Europe For The Senses

Author/Photographer Vicki Liston blogs on her book and some interesting places she's traveled. "Europe for the Senses - A Photographic Journal" was published under the name 'Vicki Landes'.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Blue Lagoon: A Perfect ‘Long Layover’ Between the US and Europe

How often do you find a place where the water’s color is more intense than the sky’s? In the chilly island country of Iceland, the steamy Blue Lagoon is an oasis of heat. This little nation is quickly becoming a popular travel destination as it sits conveniently between the United States and Europe. With the absolutely highest regard for the environment, this beautiful location offers the busy tourist rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation.

Heated by geothermal energy, the cloudy blue waters feel almost scalding at times and are chock-full of healthy minerals. Troughs of soft white silica mud sit warm in the water for visitors to slather on – all while enjoying the balmy sunbeams and the crystal clear sky. The entire area is blanketed in a fluffy cloud of steam which rises from the water, making the crisp Icelandic air less of a temperature shock. The spa also houses a sauna and steam room, areas for massage, and even a treatment center for skin ailments like psoriasis.

What makes Iceland and the Blue Lagoon even more of an attraction for tourists is that it is the perfect ‘long layover’ point between the United States and Europe. The long, crowded, and almost claustrophobic flight between the two continents can be almost unbearable. Traveling itself becomes a source of stress and frustration, which isn’t how anyone wants to start a vacation! So why not break up the flight? The Keflavík International Airport is about a five-and-a-half-hour flight from the U.S.’s east coast, which will get you a little over halfway to Europe. From the airport, simply check your baggage, hop a shuttle to the Blue Lagoon, and soak your cares (and jetlag) away for a few hours before returning the airport to finish your flight. The resort offers swimsuit and towel rentals, making it easier to visit without dragging along cumbersome bags. Visitors can even take a piece of their experience with them as the lagoon offers a complete line of face and body products made from its healing waters, silica mud, and special algae. Imagine how refreshing it would be to board an airplane feeling clean, rejuvenated, and with the knowledge that Europe is only a few more hours away.

Whether Iceland is the final destination or merely a stop along the way, The Blue Lagoon is truly a unique and relaxing experience!

Ready to go? Here are some resources to check out:

* – (English version). Official site for the Blue Lagoon. Get info on opening times, prices, contact info for booking massages and treatments (Don’t wait until you get there to book!). You can also shop their spa products – I can vouch for almost all of them, they are fabulous (my favorite is the Mineral Balance Foam Bath – the scent is intoxicating!).

* – airline tickets, travel packages, info on getting to the Blue Lagoon and back. I actually got my Iceland Air tickets through (which saved me about $200) and then called Iceland Airlines to set up lagoon and hotel transportation (even if you get the tickets from another source, you can still go thru them for additional packages). Iceland Air also has INCREDIBLE customer service – I’ve visited 45 different countries via all sorts of means and Iceland Air surpasses every company I’ve traveled with.

* – great tourist info site! Whether you’re only visiting the Blue Lagoon or staying longer, visit this website and order a 6 minute DVD and plenty of brochure information (it’s all free!).