Monday, September 16, 2013

Honeymooning at Iceland's Blue Lagoon

I want to start telling the story of my wedding at the end, at the top of the world: Iceland. (I'm waiting for some of our wedding photos before I share more about the wedding itself).

Twenty-four hours after our wedding party we boarded an overnight plane for one of two on our honeymoon destinations: Reykjavik, Iceland. Our red-eye landed at 5 am local time (which felt like 2 am to us) and our hotel check in wasn't until 3 pm. Starting off our honeymoon on a totally glamorous note, we slept off some jet lag in our rental car in the parking lot of the Blue Lagoon before it opened as it poured rain around us. It felt like a strange dream.

When the doors opened at 9 am I pulled on my suit and blearily showered with tourbusloads of other shivering tourists, before wrapping myself in an oversized robe and meeting my husband at the wall of steam that hangs in front of the waters' edge. 

And then we soaked. We soaked in these otherworldly waters all day, carrying a secret no one else there knew: We were married. 

When we needed a break from the steam and heat, we ate. The Lagoon has two dining options: A self serve cafeteria and a nicer, upscale restaurant. We splurged on the nicer option, and were treated to an excellent spread of all you can eat sushi, smoked fish, roasted meats, root vegetable salads, and good, strong, Icelandic coffee. All of it consumed in our housecoats, which felt like quite the novelty.

Tired and full, we sank back in the waters. The temperature varies in different part of the lagoons, so we settled into a cooler part to treat each other with silicon and algae face masks and body scrubs. As we exfoliated the skies cleared and the water somehow became bluer and brighter. How lucky we felt to see the Lagoon in stormy skies and rain and sunshine, all in one day.

Undoubtedly, this isn't a rare occurrence in Iceland, home to the moodiest weather I've ever experienced. 

The steamy atmosphere, strange colours, the housecoats in the restaurant, and the jet lag made the entire experience wonderfully surreal and dreamlike. There could have been a hundred thousand other holidaymakers in the Lagoon that day, without our photos I would never know. To me, it was just the two of us and those milky blue waters.

We emerged from the lagoon somehow both pruney and silky smooth, and luxuriated in hot showers in the way that only road-weary people can. Dressed and feeling totally blissed out, we wandered around and snapped photos of our surroundings before our drive through the mossy landscape that separates the Blue Lagoon from Reykjavik.

The sort of landscape that says, Yes, the locals are right, faeries just might live among these hills. 

  • Yes, you've gotta get naked and shower before you go in the Lagoon. Yes, there are private shower stalls if you're shy. (But they are just bodies, guys!) Shampoo and conditioner are provided. There are also hair dryers, but bring your own brush. 
  • The silicon in the Blue Lagoon makes your hair feel really weird and plastic, so smooth conditioner over it and pile it on top of your head before you get in the water.
  • If it's super cold out, enter the pool in the indoor area, rather than running outside in your swimming suit. There's a hidden door that connects this indoor pool to the outdoor lagoon, saving you from the shocking blast of cold Icelandic air freezing the (let's be honest) parts of your body that rarely see the sun, let alone Arctic air. 
  • Pros and cons of the Premium Blue Lagoon package: The housecoat and towel are necessities if you don't bring your own (and what tourists do?) but the €5 discount coupon for the gift shop is useless (nothing costs near €5). It is, however, worth splurging for a good meal at the restaurant rather than the cafeteria, which comes included in the Premium package. The face masks included in the Premium package were lovely, but could easily have been purchased separately. 


  1. It doesn't matter how many photos I see of the Blue Lagoon, I will always be amazed that the colour of that water!

    1. It's actually an entirely different colour outside of the public bath area (you can see on Google maps) and it's somehow more spectacular!

  2. Congratulations on your marriage! The blue lagoon looks incredible - was it cold outside of the water?? This is definitely going on my list of places to visit. Good tips for visiting.

    1. Thank you so much! It was cold outside the water, even though we went in August, but it was nice to be able to stand waist-deep in the really hot parts and cool off :)

  3. I agree with what Jay said. Seriously, the color is amazing. Makes you wanna just hop right in!

  4. I love the image of you sleeping in the blue lagoon parking lot. I totally know what you mean... sometimes these travel experiences at strange times or under unique circumstances can make the whole memory feel like an ethereal dream. I was there this summer, and I had pretty much the same experience (minus the married part) and I absolutely loved it. What a special place! Gorgeous photos, too. :)

    1. It was cold out and I was embarrassed to discover that the car windows had steamed up while we were sleeping. Definitely unintentionally gave off the wrong impression ;)

    2. Hahaha - a steamy honeymoon night indeed ;-)

  5. Looks so relaxing - what a great way to end what I imagine was an awesomely fun but probably exhilarating wedding adventure! Love that it felt like just the two of you. That blue... my instagram feed has way too many pictures of Iceland on it right now. I'm thinking I might need to make the trip.


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