Just half an hour from Iceland’s Keflavik airport is the beautiful and relaxing spa resort called the Blue Lagoon and this is where we headed to relax after our flight.
The milky blue waters of the lagoon are actually the by-product from the nearby geothermal power plant which pumps water deep into the ground to be super-heated before being used to make electricity. The excess of the mineral-rich waters are then released into the lava field which then formed the lakes of the lagoon.
After the power plant was built in the late 70s, the lakes were a favourite bathing spot for locals. However, a few years later a local doctor realised the potential benefits for skin care, so bought up the land and created the facilities to bring in paying customers. With visitors now around 1 million visitors annually, he is a very rich man (with great skin)!
The scenery around the airport is starkly beautiful with endless miles of brown lava fields, the remnants from long ago volcanic eruptions. The fields appear flat from a distance but up-close are a maze of rocks with enormous crevices and fissures and covered in a lime green moss. The contrast with the bright blue waters of the lagoon and the surrounding white silica seems like an alien landscape with the steam from the geothermal power plant further adding to the scene.
We had arrived a little early for the booking so we took a walk around outside the complex where there were many shallower pools surrounded by the low hills of the lava fields. The temperate was cold but not uncomfortable and it was interesting to take a closer look at the lava and the delicate moss which is the only plant which can grow in these parts.
Our booking time came and we collected our towels and dressing gowns to get changed in the separate dressing rooms before meeting again at the entrance to the main pool. The pool is actually more of a small lake and there was plenty of space to accommodate the people – who were mostly by the bar area anyway. The milky water was as warm as a bath and the bottom had been smoothed out and after we collected our complimentary glass of champagne from the bar, we moved slowly out to final nice spot to enjoy the occasion.
There were different parts of the lake with different character – quieter and shallower spots where we could bask in the sun whilst avoid the cold by remaining submerged and then an area where we could rub the thick white silica paste onto our faces in the hope of looking a little fresher before finally it was time to get changed and continue on our journey to Reykjavik and the start of the rest of our break.