Visiting Iceland is an amazing and unforgettable experience. The country’s location on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in the North Atlantic Ocean has created breathtaking geography with many volcanoes, glacial ridges, caves and hot springs. Called the “Land of Fire and Ice”, Iceland is a beautiful country. Iceland’s most popular attraction is the Blue Lagoon. The warm geothermal waters is crystal clear blue. It is thought that the water has healing properties that rejuvenate the body.
Blue Lagoon has become a tranquil resort where visitors can take a swim for an hour or two, spend the day, or spend the night. The experience is invigorating and relaxing. Several beautiful hotels and resorts are near the Lagoon as well as great places to eat. There is much to do and see at the Blue Lagoon and in nearby towns. To visit Blue Lagoon is a dream come true.
In a land with many volcanic hot springs, the Blue Lagoon is not one. It was actually created as a result of a nearby geothermal power plant. The power plant creates energy from 465 degree Fahrenheit to power nearby Reykjavik, the largest and most populated city in Iceland. The water is drawn from 6000 feet below the surface of the Earth. When the power plant was created, engineers thought the run-off water would soak back into the Earth. However, the silica in the water formed a layer that would not allow the water to absorb into the ground quickly. The water, which is directly from the ground and natural, was diverted to create a bathing area.
The Blue Lagoon was built in 1991 and has developed into a popular resort. Around 400,000 visitors enjoy the Lagoon each year. Located between Keflavik International Airport and Reykjavik, so it is a popular spot for visitors to the island nation. The waters in the lagoon are clear blue from the rich mineral and sulfur content. The average temperature of the water is 104 degrees Fahrenheit which causes the water tosteam. The Lagoon has different depths and areas for relaxation with ledges for sitting. There are small caves for privacy and a waterfall.
Thee waters of the Blue Lagoon is believed to have healing properties. Visitors come to bathe in the rich minerals. The silica is often scooped into jars. In fact, the silica is sold around Iceland. The silica is thick and it is recommended that bathers coat their hair in conditioner to protect it from the gummy silica.
The Blue Lagoon offers many amenities to guests. There is an onsite hotel and conference center with a café, restaurant and bar with views of the lagoon. There is also a spa onsite. Massage treatments including salt and silica scrubs take place under the waterfall. Facials are offered indoors.
Hotels and Resorts
- Silica House is located a short walk from Blue Lagoon. Guests enjoy a private bathing lagoon at the hotel as well as access to private gym facilities. The hotel has received several design awards because it is built to blend in with the lava landscape. The effect is calming and relaxing. There are 35 spacious and airy guest rooms, each with private facilities and verandas with views of the unique landscape. The average cost per night is $425.
- Northern Light Inn is a unique and quaint place to stay when visiting Blue Lagoon. The Inn is just a short walk to Blue Lagoon. It features 32 spacious rooms with comfortable bedding and eco geothermal heating and showers. The lobby offers seating areas surrounding a grand fireplace. There is also a Cognac Bar and an honesty bar onsite. The for a room is $275 per night.
- Diamond Suites is Iceland’s first 5 star hotel. It is located in the southwest town of Keflavik not far from Blue Lagoon. Located on thee top floor of the Hotel Keflavik, a fine hotel in its own right, Diamond Suites offers guests luxury boutique style rooms. The rooms are large and each is individually designed with elegant furnishings. The average cost per night is $630.
- Not far from Blue Lagoon, Hotel Berg is a lovely place to stay. Located on the Reykjones Peninsula, it is a beautiful hotel that overlooks the Keflavik harbor. The hotel offers personal service and has an intimate atmosphere. It is located just a short walk to the best restaurants in town. It is close to both Blue Lagoon and the airport so it is a nice stopping point. Keflavik is a quaint yet exciting town. It is the center of Iceland’s music and sports scene. Hotel Berg is just $175 per night.
There are many great places to eat out when visiting Blue Lagoon. LAVA is located at the resort. It is built into a lava cliff with views overlooking the lagoon. LAVA offers fine dining with a lunch and evening menu. The restaurant has a modern design that blends in with the lagoon. The food is fresh and the atmosphere is relaxed for family or a romantic evening. The menu includes Lamb, Beef Tenderloin, fresh fish and many Icelandic dishes. Max’s is located near Blue Lagoon. The fine dining restaurant offers panoramic views of the geothermal lava fields and rift tectonic mountains. The menu includes smoked salmon, fresh ocean fish, fresh range lamb, geothermal vegetables, and home baked breads and cakes.
In nearby Grindavik, there are several fine cafes and restaurants worth trying. A good first stop is breakfast or lunch at hja hollu. The café offers friendly Icelandic service and offers fresh, healthy food including vegan and gluten free options. Other Grindavik restaurants include Bryggjon and Veitingahusio Bruin. Both offer seafood, European and Scandinavian dishes served with friendly service in a casual setting.
Most visitors to Iceland stay in and around Reykjavik. The city center is compact and walkable with many restaurants, bars, cafes, shops, museums and other entertainment venues. There are a wide variety of hotels in and near the city. Reykjavik is close to Blue Lagoon, Geysir, Gulfoss and Thingvellir.
Outside of the region of Reykjavik, Iceland is filled with beautiful country. West Iceland is filled with volcanoes and hot springs, and the coastal South Iceland has windswept beaches and small fishing villages. Although over 130 volcanoes make up the Island, only 40 have erupted in the last 1000 years. The most recent eruption was in March 2010. The volcanoes have created caves and underground caverns as well as black sandy beaches from the volcanic rock and ash that lines the coast.
Other regions of Iceland worth visiting include North Iceland filled with valleys and mountains perfect for hiking. The Westfjords is located in the northwestern corner of the country and is sparsely populated but filled with wildlife. East Iceland has Vatnajokull, Europe’s largest glacier. The Highlands make up mountainous rugged land and pristine forests.
Silica House – http://www.bluelagoon.com
Northern Light Inn – http://www.nli.is
Diamond Suites – http://www.icelandmonitor.mbl.is/news/nature-and-travel/2016/04/14
Hotel Berg – http://www.hotelberg.is
hja hollu – http://www.visitrekjanes.is
Bryggjon – http://www.theculturetrip.com