Friday, February 25, 2011

Travel Photo of the Day: The Blue Lagoon, Grindavík, Iceland

The Blue Lagoon is the most visited place in Iceland for good reason. It is a geothermal spa located in the middle of a lava field near Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula, about 24 miles from the capital city of Reykjavík. The water temperature is a comfortable 37–39 °C (98–102 °F) and the six million liters of geothermal seawater are loaded with minerals such as silica which purportedely help to improve skin, muscle and bone ailments. Because the lagoon is visited by so many people each year, hygiene codes are strictly enforced, including mandatory showering before and after entering the thermal waters, although common bacteria cannot thrive in the ecosystem.

We visited in August 2003, and after checking into our hotel, headed immediately for the lagoon. It was a weekday, so it wasn't too crowded and the warm, steamy mineral waters were just what we needed to recuperate after an overnight flight. There are vats of white silica mud throughout the area, to use as a face masque or to alleviate muscle aches. The Blue Lagoon also offers standard spa services such as massages and facials, but it is just as wonderful to simply spend a day sitting in the comforting waters, feeling the fresh breezes blowing on your face and looking out over the aqua-colored waters, incredible black lava moonscape and steaming geothermal vents.  

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