The Blue Lagoon is one of the most visited spots in Iceland. It is located in Grindavik on the Reykjanes Peninsula, 39 km (24.2 mi) from the capital Reykjavik in south west Iceland, surrounded by lava fields and black sandy beaches.
The lagoon is actually artificial, fed by water from a geothermal power station in nearby Svartsengi. Once the hot water from Iceland’s high-temperature geothermal fields has passed through its turbines and generated enough heat and power for the station, the excess water is channelled through to the lagoon for it to be used for medicinal and recreational purposes. It is renewed every two days.
The Blue Lagoon is open to the public for bathing in its geothermal seawaters, which are rich in the minerals silica and sulphur. Bathing in the milky-blue water is said to be especially beneficial to people suffering with skin disorders, such as psoriasis, and the complex has a Research and Development project to find cures for other skin ailments. White silica mud gently cleanses and exfoliates, while blue-green algae nourish and soften skin. On the downside, the high sulphur content of the water means that the lagoon can be a bit whiffy, and whilst good for skin, the mineral-rich water is terrible for hair.
The Blue Lagoon holds The Blue Flag award for the high quality of its waters for bathers and this is preserved in part due to strict hygiene regulations, requiring visitors to the spa to shower both before and after bathing. The temperature of the water ranges from 37° to 39°C (98° to 102°F).
There is also an indoor Blue Lagoon and other amenities include a geothermal sauna, massaging waterfall and a steam bath carved out of a lava cave, while spectators are able to observe from a viewing platform.