It has become increasingly popular in recent years to dismiss the Blue Lagoon as yet another Instagram travel fad. Or to deride the cerulean water and volcanic valleys of southwest Iceland as just another over-hyped photo-opportunity. As Instagram influencers become more and more criticized by the culture at large, it is perhaps only natural to condemn what they promote.
But, dare we say, the general public is conflating their loathing of influencers with the locations to which they flock? Iceland is the hottest destination in travel for a reason. And Game of Thrones isn’t the only motivating factor. After all, Winter is no longer coming; it came and went.
It’s not hard to understand why the otherworldly landscape of the Blue Lagoon has captured the global imagination. It will take many more lightyears (and even newer forms of social media) before the Reykjanes peninsula feels over-populated, and the Blue Lagoon any less majestic.
But how to have an ultra-private (and ultra-unique) travel experience in one of the most popular vacation spots in the world? From the best adventure activities to the ultimate in Nordic luxury, here’s how to experience Iceland’s most famous attraction like an insider.
1. Reserve Your Own Private Lagoon
For the truly discerning traveler who wants to capitalize on the rejuvenating benefits (not to mention the otherworldly landscapes) of the Blue Lagoon, look no further than the Lagoon Suite at the RetreatHotel. This luxury suite promises an exceedingly private (and deservedly decadent) Nordic escape. Forget a plunge pool, why not soak in your own private lagoon?
Though the word ‘hygge’ originated in nearby Norway, its meaning (an ambiance of comfort and joy) is exemplified at the Retreat Hotel. The Retreat offers access to a secluded spa and swimming area of the Blue Lagoon that’s not available to the general public. And the lava suite promises your very own private lagoon—only to be shared only with your fellow travel-mates (if you so wish).
So if you’re worried about crowds, you’ve come to the right place. Though the Retreat is adjacent to the public entrance of the Blue Lagoon, the chic modern atmosphere is serenity defined.
Hailed as the most luxurious hotel in Iceland, each room capitalizes on the spectacular volcanic vistas. And the sunset reflecting over the icy blue water is a natural phenomenon you won’t soon forget. (The northern lights and the midnight sun are but an added seasonal bonus).
Even if you don’t book the Lagoon Suite, the Retreat offers an unparalleled oasis for every traveler. May we suggest the Moss suite? The private balcony is all the better for looking at the stars—replete with a glass of wine, of course. Wellness comes in many forms, after all.
2. Embark On An ATV Trip To The Moon
You needn’t book a trip to outer space to explore the wonders of the galaxy. 4×4 Adventures Iceland offers a Trip to the Moon (capping out at a maximum of four hours, the length of the excursion is remarkably brief for such intergalactic travel). For travelers looking to explore the breathtaking Reykjanes peninsula, the guided adventure leads drivers to volcanic gardens by way of black sandy beaches and hot lava stones.
A stop in the America-Eurasia canyon offers travelers the opportunity to visit the bridge between two continents, though the surrounding landscape will almost assuredly remind you of a mix between this planet and the next. Photo opportunities abound in front of the oldest lighthouse in Iceland. Though even the most romantic of man-made structures will pale in comparison to the rugged terrain you will traverse on your journey into the wild.
3. Relax And Rejuvenate At The Ultra-Private Lava Cove Spa
For travelers who want to experience the Retreat Spa’s signature in-water massage and world-class beauty treatments without the crowds (or anyone else at all), look no further than the hidden spa, Lava Cove. Indulge in a day of beautification at this spa within a Spa, and take advantage of the anti-aging benefits of the nutrients-rich silicic acid found in the waters of the Blue Lagoon. You will leave looking (and feeling) 15 years younger.
The in-water treatments redefine wellness, and the Spa’s unique beauty benefits alone are well worth the trip. And, thanks to theIcelandair Stopover program, a quick visit to the Blue Lagoon is more accessible than ever. Why not arrive at your next destination looking impossibly refreshed?
4. Take A Helicopter Tour of Iceland’s Waterfalls And Fjords
First by land, then by sky: Our next adventure takes the curious traveler above the southwest peninsula of Iceland. Though our ATV adventure promises a journey to the moon, a HELO Helicopter tour will make you more appreciative of the natural phenomenon occurring here on earth. In southwest Iceland to be exact, on excursions including Powerful Reykjanes Peninsula, which flies travelers to majestic waterfalls and coastal vistas.
The landscape of the Lagoon is even more dramatic from above. Yes, the water is that blue—the result of an accidental runoff from a geothermal power plant in the 1970s. Beyond the Lagoon itself, the federally protected volcanic region surrounding the Blue Lagoon is truly something to behold. The backdrop of this desolate landscape against the icy blue water of the Lagoon makes for a striking juxtaposition.
5. Toast To Your Trip In A Volcanic Wine Cellar
For the most decadent celebration of your trip, reserve an evening at the private volcanic wine cellar at the Retreat Blue Lagoon. The Moss Restaurant serves up all sorts of delicious Icelandic treats (not to mention Bjork liquor). The Nordic cuisine and the accompanying wine provides another kind of wellness altogether.
With such startling beauty to behold outdoors, the interior of this private dining experience matches the drama, with champagne chilling in a volcanic cave. But the magic of the transporting ambiance has to be seen to be believed of course. And if you still don’t trust us? Wait until you visit and experience the landscape with your own eyes. You won’t be disappointed.