How to Get from Keflavik to the Blue Lagoon During a Layover in Iceland

When it comes to layovers in Iceland, travelers passing through the country have a unique opportunity to see one of Iceland’s top attractions. The journey from Keflavik International Airport to the Blue Lagoon is as convenient as the geothermal spa is enticing. 

Whether you have a few hours or a day to spare, this guide to navigating from Keflavik to the Blue Lagoon explains everything you need to know to ensure an unforgettable experience during your short visit to Iceland.


About the Blue Lagoon in Iceland

The Blue Lagoon, as seen from above, with the geothermal power plant in the background
The Blue Lagoon, as seen from above, with the geothermal power plant in the background. | Photo by Leo from Unsplash

At a steady 100 degrees to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, the Blue Lagoon is a man-made geothermal spa that was created back in the 1970s. Its backstory is one of the most interesting things about Iceland because surprisingly, it was discovered by accident.

The lagoon sits next to a geothermal plant and was created when wastewater runoff from the plant started pooling in the lava fields nearby. I understand that the thought of submerging your body in wastewater sounds disgusting at best and hazardous at worst, but don’t let it gross you out.

The Blue Lagoon is actually Iceland’s number one attraction, with more than 700,000 visitors each year. It is even more popular than Iceland’s many waterfalls.

The mineral-rich waters in the Blue Lagoon are believed to provide valuable health benefits to all who come to soak in them. Minerals like silica and sulfur are great for the skin, although not so great for the hair. You’ll want to tie or pin up long hair and condition it afterwards.

How to get from Keflavik to the Blue Lagoon

Standing outside the Keflavik Airport
Standing outside the Keflavik Airport before heading to the Blue Lagoon.

Not all airport layovers are created equal, especially when it comes to layover activities. Some airports offer free guided tours and complimentary shuttles to the city center, while others have excellent on-site amenities like yoga classes, gardens, activities, and premium shopping and dining options.

But Keflavik Airport is great for a short layover in Iceland (5-6 hours) simply because of its proximity to a world-class wonder: the Blue Lagoon. In fact, getting from Keflavik to the Blue Lagoon is easy, convenient, and only takes about 20 minutes. So, within an hour of getting off the airplane, you’ll be on your way to the most relaxing layover ever.

Soaking in a geothermal spa is a great way to beat jet lag and unwind after being cooped up and cramped in the cabin of an airplane. That right there makes a layover at Keflavik Airport totally worth it! In fact, I’d probably argue that the convenience of the Blue Lagoon to Keflavik makes it one of the best airports in the world for a short layover.

Getting from Keflavik to the Blue Lagoon is simple. There are hourly shuttles that you can take to the Blue Lagoon from the Iceland airport for a small fee.

If you have a longer layover in Iceland or a day or two stopover and you plan to rent a car and drive in Iceland, the Blue Lagoon is a short and easy drive. The attraction also offers plenty of free parking once you arrive.

Private transfer to the Blue Lagoon

the entrance sign at the blue lagoon

You can also book a private transfer from Keflavik to the Blue Lagoon. Although more expensive, this is a great option especially if you are in a time crunch or traveling in a group of three or four people. 

Private transfers are cheaper than the shuttle bus if you are a party of 3 or 4 with everyone over the age of 13 because you are paying per car for the private transfer versus per person for the shuttle bus.

If you are staying in Reykjavik there are private transfers available to and from the city, as well. However, even if you are staying a night in Reykjavik, I recommend making the Blue Lagoon your first stop once you get to Iceland.

While the lagoon is only a 15–20-minute drive from Keflavik Airport, it is a 50-minute drive from the Reykjavik city center, so it makes sense to go directly from the airport.


Shuttle bus from Keflavik to the Blue Lagoon

The shuttle buses are operated by multiple carriers including SmartBus and Destination Blue Lagoon. They run each hour during the day from Keflavik to the Blue Lagoon. 

The shuttle is a more affordable option compared to a private transfer; however, it does involve waiting until the hourly departure time. There are also shuttle services from Reykjavik. Children under the age of 13 are free on the shuttle.

You can schedule your pickup time here.

Renting a car and driving to the Blue Lagoon

Our rental car in Iceland
Our rental car in Iceland

A self-driving tour of Iceland may be one of the most popular ways to explore the country if you have an Iceland stopover for a few days.

If you decide to rent a car in Iceland, getting to the Blue Lagoon from Keflavik is an easy drive down a well-maintained highway.


How long of a layover in Iceland do you need to visit the Blue Lagoon?

Blue Lagoon mineral deposits on rock
The mineral-rich water of the Blue Lagoon makes for a great way to beat jet lag during a layover in Iceland.

Like the middle of America, Iceland is a flyover destination that many only go to if they are actually visiting there.

But, in the chance that you have the option of a short layover in Iceland, then definitely go for it. Because in a few minutes you can go from the airport to a therapeutic, milky blue geothermal bath. 

How much time you spend at the Blue Lagoon really depends on you. Still, you will want to give yourself several hours to truly appreciate the experience.

For one, depending on the time of day you are visiting the line to redeem your tickets can take a while. The attendant has to explain the rules to each person before they can enter.

You’ll then need to shower (which is mandatory), change into your swimming suit, and store your belongings in a locker before entering the lagoon. That process can take time, so allow enough time for both the logistics and the relaxation. 

The whole purpose of visiting the Blue Lagoon is to relax, particularly if you just arrived in Iceland after a long flight or are only there on a short layover. You don’t want to rush the experience. Soak in the water and let your body benefit from the minerals.

Family in Blue Lagoon in Iceland with mud masks
Enjoying a mud mask and soak at the Blue Lagoon is a great way to treat dry ski caused by air travel. One more reason to go straight from Keflavik to the Blue Lagoon.

Apply the mud mask, which everyone receives with their admission, and let that mask work its magic on your face. Air travel can be very drying for your skin, so the mud mask might be just what you need to rejuvenate your face after a flight.

Finally, enjoy a drink at the swim up bar which is also included in admission. Take in the moment and feel the tension in your muscles vanish.

To truly appreciate the experience, you’ll probably want to spend at least 2-3 hours at the Blue Lagoon. Which means if you are only visiting on a layover, you’ll need about 5-6 hours between your arrival and departure flights.

Things to know before visiting the Blue Lagoon from Keflavik

If you plan to visit the Blue Lagoon directly from the airport there are a few things to know and plan for ahead of time, particularly if you are only visiting on a layover.

Pack a swimming suit in your carry-on bag

woman in swimsuit in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland
Make sure you pack a swimsuit in your carry-on if visiting the Blue Lagoon while on a layover at Keflavik Airport.

If you only have a few hours in Iceland and plan to head to the Blue Lagoon during a layover, make sure you pack your swimsuit in your carry-on bag.

In fact, even if you are staying in Iceland for a while but want to make the Blue Lagoon your first stop, I’d recommend packing your swimsuit in your carry-on bag for easy access. 

Swimsuits are required in the Blue Lagoon. Although you can rent swimwear there if you forget yours, the idea of renting a swimsuit kind of grosses me out. It’s like borrowing someone’s underwear. Ick.

Family at Iceland's Blue Lagoon with kids
Floaties for young children are provided free of charge at the Blue Lagoon.

Other items you will want to pack in your carry-on bag include your toiletries and makeup, a hair tie, slippers, and sunglasses. 

One thing you do NOT need to pack is a towel. You do not need to bring a towel to the Blue Lagoon. They are provided at no additional charge with your admission as are arm floaties for kids.


Storing luggage at the Blue Lagoon

Whether you travel with a small carry-on bag only or you are a chronic over-packer and have a massive suitcase full of clothes, you can bring and store your luggage at the Blue Lagoon while you are there.

There are lockers in the locker rooms that can hold smaller bags. While larger luggage can be stored in a secure luggage facility in the parking lot.

Keep in mind, if you are only in Iceland on a layover, you do NOT need to collect your checked bags before leaving the airport. Those bags are checked through to your final destination, so make sure there is nothing in your checked luggage that you will need.

Book your tickets in advance

People visiting the Blue Lagoon in Iceland
A limited number of tickets are sold for the Blue Lagoon each hour to prevent overcrowding.

It’s important that you make a reservation in advance before actually going to the Blue Lagoon. To avoid being overcrowded, a limited number of tickets are sold each hour. Time slots can sell out quickly, particularly during the peak season for tourism.

Make sure if you are coming straight from Keflavik to the Blue Lagoon, you book a time slot at least an hour and a half after your scheduled landing time. This allows you plenty of time to get through customs and get your transportation squared away.

Plus, it takes into account the 20-minute drive from the airport. Not knowing whether or not your flight will land on time is always a gamble you have to take. If you miss your time slot, they will still try to get you in, but there is no guarantee. 

For this reason, we always recommended purchasing travel insurance to cover any expenses related to flight delays or cancellations.  

You can reserve your tickets to the Blue Lagoon here.


Make sure you have enough time 

As with any layover where you leave the airport, make sure you give yourself enough time to get to and from the Blue Lagoon.

As mentioned above, you will want to have about 6 hours from arrival to departure. While you could possibly visit the Blue Lagoon from Keflavik in less time, to truly enjoy the experience, you will want and need a minimum of a 5-hour layover in Iceland.

Booking an overnight stay is an option

If you have an overnight layover in Iceland and prefer to stay near the Blue Lagoon instead of near the airport or in Reykjavik, there are several hotels nearby that you can book for the night.

There is also a restaurant and a cafe at the Blue Lagoon where you can eat a nice dinner without having to leave the area.


What does a Blue Lagoon experience cost?

You’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to relax and have a drink at the swim-up bar, which offers both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. | Photo by Benjamin r from Unsplash

If you are planning a Blue Lagoon Iceland layover, know that this is a pricey experience. But the cost is well worth it! 

Here is an idea of what this layover will cost you per person:

  • Blue Lagoon Ticket (includes 1 drink, towel, and mud mask): $105 USD
  • Transportation: $60 round trip ($30 each way) or $170 for a private transfer (for up to 4 people)
  • Luggage storage: $6 per bag
  • Additional Costs: Extra drink $8-15
  • Food: $15-50

Why the Blue Lagoon makes for a perfect short layover in Iceland

selfie at the blue lagoon
Relaxing and recharging at the Blue Lagoon.

Although flying these days hasn’t really changed, layovers don’t have to mean being stuck in an airport without anything to do. There are lots of things to do during a long layover.

Air travel is probably not going to change much over the next few decades. But what you do once you’re at the airport may. You have your airport lounges and bars that are pretty much the same no matter where you go. And nowadays, you can buy a membership to access airport lounges all over the world.

But fly into Keflavik, Iceland and you could have an experience like no other. Because, just 20 minutes from the airport lies the milky blue waters inside one of the world’s most famous attractions.

Do you have questions or comments about getting from Keflavik to the Blue Lagoon? We’re happy to help! Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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This guide to getting from Keflavik to the Blue Lagoon during an Iceland layover was first written in July 2019 but was updated in April 2024 for accuracy and current travel information. 

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5 comments on “How to Get from Keflavik to the Blue Lagoon During a Layover in Iceland”

Thanks for mentioning the length of the layover someone needs to make a visit to the Blue Lagoon work. The Blue Lagoon is so fantastic, I hope to manage a return visit–and it would be great if I could do it on my way to someplace else!

Hi! I’ll have a 4.5 hour layover in Iceland in September. I’ll have my 2 daughters with me (12 and 9) and I plan to rent a car so that I’m in complete control of when we arrive and leave. Would this be enough time? And how long before our departing flight would we need to be back into the airport?

If I’ve booked my bags through to CDG will I have to claim them through customs and then recheck to CDG? No- right? Just take my carryon for the layover… I think.

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