How to visit the Blue Lagoon in winter: tour or independent

Steam rising off the hot water of the blue lagoon in Iceland, near Reykjavik in Iceland.

Are you thinking about visiting the Blue Lagoon in winter? Read on for everything you need to know!

As you approach the Blue Lagoon, clouds of steam collect on the horizon.

In the winter months, the protruding steam contrasts with the sky, which could be a shade of blue, red, pink, orange or black, depending on the time of day. 

Iceland is freezing in the winter months, but as soon as you plunge into the warm water you’ll relax and recharge.

In fact, I think it’s even better when it’s freezing outside! The Blue Lagoon is open throughout the winter months, and here’s everything that you need to know about visiting it during the cold season.

Here’s all you need to know about visiting this Icelandic bucket list gem!

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What is the Blue Lagoon? 

A warm pool full of geothermal seawater (well, it’s actually 70% ocean water and 30% freshwater), the blue lagoon is also enriched with minerals, algae and silica.

Its rejuvenating natural qualities mean can help you relax and unwind – plus it’s incredibly soothing on a cold winter’s day!

What’s the Blue Lagoon like in winter? 

In the winter months, the Blue Lagoon provides a warming and refreshing experience from the freezing conditions.

It’s a stunning experience while the landscape is surrounded by snow, and it’s the perfect spot to toast to a successful day in Iceland.

How to visit the Blue Lagoon in winter

You can either visit the Blue Lagoon independently or as part of a package tour. 

Sitting in South Iceland, close to the Keflavik International Airport, it’s about an hour’s drive from Reykjavik.

So you can choose the option that suits you, depending on whether you want to drive (which saves a little bit of money, takes less time and gives more flexibility) or take a bus (meaning that you don’t have to bother with the driving and can have a drink!). 

Visiting the Blue Lagoon independently

If you’re visiting independently, you can buy tickets on the official website.

Generally, it’s fully booked throughout the year, so you will need to buy tickets online. 

The Blue Lagoon isn’t really close to Reykjavik; it’s close to Keflavik Airport so it’s around an hour’s drive from the city.

So you’ll need a hire car to visit the geothermal pool independently, or you can join a tour. 

Do bear in mind that the road conditions in Iceland in winter can be icy, although generally, you’ll be driving on main gritted roads.

Obviously, if the whole of your group wants to have a few drinks at the Blue Lagoon, you should also book a tour. 

Visiting the Blue Lagoon as part of a tour

Steam rising above the hot water of the blue lagoon in Iceland.

If you don’t have access to a hire car, you’ll need to take part in a tour which includes round-trip transportation. This is what we did, and it was an effective way to see the highlights of the attraction! 

You can check out the tour that we booked by clicking here.

Most Blue Lagoon tours include round-trip transport from the city center (some will even pick you up at your hotel) to the popular attraction. 

You’ll be booked into the comfort package, which includes a free drink and a silica mud mask.

Review of the tour

Here’s a full review of the tour that we did when visiting Reykjavik in January!

Tour pick up

We were picked up from our hotel (Reykjavik Lights Hotel) about half an hour before our scheduled pick-up.

A small minibus took us to the Reykjavik bus station, where the coach was waiting for us to board. 

The coach took about an hour, trundling through the snow-covered wilds of the Icelandic countryside, before arriving at the car park. 

Entering the lagoon

Once we were parked up and disembarked the bus, we headed into the main waiting area, where we showed the receptionist our confirmation email and were given a wristband. 

This wristband permits entrance and one free drink; you’ll need to pay for any subsequent drinks, so don’t go too crazy in there!

An archway over the azure water of the blue lagoon in Iceland, with warm water steaming upwards.

Using the lockers

It was easy to use the lockers in the changing rooms; we just chose our selected locker and put our stuff inside, then close the door. 

Once we closed the door, we quickly touched our wristbands on the panel which then locked it. 

To unlock our lockers, we touched the wristband on the panel again; it remembered which lockers we used and knew to unlock them. 

Entering the Blue Lagoon

I found that one of the best parts about visiting the Blue Lagoon in winter is that we didn’t need to go outside in the cold at all – there’s an entrance to the complex from the changing rooms.

We just had to walk down the ramp, holding onto the rail to make sure that we didn’t slip over, and we were in the lagoon!

As we come out from the ramp that left from the changing room, we passed under bridges and around rocky outcrops.

The water was generally warm, although as it’s a natural pool we experienced the occasional cooler patch and other warmer patches!

Things to do at the Blue Lagoon

Once we were in the Blue Lagoon, we mainly just chilled out and relaxed!


Drinks on tap at the blue lagoon, including sparkling wine, cider, wine and beer.

There’s a bar where you can buy drinks like the following: 

  • smoothies (alcohol-free)
  • still and sparkling wine
  • cider
  • beer

Your first drink is free of charge. There are also places in the changing rooms to fill up your water bottle – even though it may be cold outside, the water temperature is warm which can be dehydrating. 

Silica mud mask

Girl wearing a silica mud mask in the blue lagoon in Iceland.

A silica mud mask is included in all of the packages.

Some of the mask will be tipped into your hand, and you can spread this over your face, and leave it for 5-10 minutes before washing it off. 

Return transport

Walking to the car park at the Blue Lagoon, covered in snow.

Once we’d soaked in the spa for about an hour and a half, we made our way out of the baths.

Make sure that, if you visit in the darkness, you leave extra time to get back to the changing rooms. If it’s dark, it can be quite difficult to navigate! 

We then made our way out for the return transport. We got the last bus of the day, which left at 8:15 pm, although the return time was flexible.

As long as you have your ticket (either printed or on your phone), you can board any bus throughout the day.

This means that you can stay at the lagoon for as long as you like – just make sure that you don’t miss the last bus of the day!  

Comfort package vs premium package

There are two packages that you can choose from at the Blue Lagoon: comfort and premium packages. 

Comfort package

The comfort package is the cheapest that you can book. If you select tours on Get Your Guide or book with Iceland Air, this package comes as standard, although you can usually upgrade to one of the other packages if you like. 

The comfort package includes: 

  • entry to the Blue Lagoon for as long as you want
  • one drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic)
  • a silica mud mask
  • towel

This is the package that most people who visit the lagoon have and it’s sufficient to enjoy the attraction to its fullest extent! 

Premium package

If you want a bit more luxury, you could upgrade to a premium package. Premium tickets include everything in the comfort package, along with the following: 

  • two extra masks
  • use of a bathrobe 
  • an extra glass of sparkling wine if you choose to eat at the luxurious lava restaurant

Retreat spa

If you want an even more enhanced experience at the lagoon, check out the retreat spa.

This luxurious experience is where you’ll enjoy the blue water of the blue lagoon but without the crowds, as you’ll spend some time in the retreat lagoon. 

Take in beautiful views over the coastline and partake in the Blue Lagoon ritual where you can utilise silica, algae and minerals to fully rejuvenate and relax. 

You’ll have your own private changing room with towels, a robe, slipper and toiletries and facilities like a sauna, steam cave, pool and wood-burning fireplace. 

It’s a completely exclusive experience that’s perfect for all weather conditions; it’s sheltered enough that it’s suitable even in blizzard showers! 

You can book tickets for the retreat spa here.


In water massage

Add on a 120-minute in-water massage package to completely revitalise yourself. It’s a spa treatment like you’ll never have experienced before! 

Float therapy

Along with a trained bodyworker, float therapy will help you lose all of your stresses as you bob gently in the warm waters. 

Other Blue Lagoon tours for winter 

Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon Tour

Girl standing on the North American tectonic plate at Thingveller National Park on the Golden Circle in Iceland, wearing a beige coat, red and black checked scarf and burgundy hat, with the view of "no man's land" in the background before the Eurasian plate.

This popular day trip includes some of Iceland’s best spots, including the Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir and Theingvellir National Park.

Finally, you’ll terminate at the lagoon, where you can relax in the milky waters and relax! 

Check out my full guide to seeing the Golden Circle in winter here.

Blue Lagoon and Northern Lights Tour

Northern Lights behind snow-capped mountains on a Reykjavik boat tour.

This tour includes a visit to the warm bath in the afternoon, before taking a bus back to the city, relaxing for a few hours and then embarking on the bus again to go hunting for the northern lights. 

Read more about seeing the northern lights in Iceland in January here.

Golden Circle, northern lights and Blue Lagoon tour

This will be a very busy tour, but it’s ideal if you want to see the highlights outside of Reykjavik and are limited for time.

This tour includes stops at the Golden Circle’s main highlights, before heading to the Blue Lagoon and then taking 90 minutes for dinner before hunting the northern lights.

Tips for visiting the Blue Lagoon in winter

A bridge spanning over the warm waters of the blue lagoon in Iceland.

If you’re visiting the Blue Lagoon on your winter trip to Iceland, here are my best tips! 

Visit for sunset 

We visited the Blue Lagoon when it was pitch black – which was a really cool experience (it literally felt like we were on the edge of the world!) but we didn’t get to see the blue waters that the natural phenomenon is famous for! 

If you visit for golden hour, you’ll take in the blue water and steam, before witnessing a gorgeous sunset, and then taking in the lagoon in darkness! 

Remember, in winter, the sun sets a lot earlier than in the summer.

You’ll have time to enjoy swimming to what seems to be the edge of the earth and experience the surreality of pitch blackness, before visiting the swim-up bar! 

As the Blue Lagoon is in an area of the country with little light pollution, there is a small chance that you may see the northern lights there. 

Allow plenty of time

Many lagoon tours don’t have a time limit, so provided you make it to the entrance on your pre-booked transport one way (and enter the lagoon at your specified time slot) you can hang out in the hot water as long as you want!

My only advice would be to allow plenty of time, allowing getting ready for the spa, have a good old soak, get ready afterward and possibly grab some food. 

Take a waterproof camera or phone cover

One of my best travel tips for visiting the Blue Lagoon in winter or summer is that you may want some kind of waterproof way to take photos! 

You’ll be in the pool straightaway from when you leave the changing rooms, which means that you won’t have a chance to take any photos on the side, before being fully submerged in the water. 

A GoPro is the best way of doing this: I have this one (UK version) or click here for the US version.

You could also buy a waterproof phone case for your phone.

Of course, these cases are never 100% reliable, so if you do use one I’d recommend still trying to keep your phone out of the water (hold it above your head!) and just use the case as protection for accidental splashes.

You can see waterproof phone cases on Amazon here (UK version) or here (US version).

You don’t need flip flops

As you won’t be walking around barefoot outside, you won’t need to take flip-flops.

You’ll only use them for a short amount of time before leaving them on the side, and the sheer amount of people who pass by the flip-flops means that someone could take a pair accidentally. 

Or a towel!

You also don’t need a towel. When you get out of the pool (even if you’re in the basic package), you can go and collect a towel from the side.

I was one of the last people to leave on our particular evening, and there were still plenty of freshly-laundered towels waiting for us.

Use contact lenses if you wear glasses

If you wear glasses, they will steam up in the pool. I’d recommend taking them off and using contact lenses instead.

There is a cafe on-site

By the time you get out of the lagoon, you might be itching to get on the bus.

But do remember that it takes up to an hour to drive back to Reykjavik, and many restaurants shut at around 9:00 pm.

So if you don’t think you’ll have time to have dinner, grab something at the cafe! 

There’s also the Lava Restaurant and Moss Restaurant, where you can pre-book dinner. It’s not cheap, with mains coming in at around $40 – $45 and a bowl of soup costing over $23! 

Blue Lagoon alternatives

There are some other alternative options if you don’t want to go to the Blue Lagoon.

Some of these options are much closer to Reykjavik center, whereas the Secret Lagoon is a perfect addition to a Golden Circle trip (either an independent road trip or as part of a tour). 

Sky Lagoon

The Sky Lagoon is a lot closer to Reykjavik city; it’s only a 15 minute drive from the city center.

Famous for a seven-step ritual, the Sky Lagoon basks in tremendous views of Faxaflói Bay.

Due to the shorter transfer time, it’s a lot more budget-friendly to visit Sky Lagoon than Blue Lagoon; you can also do a tour here that includes transport and entrance.

Blue Lagoon is a lot more famous than Sky Lagoon, thanks to the chemicals that emulate the bright blue waters.

But the fact that Sky Lagoon is closer and cheaper means, depending on your preferences, you might wish to visit Sky Lagoon instead.

Secret Lagoon

While it’s not as hidden as its name suggests, Secret Lagoon is a much quieter hot spring than others on this list, largely due to its remoteness. 

Bathe in the hot water as you soak in the springs and take in the view of the natural landscape; if you visit during the evening, there’s even a chance that you’ll see the northern lights here. 

You can visit the Secret Lagoon as part of a Golden Circle tour.

On this tour, you’ll visit the Secret Lagoon before seeing the Golden Circle highlights like Gullfoss Waterfall, the Geysir and Thingvellir National Park where you can walk between two continental plates. 

Click here to read more about the tour.

Alternatively, you can pre-book your entry ticket on Get Your Guide – click here to do so.


If you want to experience authentic Icelandic culture without having to go too far from the city center, head to Laugardalslaug.

It’s only a half-hour walk from Hallgrimskirkja Church and is open from 6:30 am every morning. 

I came here on my last day in Iceland, enjoying slowly waking up (despite the complete darkness!) as I did lengths in the warm pool and then warmed up in the hot tub. 

In the early morning, it was already quite busy with locals before they were about to go to work, but I didn’t notice any other tourists there. 

This complex consists of public swimming pools, hot tubs (and one tub with cold water) and a kid’s area.

There’s no need to book a tour; you can easily walk there from central Reykjavik and pay on the door.

It cost me around $7.

Visiting the Blue Lagoon FAQs

Blue water of the lagoon in the bottom of the shot, with steam rising into the dark sky at the top of the photo.

Can you go to the Blue Lagoon in winter?

Yes, the Blue Lagoon is open 365 days per year, even on Christmas day and Icelandic holidays – just make sure that you book far in advance if you visit during a busy time of year.

If tickets on the website are sold out, try booking on Get Your Guide.

Can you swim in Blue Lagoon in January?

You can swim in the Blue Lagoon in January; the weather may be very cold, but the water is incredibly warming, making the spa experience much more relaxing and fulfilling than the warmer summer months. The complex is open all months of the year.

Is Blue Lagoon open in the snow?

The Blue Lagoon is open in the colder months, including when it snows.

In fact, when we were there the temperatures were plummeting to -10°C (14°F) with lots of snow in Reykjavik – even colder elsewhere in Iceland – and there was tonnes of snow; the balmy lagoon waters were perfect!

What month is best to go to the Blue Lagoon?

I’d say that the winter months are best for the blue lagoon – there’s something so special about dunking into a warm pool when the weather conditions are frigid! Just try to visit during sunset so you can enjoy the light and dark.

Is the Blue Lagoon always warm?

As the water comes from geothermal springs, the water is scorching deep in the earth – in fact, it’s 240°C or 464°F!

But by the time it reaches the surface, it’s 38°C or 100°F. So yes, it’s warm throughout the year.

Does Blue Lagoon close due to the weather?

The Blue Lagoon can close due to the weather, but it’s very rare – in fact, it’s only closed three times in the last ten years, and this was due to strong, icy winds.

It stays open in rain, snow and freezing Arctic temperatures.

Is Blue Lagoon expensive?

The Blue Lagoon is quite expensive, but it is a bucket list Iceland experience that you’ve got to add to your list when you’re visiting the nation!

If you’re on a budget, the Sky Lagoon and Laugardalslaug are a lot cheaper.

Can you go in the Blue Lagoon if you can’t swim?

Generally, you can stand in the Blue Lagoon, although it does get deeper in the middle of the pool.

It’s best to stick around the edges if you want to be able to stand, and stick with people who can swim if you are worried.

Can I take my phone in the Blue Lagoon?

You can take your phone in the Blue Lagoon, but there’s no guarantee that it won’t get ruined!

It’s possible to enter and hold it above your head the whole time, but of course, you could always slip and drop it.

How far is blue lagoon from Reykjavik?

The Blue Lagoon complex is about an hour from Reykjavik city center, around 50 kilometres or 30 miles away.

If you’d like to visit, it’s easiest to do so on a tour or by driving yourself with a hire car.

Do you have to get your hair wet in the Blue Lagoon? 

If you tie your hair in a high bun, you could avoid getting it completely wet, but it may still be splashed a little and get damp.

You can wash and dry your hair in the changing rooms (there are hairdryers).

All you need to know about the Blue Lagoon in November, December, January or February!

A winter Icelandic adventure is truly magical, and I’d highly recommend adding a trip to the lagoon to your bucket list.

With bright blue waters that entice relaxation, taking a dip into this geothermal water in the coldest months of the year is a quintessential Icelandic experience that you won’t be forgetting.  

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