I think I’ve wanted to visit the Blue Lagoon for longer than I’ve actually wanted to go to Iceland, not that that really makes any sense. But it was certainly my number one thing to do while in the country for a mere 24 hours last December. When researching about the Blue Lagoon before booking our visit I found plenty of helpful blogs about how to look after your hair and if you should pay the extra for the premier packages but I found very little about visiting in the winter except that it would be open.
Visiting the Blue Lagoon in December
I was concerned about the temperature and if our visit would still be worth it on a bad weather day, after all every picture you see is on a sunny day. I hadn’t even thought about the daylight hours Iceland would be receiving in December. It was mid winter when we visited and Iceland gets a mere four hours of daylight during this time. This meant with only 24 hours in the county, my only hours of daylight would be spent at the Blue Lagoon. This was a win in some ways but I couldn’t help being a little disappointed about the fact we would not see Reykjavik in daylight.
We booked our Blue Lagoon trip through Reykjavik Excursions as this included transport from our hostel to the lagoon and then on to the airport. We were picked up on time from just outside the hostel at 8.30am, it was still dark outside and the whole city seemed to still be sleeping. We took the mini bus off to the main terminal and then changed on to a coach for the trip out to the lagoon. It took around 40 minutes to get there driving through the dark landscape of Iceland. As we drew closer the snow began to worsen and the wind howled. As excited as I was by the time we arrived I wasn’t so keen on getting off the coach. When we eventually reached the reception we were dripping wet and freezing cold.
Snow storm upon arrival
The queue to get in was a little long due to a whole coach load heading through together. However, the friendly staff handled this well by talking us through some essential information while we queued. Once we were through and had a wristband in our possession we were free to enjoy ourselves. The changing rooms were split in to male and female and were a very classy affair. The lockers were activated by said wristbands and were of a good size for people travelling with hand luggage. You will need to shower before entering the blue lagoon to rid your body of all dirt including the deodorant you put on that morning – it is bad for the water.
From the changing room you walk straight in to an area for towels and the lagoon entrance is to the left and cafe to the right. You can also enter the Blue Lagoon by going straight outside – to begin with I thought this was the only entrance and ran outside in the freezing cold to jump in the water. After that I learnt my lesson and used the pool entrance that connects outside through a door in the water.
The Blue Lagoon experience
For the first hour of our visit we were in darkness (we arrived at 10am), slowly daylight began to creep in and enabled us to see more than just the lagoon. The weather however got worse as the day went on and despite promising myself I would not get my hair wet I frequently needed to tip my head back and warm my ears from the bitter wind. Parts of the lagoon were warmer than others and getting in one of these hot pockets allowed me to keep warm for a while. However I was still glad I was wearing a rash vest. We alternated between being outside and in, took showers when we felt too cold to be outside and spend much longer than you are meant to in the sauna. The cold didn’t ruin our time in the Blue Lagoon it did, however, shorten the amount of time we spent in the water. As after an hour and half I was just too cold to enjoy myself any more.
What to expect from visiting the Blue Lagoon in winter
- You will only experience daylight from 11-3 approx. So plan to go between this time if you want to get a decent photo opportunity.
- Beware of the bitter wind that comes with bad weather it will burn your ears – I would highly recommend taking a hat you can wear in the lagoon/can get wet, it might not be fashionable but you will appreciate it.
- You don’t need to hire a dressing gown to keep you warm out of the water, as the entrance to the lagoon is inside.
- If you are feeling too cold head in to the sauna or inside for a hot shower, you’ll be good to go for another half an hour then.
- You will not be able to get decent photos if the weather is bad, while we were there the snow was always blowing and within 30 seconds you were soaked, I didn’t want to risk the same thing happening to my expensive camera.
- You will need a Go Pro (or water proof camera) to attempt any kind of photo in the wet and snowy weather.
- The lagoon was not packed with people during the whole time we were there but it was especially quiet earlier on, I have heard very different things about the summer.
A bad weather day will not ruin the trip and although you might not get those beautiful blue sky pictures of the lagoon, you will have an experience you will never forget. Although probably more for being cold than anything else…
A few other tips
- Guard your wrist band with your life, if you lose it you have to pay for it and I found they aren’t that secure around your wrist.
- Cover your hair with leave in conditioner before entering and tie it up away from the water if possible, they also have conditioner for using afterwards which is full of the right stuff for helping to fix your hair. I didn’t find the effects too bad for my hair.
- Buy the standard package, it does the job and you can easily bring a towel yourself and they have face mask available – if not everything is available for hire. We also bought a drink in the water however they were rather small and extremely cold on the hands. I’d just wait until you hit the cafe afterwards.
The Blue Lagoon is located around 40 minutes from Reykjavik and 20 minutes from Keflavik airport.
While in the Blue Lagoon everything is operated with and paid for using the wristband, this way you don’t need to worry about carrying cash near the water. Just be careful to keep a close guard of it as there is a fine for losing it.
They have luggage storage for €3 per an item although if you are travelling with carryon baggage only, this will probably fit in the locker inside.
We booked our trip with Reykjavik Excursions with standard entry and transport for 8.900isk (£45), pick up was 30 minutes before departure time.
Want to know more about Iceland? Then checkout this video about my whole 24 hours in the country!