There are lots of great places to visit in Iceland, but high on the list of popular tourist spots is the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa.
Grindavik on the Reykjanes Peninsula in the southwestern part of the country is where you will find the lava field where the spa rests. The Blue Lagoon is very nicely situated, and is just 13km from Keflavik International Airport, and just 39km from the city of Reykjavik, making it easy to see why so many flock there.
The geothermal waters of the spa get their start well below the surface. We are talking 2,000 meters down, which is where freshwater and seawater collide at extreme temperatures. Holes are drilled so that the geothermal power plant in Svartsengi can use that power to deliver electricity and hot water to the surrounding area.
Silica and minerals mix with the water as it heads to the surface, at which point it is a relaxing 38°C (100°F).
The blue water of the lagoon
The composition of the geothermal water is truly unique, with 3 active ingredients – Silica, Algae, and Minerals – all in play. The distinctive blue color of the water comes when the silica reflects in the sunlight. The summer months show little bursts of green in the water, too, as the direct sunlight multiplies the levels of algae in the water.
Despite these colorful bursts, the water is in fact while. If you were to scoop up the water in a clear glass, you would see that it is indeed milky white. It is the sun that is responsible for the shade of blue you usually see.
Keep in mind
While the water delivers a number of great benefits, there are some things you need to keep in mind:
- Drinking water is crucial, as spending any a lot of time in the warm water can lead to dehydration.
- Your hair will not be harmed by the lagoon water, but it will dry it out. Keep your hair soft and silky by using conditioner before and after your dip.
- The water can have an adverse effect on certain types of jewelry, so remove it all and keep it in a private locker before jumping in.
- It’s very cloudy under the surface, so goggles and underwater cameras really serve no purpose.
- When the sun is out, there can be some real glare that comes of the water. We recommend that you always pack sunglasses.
Good to know
- No matter the time of year, the water temperature sits at 37-40°C (98-104°F).
- There are 6 million liters of water in the lagoon.
- No cleaners required here, as the water renews and self-cleanses every 40 hours.
- At its deepest point the lagoon goes down 1.6 meters, but the average depth is 0.8-1.2 meters deep.
If you are in the area and have a few hours to spare, you really need to find a way to get to the Blue Lagoon. This is a popular last stop for many on their way to the Keflavik airport, as it’s much less expensive and time consuming that making the round trip from the capital city.
Iceland Travel Guide Team – Reykjavík (Iceland)