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Blue Lagoon

Growing numbers visit beautiful Reykjanes peninsula: Record increase in number of overnight stays

By | Icelandic Nature, Local News From Iceland, TaxiTravel.is Tours | No Comments

Reykjanes peninsula has seen a larger increase in the number of overnight stays than any other part of Iceland. The increase between 2010 and 2015 was a whopping 245%, compared to a national average of 161%. The growth is explained by the proximity to the Keflavík International Airport, and the rugged natural beauty, geothermal areas and lava fields of the Reykjanes Geopark.

According to the regional news site vf.is the growth in the number of overnight stays has been strongest in West Iceland and the South West, especially Reykjanes. Proximity to the Keflavík International Airport and Reykjavík and the capital region seem to be particularly important, as the smallest increase has been in East Iceland, where the number of overnight stays has grown by 138%.

At the same time as the number of foreign visitors and overnight stays has grown, the supply of hotel rooms has increased. However, the growth in the number of hotel rooms has been far slower than the growth in the number of visitors. In 2014 and 2015 the number of foreign visitors to Iceland grew by 175%, when the number of hotel rooms in the Reykjanes peninsula grew by 95%, leading to a better occupancy ratio of hotel rooms.

Unaralleled natural beauty
Reykjanes peninsula is not only home to the Keflavík Airport and one of Iceland‘s best known and most popular tourist attractions, the Blue Lagoon, but also countless other beautiful sights worth visiting.

The rugged lava fields of Reykjanes are among the most beautiful in Iceland. The last major period of volcanic activity in the region began shortly before Iceland was settled, in the 8th and 9th centuries, and came to an end in the mid-13th century. These lava fields formed in these eruptions are still relatively barren, since very little vegetation other than moss has managed to colonize the hostile lava fields.

The four major volcanic systems on the Reykjanes peninsula include hundreds of open fissures and major high temperature geothermal systems, characterized by intense surface activity that has created a diversity of colours contrasting with the black lava and the lush green moss. The best two of the best known, and most easily accessible, are on the Krýsuvík system south-west coast of Kleifarvatn and Eldvörp, west of the Blue lagoon.

 

From: //icelandmag.visir.is

Blue Lagoon Iceland

Blue Lagoon to be drained in January, for the first time since 1999

By | Local News From Iceland | No Comments

The Blue Lagoon will be closed for two weeks in early January, during which time the lagoon will be completely drained. This is the first time since 1999 since the lagoon has been drained. On January 5 the lagoon will close to visitors, only to reopen on January 22.

The reason for the closing and draining of the lagoon is that the current facilities are being greatly expanded as a new five star luxury hotel is built by the lagoon. Construction of the hotel, which began late last year, is scheduled to be completed by spring 2017.

Grímur Sæmundsen, who was a guest on the morning show of the local radio station Bylgjan, says the draining is necessary for regular maintenance: The lagoon has not been drained since the current facilities were opened in 1999. This year more than 900,000 visitors are expected to come to the lagoon, and next year the number is expected to top 1,000,000 for the first time. At the same time it was necessary to close and drain the lagoon as it is being expanded by nearly half, from 5,000 square meters (54,000 square feet) to 7,000 square meters (75,000 square feet).

Grímur told Bylgjan that the expansion would give visitors a greater sense of expanse at the lagoon, and that it would improve both service and visitor experience. Since the current phase did not include an expansion of the locker rooms, the expansion of the lagoon would only result in more space for guests and an improved experience.

The water in the lagoon is constantly renewed with geothermal sea-water, pumped from boreholes at the nearby Svatsengi power plant. It will take between 6-12 hours to fill the lagoon after it has been emptied.

 

From: //icelandmag.visir.is

Iceland’s two blue water pools: The Blue Lagoon vs. Mývatn Nature Baths

By | Icelandic Nature, TaxiTravel.is Tours | No Comments

The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s biggest tourist attractions. In the Northeast region of the country lies another man made nature bath, Mývatn Nature Baths, also with blue water. Frequent swimmer Dr. Gunni measures the lagoons against each other in Iceland Mag’s weekly Versus column.

What is it?
Blue Lagoon Man made lagoon with 6 million liters of 37-39°C hot geothermal seawater. The bottom is made of white silica mud. The lagoon has some underwater benches and caves to sit in. Also pails of the white mud on the bank to rub on your skin. It is good for you!
Mývatn Nature Baths Man made lagoon with 3.5 million liters of 36-40°C hot water. The bottom is made of sand and gravel. Some underwater benches.

CC MindsEye_PJ

Mývatn Nature Baths are in north Iceland. Photo/MindsEye_PJ

What is there besides hot water?
Blue Lagoon Skin care shop, clinic for psoriasistreatment, Lava restaurant and bar.
Mývatn Nature Baths Kvika restaurant.

Background
Blue Lagoon The lagoon was formed in 1976 following the operation of the regional heating corporation in Svartsengi geothermal area. Soon people started to sneak into the lagoon and in 1987 the first first modest public bathing facilities opened. The current spa facilities opened in 1999.
Mývatn Nature Baths The baths opened in 2004, but people had been taking baths and steam baths in the area for centuries.

Distance from Reyjavík
Blue Lagoon 45 km
Mývatn Nature Baths  487 km

Admission fee (Okt 2015)
Blue Lagoon Adults: 35 EUR / Teenagers 14-15 years old: 15 EUR
Mývatn Nature Baths  Adults: 19 EUR / Teenagers 12-15 years old: 1.000 7 EUR

Opening hours
Blue Lagoon June – Aug 09:00-21:00 / Sept-May 10:00-20:00
Mývatn Nature Baths June-Aug 09:00-24:00 / Sept-May 12:00-22:00

Annual number of guests
Blue Lagoon More than 400,000
Mývatn Nature Baths Less than 100,000

Websites
Blue Lagoon bluelagoon.com
Mývatn Nature Baths jardbodin.is

Experience
Blue Lagoon After clever marketing for a long period the Blue Lagoon has become one of Iceland’s most famous landmarks. It is close to the Keflavík airport and Reykjavík so it may become very crowded during peak season. Due to it’s pricy admission fee The Blue Lagoon is not much visited by regular Icelanders. But still: it is an unusal and otherworldly place, that lives up to it’s legend. Plus, soothing in hot water is always good!
Mývatn Nature Baths The Mývatn baths is more intimate than the Blue lagoon and not as touristic. On the other hand, it is smaller and less picturesque, even though the landscape view is very nice. It is of course further away from Reykjavík and the airport and it is yet to earn its’“must do” status. Still, soothing in hot water is always good!

From: //icelandmag.visir.is