Sky Lagoon in Iceland – Your Ultimate Guide

10 minute read

ITo Author Bio Adina Transparent

By Adina Lazar

28 August 2023

Couple at Sky Lagoon, Iceland.

Serving up panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean from a seafront infinity pool, Sky Lagoon, Iceland has quickly become a bathing hotspot. Read on to find out how you can experience this dreamy geothermal spa and why it’s a local favorite.

Besides breathtaking views, you’ll find tons on offer here including a sauna, cold plunge pool, and swim-up bar. Not to mention the spa’s signature 7-Step Ritual. If you’re planning a trip to Iceland, you might want to add this oceanside oasis to your itinerary.

Here’s the scoop on everything you need to know about Sky Lagoon before you go, from opening hours to Icelandic spa etiquette.

1. Introducing Sky Lagoon

In the spring of 2021, Sky Lagoon was the new kid on the block among Iceland’s many thermal spas and hot springs. But it didn’t take long for this wellness retreat to make a name for itself. With a range of bathing experiences to choose from and unbeatable views, it’s not hard to see why.

Read on to find out what’s on offer, how to get there, and more.

What is Sky Lagoon?

Sky Lagoon is a man-made thermal lagoon located on the outskirts of Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík. Like all the country’s hot springs and geothermal pools, its waters are heated by geothermal energy.

Soaking in naturally heated pools is a favorite pastime among Icelanders. Not to mention it’s good for the mind, body, and soul – just ask them! You’ll find locals love coming to Sky Lagoon to relax and catch-up with friends.

The spa sits right on the edge of the North Atlantic and offers you sweeping ocean views. The main attraction is the 70-meter (229-foot) infinity-edge pool with its own swim-up bar. This means you can sip on your favorite drink without leaving the lagoon’s warm waters.

When you visit Sky Lagoon, you’ll notice that aspects of Icelandic culture were woven into many parts of its design. For example, on the outside, the sauna is modeled after an Icelandic turf house. And as we’ll explain later, the spa’s Ritual is also rooted in tradition.

Sky Lagoon at sunset in Iceland.

Where is Sky Lagoon in Iceland?

Sky Lagoon is the only luxury geothermal spa in the Reykjavík area. You’ll find it on the edge of Kársnes harbor in Kópavogur, just a 15-minute drive south of the capital. By comparison, Iceland's iconic Blue Lagoon is about a 45–minute drive outside downtown Reykjavík, on the Reykjanes peninsula.

Thanks to its convenient location, Sky Lagoon is the perfect spot to unwind after a day of exploring attractions near Reykjavík. For example, you could visit Þingvellir National Park and Gullfoss waterfall before ending the day in the lagoon’s soothing waters.

How do you get to Sky Lagoon, Reykjavík?

Since Sky Lagoon is only 8 km (5 mi) from the city center, you’ll find lots of easy ways to get there. 

If you’re exploring Iceland by car, driving is the fastest way to reach the lagoon. Take Kringlumýrarbraut (route 40) from Reykjavík and continue onto Kársnesbraut towards Vesturvör. Once you're there, you’ll be happy to know that parking is free and there are plenty of charging stations for electric cars.

If you’re not driving, you can catch bus 4 from Hlemmur Square to Hamraborg. From there, take bus 35 to Hafnarbraut. Or if you want to get some fitness in, you can also cycle to the spa from the city center.

  • Choose your favorite way to travel and circle Iceland’s epic coast on a Ring Road tour.
Couple relaxing in the Sky Lagoon.

How much does it cost to get into Sky Lagoon?

The entry cost depends on which Sky Lagoon Pass you choose when you visit.

You’ll have 3 options – Pure Lite, Pure, and Sky – each with a different price tag. The most affordable package is the Pure Lite Pass, which is a good choice if you just want to relax in the lagoon. 

Since prices can change, we recommend checking the official website before booking.

What’s included with the Sky Lagoon passes?

All 3 passes give you access to the infinity pool, changing facilities, and a towel. But if you’re after a more luxurious experience, you’ll want to try the Pure or Sky Pass. Both include the 7-Step Ritual, while the Sky Pass comes with private changing rooms and use of their signature Sky Body Lotion.

You can also buy a Sky Lagoon package for 2. You’ll get Sky or Pure Pass perks, plus 1 drink per person and a Sky Platter from the Smakk Bar.

The Sky Lagoon from above

Do I need to book Sky Lagoon in advance?

We highly recommend pre-booking your visit. This way, you’ll avoid the lagoon being sold out on the date and time you want to go.

When is Sky Lagoon open?

The lagoon is open every day, but its hours vary depending on the time of year you come.

During the summer months – June through August – you can visit Sky Lagoon daily from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. From September through October, you’ll find the spa shortens its hours, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

If you’re in Iceland in winter, the Sky Lagoon opens its doors from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on weekdays, and 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on weekends.

Does Sky Lagoon have any health benefits?

Spending a few lazy hours at Sky Lagoon is not only deeply relaxing, but it’s also good for your well-being.

The lagoon’s geothermal water is rich in minerals that can help detoxify your skin. And floating in warm water can help reduce stress and ease aches and pains. You’ll likely notice feeling more relaxed and restored as the day goes on.

Soaking in the lagoon, with nothing but sea and sky in front of you, is also a great way to unplug and recharge your batteries. Or if it’s a sense of community you’re after, you can find that here too. Iceland’s pools have always been a place where people socialize, catch up, and connect with each other.

group-in-sky-lagoon.jpg

2. What to expect when visiting Sky Lagoon, Iceland

Besides good vibes in an oceanside infinity pool, here’s what else you can expect and how to prepare for your visit.

What should I bring to Sky Lagoon?

Sky Lagoon has world-class facilities, but you’ll still need to pack a small bag with a few essentials before you go, including:

  • Swimwear
  • Water bottle
  • Toiletries (deodorant, etc.)
  • Sunglasses for bright days

As we mentioned, entry comes with a towel so you don’t need to bring one unless you’d like to use your own. While you’re there, you’ll also have access to:

  • Public or private changing facilities, depending on the pass you choose
  • A locker to store your things
  • A plastic bag for your wet swimwear
  • Blow-dryers
  • Shampoo
  • Shower gel

If you plan to visit before flying home or after you land, you can even store your luggage here for a small fee.

Plus, you don’t need to worry about carrying cash or a credit card to buy snacks or drinks in the lagoon. When you get here, you’ll be given a waterproof wristband that doubles as your locker key and credit card.

How long do I need at Sky Lagoon spa?

How long you want to spend at Sky Lagoon depends entirely on you. You’ll find that there’s no time limit once you’re there. That said, we recommend taking at least 2 hours to pamper yourself and recharge your batteries.

If you want to grab a bite to eat at the café or restaurant, you can stay even longer. Just remember to keep hydrated and drink lots of water while you’re there. You’ll find water fountains at the lagoon and in the changing rooms.

Woman sitting in the sauna with a sea view at Sky Lagoon.

What is Sky Lagoon’s 7-Step Ritual?

You might have heard of Sky Lagoon’s famous 7-Step Ritual. Each part of it is designed to connect you with Icelandic bathing culture, and make you feel restored and re-energized. 

1. Lagoon 

Your journey starts in the pool itself. Take your time to unwind in its geothermal warmth and breathe in the fresh ocean air.

2. Cold plunge

Next up is the 5°C (41°F) cold pool. You’ll need a bit of Viking courage to step into the icy water, but it’s worth it! You’ll be rewarded with a boost of energy and a natural endorphin rush.

3. Sauna 

After an energizing dip in cold water, step inside the steamy sauna. The best part? You’ll get prime ocean views from the sauna’s floor-to-ceiling glass window. 

4. Cold mist 

Feel refreshed again after walking through a cooling mist.

5. Sky body scrub

It’s time to exfoliate with Sky Lagoon’s signature cleansing scrub. For baby-soft skin, leave the scrub on as you go into the steam room.

6. Steam

Relax and let the steam open up your pores, allowing the body scrub to work its magic.

7. Shower

End your ritual with a refreshing shower before taking another dip in the lagoon.

You’ll only be able to do the ritual once, so take your time and soak it all up.

Sauna with an ocean view at Sky Lagoon(.jpg

What’s the etiquette when it comes to showering?

You’ll find that outdoor bathing, whether it's in a hot spring or pool, is a big part of Icelandic culture. So it’s no surprise that locals take their pool etiquette very seriously.

With that in mind, you’ll need to shower without a swimsuit before getting into the lagoon. Every Sky Lagoon pass gives you access to private shower cubicles.

What’s more, you should also take off your outdoor shoes before going into the changing rooms. You’ll notice that every guest walks around the spa barefoot. These habits help keep the pool and its facilities clean.

Can I eat and drink during my visit?

Sky Lagoon has 2 restaurants and 1 swim-up bar, so you’re welcome to enjoy a drink or a bite to eat while you’re there. At the Smakk Bar, you can sample delicious Icelandic tasting platters made with locally sourced ingredients.

If you’re just after a light snack, stop by the Sky Café and grab a sandwich or a freshly baked treat. And at the lagoon’s swim-up bar, you can sip on a drink as you take in the view.

Pastries at Sky Lagoon Café.

Are children allowed in the Sky Lagoon?

Before you start planning your visit, you should know that children under 12 aren’t allowed in Sky Lagoon.

That said, there are other thermal spas in Iceland that are more child-friendly. For instance, the Blue Lagoon welcomes kids over the age of 2. So if you’re visiting with your little ones, you can enjoy the spa experience there.

Can I take photos in the Sky Lagoon?

Of course! The breathtaking views from the infinity pool are something you’ll definitely want to capture.

You can bring your phone or camera into the pool, but be careful not to drop it! We recommend bringing a waterproof case just to be safe.

3. Best time to visit Sky Lagoon

The lagoon is open year-round, so you can stop by for a dip whenever you’d like. The best time to come depends on what you want to experience while you’re there. Each season or time of day offers something different.

For example, you could time your visit to catch the sunset. Imagine soaking in the water – drink in hand – as you watch the sun melt into the icy waters of the Atlantic.

Sky Lagoon in summer

Come to Iceland in the summer and you’ll get to experience a surreal event: the midnight sun.

During this time, the sun is visible even at night, meaning you’ll get endless daylight to see more of Iceland. You could indulge in some R&R at the lagoon under the midnight sun’s golden glow late into the evening.

But keep in mind that summer is the most popular time to explore Iceland. So if you want to enjoy the spa with fewer people around, come by in the morning or in the evening. 

Otherwise, if you want more of the lagoon to yourself, visit during the shoulder months of April, May, and September.

Woman in Sky Lagoon at sunset.

Sky Lagoon in winter

Sky Lagoon’s waters stay hot throughout the winter, making it a perfect escape from the cold. You could start your day exploring frosted waterfalls or taking an ice cave tour, then warm up in a hot tub overlooking the ocean.

Winter is also the best time to see the Northern Lights in Iceland. And what better way to watch this light show than from the warm lagoon? Book your visit for later in the evening, and you could see these colorful waves for yourself.

4. Is Sky Lagoon better than the Blue Lagoon?

When you think of thermal spas, Iceland’s darling, the Blue Lagoon, probably springs to mind. And for good reason – it’s the first of its kind in the country and one of its most sought-out attractions. So of course, a comparison between the 2 is bound to happen.

In our opinion, each one is unique and worth a visit. It just depends on what you’re looking to get out of your experience.

For example, Sky Lagoon is closer to Reykjavík than the Blue Lagoon, making it a more convenient option for a city break. That said, the Blue Lagoon is only a 20-minute drive from Keflavík airport, which makes it an ideal stop before or after your flight.

The Blue Lagoon is also larger, with more dining options and 2 hotels on-site. On the other hand, Sky Lagoon’s jaw-dropping views of the Atlantic are hard to beat.

Whichever one you choose, it’ll be a day well spent. If you’d like a more detailed comparison between them, check out this Sky Lagoon vs the Blue Lagoon guide.

How to visit Sky Lagoon

If you want some oceanside R&R while you’re in Iceland, you’ll want to add Sky Lagoon to your itinerary.

With Iceland Tours, it’s easy to visit Sky Lagoon when you book a vacation package. With some of these multi-day tours from Reykjavík, you can easily add it to your itinerary. This travel style is a great choice if you want to stay in the capital and visit nearby attractions.

Or if you’d like the freedom to see more of the country, choose a self-drive tour of Iceland instead. Getting behind the wheel and going at your own pace is one of the best ways to explore the Land of Fire and Ice.

Alternatively, if you’d like to discover Iceland with like-minded travelers, opt for a group tour led by a knowledgeable local guide.

When you book your trip with Iceland Tours, we’ll take care of your transportation, places to stay, and any activities. Plus, you’ll have the freedom to customize your trip with extra nights or excursions.

Just choose how you’d like to travel and we’ll do the rest. All you need to secure your booking is a 5% deposit.

ITo Author Bio Adina Transparent

About the author

Adina’s love for travel has led her to different corners of the world over the years. But Iceland’s unique beauty has a special place in her heart, so she’s decided to share it with the world! Next time she’s there, she plans to take a dip in the hot springs, spot some puffins, and collect a few Icelandic wool sweaters (lopapeysa) along the way. When she’s not writing, she loves being out in nature or cozying up with a good book.

View more posts by Adina

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