Indigenous creatures with white stuff on their faces, sloshing around in hot sulphuric water filled with minerals, silica and algae? No, it’s not the plot of an old horror movie. It’s just the Blue Lagoon.
The Blue Lagoon is a rather large amorphous body of water in an Icelandic lava field in the middle of nowhere, usually full of pretty hot geothermal water and people like you.
But it hasn’t always been so. Like a lot of interesting things, the Blue Lagoon happened by accident in the seventies.
Around the time ABBA were reversing the second B in their logo, a gleaming new geothermal plant right out of a Ridley Scott movie began pumping surplus water all over the place, creating a steaming pool of bluish liquid in the middle of a lava field in the southern peninsula of Iceland.
Later, in the early 80s, people started bathing in the lagoon and doing silly things like shooting music videos. The official story is that it (the bathing, not the music videos) helped with psoriasis but we think it was mostly it a cool place to go skinny dipping after hours. Also, the chemicals in the water did things to your hair that people liked back then.
Fast-forward to 2009 and what started as the unintended by-product of a geothermal electricity plant is now one of the most visited tourist attractions in Iceland. The New York Times’ calls it “the mother of all baths” and it’s even on the paper’s top 44 list of places to visit in 2009.
It even has its own line of cosmetics! Just like Britney Spears!
The Blue Lagoon is open daily all year and it’s actually rather conveniently located between the airport where you land and Reykjavík. (It takes about 30 minutes to get there from the city — just follow the smoke.) If you don’t have a car, there are plenty of people willing so separate you from your money by getting you there via bus. Try these for example. Oh, and if you figure out how the locker system works, please drop us a line.