Our final day in Iceland has arrived, despite all my efforts to slow down time and just keep driving around this magnificent country. I had high expectations, but they have all been surpassed. I can honestly say this is one of the greatest places I have ever been, and I also intend fully to return. With any luck, during the summer so I can experience the legendary midnight sun and get some hiking in.
That being said, Icelandic winter has also surpassed my wildest expectations. It hasn’t been unbearably cold and we’ve had the unique pleasure of enjoying some iconic places completely alone, not to mention making a lot of last minute bookings that would never have been possible in summer. I can’t speak highly enough of this country, no matter the season. And I hate winter, so you know it must be great here.
All the details: Blue Lagoon
Cost: You’ll need to pre-book your tickets for €50 before arriving in Iceland to ensure you get the time slot you want (slots can book up well in advance, especially during holiday periods!).
Getting there: Blue Lagoon is a 20min drive from the Keflavik Airport or 40min from central Reykjavik. There are also a number of tours operating from these two locations that will deliver you to and from the Blue Lagoon.
Top tips: Blue Lagoon is actually incredibly close to the Keflavik Airport, so it’s an ideal first or last stop in Iceland! Also, even though they are wildly overpriced, consider paying extra for towel hire at the front desk so you don’t have to pack a soggy towel into your luggage if you’re flying out that day.
I pre-booked tickets to the very expensive, very popular Blue Lagoon before we left, so we have a short 30 minute drive from our hotel in Reykjavik to reach our last destination in Iceland. They even make you choose a time slot for your visit, so you have to reserve before arriving.
It’s not cheap (50€ each) and it is crazy touristy, but it’s still super fun. The Blue Lagoon itself is man-made, but all the hot mineral water inside is naturally occurring and just pumped into the nicely landscaped rock pools. We are right on the intersection of the American and Eurasian tectonic plates, so the water below the surface is around 230C. Thankfully, the Lagoon is not this hot. (I actually learned all this information from an audio track playing inside a cave in the Lagoon.)
When we arrive at 10am, there are quite a few people there, even though the sun hasn’t even risen yet. Even though we did travel with a microfibre towel, we leave it in the car to avoid having it turn to mold on our flight across the Atlantic. I am fine drip-drying, but Princess Callum requires a towel, so we have to shell out some absurd amount of money to hire one from the Lagoon.
Once in the locker rooms, we stow all our valuables in the lockers provided, shower off, and coat our hair in layers of conditioner to prevent it from drying out (which I would strongly recommend). And then we frolic off into the beautiful blue water for a soak.
When the water in the Lagoon cools, it forms a silica-based mud, and they provide large buckets of this white mud for you to rub on your face and shoulders. It’s a very pampering experience. (Only a person who has never had an actual facial could be enchanted by free buckets of mud, but hey, that’s me.)
Do not be fooled by the nearly empty background in our photos, there were heaps of people floating by. I just strategically aimed the camera in emptier directions and the steam coming off the water did a great job masking people in the distance. It’s a busy, touristy place, but it is still totally worth it. A great last stop on a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Farewell, Iceland (sniffles).