The Blue Lagoon is the most popular tourist attraction in Iceland situated in between Keflavik airport and Reykjavik. The Blue Lagoon and surrounding area of Reykjanes Peninsula offer the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;
- The Blue Lagoon spa
- The Blue Lagoon lake
- The bridge between continents
- Gunnuhver Hot Springs
- Gardur lighthouse
Most people visit the blue lagoon on a trip from Reykjavik, it’s also possible to visit on your way to / from the airport as they have left luggage stores.
The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is the most popular thing to do in Iceland. It says on the website that it’s one of the 25 wonders of the world, I thought there were only 7 wonders of the world but I guess there are now 25! Because of it’s popularity you must book well in advance. Parking at the site is free of charge, as is hiking around the natural lake, visiting the visitor center, viewing the spa and souvenir shop. If you plan on bathing in the spa, the official site has up to date information and pricing.
When it comes to the Blue Lagoon everyone talks about bathing in the geothermal spa and enjoying a cold beer, maybe putting on a mud mask. I had no idea before visiting that it’s possible to take a small walk around the natural blue lagoon. The natural blue lagoon is stunning, especially when the suns out, making perfect Instagram pictures. The geothermal water comes from 2,000 meters below the surface which is where freshwater and seawater combine at extreme temperatures.
The lake gets its blue color from silica, algae & minerals.
The nearest town to the Blue Lagoon is Grindavik. I wouldn’t normally mention it but there is a good reason to visit Grindavik and that’s cake, chocolate cake! The restaurant which serves this delicious chocolate cake is called Bryggjan and located on the harbor in Grindavik. There’s a pizza buffet everyday, Icelandic soup and a variety of hot beverages available. However, I went for a piece of chocolate cake and a coca cola. This was delicious and exactly the sugar rush I needed to continue with the rest of my day. Be sure to check out the menu at Bryggian, it’s updated monthly.
Gunnuhver hot springs are the equivilent of Geysir on the golden circle but without the tourists. Strokkur geyser at Geysir erupts every 5 minutes and is quite calm. The fumarole at Gunnuhver hot spring however is constantly and violently letting off steam. For this reason, Gunnuhver hot springs are a must. There’s a wooden walkway so you can safely walk around the area, the old wooden walkway has been thrown on top of the fumarole which is quite worrying (above). As I was walking around I was thinking, has the old walkway been thrown there or did the fumerole suddenly move?
Not far from Gunnuhver hot springs you’ll find Reykjanesta which is the most south westerly point of Iceland.
Everybody knows about Þingvellir, it’s part of the golden circle of Iceland and it’s very busy. Not many people know about the bridge between continents located in Sandvík which is essentially the same as Þingvellir. The main difference is that you’ll be walking in between the tectonic plates of Eurasia and America alone whereas at Þingvellir you’ll be joined by large groups of tourists. Because this area is so quiet you can take wonderful Instagram photos from the crack between the tectonic plates. There are signs on the bridge between two continents stating if you’re on the Eurasian or American side of the it.
The bridge between continents is also known as the Leif Lucky Bridge.
Located in Garður is the Garður Lighthouse (in fact there are 2 lighthouses). Certain times during summer you can go inside and to the top of the lighthouse. When I was there in winter it was closed and incredibly windy, the sea was as rough as any sea I’ve ever seen. There’s a folk museum, a hotel and a restaurant located in Garður but most people will only visit the lighthouse if they visit Garður at all.