Mumbai to Reykjavik is some distance… to be exact, 8330 km as the crow flies. There are no direct flights connecting the two cities. The most convenient and economical for us to get there was to take a flight to mainland Europe and then to Iceland. We got the best deal with Delta Airlines… Mumbai-Amsterdam-Reykjavik. While I am calling it the best deal, it was still a long flight. Mumbai to Amsterdam was an eleven and a half hour flight followed by a three hour flight to Reykjavik. We had a four hour layover at Amsterdam. Add the two hours for airport formalities in Mumbai, and we were traveling for more than twenty hours. Needless to say, by the time we reached Reykjavik, we were totally exhausted.
Had it been Thailand, we would have plonked ourselves on massage chairs at the beach. Considering that we were not in Thailand, and were in Iceland, we had found and equally relaxing solution to help us unwind… the Blue Lagoon, which is amongst the most famous tourist attractions in Iceland.
What is the Blue Lagoon?
The Blue Lagoon is a large water body, which is man-made. Surprised? The lagoon is fed by the water output of the nearby geothermal power plant. Superheated water from about 2000 meters under the surface of the earth, is vented from the ground and used to run turbines that generate electricity. After going through the turbines, the steam and hot water passes through a heat exchanger to provide heat for a municipal water heating system. Then the water is fed into the lagoon for recreational and medicinal uses.
In its travels through porous lava, a blend of sea and fresh water undergoes mineral exchange and then near the earth’s surface, concentration occurs, due to vaporization, evaporation and finally, sedimentation. It is the high density of sulphur and silica that make the water appear blue. The lagoon itself holds six million litres of geothermal seawater all of which is renewed in 40 hours. It is exactly the way it looks in pictures! The water temperature is between 37 and 39 degrees Celsius, regardless of the season. Who doesn’t love wallowing in a warm water bath? It is one of my favourite sports and I could have spent a few more hours here had we not had the aurora watching trip planned later in the night.
Luggage Storage: A lot of people visit the Blue Lagoon while they are on their way to or from the airport. Needless to say, they carry their bags alongwith. There is a storage facility to house your luggage for a few hours, at a fee that is charged per bag.
Lockers: There are lockers close to the lagoon, so keep you change of clothes in a small backpack that you can carry along. The lockers at the lagoon are medium sized to accommodate your clothes and jackets.
Shoes: There is a separate stand for shoes. There are plastic bags available to carry your wet swim suit and towel.
Showering/Changing Area: The showering and changing areas are clean and well maintained with ample supply of soap, shampoo and conditioner. There are mirrors and hair dryers… you will emerge relaxed, clean and pretty
For the shy bunnies, here is something that you must know… the rule in Iceland is to shower prior to entering any swimming pool, including the Blue Lagoon… shower sans the swimsuit! There are plenty of shower stalls… and there are a handful with doors too.
Bar: If you want to laze around and grab a drink, there is a bar in the pool. Nothing beats a cool beer while you are immersed in a warm pool.
Restaurant: There is a restaurant too… to satiate your hunger pangs.
Face Mask: And oh, don’t miss slathering on the white silica mask near the spa end… its free… and is supposed to be really good for the skin!
The Blue Lagoon is just a 25 min drive from the Keflavik airport. It makes sense logistically to go here when you land or when you are exiting Iceland. However, check the opening hours depending on the season and do budget at least 3 hours for the place. Anything less than that would not enough to enjoy the place… you need to change, shower, wallow for a while, slather the mask and have a drink… you surely need 3 hours!
You can take either the Grayline or the Flybus service to get to the Blue Lagoon from the Keflavik airport. We bought the tickets for Flybus (Keflavik to Reykjavik, with a halt at the Blue Lagoon) on the Iceland Air flight itself. They cost the same amount as those available at the airport…we skipped standing in the ticket line, which was good. Both bus services cost almost the same amount, your choice should be driven by which bus leaves at the time that suits you.
It takes about 40 – 90 minutes to get to Reykjavik City Centre from the Blue Lagoon. Well, the driving distance is that of 40 minutes only. But as the buses drop you to your hotel, your drop off turn and number of passengers in the bus really govern the time taken. We were the last ones to be dropped after about 90 minutes.
Best time to go
Summers or winters, the Blue Lagoon is always full of patrons. The evening hours, prior to the closing time get really crowded. The best time to be here is in the afternoon, especially on a sunny day. Do read the weather forecast if you intend to be here during winters… while the facilities will be open, a cold, snowy and windy day won’t be as much fun as a sunny day.
The Blue Lagoon offers various packages to suit every budget. The cheapest one is at EUR 35…the standard one, perfect for the budget traveller. If you intend to go in for this, make sure that you carry your towel and your slippers too. If you are not sure that you want to enter the water, you can buy the EUR 10 ticket to simply view the facilities…if you look at the blue water and are tempted to enter the pool, simply upgrade your ticket. The higher end packages go on to EUR 165. If you have some money to spare, the spa here is supposed to be great… a little pampering hurts no one, does it?
Many thanks to the Blue Lagoon for ensuring that we had fun filled hours at the facility. Our views, as always, are our own.
Here are the contact co-ordinates for the Blue Lagoon:
+354 420 8800
Highly recommend reserving a spot for yourself prior to showing up to avoid disappointment. We were here in winters, February end, to be specific. We were glad that we had booked earlier. The facility was full to capacity and was not issuing any further packages/passes to enter the water.
As always, send me an e-mail if you need any further details. Glad to help!
Let the travellers’ tribe grow!