If you ever have a chance to visit Iceland, DO! It is a gorgeous place with open spaces, the northern lights and very kind people. We have had countless layovers in Iceland due to loving our budget-friendly airline, Wow Air, but at last had 24 hours to check out the scenery and go to a magical place that seemed like it only could be found in a dream... The Blue Lagoon.
As mentioned earlier, the northern lights should be at or near the top of the list when planning an Icelandic adventure. We knew that we would have a slight chance of seeing them during our one night adventure in a very tiny town from the window or porch of our AirBnB. However, were we ever thrown off guard in the best way when at 3am during our flight to Reykjavik the pilot came on the speaker of our plane to announce that the northern lights could be seen the right side of our plane! After a quick warning to not go all at once, we lined up to peek out the airplane windows to see an ethereal sight that only a very small percentage of the world gets to witness. Swirling green light filled the sky and seemed to slowly ebb and flow around the airplane. Lucky were those with the window seat (well, until they had a swarm of people in their personal space for the viewing), who could stare as long as they'd like at the green sky. We ended up being very fortunate for that timing in the airplane for when we were on the ground, the summer-time sun in Iceland is 21 hours a day, and it actually never even became completely dark. We went to bed around midnight and woke up at 4am to catch our flight, never to see the sky without some sunlight!
In any case, however you see those green aurora borealis lights...do it! Then...hit the Blue Lagoon.
First it is important to note that the Blue Lagoon is not a natural wonder. This man-made geothermal spa is found in a lava field and is supplied by water used in the nearby Svartsengi geothermal power station. Although we were disappointed at first to realize that it was not natural, the rich concentration of silica, sulfur and other healing minerals in the water plus learning that the water is completely recycled out every two days made us excited to give it a try. As we walked into the spa area and caught our first glimpse of the lagoon we were mesmerized. The light blue color and swirls of warm air coming from the pools looked majestic.
There are options for which kind of experience you would like to have for a day at the Blue Lagoon, and we opted for the most simple. Time in the water, a free drink and a face mask. Options like slippers and robes, additional masks and drinks are available but we found that we weren't wishing for more than what we had with the 55 euro package. Other purchases to consider: if you forgot a bathing suit you can either buy one in the gift shop or rent one for a few euros. There are a ton of skin care products that are quite expensive. We did find that they were high quality when we tested them, and its pretty cool that you can only get them in Iceland.
There is a hotel built around the lagoon now and a full spa that looked wonderful. We did not indulge in either but the website provides all of the details you need for a longer visit.
A warning before you get your hair wet - the minerals might do wonders for your skin but it will suck the life out of your hair. One minute on Google made us realize that the smartest way for most women to experience these waters is with caution for your tresses. Because the air was so chilly Liberty brought a beanie, showered before getting in the lagoon per the rules, loaded up on the conditioner (free!) provided, and just stayed in the warm water up to her neck except when rubbing on the special face mask. Seemed like a good move considering the looks on the ladies faces in the locker room who had not heeded the warning of the drying factors of the minerals on hair.
So was the water as healing as they say? Was our skin soft, silky and recharged? The answer is YES! We were amazed at how soft every inch of our body was after our soaking session, and the skin on both of our faces was clear and smooth for a week after.
Bonuses: we loved that there were a few saunas to sit in and mix up the experience. When breaks from the water are needed there are indoor lounging areas to just chill out in and we felt an overwhelming sense of relaxation...hitting our goal for the visit. It was crowded, but not too crowded, and everyone was very respectful of personal space. If there is a next time we would love to try the spa!