When people visit Iceland, the Blue Lagoon is almost always at the top (or at least near the top) of their to-do list. Iconic for its bright blue appearance and the steam rising off, of it no matter the surrounding temperature, the Blue Lagoon in Iceland sits at an average temperature of between 37 and 40 degrees Celsius.
So, is it really as relaxing as a bath in your hotel room at the end of a long day?
For the thousands of tourists who visit this geothermal spa in Iceland each year, taking in the bright blue water and relaxing into the steamy atmosphere, it seems like the answer is yes.
Believe it or not, before it became the number one hot-spot (pun entirely not intended) in Iceland, the blue lagoon geothermal spa was not deliberately engineered but rather appeared as a result of nature.
While the bright blue water and warming temperature seems like a deliberate marketing campaign to draw people from around the world towards Iceland, the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa has actually been crafted from a natural collection of mineral-rich wastewater from the nearby Svartsengi power plant.
Now, before you worry, this does not mean the water has been pumped through a power plant before collecting on the lava fields and forming the blue lagoon.
Rather, this water is in fact so rich in minerals that it cannot be used. So, the hot geothermal water is only used to heat fresh groundwater before being pumped out to the lava fields to form the blue lagoon that tourists from all over the world come to see and experience.
Fun fact to share with your friends and family when you visit the blue lagoon in Iceland, because of the increasing demand for hot water in and around the areas housing, more and more water is pumped to the blue lagoon every year - causing this natural phenomenon to grow a little more every year.
If you've ever heard tourists and locals talking about the skin benefits of the blue lagoon experience, the chances are that they are referring not to the water itself but to what's called the silica mud on the surrounding banks.
Far from being relegated to merely local use, this silica mud has now become a global phenomenon which is recognised by skincare specialists as a beneficial cleanser.
The silica mud is formed because the hot water, as it seeps onto the lava fields, turns the surface layer of porous lava surface into silica mud - a soft and slimy mud substance which surrounds the pools.
Of course, given the high visitors numbers, those who operate and run the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa have now streamlined this experience and give visitors the chance to access a bucket of this silica mud to form a mask over their face and/or body.
This mud mask is left for a few minutes before being rinsed off, giving the user the full benefits of this healing mud.
How effective the mud is, is something you are free to decide on your own trip to the Blue Lagoon.
However, with the global skincare market tapping into the natural healing power of this mud, it's a powerhouse experience that is best tried at the blue lagoon itself.
Other experiences relating to the blue lagoon include simple access to the geothermal spa and its bath-like temperatures, a drink at the lagoon-side spa, a massage while inside the blue lagoon, and even a meal at the on-site restaurant.
Tourists should note that the blue lagoon in Iceland is a paid experience and requires a reservation in order to enter. This should be booked in advance to avoid disappointment.
A 20-minute drive from Keflavik airport, the easiest way to access the blue lagoon in time for your reservation is by driving - with Iceland's Northbound car rental facility offering tourist groups of all sizes access to a range of vehicles to suit their needs for the duration of their stay in Iceland.
If you arrive to or are travelling from Reykjavik, the blue lagoon is a slightly longer 50-minute drive.
While the blue lagoon is a relatively accessible experience for tourists, many visitors arriving in Iceland are unaware of the distances between different sights and attractions.
Hiring a car not only removes the need to source and consider public transport options, but it gives you complete flexibility over your itinerary and enables you to move at your own pace between destinations and experiences.
The blue lagoon is not just a notable geothermal space in Iceland; it is also a site of great geological significance and presents incredible views and photo opportunities for those who are interested in the intricate connections between man-made industry and our natural world.
While your reservation may cover only a portion of your day, driving your own hire car allows you to soak up the atmosphere and appreciate the scenery for as long as you want to.
We also advise you schedule in enough time to enjoy and make the most of the surrounding Reykjanes Peninsula - including bubbling mud pools, steaming vents, and the iconic Bridge between Continents walk.
The complex cocktail of minerals in the blue lagoon makes it rife for algae and bacteria. The bacteria found in the blue lagoon has not been found anywhere else in the world and gives the blue lagoon geothermal spa an authentic uniqueness.
The underground water beneath the blue lagoon reaches eye watering temperatures of around 240 degrees Celsius!
It is easier than ever to now stay right next to or close to the blue lagoon in Iceland, due to the expansion of tourist attractions and hotels. We recommend always researching and booking in advance to avoid disappointment.
The blue lagoon may be more of a resort than a natural and peaceful phenomenon, but the fact that the water is naturally kept at its bathing temperature makes it one of the most memorable must-see attractions of any visit to Iceland.
Far from being likened to the relaxation of a bath, the blue lagoon in Iceland is far more exciting - and is super easy to access when you hire a car from Northbound rental hire.
Not only is hiring a car easy and convenient, but it gives you the freedom to enjoy all those bucket list adventures at your own pace - confident that you can safely travel between destinations and ensure that you never miss a sight or attraction you want to experience or see.
For more information on how to hire a vehicle in Iceland, visit our latest Iceland car rental offers today.