• Einar Páll Svavarsson

The Blue Lagoon at Reykjanes Peninsula Iceland


The Blue Lagoon geothermal pool in Iceland
The Blue Lagoon geothermal pool in Iceland

In Iceland, the Blue Lagoon at the Reykjanes Peninsula is becoming a landmark equivalent to Big Ben in London and the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It is a place most visitors and tourists that plan a trip and come to Iceland want to visit. Needless to say, it is probably the most popular tourist destination in Iceland. These unique baths were discovered accidentally in the 1970s. During a construction operation at the nearby Geothermal power plant, the workers decided to use this natural pool to wash after a long and exhausting day. Soon, the word spread about the water's extraordinary qualities. It is extremely rich in silica and sulfur, thus excellent for helping people suffering from skin diseases, such as psoriasis. One gentleman from the nearby town of Keflavik fighting the disease decided to try the bath. His experiment was successful even to the amazement of some of his doctors.


Blue Lagoon is located at Reykjanes Peninsula on the map of Iceland
Blue Lagoon is located at Reykjanes Peninsula on the map of Iceland

A lagoon from the Geothermal Power Plant became a popular bath


The Blue Lagoon in the middle of the lavafield
The Blue Lagoon in the middle of the lavafield

During the first years, the public spas were operated at the original site. But, the natural setting proved to be too dangerous resting in the middle of a lava field. The bottom of the pool was fissures riddled, hiding some rock traps. A company was formed to build a new and safe pool. As the lagoon became more convenient to bath in, more and more people became interested in bathing in the blue lagoon. The current pool is man-made. The nearby power plant, Svartsengi, feed the pool through water output. The water is being renewed every two days.


Recently renovated it is truly a joy to visit


Blue Lagoon in Iceland
Blue Lagoon in Iceland

Just recently the Blue Lagoon and the area around the lagoon was renovated and are now a state of the art Geothermal Pool. The water temperature in the lagoon's bathing and swimming areas is on average 37-39°C. Apart from the public pools, the Blue Lagoon also operates a research and development facility to help find cures for other skin ailments, using the mineral-rich water. Access to the Blue Lagoon is as easy as it gets. You go to the Road Nr. 41, which is the first road most visitors drive when in Iceland, the road between the International Airport at Keflavík and Reykjavík the capital of Iceland. About 30 kilometers from Reykjavík you turn south on Road Nr. 43 to the town of Grindavík. A few kilometers before you come to Grindavík you will see the Geothermal Power Plant at Svartsengi and the signs leading to the Blue Lagoon on Road Nr. 426.


The man who discovered the Blue Lagoon


Swimming in the Blue Lagoon
Swimming in the Blue Lagoon

When building the Geothermal plant by the mountain Svartsengi on the Rykjanes Peninsula in the late seventies, a large lagoon appeared in the lava nearby. At first people noticed the small lake because of the beautiful blue color. At that time a young man in the nearby town of Keflavík, Valur Margeirsson, was fighting Psoriasis. Somehow he got the idea that the water in the lagoon could help his disease. Needless to say, people had their doubts. Among the most doubtful was the head physician at the dermatology department at the National Hospital who warned Mr. Margeirsson to dive into this unknown combination of sea, water and chemicals from the ground. His dermatologist, on the other hand, was positive towards the idea and encouraged him to try bathing in the new lagoon. After Mr. Margeirsson had got permission from the CEO of the Svartsengi Power Plant, he took his first swim in the Blue Lagoon in September 1981. After bathing a few times, it was obvious that swimming in the blue lagoon helped curing the disease. In the following years, more people with psoriasis started to dip into the blue lagoon to find a cure. And later others began to swim in the Blue Lagoon for fun. Today the Blue Lagoon is probably the most visited and best-known place in Iceland with thousands of visitors every day of the year. Just recently Mr. Margeirsson, the man who discovered the Blue Lagoon, passed away at the age of 66.




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