5 hours in Iceland. Is this madness?
May 19, 2011 8:04 AM   Subscribe

ICELAND!! is five hours enough time to get out of the airport, especially to the Blue Lagoon?

So in the search for budget airfare, we ended up with a 5 hour layover in Reykjavik. Is this enough time to get to the Blue Lagoon (supposedly 20 min. from the airport)? Or, factoring in check in and customs, will we miss our next flight? I know very similar questions have been asked before, but we need to know the absolute minimum time that would make out-of-airport forays possible.
posted by genmonster to Travel & Transportation around Iceland (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
When I was last there (11 years ago), there were charter runs that specifically targeted layover travelers such as yourself for just such a trip. I'm surprised there aren't readily available google hits on that. Hmm The blue lagoon folks have some info

As for the time windows, well, that may depend on your comfort levels. I went pre-9/11, so security was a different beast then, and you could arrive 30 minutes before your flight and be OK.
posted by k5.user at 8:13 AM on May 19, 2011

There are regular buses from Keflavic airport to the Blue Lagoon, but depending on your timing it might be a bit tight.

Here is the schedule, if you scroll a little way down: Schedule from Keflavik International Airport to The Blue Lagoon.

Of course, you could cab it, but that's going to be a lot of krona.
posted by randomination at 8:37 AM on May 19, 2011

(return times are at the bottom of that page)
posted by randomination at 8:38 AM on May 19, 2011

Oh, and you'll need at least two hours to do the Blue Lagoon comfortably (getting changed, getting in, relaxing with a beer, getting out, showering, drying off...)

The answer to this question will just depend on the timing of your flights. KEF is not a big airport, but it can get busy. Also I've been through six times on the same kind of budget trans-Atlantic trips that you've described, and three of those six times the flight was late landing.
posted by randomination at 8:42 AM on May 19, 2011

I'm a little skeptical. I was in Iceland in November and went to the Blue Lagoon (which, OMG, I loved so hard; was just talking with the lovely GF this morning about going back). Between customs, getting a bus, traveling, queueing up for admission, getting changed, etc. and then all that in reverse, you'd hardly have much time to relax in the lagoon!

That said, when we went on our way back to KEF, I think we were there for only two hours or so. We'd love to go back, and to stay longer, but at the same time, we did feel like we could have gotten out a bit sooner than two hours. I think the key (for our next visit) is that we'd like to go for 1.5 hours twice a day, for several days. We're very creaky.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:51 AM on May 19, 2011

Yes. the blue lagoon is maybe 20 mins from the airport. it was made for your kind of stopover. there are regular shuttles. say, half hour to the blue lagoon, two hours at the blue lagoon, and a half hour back... aaaand, you're still two hours early for your next flight!

Blue Lagoon is a tourist trap, but that's okay. it's pleasant and relaxing. Enjoy.
posted by entropone at 9:01 AM on May 19, 2011

It's possible, but just barely. Basically if there's any delay in your flight coming in, it's gonna be awfully tight. On the other hand, if your connecting flight is delayed, you'll have more time at the lagoon.
posted by Kattullus at 9:14 AM on May 19, 2011

Enough time to get to the Lagoon, I suppose, but I wouldn't try to get into Reykjavík proper which is a 40min. drive.
posted by sonika at 3:44 PM on May 19, 2011

You know Iceland Air will let you split your ticket for free, right? And you can spend a day or two seeing Reykjavic, at the lagoon, etc. I recommend the youth hostel in Reykjavik btw. Affordable and next door to a nice pool.
posted by dame at 4:31 PM on May 19, 2011

There are now two hostels in Reykjavik (which old fogies like me are welcome in). I think dame meant the one that isn't in downtown. I've stayed there, it is pleasant, clean and Laugarvegar is wonderful
posted by QIbHom at 8:10 AM on May 20, 2011

Sometimes guesthouses are even cheaper, and certainly nicer. Baldursbrá is one I recommend to friends all the time.
posted by Kattullus at 8:15 AM on May 20, 2011

I second what dame says, above. The major advantage to taking Iceland Air to abroad is the free layovers.

Also, signs point to Blue Lagoon as being (historically, at least) quite a pleasant diversion, and only about 10 miles from Keflavik airport.
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 8:40 PM on May 20, 2011

I did this pre-9/11 and the airline organized it for us! I got off my flight from Hamburg, and they announced "anyone on the flight from Hamburg, there's a bus going to the blue lagoon, you should go!". I think I had a 5 hr layover, and it was PLENTY of time. I haven't flown Iceland Air since, but completely love them because of this.

Honestly, I don't recall having to go through customs or checking in again for my flight, but it was quite a while, so I may just be forgetting.
posted by echo0720 at 6:23 AM on June 9, 2011

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