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Here’s the last installment of our Iceland week series: A visit to Blue Lagoon. This human-made geothermal spa is fun but touristy. Here’s what you need to know before you go. (You might like our posts about Reykjavik and Iceland’s South Coast and Golden Circle too.)

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This will be a quick little ditty about one of Iceland’s most popular tourist destinations. A scant hour’s drive from Reykjavik and a mere 20 minutes from the airport, Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is one of the 25 wonders of the world according to National Geographic magazine. Maybe that’s why it was positively teeming with riffraff like us.  

Some answers to questions you may have

  1. Yes, it’s very touristy. Très touristique. Teeming, I say.
  2. Yes, you should probably go anyway.
  3. Yes, you should definitely book ahead of time here. (Psst…you don’t need to shell out for a Premium visit to get a bathrobe if a bathrobe is the only thing pulling you in the Premium direction. You can rent one à la carte at the front desk when you arrive.)
  4. Yes, bring sunscreen.
  5. Yes, bring your bathing suit. They have rentals, but come on.
  6. No no, it’s definitely man-made. The water is runoff from a neighboring geothermal power plant. They don’t try to hide this fact at all, but somehow after you’ve looked at the marketing material, it’s still surprising.
  7. Yes, that’s a bar in the lagoon. You can use your entry bracelet to get a green smoothie or a glass of something more libationary. 
  8. Yes, there are a variety of dining options, including some meh sandwiches at the cafe and at least one sit-down restaurant that looked pretty good, but we didn’t bother with it.
  9. Yes, there are hotter parts and cooler parts of the lagoon, but it’s all reasonably comfortable, even for kids.
  10. No, you don’t really need to spend the whole day there. A few hours should do it.
  11. Yup, you’re about to see the same photo as the previous one, except with my toes in it. Damn internet.

These grilled chicken sandwiches with halloumi, red bell peppers, arugula, and a really tasty, herby sauce are bursting with Greek-inspired flavors.

What else?

What else? Yes, if you’re under four feet tall, you’re very likely to be bludgeoned in the head with the business end of someone else’s selfie stick while waiting to enter the building. It’s selfie stick HELL out there, people. Protect your eyeballs.

Then go out there and have some fun. Iceland is good-weird, and Blue Lagoon is no exception. Soak it in. See you soon.

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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

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