The hidden face of the Blue Lagoon

Iceland is located on the Rift, a fracture point where the tectonic plates of North America and Europe separate each year a little more. This small country of a few 100 000 square kilometers is thus characterized by a particularly important seismic and volcanic activity. One counts some two hundred volcanoes in waking state, not to mention that a quarter of the Icelandic territory is classified asa potentially active volcanic zone. However, volcanoes are not the only demonstration of this intense underground activity. The geothermic phenomena appears in Iceland in all its forms : hot sources, geysers, vapor blasts, boiling mud ponds and smoke of all kinds…

Station de Svartsengi, Reykjanes
If they undergo the whims of the entrails of the ground since centuries, Icelanders also benefit from this volcanic nature. During the Vikings time, the hot sources were formerly transformed by the women into laundrette. But it is since 1930, date of the first experiment of geothermal energy routing, that the exploitation of these hot waters really started.

Today, Iceland exploits the heat of its underground in an industrial way. Deep drillings thus make it possible to produce electricity, but especially heat (85% of the Icelandic houses, innumerable swimming pools, and hectares of greenhouses where fruits and vegetables are cultivated to supply the country's market.) Many geothermal power stations are thus disseminated on Iceland's territory. Located on the peninsula of Reykjanes, a few kilometers from Reykjavik, the power plant of Svartsengí is certainly the most emblematic of them all. There, deeper than 2.000 meters, a powerful drilling extracts a water under pressure at 240 degrees, making it possible to heat the towns of Grindavik and Reykjavik. Brought back to 40 degrees, the overflow of this silica charged water feeds an artificial lake, the “Bláa Lónið” or Blue Lagoon, for the greatest happiness of Icelanders and patients from all over the world.

Blue Lagoon, Reykjanes
Naturally rich in mineral salts, the lagoon's water is charged with blue-green algae called "cyanobacteria". These algae give to the lagoon its milky blue color and explains the nickname which is allotted to it. The bottom of the basin is covered with a layer of siliceous mud from which many bathers coat the skin of their faces. Also rich in silica, these lagoon waters acquired an international fame for the treatment of many skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema.
Baigneurs au Blue Lagoon   Baigneurs au Blue Lagoon
Seeing the Blue Lagoon for the first time is a surrealistic experience. The Reykjanes peninsula, called “peninsula of the fume”, is indeed a huge lava field. It is in the middle of this black mineral landscape that such a mirage can appear; a turquoise lake on the surface of which hovers a vaporous veil. Dominated by the humming ventilation coming from the power station in the background, the area quickly takes on a very futuristic look.
Blue Lagoon, Reykjanes   Station de Svartsengí
Like the majority of the Scandinavians, Icelanders have a true passion for hot baths. During the long winter months, when the night does not end, the latter are an excellent way to gather up with family and friends. They especially represent relaxation and pleasure, benefiting both body and spirit. A true way of life, an icelandic "art de vivre"…
  Blue Lagoon, Reykjanes
The huge geothermal station of Svartsengi. To the rare visitor who can approach it at nightfall, this amazing power plant offers a sight taken straight out of a sci-fi movie. An exceptional place.
Station de Svartsengí
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