Skip to main content

The Truth About the Blue Lagoon

We reserved day two of our trip for the quintessential Iceland experience. I speak, of course, of the Blue Lagoon. Famed hot springs and must-do, unmissable activity when in Iceland. We had the ultimate relaxing day there, floating around in the very hot water, so hot as to be uncomfortable in some places, getting a floating massage and enjoying the moonscape.
Now, I promised you a shocking truth about the Blue Lagoon and I do not intend to disappoint you, dear reader. Iceland owes its dramatic landscape to the fact that it is located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and a hot spot of geological activity. This means that over 90% of the energy used in Iceland is green geothermal energy. The naturally hot water from the earth is pumped through power plants where it warms clean water for use in homes and businesses and creates electricity. When the water has gone through the Svartsengi energy plant just south of Reykjavik it goes...
Photo courtesy of

...did you guess it? It goes into the Blue Lagoon.

That's right, the most famous tourist attraction in Iceland and symbol of its amazing geothermal waters is not only man-made, it's the run-off water from a power plant, which is beautifully situated about a kilometer away in full view of the bathing pool. Now, it has to be said that because this is geothermal energy, the water is clean and allegedly has loads of amazing natural minerals in it that are good for your skin. I'm not sure that I'm looking any younger, but it sure was relaxing, hanging out in that run-off water. If you find yourself in the Blue Lagoon and searching for your lost youth, however, let me offer a little advice:

Blue Lagoon Top Ten

1. Go to the actual boxes of silica. You will see people scooping gunk off the bottom of the pool to put on their faces. While I'm sure this has silica in it, it also has hair and other yucky things. You can't possibly be that desperate to take a couple years off. Instead, scoop some (hopefully) cleaner silica from the boxes along the left side of the pool.

2. Go on, try the silica. Yes, you look silly with white stuff all over your face, but so does everyone else.

3. No, you don't need that much silica. I know it's good for your skin, but if you have enough gooped on your face that cartographers are amending topographical maps of the area to accommodate you, you probably didn't need that much.

4. Get a massage. It was twenty minutes of pure bliss. Floating in a hot pool is the only way I want massages from now on. Other half, love of my life - take note.

5. Lather on the sunblock. No point in putting on silica to rejuvenate your face and then immediately loading up on wrinkle causing UV rays.

6. Reapply that sunblock. Especially if you get a massage; turns out that oil will fry your skin. Also, you're swimming and, in the summer, the sun never sets so you can get sun burnt 24-hours a day.

7. Bring flip flops. Somebody thought it would be nice to have a pebble beach. It isn't. It's sore.

8. Avoid the caesar salad. The chicken has a pretty rough Asian style marinade on it and the caesar dressing does nothing to save it.

9. Go up to the viewing platform. It's the perfect location to take a photo of the Blue Lagoon and it's mama, Svartsengi power plant.

10. Bring a camera. You're going to want to preserve for posterity you with a silica covered ghost face, the glowing, opaque, blue water and you having an Icelandic treat at the swim up snack bar.

So, did the fact that it's man made from energy plant run-off water ruin the Blue Lagoon for us? Nope, not at all. Our day there was easily the most relaxing one I've had in a long time. So even though it's not exactly a natural beauty, if you go to Iceland, don't miss the Blue Lagoon.

Soon to come: Food, drinks and nightlife in Reykjavik.


  1. Truly a beautiful part of God's green earth. I loved the silica!

  2. Did you feel more youthful after it?


Post a Comment