Ever wondered what it’s like to take a soak in Iceland’s warm geothermal waters?
Then, you’ll love what I have to share with you. Today, I’m super excited to spill the details on my recent adventure to the land of fire and ice and share my Sky Lagoon Iceland review, where you’ll get an insider’s perspective on this hot spot’s amenities, atmosphere, and everything in between.
In this blog, I share:
- An Icelandic Tradition
- My Sky Lagoon Iceland Review
- Arriving at Sky Lagoon
- Atmosphere at Sky Lagoon
- The Lagoon Experience
- Sky Lagoon Amenities & Features
- The Seven Step Ritual
- Day to Night Scenery
- Booking and Reservations
- Dining at Sky Lagoon
- Blue Lagoon vs. Sky Lagoon
- Is Sky Lagoon Right for You?
- Sky Lagoon Pros and Cons
- What You Need Before Coming to Sky Lagoon
- How to Get to Sky Lagoon
- What to Bring to Sky Lagoon
- Booking and reservations, which pass to get
An Icelandic Tradition
If you’re a spa aficionado, nature lover, or simply seeking an escape, Iceland is the place for you, especially if the idea of soaking in hot springs and heated swimming pools sounds like the perfect day.
Communal bathing has been a tradition for many centuries in Iceland and is documented as early as the 12th century. The cold weather didn’t stop these folks from getting a good soak then and it’s sure as heck not going to stop them now..
In fact, the Icelanders love their baths so much that you can find heated outdoor swimming pools and cozy hot tubs in nearly every town across Iceland. These gathering spots are basically the social hang out spots for locals to connect and unwind. And I’m told it’s even a thing for business men. Hey, some men do business over golf, some do business over a hot bath.
Hot Springs Turned Luxury Spas
These baths use natural geothermal water surfaced from deep within the earth which have been connected to many health and beauty benefits.
So, what did the good people of Iceland do, turn the hot springs into luxury spas of course. Now, you can find them literally in every corner of Iceland… And I must say, they’re getting chicer and chicer with every decade. Ahh.. those stylish Nordics, running away with my money, haha.
Some geothermal pools can be found in hotels like ION Adventure Hotel and Hotel 360 (stay tuned for my reviews). And some are even luxury spa destinations in their own right…
You have The Krauma Spa in West Iceland and The Mývatn Nature Baths and GeoSea Geothermal Sea Baths in North Iceland… Then Vök Baths in East Iceland and of course, the OG of geothermal spas, Blue Lagoon in Southwest Iceland, 20 minutes from the airport.
When it comes to volcanoes and hot springs, I think we can all agree, Iceland’s definitely got it goin on. 😉 But, the question is… in a nation that takes spa experiences to the next level… Does new kid on the block, Sky Lagoon, hold its own? And is it worth a visit?
That’s what we’ll dive into here in my Sky Lagoon Review.
My Sky Lagoon Iceland Review
This was paid for out of my own pocket. As always, all opinions are my own.
After booking a solo female traveler group trip to Iceland, I decided to carve out a few days for myself to discover some magical finds. Low and behold – Sky Lagoon.
Since its opening in 2021, Sky Lagoon is the latest buzz around Reykjavík, which is a mere 15 minutes away… just a hop, skip, and a jump.
On Kársnes Harbour in the charming suburban town Kópavogur, you’ll find Sky Lagoon tucked away amidst Iceland’s picturesque landscapes. It’s entrance exudes an air of mystery.
Arrival & Check-in
At check in, the attendant will look up your reservation and hand you a wristband. This is attached to your credit card, so you can make wallet free purchases. You’ll also be given another wristband if you purchased a pass with the Seven Step Ritual.
Lagoon Prep: Changing Room & Locker
You’ll then be directed to the appropriate changing room. I had a Pure pass, which included a public changing room and lockers (included). After you choose a locker with a green light, use your wristband to get in/out, no code needed.
Then, store your things and change into your bathing suit. There’s also water available so you can hydrate before getting in. There’s also water available in the lagoon.
Make your way to the shower, where you’ll wash your body with the provided shampoo/body wash and conditioner. Then, head straight to the lagoon, which is connected by a short pathway from your changing room after the shower.
If you prefer to wear sandals, you can leave them in a cubby hole (first come, first serve) or on the floor beside the lagoon steps. On your way in/out of changing room, you can also grab a towel.
Atmosphere at Sky Lagoon
And just like that, you’ve been transported to paradise.
You know how some places just have that ‘wow’ factor in their design? Well, Sky Lagoon is one of them. The atmosphere is what sets this gem apart and its architecture is like a love letter to Nordic tradition. The ethereal atmosphere captivated me instantly. It was like stepping into a daydream.
Meticulously designed, Sky Lagoon captures Iceland’s spirit, which blends the harmony of nature, luxury, and tradition. The end result is a design that mirrors the surroundings with towering basalt cliffs, grassy slopes and enormous moss-covered lava rocks that blends with the rugged landscape.
A hand-made waterfall and an infinity pool overlooking the North Atlantic Ocean offers a gorgeous panoramic visual that transcends the ordinary. The lagoon’s clean lines and minimalist design allows the natural beauty of Iceland to shine through.
As I watched the steamy geothermal water gently spilling over the edge of the pool, it was pretty clear that every aspect of this place had been carefully crafted to seamlessly blend with the natural surroundings. They even have an authentic turf house that could easily be right out of a scene from The Hobbit.
Views in the Distance
In the distance, you’ll catch sight of Kársnes Harbour and Bessastaðir, the official residence of the President of Iceland. And, if you look a bit farther, you’ll even see the impressive outline of Mount Keilir– a cone-shaped volcano steeped in a fascinating seafaring history.
My first visit to Iceland in 2022, Mount Fagradalsfjall had erupted. I’ve been told that you could see the bursting lava from Sky Lagoon. If only I had come just a few months before!
The Lagoon Experience
Your experience at Sky Lagoon begins with a dip into its mineral-rich, geothermally heated waters. It’s basically Mother Nature’s version of a hot tub. Get ready for a therapeutic journey for body, mind and soul.
Relax and Rejuvenate: Sky Lagoon’s Soothing Thermal Waters
As you float in the lagoon, you’re surrounded by the vastness of the North Atlantic Ocean with mountains in the distance. Every angle offers a different perspective, making you feel like you’ve stumbled upon a natural wonder.
And the temperature is just right too – warm enough to relax, yet cool enough to keep you from turning into a human prune. As I soaked in the water, any fatigue from my travels left my body.
But, what makes this experience truly magical is the combination of the cozy, warm waters and the crisp freshness of the Icelandic air– it’s a surreal experience.
Drinks at Lagoon Bar
The floating bar is pure genius. And the best part? You don’t have to leave the water. They have drinks like wine, beer, and cocktails, just tap your wristband to pay. They also offer free water to quench your thirst.
It felt glamorous to sip champagne while leaning off the edge of the infinity pool. You can carry the drink around with you, but the only place to set it down is on the platform behind the infinity pool’s edge. That’s also where you leave it when you’re done and they’ll pick it up.
Sky Lagoon Amenities & Features
There are a range of amenities you can enjoy at Sky Lagoon, depending on your chosen pass – Pure Lite, Pure, or Sky.
Available to All Pass Holders:
- Geothermal Lagoon
- Hand-Made Waterfall
- Cold Plunge
- In-Water Lounge
The Seven Step Ritual: Sky Lagoon
While the views are a standout feature, most people come to Sky Lagoon to enjoy its Seven Step Ritual. This is like no experience offered around Iceland and I highly recommend you try it. It’s included in the Sky and Pure pass. It’s for one go around so make every moment count!
Step 1- The Lagoon
The first stop on this journey is the lagoon. Take a few moments to take in the views, grab a drink and soak up the warmth of the geothermal waters as you inhale Iceland’s fresh ocean air. (Temperature: (low 100sF / 38-40C)
Step 2- The Cold Plunge
After soaking in the heated waters, take a dip in the cold plunge, inspired by Iceland’s oldest pool. Talk about an endorphin rush! Most people, like myself, were completely caught off guard by the stark cold water. It’s a thrilling contrast for sure, but it awakens your senses in the most invigorating way. The bonus is that it boosts your immune system, reduces inflammation. (Temperature: low 50sF / 10-12C)
Enter the Turf House
Step 3- Sauna
Let the sauna work its magic—opening pores, purging toxins, and giving your skin a refreshing cleanse. Enjoy soothing scents and sounds, and a breathtaking ocean view through Iceland’s single largest window. (Temperature: 176 to 194 F / 80-90C)
Step 4- Cold Mist
This was a really refreshing mist after the hot sauna. It’s like rain… At this point, you keep going back and forth between hot, cold, hot, cold… this is supposed to stimulate the senses while restoring equilibrium. (Temperature 23F/-5C)
Step 5- Sky Body Scrub
After the cold mist, we were handed little cups of body scrub with almond oil and sesame seed oil to put all over our body. This exfoliated our skin gently. It’s best to wear the scrub into the steam for the best results.
Step 6- Steam Room
The steam works its magic to opens your pores, allowing your body to absorb the ritual’s final key elements with the help of the body scrub, which hydrates your skin.
(Temperature 115F / 46C)
Step 7- Shower
Then it’s time for a rinse to wash it all off.
After the shower, you can return back to the lagoon or the cold plunge, which is open to all guests.
Popular Sky Lagoon Package:
Seven Step Ritual + Round Trip Reykjavik Transportation
I thought the Seven Step Ritual was unique and a fun way to enjoy the spa. My skin felt so silky smooth after. The only thing I wish is that they limit the amount of people at a time. Some spaces like the sauna and steam room felt crowded, so it was hard to get a seat comfortably sometimes.
Day to Night Scenery
Whether floating or lounging by the infinity pool, the ever-changing Icelandic skies at Sky Lagoon will leave you awestruck. Watch as the sun fades into the most beautiful sorbet sunset, transforming into a twinkly, moonlit sky. The soft lights and rising steam created a dreamlike atmosphere. I was lucky enough to witness all three beautiful sceneries.
Northern Lights Possibility
There’s always the possibility of Northern Lights, and I hate to be the party killer – they’re not a guaranteed show. It’s like expecting your crush to text back; sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. But hey, the views alone are worth the visit.
Booking and Reservations
Sky Lagoon is no longer Iceland’s best-kept secret, so planning is essential. While you can book tickets same day in person, I don’t recommend it. Book your tickets well in advance.
Sky Lagoon Passes, Packages and Pricing
- Pure Lite (6,790 ISK)
A perfect quick city getaway if you’re short on time. Access to the lagoon and cold plunge. Public lockers and changing area.
- Pure (9,790 ISK)
Access to the lagoon, cold plunge and “Seven Step Ritual”. Public lockers and changing area.
- Sky (12,790 ISK)
This premium package includes access to the lagoon with “Seven Step Ritual” and private changing facilities.
If you’re coming with another person, you can opt for the package “Sky Lagoon for Two” at 36,400 ISK, (2 Sky passes, 1 drink each, and a Sky platter from Smakk Bar). Or, choose “Pure for Two” at 30,400 ISK (2 Pure passes, 1 drink each, and a Sky platter).
Coming solo? Consider the convenience of multi-passes for one person for up to 6 visits.
Dining at Sky Lagoon
After your rejuvenating dip, savor local flavors at Smakk Bar or Sky Cafe near the store. The laid-back, cozy ambiance, resembling a chic cafeteria, enhances the Sky Lagoon experience. Despite the casual design, the food is not like the typical tourist fare.
This is a simple, casual grab and go sandwich counter. They serve easy food like sandwiches, skyr (yogurt), baked goods, soup, etc.
Here, you order at the bar. They have tasting platters, elegantly presented on black slate, showcasing a medley of local cheese, cured meats, and fresh bread from all across Iceland. It’s like the classic charcuterie and cheese board, Iceland style. Enjoy Icelandic delicacies like reindeer, goose wild game pâté, signature gravlax with home-made mustard and dill sauce and creamy cheeses like Auður and Feykir. They also offer Vegan options.
After Sky Lagoon
After the lagoon experience, you can shower and get ready. From here, you can grab a bite or leave. On your way out, you settle your bill and return your wristband.
It’s best to call a taxi in advance and arrange a pickup time. Sometimes, it can get pretty chaotic with everyone trying to get a ride at the end of the night. Or, save the hassle and purchase a package which includes a roundtrip transfer here.
Blue Lagoon vs. Sky Lagoon
The big question… does Sky Lagoon measure up to other geothermal spas across Iceland? Well, I’ve personally only experienced one other geothermal spa in Iceland- Blue Lagoon, so that’s all I can give my opinion on.
Choosing between Sky Lagoon and Blue Lagoon is like choosing between Natalie Imbruglia’s cover of “Torn” or the original “Torn” by Ednaswap. They’re similar, but very different. It depends on your preferences and what kind of experience you’re looking for.
Both lagoons offer unique features, and your decision may depend on factors like location, amenities, crowd preferences, and budget.
- Location: Closer to Reykjavik, 15-minute drive. 45 minutes from KEF airport
- Geothermal Water: No silica, clear water
- Size: Smaller and more intimate, providing a quieter atmosphere.
- Design: Embraces Nordic elegance, surrounded by captivating natural landscapes.
- Amenities: Features the Seven Step Ritual, a unique wellness experience.
- Pricing: Generally more affordable than Blue Lagoon.
- Location: About a 50-minute drive from Reykjavik, 20 minutes from KEF airport.
- Geothermal Water: Silica in the water which makes it appear milky blue
- Size: Larger and more well-known, attracting a higher number of visitors.
- Design: Iconic and futuristic, with the renowned milky blue waters.
- Amenities: Offers additional spa services, such as in-water massages.
- Private lagoon (“The Retreat Lagoon”)
- Hotels: The Blue Lagoon Retreat Hotel & Spa and Silica Hotel
- Pricing: Typically higher in comparison to Sky Lagoon.
Stay tuned for my full comparison (Sky Lagoon vs. Blue Lagoon).
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Is Sky Lagoon Right for You?
Let’s weigh the pros and cons.
Sky Lagoon Pros
The panoramic scenes are nothing short of awe-inspiring. The lagoon’s borderless design seamlessly melds with the horizon, delivering an otherworldly sensation similar to floating amidst the clouds.
Atmosphere and Natural Charm
Sky Lagoon exudes a quiet elegance with its sleek architecture and upscale amenities, perfectly complemented by the raw, natural beauty of the outdoor lagoon. The intentional design captures the essence of a natural hot spring in Iceland, complete with wooden huts and mossy rocks, offering a refined yet authentic experience.
Convenient City Proximity
In terms of accessibility, Sky Lagoon takes the lead, situated a mere 15 minutes from Reykjavík, offering a far more convenient option than the 50-minute trek to/from Blue Lagoon.
Quality of Services
The staff was friendly and helpful at check in, describing detailed instructions for what to do and where to go.
The property was well maintained and kept clean.
Good Value for Money
Compared to other geothermal lagoons with multi-step rituals, Sky Lagoon stands out for its significantly lower cost. The Seven Step Ritual at Sky Lagoon, priced at 9,790 ISK ($70 USD), presents a more affordable choice compared to the Blue Lagoon Ritual at 79,000 ISK ($557 USD), even considering the latter’s access to a semi-private lagoon (The Retreat Lagoon at Blue Lagoon).
With its smaller size and lower capacity, Sky Lagoon cultivates an intimate ambiance, allowing visitors to enjoy a more secluded and personal experience.
The showers, locker rooms, and changing areas are impeccably maintained, offering cleanliness and convenience. Showers are stocked with shampoo, conditioner, and body wash for added comfort.
A wristband linked to your credit card simplifies and streamlines payments, providing a touchless and hassle-free transaction experience.
Navigating Sky Lagoon is a breeze compared to the potentially confusing layout of Blue Lagoon. From the locker room to the lagoon, every step is clearly labeled, ensuring a straightforward and stress-free experience. Staff guidance at check-in further enhances the ease of entry.
Sky Lagoon Cons
Other than in packages such as Sky Lagoon for Two, drinks are not part of the standard offering like at Blue Lagoon and must be purchased separately.
Drink Cups Scattered
Although Sky Lagoon’s staff came around frequently to pick up empty discarded cups on the infinity pool’s drain, they could have done a better job on the rocks inside the lagoon. Some rocks looked messy.
Limited Culinary Choices
In terms of dining, Sky Lagoon presents fewer options compared to Blue Lagoon. It doesn’t offer the gourmet restaurant experience that the latter provides.
Absence of Spa Services
Sky Lagoon lacks an onsite spa for those seeking additional treatments beyond the geothermal experience.
Unlike Blue Lagoon, Sky Lagoon serves as a day-only destination, with no accommodation options available. This is not so bad if you come during the Summer when the sun doesn’t set and Sky Lagoon is open longer.
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Common Questions: What You Need to Know About Sky Lagoon
Location: Where is Sky Lagoon?
Sky lagoon is in Kópavogur in Southwest Iceland, and just a short 15-minute drive away from Downtown Reykjavík, which is much closer than Blue Lagoon to Reykjavík, which a lot of people assume is in Reykjavík (and actually a 50 minute drive away).
A lot of people enjoy Sky Lagoon the day they fly in/out because of its convenient location between Keflavik airport and Reykjavik. Just remember to give yourself enough time and account for traffic. Sky Lagoon’s website warns that if you are late, they cannot guarantee availability.
Getting to Sky Lagoon Without a Car
When is the Best Time to Visit Sky Lagoon?
Sky Lagoon is open year-round until 10 or 11 PM, depending on the month. Each season and time of year offers a different experience. It depends on what you like.
While the Summer is great for enjoying the endless daylight, there’s also magic in Fall and Winter when you can soak in the bath while it’s snowing or when the dazzling Northern Lights can be seen on a clear night (September to April). I went in the Summer and Fall, which were both lovely experiences, with temperatures hovering between the 40s and 60s (4 – 15 C).
- Time of Day
2 hours before sunset is the most popular time, so it can get crowded. To avoid crowds, it’s best to go in the morning or evening. I like to go in the middle of the day (3 or 4 PM) so I can get the sun, sunset, and twinkly night sky. And, if you come during the Summer, you’ll get Iceland’s “midnight sun” and timing is not an issue.
What to Bring to Sky Lagoon
All guests are required to wear bathing suits. You have the option to bring your own, rent a swimsuit, or purchase one from the on-site 66°North store. It’s important to note that Sky Lagoon DOES NOT provide robes or slippers, given that access to the lagoon is directly from the changing rooms. There aren’t toiletries or spa products in changing rooms (q tips, slippers, etc.) so, you might want to bring some things. They do have bags for wet bathing suits, hair dryer and towels.
Are You Allowed to Take Pictures?
That is pretty much the whole point of being here, to capture these moments. You are allowed to bring your phone and take pictures. I recommend bringing a waterproof phone pouch and hang it around your neck.
Is the Lagoon Natural or Artificial?
Technically both. The geothermal waters, which are a key component of the Sky Lagoon experience, are sourced from deep beneath the earth and are natural. However, the lagoon itself and the surrounding amenities, including the architectural design, facilities, and features, are intentionally crafted, making them artificial.
Is Sky Lagoon Family Friendly?
Sky Lagoon welcomes guests aged 12 and above, with those between 12 and 14 requiring adult supervision. This age policy distinguishes it from other thermal spas in Iceland, contributing to an atmosphere more tailored for adults seeking a tranquil experience.
What’s the Temperature of Sky Lagoon?
In typical Icelandic geothermal pool fashion, Sky Lagoon circulates its natural geothermal hot water by cooling it to a precise 174 F (79 C), and blending it with a touch of cold water before directing it into the lagoon. The final temperature is 100 – 104 F (38 – 40 C), which is maintained to keep a consistently warm, yet safe temperature.
Is the Water Clean?
After the water runs over the infinity edge, it undergoes a meticulous cleaning process, before going for another round.
What is Sky Lagoon’s Max Capacity?
They’ve never went over 350 guests at one time.
Can I Get My Hair Wet?
Unlike Blue Lagoon, you don’t have to be worried about anything being done to your hair. You can get your hair wet.
How Long Can You Stay at Sky Lagoon?
Most people stay between 1.5 and 3 hours although you’re welcome to stay for up to 5 hours.
Health Benefits of Geothermal Spas
Geothermal waters are rich in minerals surfacing from deep beneath the earth. Many believe them to be healing, offering detoxifying benefits for both body and skin. This natural source is known to relieve back and muscle pain by blocking pain receptors and improving circulation. Beyond the physical benefits, a visit to Sky Lagoon serves as a mental wellness escape, allowing you to disconnect and unwind amidst the soothing views of sea and sky.
That’s a Wrap!
Visiting a geothermal spa is always at the top of my list when I visit Iceland. It’s nice to be bale to experience such a historic Icelandic tradition. For me, Sky Lagoon is more than a spa experience. It’s a work of art nestled in the untamed beauty of Icelandic wilderness.
So, fellow adventurers, if Iceland is on your radar, make sure to put Sky Lagoon on your itinerary. Thank you for reading! Stay tuned for my Blue Lagoon review!
Have you been to a spa? Would you go to Sky Lagoon? Comment below and subscribe to the blog for travel adventures, tips & how to get in on travel rewards for free trips!
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