blue lagoon

The Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa


By: Andrea Ervin, HHN staff

You can see fingers of white steam rising out of vast lava fields from miles away.  The scene stands out against a stark landscape of jagged black lava rocks on the Reykjanes Peninsula of Southwest Iceland.  A mere 20 minute car or bus ride from Iceland’s Keflavik International Airport, or 45 from Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik, the Blue Lagoon is a must for all tourists and health seekers.

The Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa was recently voted “the best medical spa in the world” by Conde Nast Traveller, and was recognized by National Geographic’s “25 Wonders of the World.”

The Blue Lagoon is powered by nearby Svartsengi geothermal power plant, which draws the spa’s 1.5 million gallons of heated seawater from a depth of around 6500 feet through bore holes in the lava.  At that depth, Earth’s forces naturally heat the water. The steam is passed through turbines and converted back into water, which is then channeled into the giant lagoon and renewed every 40 hours.  The cooling technique captures minerals in the earth and creates the natural healing force popularly known as the Blue Lagoon.

The blue water is a constant 98-102 degrees Fahrenheit and is enriched with blue-green algae, mineral salts and silica mud.  Common bacteria do not thrive in the Blue Lagoon’s water, so there is no need to condition it with Chlorine or any other unnatural substance.

The Blue Lagoon contains high levels of silica in the water and mud, a mineral that does wonders for the skin.  Silica is nature’s answer to healthier, younger looking skin, nails and hair.  It is a universal element found in the human body that diminishes as a person ages, resulting in wrinkles, dry skin and brittle hair.  If only we could all have a Blue Lagoon in our back yard!

I recently had the pleasure of bathing in the Blue Lagoon on a week-long Icelandic excursion and the experience was nothing less than divine. Visitors may purchase entry to swim in the lagoon or just observe from a rooftop observation deck where they can breath in the healing steam and fresh arctic air.  Hot pots, wooden decks and a waterfall that delivers hydraulic massages to those who stand under its cascading waters surround the vast lagoon.  There is an easily assessable bar where waders are able to purchase water, fresh juices, wine or other alcoholic beverages.

After changing in the locker room, I stepped outside into the cold air wearing nothing but a bathing suit and towel.  It initially took my breath away, but luckily the warmth of the lagoon was only a few steps away.  Wooden steps lead down to the milky blue water as sheets of steam danced at its surface.  The steam makes it impossible to measure the actual size of the lagoon from ground level, but as I waded through its relaxing salty water I found it went on and on. 

Located in several spots around the lagoon are boxes containing rich silica mud.  I scooped out the white silky mud and liberally applied it to my face and neck. It dries in five to ten minutes at which time it can be washed off revealing smooth refreshed skin underneath.  I noticed that all around me were others donning similar white masks–both men and women partook in the healing powers of the lagoon.  I found the mud also worked as a marvelous exfoliator as I rubbed it over my shoulders and arms.  With refreshed skin I spent nearly two hours relaxing in the warm waters and breathing in the fresh, remarkably clean air.

The Blue Lagoon also offers massages and treatments where guests lay submerged in the pure blue water on specially designed wooden benches for the duration of the treatment.  Specialty skin care treatments are also available, as well as a selection of unique Blue Lagoon skin care products.

I came away from my bath in this milky blue heaven feeling more relaxed and refreshed than ever.  The Blue Lagoon was an experience of a lifetime.

For more information visit

Andrea Ervin is Editor of Holistic Healing News Contact her at

Photos by: Andrea Ervin, HHN staff

In this article