go into the blue lagoon.

I am happy to report that you enter the lagoon indoors! This really brightened our mood as we were not looking forward to running outside in 30 degree weather, in a hail storm, to get in. The water was a perfect temperature, not scalding but warm enough for us all to feel comfortable enough to venture to the outside portion of the lagoon. Once outside, you see those beautiful white mountains surrounding the lagoon and the steam rising from it, which is a very unique sight.  We put our waterproof camera to use and spent a good amount of time taking pictures of the group, and then ventured to the drink stand. Our free drink included anything on the menu, and they had everything from smoothies (non alcoholic), to strawberry champagne, wine, and even beer. I tried out the strawberry champagne while most of the rest of the group got the smoothie, and we all agree the drinks were tasty. This is also where you get your face mask. There was a choice of the white algae mask that is most frequently seen in pictures, or a green volcanic mask. Our group of 7 was split pretty evenly between choice of mask, which made for good pictures. Note that if your Blue Lagoon entry doesn't include the comfort package, there is also a big jar of another white face mask at the far end of the lagoon.
blue lagoon face mask iceland
With our drinks and facemasks

Blue lagoon iceland
You can see the steam fogging up the camera. Notice the mountain
We spent the rest of the time taking more pictures and relaxing in different caves to get away from the hail. They also had a sauna outside, which we tried for a few minutes, and it was one of the hottest saunas we have ever been in. About an hour before we were scheduled to leave, we got out and went back to the locker rooms for our second shower. Ladies, make sure you wash your hair and condition multiple times, because we were told by multiple people throughout the trip that the lagoon will leave your hair a knotted, stiff, puffball mess for a week. I tried to avoid getting my hair wet in the lagoon but it really is inevitable... There is a viewing area outside the locker rooms where we got some great aerial photos, as well as a gift shop, restaurant, and cafeteria.

blue lagoon aerial shot
Aerial shot of the lagoon

 Tip: Leave yourself almost a half hour to walk back to the luggage area, actually get your luggage, and board the bus. We left about 10 minutes and we had to run back and were then scrambling to move up the baggage line to board the bus and not be left there.

No visit to Iceland is complete without a visit to the Blue Lagoon, so make sure you leave time for this on your trip!

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