When researching what to see in Iceland, the Blue Lagoon will show up on pretty much every list. As you’ll read below…I can’t quite understand why, especially since it’s not cheap. In a country filled with so much natural beauty, why people are obsessed with a large, crowded hot tub is beyond me.
On day 6 we had planned to hit up the (in)famous Blue Lagoon, and failed miserably. Apparently, even in the off-season, a reservation is crucial because they will completely sell out for the entire day. After our failure, we luckily found open reservations for day 8 of our Icelandic Adventure around 10am, which worked our perfectly because the tour included transportation to the Blue Lagoon from our hotel, and then a transfer to the airport. We likely would have paid more to get to the airport had we booked transportation separately.
Getting to The Blue Lagoon
We woke up in the morning and made a final breakfast in our Luna Apartments studio before setting off to the office across the street to wait for our shuttle. It was raining, but lightly, and the office was closed. A few others joined us outside to wait and about 30 minutes later, the shuttle showed up. We probably could have just waited inside our studio, but too little too late.
The shuttle ride brought us to the same area where we had dropped off our rental car on day 6. From there, I ran inside to get our transfer ticket which was a very quick process, while Ransom moved our bags from the shuttle to the larger bus that would take us to the Blue Lagoon. From there, it would be about a 40 minute bus ride which was fine with us – we were looking forward to resting and not having to drive.
We loaded off the bus at the Blue Lagoon, checked our bags at the baggage check right off the parking lot, and headed down the relatively long walkway to the lagoon. It was at this point I realized I hadn’t seen Ransom with the green plastic bag that was holding all our food for the flight. Ahh!! Poor guy ran back to the parking lot but didn’t see the bus, so I called the terminal to check our options. The nice lady on the phone told me that the bus was, in fact, still in the parking lot but had changed their sign. Ransom, poor guy, once again ran back to the parking lot in the rain and found the right bus, and there was the green bag-o-food. Phew! My hero.
The Blue Lagoon Experience
From there, we checked in, got our towels, and went our separate ways to the locker rooms. You’re technically required to shower before heading to the lagoon, but I saw numerous people who hadn’t. Ew. I changed, stuffed myself in the locker, and headed off to the showers in my towel and bathing suit. The showers are nice and have doors so you can shower in privacy although I think there were also common shower areas. It’s hard to remember because there were so many people everywhere! Once beyond the locker rooms, you walk down the stairs and it’s just a continuation of the mess of people and towels and things everywhere. We found a dry, empty corner and dropped our towels there, hoping they would still be there when we got back (luckily, they were). We had chosen the “comfort” package (for $70 USD!) which included a towel, but some people didn’t – I passed one sweet old lady looking for the towels and I had to tell her that she probably didn’t get one with her reservation. I sure hope she was able to go back and upgrade her reservation!
From there, we waded down into the water, and then outside…where…it…was…windy. No, seriously….really, super, windy. Windy enough that the heat under the water was continually blown away and the water was not hot. We walked around in the water until we found a spot where the wind wasn’t blowing, and it happened to luckily be right where the heat was coming out.
Our $70 comfort package also came with a free drink for each of us (whoopdee doo), so we ordered at the bar and went back to our hiding spot. It was difficult to enjoy with the wind and spritzing rain. I’m sure under better conditions it would have been a nicer experience, but considering it’s windy like that all winter, and more crowded in the summer…I’m just shocked that this is a top trending place to visit in Iceland. Mostly because it’s just a big, hot, pool. That’s all. I have a hot tub – sure, it’s not heated by the ground, but it’s still the same idea. And the minerals actually dry out your hair terribly at Blue Lagoon (they say to put conditioner on before going under the water).
Anyway…after we finished our drinks, we decided to venture off to the rest of the pool and check things out, and seriously I felt like I was in the middle of the ocean. The water was pretty choppy from the wind, and rain was whipping at our faces. We made our way to the face mask bar (comfort comes with 2 types), applied our stuff, and bounced. We had had enough. You know it’s bad when you’d rather sit in the airport than spend more time at a place you paid to go.
We made our ways individually back through the showers to wash off the Blue Lagoon, and met on the other side clothed, and dry. We left just as two more bus-loads of people were walking in. We picked up our bags at the luggage check, found our bus, and settled in. The drive to the airport only takes about 15 minutes, and the airport had self-check-in. Their security line was empty and their conveyor line was super efficient. I think they should teach TSA a thing or two.
We had made it to the end of our trip and although we were sad to be leaving such an incredibly beautiful country, we had had our share of wind and rain and were ready to head back to the San Diego sunshine. The flight out was delayed and we were nervous about missing our connecting flight in SFO (it was the last Southwest flight out), but after a Home Alone-style sprint through the airport, we managed to make it to the flight to San Diego with 5 minutes to spare before they closed the doors.
In closing, Iceland is not something to be missed. If you’ve just started reading on day 8, it’s not representative of our entire trip which was fabulous for the most part, so go back and read all the good stuff! It far surpassed any expectation I had, even in spite of the less-than-pleasant weather. There were so many highlights of our trip, and we managed to do it relatively inexpensively while also being comfortable (with airfare, hotels, car rental, gas, food, alcohol, etc, I think we spent under $2,000 USD each). I wish we could have made it to the eastern side of the island, but with only a week, there simply wasn’t enough time – but there was still an incredible amount of things to see on the western and southern coasts! So, what are you waiting for? Go book your trip!! 🙂