Readers of this blog will know that when it comes to steamy heat, or water therapy, I'm a huge fan. Combine the two, in dazzling natural surroundings, and it's hard to imagine a more delighted Spy.
Visiting the Blue Lagoon has always been on my Must-Do list. A trip to Reykjavik to see the Northern Lights meant that I was finally able to visit. Reykjavik Excursions picked me up directly from my hotel. As I was flying back to the UK later that day, they securely stored my luggage at the Lagoon gates. The outing is the perfect pre- or post-flight tonic as the Blue Lagoon lies half-way between the airport and Reykjavik town centre.
It was snowing when I arrived. Icy winds blew, bringing the temperatures to a frosty -10°C. The sky was dove grey. The path that led to the Lagoon twisted and turned with snow-flecked volcanic black rocks lining the path on each side. On the bus trip, I'd caught tantalising glimpses of steam rising, from what I guessed was the Lagoon on the horizon.
The hidden entrance made me feel that I was about to experience something a little magical.
The reception area was smart, clean, and far more modern than I'd pictured. A recent refurbishment and expansion has created a truly stylish space, with a cafe bar and restaurant area with stunning views over the Lagoon. Check-in was swift. I opted to try the exclusive lounge, which gives you access to your own locked private changing and shower room, and also a relaxing VIP lounge with fresh fruit, herb teas and bowls of delicious chocolates! I loved that you could access the lagoon though a private swim-through door, too. Very ritzy.
Running barefoot through the snow to reach the steaming Lagoon, with its milky-blue water, is something that will stay with me forever. I'm a total coward when it comes to the hot/cold thing, even though I know how good it is for you! But when in Iceland, do as the Icelanders do...
So, with my feet numb from the snowy cold, I splashed into the pool and felt the hot-bath-warmth of the thermal water instantly heat my chilly body -- and make my feet tingle!
The silky-soft geothermal water is silica-rich, and silica has impressive healing and anti-ageing properties.
My skin definitely felt smooth after a few hours bobbing around, and somehow tighter, more youthful-looking, too. One warning: the silica plays havoc with your hair!
My advice: load up your hair with conditioner and wear a bathing cap!
I'd booked in for a 20-minute water massage. To the side of the main lagoon was a quiet, smaller pool area. Here, therapists dressed in warm hats and waterproof fleeces were in the water, gently steering around blissed-out clients on inflatable beds, covered in waterproof blankets!
Once I'd managed to rather gracelessly climb on board my floating bed, my therapist covered me in a blanket, which initially felt chilly, but, as the warm water penetrated, heated up. I slipped down the straps of my swimming costume and wriggled it down to my waist. I was still completely covered up, though, and didn't feel at all embarrassed. My therapist applied a generous coating of oil to my back and began a gentle massage, applying pressure between the inflatable bed and my back, neck and arms.
The waters are essentially self-cleaning as the lagoon holds six million litres of geo-thermal brine, all of which is renewed in 40 hours. While my massage was going on, my therapist slowly towed me around the pool. My eyes were closed. I was conscious only that I was floating, slowly moving, and feeling probably more womb-like than I'd felt in 40 years! It was an amazing experience. The breathtakingly beautiful surroundings, combined with the expert pressure-point and smooth-strokes massage that I received in such an unusual way, was absolutely fantastic. I'm already planning a summer visit back to see what Iceland is like when the sun stays up for days on end!
20th March 2014
Luxurious scented candles; hot massage oil; being warm; unusual treatments; fluffy towels; natural light; firm pressure.
Mould; slamming doors; being walked in on while treatment in progress; therapists with cigarette-laced breath.
Behind the scenes