Blue Lagoon is now even a hotter attraction

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REYKJAVIK -- The Blue Lagoon already was a popular attraction because of its soothing warm waters in a unique outdoor location, but now it is also more beautiful and service-oriented.

The lagoon was recently relocated, and new facilities have opened to enhance both form and function.

The original lagoon formed on the Reykjanes peninsula as a by-product of a geothermal water-heating facility. The warm water is harnessed from deep underground and is condensed into mineral-rich water and silica deposits.

People who bathed in the lagoon found it to be both fun and invigorating, so a facility opened in 1987 to accommodate visitors with the geothermal plan as the backdrop.

The Blue Lagoon in Iceland has been moved to more natural surroundings. Since then, scientific studies of the lagoon's effects revealed its waters had healing properties for skin ailments, which helped increase the lagoon's popularity. Visitor numbers and needs exceeded the capabilities of the facility, so in 1997, plans were set to build a new facility.

The new Blue Lagoon opened in July about a mile away from and out of view of the steam plant. The site was designed to blend in with the surroundings and serve almost three times as many guests as the original.

Guests walk from the parking lot through a 660-foot walkway bordered by lava walls. The main facility is an inspired structure of glass panes, lava bricks and wood accents. A natural lava wall supports one side of the building, while the other side is a glass wall overlooking the lagoon.

The main level houses a gift shop; the Winter Garden restaurant, which seats up to 350 patrons; a bistro, and changing facilities for up to 900 guests. The upper level provides conference facilities for up to 100 people.

The changing area provides lockers, benches, showers and a bit more privacy than the old facility. Bathers also can enter the lagoon from inside the changing area.

The lagoon itself has a smoother bottom and a more even temperature than the original (about 104 degrees Fahrenheit). The depth reaches up to four feet, and benches line the inside of the lagoon.

Black lava walls surround the lagoon for privacy and weather protection, and there are separate areas for bathing activities. Steam caves provide extra heat, coves provide privacy for applying silicon mud, and there is a sandy beach area for those who just want to dip their toes in. The facility also is fully handicapped accessible.

Further plans call for the development of a hotel and spa on site in the next five years.

Three levels of admission prices are available: $8 for three hours, $11 for up to six hours, and $14 for a full day. Children and teenagers have discounted rates. Towels and even swimsuits are available to rent for about $3.50 each.

Shuttle buses are available from the airport for those with layovers and from Reykjavik.

Phone: (011) (354) 426-8800
Fax: (011) (354) 426-8888
Web: www.bluelagoon.is

Facility markets skin-care items

REYKJAVIK -- For those who can't get enough of the Blue Lagoon's benefits but can't stay eternally in Iceland, there is now a full line of skin-care products.

The various lotions in the line were developed with the silica and blue-green algae that give the lagoon its ability to relieve such ailments as psoriasis and eczema. The lotions and cleansers also are mild enough for regular skin types.

The Blue Lagoon product line includes a body scrub, a shower gel, bath foam, moisturizing cream, intensive care cream, softening oils, perfumed moisturizer, dandruff shampoo, silica mud, bath salts and a geoactive mister.

Brochures are available, and the products can be ordered from the U.S. by contacting the Blue Lagoon through the Internet, fax or mail.

There is a minimum order requirement of $25. Item costs range from $10 to $18 each and are payable with credit cards.

Blue Lagoon
Phone: (011) 354 420-8800
Fax: (011) 354 420-8801
Web: www.bluelagoon.is

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