We had bought our whale watching tour as a package deal, including a trip to Blue Lagoon, the famous thermal pool and what we were told was a “must do” in Iceland.
We were pretty excited of course, 6 days of riding in strong winds had left our skin chapped and eager for some sort of refreshment, and it boasts that it is one of the 25 wonders of the world (when did this number go up?!).
The lineup was really long when we got there, but we sped through with our passes, to the next lineup for the locker room – where apparently no lockers were available. They were clearly overbooked. After waiting for quite a while, a few lockers opened up and we managed to get in, showered, and down to the pool area.
It was very crowded and people kept bumping into us. Almost every second person had a phone or a GoPro on a selfie stick, and were walking around like zombies, filming themselves doing… well pretty much nothing except irritating us I think. It also felt very creepy, being in our swimsuits in the water with hundreds of people filming with their GoPros… you can’t help but question the motive for at least a small portion of them.
In less than 15 minutes, we had done several laps of the lagoon, tried on the face mask (which burned our chapped skin and eyes and was immediately removed in horror) then we said “ok, now what?”
One drink was included in our entry, so that should help pass the time and ease the irritation of the stupid crowds, sip some booze! As seemed suitable, a zombie person with a selfie stick came by and knocked over my drink into the water after only a few sips – so much for that plan.
By the time we had been in there for half an hour or so, we were seriously PO’ed at the crowds, and just miserable in general. Couldn’t believe this was supposed to be relaxing! Literally none of us enjoyed this attraction – some of us were at critical mass and poised for a meltdown.
We got out and waited in a grumpy state for the next bus back to the city, did a walk around the lagoon, learning that it wasn’t even naturally warm or a naturally occurring pool. Everything was man-made. Somehow that was just the cherry on top of the human-soup.
Its also grossly expensive – expect to pay $80+ CAD just to get in and have a towel and drink. Thankfully the whales were so awesome before that I would have paid the full package price for that and consider the lagoon a (lousy) freebie. Otherwise, I would have felt seriously ripped off (actually I still kind of did, but I’m over it by now… sorta!).
If you are planning a trip, I say skip blue lagoon and do a day trip that will take you hiking to a natural hot spring or even just go to one of the many public geothermal if you want to get warm and wet. I wish I had done this, something about a natural hot spring seems so much more magical than what we experienced! And seriously… limit your selfie stick to 30 seconds to get that perfect profile pic, then put it away.
I generally try to be positive (so I am sure the tone of this post has surprised you!), and I am not sure if our disappointment of this attraction was skewed because of how incredible our other experiences in Iceland, but I would never (never ever ever never) recommend this attraction to a friend (or at least not a friend like me, clearly lots of people do like just laying around in warm dirty water for hours on end).
Its funny by comparison how you could throw us on mattresses on the floor of a geography classroom, or in a sheep herders cabin, or back on the dirt floor of a Ger, and we are thrilled just for a dry place to sleep. Perhaps we are just a special type – good thing we found each other!