A Look Inside the Sky Lagoon, Iceland

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When the Sky Lagoon Iceland opened in April 2021, I immediately put it on my list for my next trip up north. This high-end geothermal lagoon looked like a dream, edged in large gray rocks, steaming water falling off the edge of an infinity pool — only a stone’s throw from Reykjavík.

If you love hot springs and swimming pools, Iceland is the place for you. Communal bathing is part of the Icelandic way of life, and they don’t let their chilly climate get in the way!

While Iceland has tons of natural hot springs, almost every town in Iceland has a heated outdoor swimming pool with a hot tub, and that’s where the locals go to socialize and hang out.

Additionally, there are luxury spas all over the country, from the Blue Lagoon near the airport to the Vök Baths in East Iceland, the Mývatn Nature Baths near Lake Mývatn, and GeoSea Geothermal Sea Baths in Húsavík. Many of them are powered by geothermal heat that bubbles through the landscape.

So in a nation that goes above and beyond with spas, does the Sky Lagoon measure up? Is the Sky Lagoon worth it?

Oh, yes it is. I spent a full day at the Sky Lagoon, and I loved every minute of it. Let me tell you all about it.

Pursuit invited me to Iceland to experience the Sky Lagoon in May 2022. This is the story of my visit. As always, I maintain full creative control and all opinions are my own.

The Sky Lagoon on a cloudy day and its tuft house with the seven-step ritual.

A Look Inside the Sky Lagoon Iceland

The Sky Lagoon is located in the Reykjavík suburb of Kópavogur, just 15 minutes’ drive from downtown Reykjavík. That makes it much easier to get to than the Blue Lagoon, which many people assume is in Reykjavík but is actually a 45-minute drive from the city. (See more on how to get to the Sky Lagoon further down.)

Everything here is meticulously constructed to look like it’s part of the landscape. Large, craggy gray rocks; rolling hills topped with fresh grass; an actual turf house; and an infinity pool looking over the North Atlantic Ocean, making it hard to tell where the lagoon ends and where the sea begins.

Best of all are the expansive ocean views. While luxuriating in the Sky Lagoon, you overlook Kársnes Harbour and have a view of Bessastaðir, the home of the President of Iceland. Further in the distance is Mount Keilir, a conical volcano that served as a homing device for sailors for centuries.

When Mount Fagradalsfjall was erupting in spring 2022, you could actually see the lava flow from the Sky Lagoon! I wish I had been there for that!

Like many pools in Iceland, the Sky Lagoon is a geothermal pool. Natural geothermal hot water is run through their pipes, cooled to 79 degrees C (174 F), mixed with cold water, and piped into the lagoon. The water falls off the infinity edge, after which it’s cleaned and piped back in.

The temperature in the water of the Sky Lagoon remains a toasty 38-40 degrees C (100-104 F), and the depth varies, maxing out at 120 cm (4’9″).

You might be thinking that water depth isn’t for kids, and you’re right — the Sky Lagoon is open to guests 12 and up, and ages 12-14 must be supervised by an adult.

That’s a big difference from other thermal spas in Iceland, and it makes a big difference in the atmosphere. It’s great that Iceland is so kid-friendly, but it’s nice to have adult-oriented spaces, and the Sky Lagoon is one of them.

While the Sky Lagoon has a capacity of 550 (that’s the number of lockers they have), they’ve never exceeded 350 guests at one time.

Oh, and you can get your hair wet here! Unlike the Blue Lagoon, whose mineral-rich waters turn your hair into parched straw, the water at the Sky Lagoon is fine. Believe me. My wavy hair freaks out at anything, but I swam at the Sky Lagoon, and my hair stayed normal.

Note: I had a behind-the-scenes tour of the Sky Lagoon before they opened for the day. Some of these photos were taken from restricted areas.

Enjoying the Sky Lagoon Iceland on a chilly, gray day.

My Experience at the Sky Lagoon

I showed up at the Sky Lagoon fretting about the weather — after three days of gorgeous blue skies in Reykjavik, it was a gray, rainy day with rain predicted all afternoon. Why did it have to rain on our day at the Sky Lagoon?!

“That’s okay,” my Icelander friends told me again and again. “We prefer going to hot springs when the weather is gray and rainy. You feel the raindrops on your face, but you’re nice and warm in the water.”

My colleagues and I spent the first hour shooting around the Sky Lagoon before it opened for the day, getting moody gray shots of the mossy buildings and gray rock walls, steam rising from the water, before skies opened up.

By the time I got my wristband, showered in my private changing room, and threw on my bathing suit, the rain had begun. I took gentle steps into the water from my changing room, the warm water enveloping my body. I was in chest-deep before I emerged from beneath the roof.

Tiny pinpricks of rain landed my face. But you know what? It was nothing. I was in warm water up to my neck. Forget about the stormy skies — nothing could wreck my coziness.

I headed to the bar and got a glass of champagne, the perfect drink for solo travelers. I toasted my new circle of friends, all of us giggling and sipping our glasses.

This truly felt special.

You can see a video I took just after getting into the lagoon here:

That gives you an idea of what it was like!

After an hour of enjoying the warm water, I was ready for the seven-step ritual.

The immense sauna, and the largest single window in Iceland!

Seven-Step Ritual at the Sky Lagoon Iceland

The Sky Lagoon is most famous for its seven-step ritual: a series of spa experiences that you visit in order. This is something that differentiates the Sky Lagoon from the other luxury geothermal spas in Iceland, and I highly recommend that you take part.

The ritual is available as part of the Pure Pass and Sky Pass, but not the Pure Lite Pass. (More on that below.) You are allowed to go through the ritual once during your visit to the Sky Lagoon Iceland.

You are given an additional wristband for the seven-step ritual that you turn in when you go into the turf house.

Step 1: Enjoy the lagoon. Luxuriate in the Sky Lagoon for as long as you please. Allow the warm water to relax you and welcome you to Iceland.

Step 2: Cold plunge. Drop yourself quickly into the cold plunge pool on the edge of the lagoon, enjoying a stimulated immune system, increased blood flow, and tightened skin. I recommend facing your fears and dipping in up to your shoulders!

Not your thing? Just walk outside for a few minutes in the chilly fresh air to cool off.

Step 3: Sauna. Head inside the tufted house next to the lagoon and enter the sauna. Spend five to 10 minutes warming up in the dry heat while enjoying clear views. The window here is the largest single window in Iceland (seriously!) and you’ll have views of the president’s home across the water.

Step 4: Cold mist. Head outside again into a cold shower of small, tiny pieces of ice and snow. While standing in the cold fog-mist space might sting a bit at first, soon you’ll be craving more and more. (This was my personal favorite step of the seven-step ritual!)

Step 5: Sky body scrub. Head back inside and pick up a bowl filled with salt and local herbs. Rub the salt everywhere on your body except your face, exfoliating the dead bits from your skin.

Step 6: Steam room. Step into a room so thick with steam that you can’t even tell who’s sitting where. Sit in the steam and breathe in the thick air. This is the magic part: as the steam sinks into your skin, the salt melts, leaving a silky sheen on your skin.

Step 7: Shower. For the final step, head into a hot shower and rinse off the remaining salt.

From here you’re ready to head back into the lagoon for as long as you’d like. The cold pool is outside the tuft house, so you can go back into the cold pool over and over!

My private changing room at the Sky Lagoon, available only if you book a Sky Pass.

Changing Rooms at the Sky Lagoon Iceland

There are two kinds of changing rooms at the Sky Lagoon — open changing rooms and private changing rooms. The private changing rooms are available to those who have booked a Sky Pass, the most expensive pass.

The private changing rooms are elegant and come with your own private shower, shower gel and lotion, as well as your own hair dryer. There are plenty of hooks and baskets for holding your belongings as you change.

The lockers are in an open area, not in the changing room itself — in other words, you finish showering and changing, leave the changing room, and put your things in a locker.

Public changing rooms at the Sky Lagoon.

As for the public changing rooms, it’s an open area with lockers, benches, mirrors, and hair dryers for your use. The lockers have ample room for your belongings and you scan your wristband to open and lock them.

Don’t worry if you forget your locker number — there’s a little machine in the changing rooms that will remind you of your locker number when you scan your wristband. As a Sky Lagoon staff member told me, “We want people to be so relaxed, they forget their locker numbers!”

Do you have your luggage with you? No problem — the Sky Lagoon offers a luggage room separate from the changing rooms.

Shower stalls at the Sky Lagoon Iceland.

It is mandatory to shower naked before getting into the lagoon. Showering in your bathing suit is not good enough. The traditions of Icelandic bathing culture state that one must shower naked beforehand, and it’s extremely rude not to do so.

Don’t worry — there are private showers at the Sky Lagoon. In the communal changing rooms, there is a row of showers with doors tall enough to give you privacy.

(This is a big difference from local swimming pools in Iceland, where everyone showers together in a room with no stalls.)

Enjoying our champagne in the Sky Lagoon!

Sky Lagoon Bar

Of course there’s a swim-up bar at the Sky Lagoon Iceland! The Lagoon Bar features a collection of alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages to enjoy in the lagoon, and you pay with your wristband.

Alcoholic beverages are limited to three per person.

So what should you get to drink at the Sky Lagoon? They have a variety of beers, including several Icelandic beers; a few different wines, including real champagnes; and several local and international soft drinks. For me, I was giddy with my champagne.

What’s a good nonalcoholic drink? I recommend trying a COLLAB — an Icelandic soda made with collagen in flavors like lime and elderflower, or passionfruit and lime. It feels like a special celebratory drink and looks just like pink champagne when they pour it into your glass!

Either way, make sure you hydrate. You don’t realize how much you sweat when you’re in a pool. There are water fountains in the lagoon and in the changing rooms.

Smakk Bar at the Sky Lagoon Iceland

Dining at the Sky Lagoon

Indoors at the Sky Lagoon you can enjoy some lounge-type areas, quiet and dark and modern. There are two dining options: a coffee shop called Sky Café and a restaurant called Smakk Bar. Both serve snacks and light meals.

Sky Café has a variety of coffee drinks and pastries as well as a selection of Icelandic and international beverages. I sampled their cauliflower soup and a few of the baked goods; definitely try the apple cake if they have it.

The Sky Platter at the Sky Lagoon

Smakk Bar serves platters of local produce: Icelandic meats, seafood, cheeses, and chocolate, served with bread. You can choose the “Mind at Cheese” platter with three cheeses (including the “ugly” Ljótur blue cheese) and bilberry jam, or “The Generous Sea” with pickled herring from Djúpivogur and local gravlax, or “The Icelandic Countryside” with reindeer and goose paté, pickled onion jam, and goose filet, to name a few.

Go for The Sky Platter (6200 ISK or $48) to try everything. I loved the gravlax, reindeer and goose paté, and several of the chocolates and cheeses.

Some of the chocolate has bits of licorice mixed in. Very Icelandic! Try it — even if you’re not a licorice fan, you might like Iceland’s version.

The Sky Lagoon is accessible for wheelchair users, with a chair lift into the lagoon.

Sky Lagoon Cost

How much does the Sky Lagoon cost? There are three different packages with different amenities. Prices vary depending on the time of day. Visits earlier in the day tend to be cheaper.

Pure Lite Pass

The Pure Lite Pass includes admission to the Sky Lagoon Iceland, towels, and open changing rooms, but NOT the seven-step ritual. The pass starts at 6,990 ISK ($55 USD) per person.

Pure Pass

The Pure Pass includes admission to the Sky Lagoon Iceland, towels, open changing rooms, and one trip through the seven-step ritual. The pass starts at 9,990 ISK ($78 USD) per person.

Sky Pass

The Sky Pass includes admission to the Sky Lagoon Iceland, towels, access to the private changing rooms, and one trip through the seven-step ritual. The pass starts at 13,900 ISK ($109) per person.

Sky Lagoon for Two Passes

These “date night” passes are a great option for two people (and you don’t need to be romantically involved to get one!). You get either two Pure Passes or two Sky Passes, plus you each get one drink in the lagoon, plus the Sky Platter at Smakk Bar.

The main difference between the two is that the Pure Pass includes shared changing facilities, while the Sky Pass includes private changing facilities.

The Pure Pass for Two starts at 23,990 ISK ($187) for two people, while the Sky Pass Package for Two starts at 29,990 ISK ($234) for two people.

The good news is that rain tends to be on and off in Iceland.

Which Sky Lagoon Package is Best?

I recommend the Pure Pass, which I think is the best value for money at the Sky Lagoon. While you can have fun on the basic package, the Pure Lite Pass, it doesn’t include the seven-step ritual.

The seven-step ritual is one of the things that makes the Sky Lagoon special and unique, and you shouldn’t miss out. So that leaves the Pure Pass and Sky Pass, which both include the ritual.

The Sky Pass costs about $30 USD more than the Pure Pass, and the only extra benefit is having access to the private changing rooms. They’re really nice changing rooms, but are they $30 changing rooms? Personally, I don’t think so, though you may feel differently.

There is one exception, though: if you have anxiety about open changing rooms, I think the Sky Pass is worth it. Splurge and be worry-free.

(Though you should know that nearly all hot springs and swimming pools in Iceland have open changing rooms and showers. Nobody will be looking at you. This is part of life for Icelanders.)

Should you buy one of the passes for two? I think it’s especially worth it if you choose the pricey Moet + Chandon champagne for your included drink! That runs you more than $20 per glass. And the Sky Platter is a delicious way to end your spa day before heading back to Reykjavik.

There are lots of nooks in the Sky Lagoon that feel private.

What to Bring to the Sky Lagoon

A bathing suit is pretty much all you need — but if you don’t have one, you can buy one at the lagoon. There are no robes, but you don’t really need them, as you go straight from the changing room into the water.

Towels are complimentary at the Sky Lagoon, which is lovely (and an unusual perk). If you’re visiting Iceland, I highly recommend bringing a quick-drying travel towel, as the vast majority of geothermal spas and swimming pools require them.

Can you bring cameras into the Sky Lagoon? Of course! Just know that there aren’t many places where you can put your camera down. I went into the lagoon with my phone, shot all the content I needed, then brought it back to my locker so I could relax and enjoy myself.

You can also leave it behind the bar with the bartenders if you’d like.

The Sky Lagoon Iceland is a quick journey from downtown Reykjavík.

How to Get to the Sky Lagoon Iceland

The Sky Lagoon is located about a 15-minute drive from central Reykjavík in the suburb of Kópavogur. There are several different easy ways to get here.

If you have a car, you can drive. This is the easiest way to get here, and there’s plenty of free parking at the Sky Lagoon. (Also, if you’re visiting Reykjavík briefly on your Iceland trip, it can save you money to stay in a hotel in Kópovagur. I’m doing that on my next trip.)

You can book the Sky Lagoon shuttle. Be sure to book this with your ticket! The shuttle is an extra 2,000 ISK ($16) on top of your pass. There are pick-ups from hotels throughout Reykjavik or from the BSI bus station. Keep in mind that this will limit you to a 2.5-hour visit at the Sky Lagoon. You can book a pass including the shuttle transfer here.

You can take the bus. From Hlemmur square, take bus no. 4 and stop in Hamraborg (15 minutes). From there take bus no. 35 until you stop at Hafnarbraut (4 minutes), which is the nearest stop to Sky Lagoon. Follow the signs and walk for a few minutes down Hafnarbraut until you reach Vesturvör. Walk along the ocean and you will arrive before you know it.

You can take a taxi. Keep in mind Icelandic taxis can be very expensive, even for a short journey. There is no Uber in Iceland.

You can bike. If the weather is nice, renting a bike is a fabulous way to explore Reykjavík.

You can walk. It’s about a 90-minute walk from downtown Reykjavík, if you’re up for it.

The view from the door to the sauna — and views of the president’s house!

Best Time to Visit the Sky Lagoon Iceland

The Sky Lagoon is open year-round. In the summer, you have the midnight sun and the Sky Lagoon extends its hours.

In the winter, daylight is shorter but the Sky Lagoon is still open. In fact, if you time your trip close to the winter solstice, you could be there for both the sunrise and sunset!

In terms of when to visit in the middle of your trip, visit the Sky Lagoon on one of your days exploring Reykjavík. If you’re doing the Ring Road and skipping Reykjavík, you can add it in near the beginning or end of your trip, before flying out.

Northern Lights at the Sky Lagoon

Can you see the Northern Lights at the Sky Lagoon? You can only see the Northern Lights in Iceland during the winter months, no later than April and no earlier than September. And it’s much easier to see the Northern Lights in the middle of nowhere, in a place with no light pollution.

BUT you can occasionally see the Northern Lights on a clear night in Reykjavík. If that happens, you can see the Aurora Borealis in her green, streaky glory from the Sky Lagoon!

So yes — it’s possible, but I wouldn’t bank on it happening. If it does happen, you are very lucky!

The cold plunge pool — a must at least once!

Iceland’s Sky Lagoon vs. Blue Lagoon

Which one is better, the Sky Lagoon or the Blue Lagoon? Everyone has different opinions, but I’m going to break down the biggest differences between the two.

The biggest difference between the two lagoons are the age restrictions. The Sky Lagoon is open to age 12 and up, with a guardian required for ages 12-14, while the Blue Lagoon is open to children 2 and up. The atmosphere is completely different and more adult-oriented at the Sky Lagoon.

(Though it’s worth sharing that the Retreat Spa at the Blue Lagoon is even more adult-oriented and exclusive — and visits start at $452. Yikes.)

A few smaller differences: the Sky Lagoon is smaller while the Blue Lagoon is massive; you can get your hair wet at the Sky Lagoon but you can’t at the Blue Lagoon; both are good for photography; the Blue Lagoon has face masks and spa services while the Sky Lagoon does not.

Is it worth going to both? If you enjoy spas and have the time, you should! But I think the Blue Lagoon is best visited before or after your flight, as it’s next to the airport, while the Sky Lagoon is best visited in the middle of your time in Reykjavík. I think it’s the perfect place to celebrate the end of a successful trip.

Overall? I enjoyed them both — but I’ve got my next trip to Iceland planned, and I’m only visiting the Sky Lagoon.

Read More: What to Know Before You Visit the Blue Lagoon

Sky Lagoon FAQ

How do you get to the Sky Lagoon?

The Sky Lagoon is located in Kópovogur, a suburb of Reykjavik. It’s a 15-minute drive from the city and you can take the Sky Lagoon’s shuttle, or take a taxi, bike, or bus.

Are kids allowed at the Sky Lagoon?

The Sky Lagoon is open to children 12 and up, but children 12-14 must be accompanied by a guardian who is 18+.

How much does it cost to visit the Sky Lagoon?

Visiting the Sky Lagoon costs between 6,990 and 13,900 ISK per person ($55-109), depending on the package booked.

Is the Sky Lagoon accessible to people with disabilities?

The Sky Lagoon has a wheelchair lift into the lagoon itself, and the indoor facilities are wheelchair-accessible. For more specific accessibility questions, I recommend contacting the Sky Lagoon directly.

Can you see the Northern Lights at the Sky Lagoon?

The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, can only be seen during the winter months in Iceland, but it’s usually easiest to spot them in rural areas. Even so, you can occasionally see the Northern Lights in Reykjavik, including while the Sky Lagoon. Perhaps it will be your lucky day!

What’s better, the Blue Lagoon or the Sky Lagoon?

Both are worth visiting, but there are some big differences. Go to the Sky Lagoon for a luxurious atmosphere without young kids running around. Go to the Blue Lagoon if you have kids.

Is the Sky Lagoon worth it?

The Sky Lagoon is so worth it if you treat it like the luxury experience it is and spend a whole afternoon there, rather than squeezing in a quick visit between sightseeing excursions.

What are the hours at the Sky Lagoon Iceland?

September 1 – June 16: Monday-Thursday, 11 AM–10 PM; Friday, 11 AM–11 PM; Saturday, 10 AM–11 PM; Sunday, 11 AM-10 PM.

June 17 – August 14: Open daily, 8 AM-11 PM.

August 15 – August 31: Open daily, 11 AM-11 PM.

What’s the address of the Sky Lagoon?

The address of the Sky Lagoon is Vesturvör 44, 200 Kópavogur, Iceland.

Kate swimming in the Sky Lagoon, holding a glass of champagne. It's raining and her hair is starting to stick against her face.
I’d do it again, even in the rain!

Is the Sky Lagoon Worth It?

I loved every minute I spent at the Sky Lagoon! This was truly the highlight of my most recent trip to Reykjavík (and I did a lot of cool things this time around).

I think the Sky Lagoon is worth it if you treat it like the luxury experience that it is. Don’t squeeze in 90 minutes at the Sky Lagoon between the Golden Circle and whale watching. Spend the whole morning there, or afternoon, and truly take it all in.

Still, it’s worth noting that this is a pricey experience — but pretty much everything in Iceland is a pricey experience (except the hot dog stands)! This is an expensive country to visit, but I consider it a high value destination as well. Nowhere else in the world is like Iceland, and it’s worth saving up for.

The Sky Lagoon is a fantastic new addition to Reykjavík. And I can’t wait to go back.

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Have you been to the Sky Lagoon? What did you think?

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