Blue Lagoon Iceland
Travel Update: Most destinations are open — check the official websites and read our crucial BEST TIME tips below to help you AVOID CROWDS (Travel with at least 15% off | booking.com)
This is our complete Blue Lagoon guide with every question answered. Fully updated for 2019/20. Need quick tips? Jump directly to our 9 Must-Know Tips and the ultimate guide above it. Below the tips: Even more tips about viewing the Northern Lights, Opening Hours, Prices in US Dollars and Euros.
Tip: If you stay in Reykjavik and prefer it comfortable, book one of these tours: Blue Lagoon Tours incl. Transfer from Reykjavik. Some also include a 'small' Golden Circle tour with excellent guides!
Nearby Must-Do: If you have a rental car (click here for rental car deals), you must visit the stunning Skógafoss Waterfall (recent article written by us) nearby (2 hour drive from Blue Lagoon or Reykjavik)
Now: What about Blue Lagoon tickets? Pre-booking your admission tickets is necessary for this famous spa in Iceland, as they only allow a limited number of visitors. In this way, they avoid a heavily crowded lagoon. However, regardless of the season and month it still gets busy during the day. Read on for our best time to visit tips before you go:
Avoiding the Crowds
Long waiting lines, hectic locker rooms, ... In the year 2015 Bill Gates reserved the entire Lagoon for a swim at midnight without the crowds. We have a much cheaper solution for you: Enjoy a much more peaceful lagoon and its surreal surroundings by visiting either very early in the morning or as late as possible. Stay at a close hotel as it's more comfortable, but not at the super expensive new 'internal' Retreat (from 1000 EUR) or the Silica (from 500 EUR) hotel. Our more budget friendly but still top class hotel recommendation is the Northern Light Inn, because it's right there and excellent value for the money! (Bookmark the link to compare prices later if you like! You can read more about this hotel below in the hotel section). Also try to avoid weekends (Friday - Sunday), because it's busier then, even in the morning or evening. Make your reservation a couple of weeks in advance to get your tickets for the desired slot:
Book a ticket the first time slot available (see opening hours below). Being there first thing in the morning, you won’t see any crowds and no waiting lines, regardless of the package you booked. Often there are only 20-30 people within the first hour of operation.
It usually thins out in the evening. Book tickets for a time slot about two hours before they close. Timing your visit for sunset will make your photos even more amazing. After sunset, there is even a chance to see the Northern Lights in winter. Check sunrise and sunset times here: Sunrise / Sunset Grindavík
Weather and Water Temperature
Regardless of the season, weather and outside temperature, the water is always kept at 37–39°C (98–102°F). However, if it’s really cold and windy, some parts of the lagoon can be cooler (different temperature zones). Check the monthly weather details for the area, as well as average rainy days here: Average Monthly Weather Grindavík (you can switch between °F and °C). Keep in mind, that the weather is unpredictable, particularly in the winter months. However, almost everyone says that a visit is always a fantastic experience, even on a cold, windy and rainy day. The warmth of the water and the shelter of the heaters help a lot. Especially with rain and fog the atmosphere is just otherworldly and even more amazing.
The Blue Lagoon (Bláa lónið) is a truly fascinating geothermal spa and one of the most visited tourist attractions in Iceland. It is located in a lava field in Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula. The next big city Reykjavík is a short 43 minutes drive: Map Route from Reykjavík to Blue Lagoon
Here are the 9 must-know tips as well as our Blue Lagoon Ultimate Guide below:
9 Must-Know Tips
- To avoid crowds and waiting lines book tickets for an early or very late spot and preferably mid-week
- Visit regardless of season and weather. Especially with rain and fog, it's an otherworldly experience you won't forget
- When booking the Premium ticket you can skip the waiting line at the entry, using a separate door. That's more comfortable in case you can't book an early spot. The Premium ticket is only a little more expensive than the standard one.
- If you want to spot the Northern Lights, you need to visit between the end of August until mid-April. Statistically the best months are March/April and September/October
- For the Northern Lights it also needs to be dark with clear skies: Usually anytime after sunset until sunrise. However, the prime time is often between 10 p.m. until midnight
- The Northern Light Hotel (see our hotel tips above) has a Northern Lights wake up service. The new 'internal' Hotels Silica and Retreat Hotels are also great but super expensive.
- Remove your jewelry, as it can get damaged in the water
- Don't just stay at one spot in the lagoon. Move around in the water
- Use a waterproof bag for your camera. Leave it in the secure locker whenever you like
This is our Blue Lagoon Ultimate Guide as an infographic which covers everything from hours and prices to the best insider tips as well as spotting the Northern Lights.
Thanks to Bob (flickr profile) for the header image. All information from the above Blue Lagoon Ultimate Guide Infographic as well as more tips, can be found in the following text (Please note that the price packages got updated in 2018. You can find the new packages below):
- 1 Jan - 24 May: Mon-Sun 8:00-21:00
- 25 May - 28 June: Mon-Sun 7:00-23:00
- 29 Jun - 19 Aug: Mon-Sun 7:00-0:00
- 20 Aug - 30 Nov: Mon-Sun 8:00-22:00
- 1 Dec - 31 Dec: Mon-Sun 8:00 - 21:00
*Special opening hours during Christmas and New Year’s Eve: 24 Dec: 8-15, 25 Dec: 8-17, 31 Dec: 8-17
- The water temperature is always at 37–40°C (98–104°F), regardless of the outside temperature. However, some spots are hotter than others.
- The lagoon holds 9 million liters of geothermal seawater. It's self-cleansing, as it renews itself every 40 hours. Common bacteria do not survive here. The water is also shallow enough, that you can walk everywhere.
- The geothermal water consists mainly of silica. Other ingredients are algae and minerals. Silica and the sunlight reflections make the water look blue. The green tint is a result of the algae.
Source - Skin - Hair
Source: The lagoon is man-made. Originating from 2000 meters below the surface at extreme temperatures, the water slowly cools down as it rises. It is then harnessed via drilling holes at a nearby geothermal power plant. On its way up, the water picks up silica and minerals.
Health Benefit: Silica has a deep cleansing and strengthening effect on the skin. Your whole body feels great after the bath. The lagoon water is also supposed to cure skin diseases.
Hair: Silica is not harmful to your hair, but it's difficult to remove and can make it crunchy and stiff. Tips for women: Apply conditioner provided for free in the showers before entering. Leave it in! Afterwards, wash your hair with the free shower gel and conditioner.
Tickets (Packages 2018/2019 +Prices in US Dollars)
- Standard Package Ticket: not available anymore
- Comfort: from €51 ($58), Silica Mask, Towel, Welcome Drink
- Premium: from €73 ($84), Silica Mask, Second Mask of Choice, Towel, Drink, Bathrobe, Slippers, Premium Entry (you skip the waiting line)
Retreat Spa: from €205 ($230), Retreat Spa (Lava Cove Private Suite), Retreat Lagoon, Completeley Separate Entry/Area, Private Changing Rooms, The Blue Lagoon Ritual, The Blue Lagoon, Skin Care Amenities, A Drink of Your Choice
Please check the official website for updated prices: Blue Lagoon Day Visit
Tickets/Package Recommendation: If you follow our tips and visit early or late, booking tickets for the Comfort Package is fine. However, despite the high prices the majority who chose Premium or even Retreat Spa, were happy with their choice. The key 'Premium' benefit to most visitors is not the bathrobe or the slippers, it's the separate entry: You skip the normal waiting line by entering separately. The main benefits of 'Retreat Spa' are the private changing room (no busy locker rooms), the hidden retreat spa (Lava Cove), and the separate entry (this is completely separate). More details here: Blue Lagoon Retreat Spa Booking the super expensive Retreat Spa also means, you don't need our tips on how to avoid the crowds (see above) any more.
- Months: From end of August until mid-April. Statistically the best months are March/April and September/October
- Time of Day: It needs to be dark: Anytime after sunset until sunrise. However, the prime time is often between 10 p.m. until midnight. Tip: The close Northern Light Hotel (see our link on the website) has a Northern Lights wake up service.
- Location: Theoretically you can spot them by visiting late at the Blue Lagoon, but your best bet is to stay at the closest hotel.
- Weather: The sky needs to be clear. No chance to spot them when it's cloudy. Keep in mind that the weather can change really quick. A cloudy sky can turn into clear night quite fast.
Blue Lagoon Links