The temperatures are well below zero, the thermometer covered in a thick layer of ice. While we’re shivering as we huddle together and pulling our jackets up past our noses, the tourists in Iceland prefer to be outside – in swimming shorts and bikinis for that matter! What sounds pretty crazy and unimaginable at first is actually quite true. Near Reykjavík – or Grindavik to be more precise – is the Blue Lagoon, a thermal spa where visitors can indulge themselves in a relaxing and healing bath in temperatures between 37 and 42°C.

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How the Blue Lagoon was created

When you consider how the Blue Lagoon is one of the most famous thermal springs today and also one of Iceland’s top sights, the story behind its creation are actually quite funny. That’s because this salt water lake was originally the result of a geothermal power plant. In order to produce energy and expand the district heating system, salt and fresh water at a temperature of up to 240°C was pumped up from 2,000 metres below the sea. The pure water was then fed through a nearby lava field, where the mixture of two thirds salt water and one third freshwater came together to create a lake. When it became known that the lake contained many worthwhile nutrients such as mineral salts, silica and algae, it wasn’t long until the first bathers arrived and started diving into the warm pools. The shimmering blue-white waters, the colour of which is due to the reflections of dissolved algae, really do look enticing though –  you can dare to go for a very relaxing bath indeed.

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Thermal spa for body and soul

What is able to attract so many curious visitors and also help heal various skin conditions can only be a recipe for success. That’s exactly why today the Blue Lagoon is a 5,000m²-large thermal spa, which pumps even more water from beneath the earth. While icy temperatures reign outside, visitors dive into the hot springs and let their gaze wander over the steaming waters. To make that wellness feeling perfect, there’s a waterfall that doubles up as a massage, steam baths that cleanse your skin deep into the pores, and a lava cave and a sauna mean that you’ll soon forget about just how cold it really is outside.

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But let’s be honest here: the best thing about it really is the awesome view you have when the hot waters come up to your neck and you look out across to the breathtaking landscapes.The huge lake and clouds of steam rising up are the only things in front of you, and you’ll forget about the cold instantly. You can make out black sandy beaches and lava fields in the distance, which all perfectly round off the panorama. So, how about a holiday in Iceland?

 

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