BEIJING, Aug. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- Iceland, a country known for its stunningly beautiful, almost barren landscape dotted with volcanoes, is fast becoming one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations. And at the core of it is Grindavik’s famous Blue Lagoon.
Tourists here are enjoying what National Geographic calls one of the 25 wonders of the world. This is the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa located in the lava fields of Iceland. This is now one of the most famous attractions in a country not devoid of breathtaking scenery.
And with international tourism increasing in Iceland each year, the Blue Lagoon is reaching record numbers of visitors. In 2012, over five hundred and eighty five thousand people visited the Lagoon; a 27 percent increase compared to the previous year. This is a country with a population of just over three hundred and twenty thousand people.
The blue waters maintain a natural temperature of about 38 degrees Celsius all year round. Add to that the stunning surrounding landscapes and the supposed health benefits of swimming in water filled with minerals like silica and sulphur and you have something uniquely spectacular.
Magnea Gudmundsdottir, Blue Lagoon, said, "We see an increase in the number of visitors who are maybe from the destinations that we have direct flights to. And then the summer is our busier season, but the winter and colder seasons - these are also catching on as Iceland is becoming a more popular destination all year around."
The Blue Lagoon may look like a natural wonder, but the fact is it is entirely man-made. It was built in 1976. Local people started bathing in the lagoon and some with psoriasis reported a drastic improvement to their condition. The lagoon consists of around six million tonnes of water, which is a mix of sea water that travels under the porous Island, and fresh water that occurs naturally underground. And the best part? The minerals and salts naturally cleanse the lagoon; so visitors can always expect a fresh, relaxing experience.