THE BLUE LAGOON
We arrived in Reykjavik early on Sunday morning and after getting all of our bags and rental van we headed over to one of the only places that was open that early to get some breakfast...Hotel Keflavik. I had emailed them a few weeks prior to ask about the breakfast. You don't need to be staying at the hotel to dine there. It was a small dining area and slightly confusing but after a few questions we figured it out. They serve the breakfast in a buffet style...many offerings including quiche-type tidbits, hard boiled eggs, breakfast pizza, fruit, cakes, juices and more. You pay at the front desk when you're done. Since we had almost the whole day before we could head over to our rental home for the week and check in, I reserved our visit at the Blue Lagoon for this first day. We wouldn't be heading back in this direction during the week so this worked out best for us. It was also a wonderful welcome to this beautiful country...and a great way to relax after the stress of travel/flying/not showering! I booked our reservation well in advance as this is a popular destination and does become fully booked. They will turn you away if they have reached capacity, so please book ahead! In all of my trip planning and research I often come across alot of negative reviews and comments about certain places. I have learned to be objective when reading/listening to others opinions and observations. Everyone is different. It still continues to amaze me how some people love something and other people don't. Well this would be one of those situations. We absolutely LOVED our time here and actually stayed longer than we originally planned and wished we could have stayed longer! We also wished we could have just come back here everyday of our trip...we joked about it and said "let's just forget everything else for the week and just come back to the Blue Lagoon everyday!" : )
Here are a few snaps from our time at the Blue Lagoon...
Here are a few tips for your visit:
- If you are going here straight from the airport (as many travelers do) it would be a great idea to have a small bag/backpack pre packed and in your luggage or carry-on. This way you can easily grab the bag for your visit to the Blue Lagoon.
- Items I included in my bag: bathing suit, towel, flip flops, hair brush & hair tie, chap stick, change of undergarments and/or clothing, sunglasses, sunscreen, wallet, cell phone including waterproof pouch and entrance tickets pre-printed from home.
- You can rent many items including a towel and flip flops if you didn't bring those items. They also have a shop where you can purchase swimwear and many other things.
- There is adequate free parking available.
- Once you are inside you will wait on a short line up to the counter.
- We pre-booked the Standard Package which includes the entrance fee & silica mud mask.
- You can upgrade your experience if desired (my son & his fiance needed towels so they upgraded to the Comfort Package which included use of towels, one drink & an algae mask.
- There are separate changing areas for men & women.
- You will be showering before entering the lagoon. You will see alot of flesh in the showering/changing area. Yes...you may be shocked.
- They have a few private changing rooms available...you may have to wait a few minutes for one but not a big deal.
- The showering area has cubicles with frosted dividers and doors so don't worry about having to flash all your parts for the world to see : )
- Again...you will see parts flinging in the breeze...don't be alarmed. Just carry on my friends.
- If you plan on getting your hair wet (or even if you think you won't...as I did and ended up getting it wet) you should apply the free hair conditioner to your hair once you finish showering. This will help reduce the effects of "Blue Lagoon hair"...nothing harmful but it will make your hair very dry and crunchy for a few days. Just condition really well and you should be good!
- Once you are in the lagoon you can get drinks at the swim up bar. They will scan your bracelet for your purchases and then when you check out you will pay by credit card. Very convenient!
- There is also a swim up silica and algae mask bar...be sure to use the free silica mask and/or the algae mask if you upgraded.
- We used waterproof cell phone pouches to take lots of pics...I strongly recommend purchasing these. HERE is a link for the pouches.
- I also strongly suggest you thoroughly rinse your bathing suits after swimming in the lagoon. The silica leaves some residue on the fabric and I'm sure it's best to rinse it off. There are free plastic bags for your wet items available in the changing area.
- They have an area where you can blow dry your hair and apply makeup, clean ears, etc. Very convenient.
- There are two restaurants on site if you would like to eat something. One is a quick bite joint and the other is sit down. We didn't eat here so I can't elaborate on them.
LAVA ICE TUBE CAVE "Raufarholshellir"
After we reluctantly got out of the lagoon and got ourselves ready to go...our next stop was the Lava Ice Tube Cave "Raufarholshellir" in Hveragerdi. There are guided tours offered for this place but I decided that we could just explore on our own as many people do. Because we knew that we were stopping here after the Blue Lagoon we had placed all the items that we would need either in our carry on or on top of everything else in our suitcases. This way we could just grab them once we arrived in Hveragerdi. We had a warm jacket, gloves, hat, flashlight, hiking shoes & socks. One of my sons had purchased a headlamp that was really cool & came in very handy!
Here are a few tips for your visit:
- It does get colder the deeper you walk into the cave.
- It does get darker the deeper you walk into the cave...I highly suggest a flashlight or headlamp. HERE is a link to the one my son used.
- It is slippery and can be treacherous if you are not careful...not for little kids.
- Don't be holding a camera or a phone without it being attached to your body...we had a mishap but very blessed it ended well! Thank you God (and Avalon!) Here's the link for the waterproof pouches again!
- Once you arrive at the location you may be looking around saying to yourself "Are we here? I don't see anything". Just pull into the dirt/rock parking lot and look around for the rocks. You will be climbing up a little bit and then down into the cave. There is a wooden sign with information about the cave.
Here are a few pics...
One of the things that us girls were really looking forward to was seeing were the lupine fields...
they were still very much in bloom for our visit.
We didn't have to search for them...they were everywhere!
Glorious fields as far as the eye could see.
After exploring for a bit it was time to drive over to our riverfront cottage rental in Selfoss that we boooked through FlipKey. The home was more amazing than I could have imagined. Better than the pictures and so peaceful and calming. I spend quite a bit of time looking for our rental homes when we travel and I was not disappointed. We love renting homes rather than hotel rooms whenever possible. It allows us to really "live" in the places we visit. Here are a few shots I managed to take (I wish I had taken more)...
After getting settled and checking in we were ready to eat! We headed over to Mika which was local to the house. Cozy and lively restaurant. I had made a reservation just to be sure they could seat our party of 7. We enjoyed a great meal of delicious pizzas and were really looking forward to resting our weary bones afterwards...but a word of caution...the sun really never sets in Iceland during the summer. We had purchased these sleep masks for ourselves to use on the plane and also to use during the night if needed. The rooms had shades but a significant amount of light still creeped into the rooms. You would think that we would have just passed out...but no. It took a while for most of us to fall asleep. So we managed to drift off into dreamland so that we would be ready for our next day of adventure.
~ Day 2 will be next...thanks for visiting!~
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