The excitement of my Iceland trip started before I even got there. We were a few hours into our overnight flight from Toronto to Keflavik when the sun started to rise. While everyone else has claimed a row in the plane and was sleeping, I made myself open the shade and look out into the midnight sun. What I saw took my breath away. It was July- the hottest part of the summer- and yet I was looking down at what had to be Greenland and miles and miles of glacier and icebergs. It was incredible. Of course I knew there were places on Earth that remained frozen no matter what the season, but to actually see it is quite the experience. My initial excitement was dampened by the fact that I had no one to share it with and then further so when I looked back out into the icy landscape and saw that the glacier was breaking apart into sole icebergs. Global warming- It’s one thing to talk about it and a whole other to see it first hand. This wouldn’t be the only time during this trip where I would get a firsthand account of the negative effects of the melting ice caps.
A few hours later our plane landed in Iceland with clouds overhead and rain in the forecast. The terrain and landscape was what I had expected. I had dreamed about and researched Iceland for the past 6 years so there was very little that was left to come as a shock. Our plane landed at 8:15 AM and by 8:45 AM we were on a bus to the Blue Lagoon. Customs consisted of walking up to a customs agent (no line), handing over your passport, and getting it stamped. After that you’re free to be on your way.
Our first stop on our grand tour of Iceland was the Blue Lagoon. Yes, yes I know it’s a tourist trap and not a completely natural place, but it was somewhere I had wanted to go for years and was only a 20 minute ride from the airport. I didn’t care how touristy it was- I was going to do it. Now before I go into my time at the Blue Lagoon, I’m going to start off by saying that this was my least favorite part of my Iceland trip. However, I’m still glad that I went because if I hadn’t I would have definitely regretted it.
Once we arrived at the Blue Lagoon we made our way to the changing rooms and navigated our way through the opening of the lockers, showering, and then finding our way out into the Lagoon area. It was about 52 degrees (Fahrenheit) when we were at the Blue Lagoon so not too cold, but still chilly enough to make us jog from the towel area into the warm water. The water felt incredible and while our time slot was booked to the max the lagoon never felt crowded. One thing that I found really nice about the Blue Lagoon was that while there were areas for groups to go and relax off by themselves, there were also plenty of secret coves and bridges for the adventurous types to move around and explore.
We purchased the Comfort package which got us entrance into the Lagoon, a towel, a silica mud mask, and one drink while in the Lagoon. We visited the Lagoon on July 4th so we ended up paying top price of $98. The best thing about the experience? The photo ops of course! The blue water makes for a perfect snapshot and is even better when you plan your swimsuit color ahead of time. (Which I did.)
The best thing about the Blue Lagoon was the people we met! There were two female solo travelers that we ended up becoming friends with at the Blue Lagoon, and it turned out that we all had lunch reservations at the Lava Restaurant at the Blue Lagoon for noon so we all sat together. It was truly amazing to meet and talk with other travelers in Iceland. During our three days in Iceland we met fellow travelers from over 10 countries. We learned that Iceland is the perfect place for the first time solo traveler. Everything is easy, we never felt unsafe, and everyone is willing and interested in making new travel buddies.
We ended up spending 3 hours at the Blue Lagoon with about 2 hours of that in the Lagoon itself. For lunch we ate at the Lava Restaurant which is attached to the Lagoon and, to be honest, it was our least favorite meal of the whole trip and also the most expensive. I ordered the beef tenderloin which came with potatoes and was $42. The portion size was more than I could eat, but the beef was over seasoned and wasn’t something I would normally want for lunch. Our new solo travel friends ordered the salmon which they weren’t crazy about either because it had too much lemon flavor.
If you’re visiting the Blue Lagoon I would definitely say to skip the Lava Restaurant. It looks enticing from the photos of the glass walls that overlook the Lagoon, but the food is pricy and not our favorite. We recommend coming to the Lagoon in the morning and then heading into Reykjavik for lunch afterwards.
Overall I say “GO TO THE BLUE LAGOON” just because I would hate for you to go to Iceland not have seen this place. It’s relaxing and such a beautiful blue color. While we didn’t have sunny skies for our time there, I think that the clouds helped to keep the water that murky blue color. Later in the day, when we arrived in Reykjavik, the sun did come out which made for a great “end” to our first day in Iceland. (I say “end” because the sun never sets and it seems as though the day just continues on.)
I recommend trying to attach your trip to the Blue Lagoon to your travel day since it is close to the airport. We went directly from Keflavik airport to the Blue Lagoon and all agreed it was the perfect cure to a long, overnight flight. While the pictures we took at the Lagoon were beautiful this day would turn out to be the least memorable while in Iceland. If you only have a day or two in the country, skip the Blue Lagoon in place of a tour to South Iceland or some time in Reykjavik.