‘A place where I felt feelings I never knew I had’- that’s how I would describe Iceland. In the lead-up to our afternoon departure, I had planned our days as meticulously as possible, wanting to make sure that we didn’t miss any opportunity. Yet, from the minute we arrived, we were truly in an adventure that I would never have been able to imagine, let alone plan: welcome to Iceland.
Happy New Year!
After an incredible night of New Year’s Celebrations, and only 3 hours of sleep, we woke up hungover. But we didn’t care because it was New Year’s Day, we were in Iceland and we were off to one of the 25 Wonders of the World: Iceland’s Blue Lagoon! We slept peacefully on the bus (booked with our ticket) all the way to the Lagoon (an hour from Reykjavik) . On arrival to the lava field in Grindavik the scenery was breath taking, even in the dark Icelandic morning. There’s a lovely path walk leading up to the entrance, and then a quick queue before the changing rooms. Our tickets were purchased directly on the Blue Lagoon website, and were £56 each at the time, including return transfers, a pamper pack, towels and a drink each. This was cheaper altogether than booking separately via the excursions website.
The Blue Lagoon
We were given wristbands so that we could pay for any drinks from the water without having to worry about taking money in with us, along with fluffy towels and pamper packs. The changing rooms are huge, and everyone must take a warm shower before entering the lagoon. The open-air entrance to the lagoon was freezing, but as we emerged ourselves into the warm and inviting, milky-blue water, the cold and hangover washed away. As you swim outside, the lagoon comes into full view. It all looks so mystical and ethereal, with steaming water and the stunning backdrop of grand, snowy mountains.
Dotted around the lagoon were pots of face mask, saunas and hot spots of water. Even in the random snow flurries we were lovely and warm, and these just added to the breath-taking experience! We had chosen a package with a free drink each, which I’d definitely recommend, it was well worth it. We noticed that we ended up paying less than if we had purchased our drinks separately. Despite having only had a short sleep, we were glad we went so early on New Year’s Day as it meant there were less crowds. This way, we could enjoy relaxing relatively quietly- this is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland after all! Just a word of warning though, don’t leave the face mask on for too long, especially if you have sensitive skin- I looked like a lobster when I came out!
After a few hours (where did the time go?!) we emerged fully-relaxed from the blissful water. To complete the experience, we sat down to a two-course meal at the Lagoon restaurant: Lava. The restaurant offers a fish, Gourmet Icelandic or vegetarian set menu, and you can order two or three courses. Wanting to try as much as possible within our budget, we ordered a two course Icelandic and Fish menu (a hefty £40 each!). The food was presented beautifully and, although some of the flavour combinations sounded strange (langoustine and white chocolate soup!) it gave us a great opportunity to taste high-end Icelandic food.
Coming out of the lagoon, we had another chance to enjoy the scenery in daylight before heading back to Reykjavik. Booking our transfers beforehand, we could get any bus back, and they leave regularly which is handy. A pamper day in the Blue Lagoon was the perfect way to start our year!
My Top Tips:
- Book in advance! I booked our tickets for New Year’s Day back in August when they first became available. Even then, the early morning slots were almost fully booked.
- Book for early in the morning. The lagoon is huge, but it’s nice to enjoy it peacefully and, come late morning, the noisy crowds arrive.
- Book your tickets and transfers directly on the Blue Lagoon website. We saved around £10 each- every little helps!
- Save your pamper pack. On arrival, we were given a pack of treats from the spa shop. I saw people using them in the lagoon, but they are travel sized so can be taken in your luggage on the plane home. This way you can enjoy a Blue Lagoon spa retreat back at home!
- Use the free face masks dotted around. This stuff left my skin feeling so smooth! Just don’t leave it on too long, or to be tempted to use it twice like I did… I looked a little bit like a beetroot sat in Lava Restaurant later on…
- Get the ticket with 1 free drink. It sounds silly, but having a glass of sparkling wine while bathing in the water completed the experience. Plus you save money by purchasing this ticket rather than buying at the bar when you get there.
- When you book with transfers, you book a specific bus time for the journey to the lagoon. On the way back, you can hop on any bus you like to Reykjavik/the airport. Just check the timetables when you get there.
- Lava Restaurant is a lovely experience, but don’t worry if this is out of budget. There is also a café which is much more reasonable, and the food looked delicious.
Have you ever been to Iceland’s Blue Lagoon or would you love to go? I would love to hear your stories and will answer questions, please leave a comment below! You can also check out my top tips for travel to Reykjavik here !