When to go to Iceland

Welcome to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland

Picture this: a series of mist-shrouded, turquoise-blue pools, against which a striking slate-grey series of structures sit. This is Iceland’s much-lauded Retreat at the Blue Lagoon – a luxury resort located but 45 minutes from the country’s capital, Reykjavik. You might have seen it. You might have seen us talking about it (which is quite likely, considering our intense adoration for this little corner of the earth). So, what follows is our breakdown of the Blue Lagoon – what it is, where it is, and why you should really go there. And, we promise, the water is startlingly warm. Like a good bath¹.

¹Or, the best bath.


What is it

The Retreat at the Blue Lagoon is two things. Firstly, it is, quite literally, a blue lagoon – a series of natural geothermal springs, boasting enriching mineral water amid spectacular natural surroundings. This is accompanied by a stylishly Bond-like underground spa and hotel complex. The hotel, and exceptional Moss restaurant, nestled in its grey-black-gold belly, give you something to stick around for once you’ve soaked up the healthful properties of the Lagoon’s natural springs. What it offers is an unusual combination of wellness and indulgence that, in other locations, might seem at odds with one another.

The Retreat itself plays off its otherworldly setting through its bold and striking architecture and interiors – meaning, it’s the slate-grey rocks, cast-iron fireplaces, and moss-covered buildings. The structure folds itself into the earth – becoming more an extension of it than an imposition placed over it. Inside, the spa treatments on offer at the Blue Lagoon extend from the bountiful healing properties of the water itself – part of its ‘ritual’ of cleaning, exfoliating, and moisturizing – to luxurious beauty treatments and in-water massages, making it the most sensory of luxury spa experiences. Depending on whether you want to experience Iceland’s ‘white nights’ of summer, or the neon knives of the Northern Lights, it would be best to travel in summer and winter respectively. It’s a tough choice, isn’t it? 

Where is it

Today, travellers to Iceland are opting to strike out into the country’s more untamed regions. At the same time, the lagoon is still only an hour away from the capital, making it a good first (or final) stop in the country – before or after you’ve experienced its wilder hinterlands. The hotel and lagoon itself are located an invitingly short 20 minutes from Keflavik airport, and less than an hour’s car journey from Reykjavik itself. In other words, it places one of the world’s best geothermal spas and natural springs within throwing distance of an airport. This is unusual, but something to be excited for. Not least for its enviable position on the edge of the UNESCO-protected area of Grindavik. That’s assuming you want to leave to explore.

Why we like it

The Retreat’s sprawling, King-sized beds gaze out from floor-to-ceiling windows which, in turn, open on to the moody and ever-changing landscapes of the Reykjanes Peninsula. The trailing, billowing mist, and the intricately muted colours of the surrounding rock, give a sense of being embedded (gently, gently) within the earth itself. That the Retreat also boasts one of the best Icelandic restaurants on the island is a gentle nudge to the fact that even while the Retreat is ‘of the earth,’ it’s also a world-class and international place to wine and dine. Icelandic tasting menus and wine pairings compliment the health-giving properties of its local waters; all silica, algae, and minerals. The bar has a piece of genuine, untouched volcanic stone crashed down through it. What’s not to like about that?

Ready to take the plunge?

Have an unforgettable stay at The Retreat while discovering Iceland’s rugged landscape under the Midnight Sun. Waterfalls, volcanoes, and the Blue Lagoon – this five-day itinerary is Iceland at its very best.