In Icelandic Water: The Steam Valley and The Blue Lagoon

16 Apr 2017

Two reasons to remember to pack your swimsuit and two absolute must-have experiences if you’re going to Iceland.

Reykjadalur Hot Springs

Reykjadalur directly translates to ‘steam valley’ and you will understand the name once you get hiking. The valley is full of hot springs billowing out steam and mud pools which bubble and splash you (don’t wear shorts). And at the top, you’ll find a hot river that you can bathe in.

It’s a 45 minutes to an hour to hike to the top and it’s not majorly difficult but you will need to catch your breath at times. There’s loose gravel paths which are slightly nerve wracking (maybe not one if you’re terrified of heights) but the views are spectacular. There’s a waterfall about half way up and we saw ducks, of all creatures, swimming about in the stream.  There are moments where you can’t see in front of your own nose cos the steam is so thick (not on any of those loose gravel paths don’t worry) and it’s all a bit magical.

I’ve never felt more surreal, clambering over a muddy river bank (trying not to slip on my arse) in my swimsuit whilst the wind and drizzle gave me the mother of all goosebumps and then going to sit in a shallow, muddy river full of weeds.

But it was dreamy. Genuinely like sinking into the hottest, steamiest of baths (cept without the bubbles) with a very real view of the mountain top.

It’s pretty busy, which also feels quite bizarre, but we found that it didn’t feel overcrowded – it’s a big river and everyone could stick to an area. I think there was actually a suggested time limit for staying in the water (not that anyone could really enforce it) because the heat does start making you feel fuzzy after a while (definitely take a bottle of water in with you) and you do have to walk back down the mountain again. We stayed in about an hour altogether and that felt just about right.

The Blue Lagoon

Our final day of the trip was spent entirely at the Blue Lagoon. If you don’t know what it is – check this website out – but I suspect the majority already know of these creamy blue geothermal waters.

You can book different packages for your Blue Lagoon Experience and we decided to go the full hog. You get dressing gowns and slippers on arrival, as well a wrist band which you use to open/lock your locker and put drinks etc on your tab. There are also hooks by the waterside to hang your gowns on.

The water was just gorgeous. The colour is other-worldly and it’s so lovely and warm… which sounds a pretty pathetic way to describe it but I can’t describe everything as FLIPPIN’ MAGICAL all the time…

We spent the whole day floating amongst the water, or perched on the volcanic rocks. We’d mosy on over to the water bar (those strawberry smoothies <3<3) or brave standing under the waterfall – like getting a very brutal, painful massage but it did bizarrely loosen up your muscles. At one point we discovered a secret cave which was giving a history of the Blue Lagoon over the sound system (in several languages) and obviously at times, we'd step out of the warmth of the water to grab our cameras and stand on the little bridges to capture the magic.

We took a break to have a fancy three-course lunch, plus processco, in the restaurant. It was very weird being sat in such a classy environment in your dressing gown but you didn’t have to worry about un-doing any buttons half way through dinner *insert smug emoji*.

After lunch we headed over to the facemask hut in the water to try out the two different types of facemasks, all made of completely natural ingredients from the lagoon. They did make you look a bit like a sea creature lurking in the water but omg my skin felt so super soft for the next couple of weeks.

If I had to give you one tip about visiting the Blue Lagoon in the summer it would be this: sunglasses and sun cream. That water is freakishly bright even when not particularly sunny and I was bemused to discover I had major tan lines when I got out at the end of the day. It was fun telling people back home that I was tanned from a trip to Iceland…


  1. This looks absolutely amazing. Iceland is definitely on my list. Would love to have that Blue Lagoon experience.


    1. Iceland honestly blew my mind; it was such an incredible place. Like no where I've been before. And the Blue Lagoon is a must-have experience when you're there!