The Blue Lagoon
Departing from Keflavík International Airport, we were about 30 minutes from our first location, the popular Blue Lagoon. There wasn't a whole lot we could see being that daylight wouldn't commence until about ten or eleven in the morning, but our excitement was through the roof because our adventure had finally started.
If you've never been to the Blue Lagoon before, hopefully I'll be able to highlight it enough so that you add it to your list of places to go because it is definitely a fun and relaxing experience. If you have been before then I encourage you to comment your experience below or perhaps add something I may have misrepresented. From what I know you are to make reservations ahead of arrival. Flying in during the wee hours of the morning, we had to decide whether we'd like to go as soon as possible or maybe get some rest and then go. Being a bunch of young and energetic guys we decided to hit the ground running, so we scheduled our time for the absolute earliest reservation (8:00 AM).
Starving from our international flight, we were dying to get some food. We had asked our rental car agent where a good place would be to eat but unfortunately we were just there too early. Lucky for us, we came across Max's Restaurant at Northern Light Inn just five minutes from the Blue Lagoon. The restaurant was very nice with clean and modern decor. If anything, the three of us felt as though we were under-dressed to dine there, but the staff showed no hesitation when getting us. [Note: for guests of the hotel, the breakfast, which was buffet style, is complimentary, visitors - 2000isk (~ $20).] Maybe it was because we were so hungry or perhaps it was just that delicious, but I would say that breakfast was the best meal I had while in Iceland. The food was extremely fresh and had a decent selection overall. Eager to try it all, I filled my plate with every option they had...
I even was able to get a slice of birthday cake.
With full bellies we were ready to see what the Blue Lagoon was all about. I'm not sure if it was because they're doing construction right now, it was too dark to get a full view, or if it is really just that quaint, but we were almost unsure if we were even in the right place at first. All you see in the parking lot is a small building with a simple Blue Lagoon sign next to it. Turns out that little building is where you can store your luggage, for a fee of course. We just had our carry-on suitcases so we didn't think it'd be necessary to utilize those. Walking up the pathway to the welcome center building was pretty cool in itself. The path is surrounded on both sides by volcanic rock and moss. It felt like you were literally walking into another world.
Once we arrived at the check-in desk we decided to upgrade our package from the cheapest (€40 = admission to the lagoon + mud mask) to the next step up (+€15 = admission + mud mask + silica mask + free drink). There were even more upgraded packages you could get that would include free use of towels, robes, restaurant reservations, etc., but those can run as high as €120. We decided that wasn't necessary for us anyway. [My advice: if you're on a tight budget go for the basic €40 package. You get to experience the lagoon and get a nice facial mask. To me that's all you need for a full experience. If you aren't pinching pennies, I'd say spring for the 2nd option and get that second mask and a drink. Good value either way. Personally I didn't want to pay even more to walk around in a robe for the 10 seconds it takes you to go from the locker room to the lagoon.)
This geothermal pool was the perfect way to start this trip. Sure we were a bit tired and maybe sleep would've been easier, but relaxing in a giant natural hot tub was definitely the better choice. The Blue Lagoon itself is pretty decently sized and it was great going as early as we did because we definitely avoided the rush. I recommend going in the morning. Even if it's dark, the water still feels the same. Upon entering the lagoon you can go to the mask bar (?) to the left where the friendly staff member will have your mud mask, and silica if paid for, ready to go. If you head to the right you will find the lagoon bar where you'll be able to grab a nice cool drink. They had anything from soft drinks to smoothies and adult beverages. They have three options on tap: a beer, a hard cider, and a wine. After about two hours there the sunlight began to creep out and we were able to see the amazing landscape and milky blue water we were in. More visitors seemed to flood in so we found it best to dip out.
One last thing. The Blue Lagoon has the most extreme looking lifeguards I've ever seen...
Just wing it.