Sky Lagoon vs Blue Lagoon – Which One Should You Visit?
Iceland is renowned for its geothermal pools and hot springs. Topping that list is a spa you might already know about: the iconic Blue Lagoon. But in 2021, Sky Lagoon opened its doors and quickly became a must-see destination in its own right.
There’s no doubt that relaxing in a luxurious spa is a must when you’re in the Land of Fire and Ice. But if you’re short on time, you might be wondering which one to visit.
So, Sky Lagoon vs the Blue Lagoon, which should you choose?
Read on to discover what makes each one unique, what’s on offer, and how you can visit. The truth is, once you know more about them, you might end up trying both!
Where are the lagoons?
Sky Lagoon sits on the outskirts of the capital itself. You can get there in 15 minutes by driving or taking a bus south from downtown Reykjavík to the Kársnes harbor in Kópavogur. There, at the tip of the peninsula that extends into Skerjafjördur, you’ll discover Sky Lagoon.
In fact, the spectacular oceanside location is one of its main draws. You can soak in the infinity pool overlooking the North Atlantic Ocean, as you enjoy panoramic views across the bay.
Then there’s the Blue Lagoon, which is a little further from the city. You’ll find it in the Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark, close to the town of Grindavík. If you’re staying in Reykjavík, it’s roughly a 45–minute journey by car.
While it’s further from the capital, the Blue Lagoon is only a 20–minute drive from Keflavík airport. This convenient location makes it a great option if you’re short on time or want to indulge in a spa experience before or after your flight.
At the Blue Lagoon, you’ll get to bathe in the heart of one of the most volcanically active areas on the planet. You can thank Iceland’s geothermal energy for the water’s natural warmth and the spa’s rugged scenery.
How much does it cost to get into the lagoons?
The Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon offer a range of packages at different price points.
At Sky Lagoon, the Pure Pass – the spa’s most popular package – is the midrange option, and includes the famous 7-Step Ritual (find out more below!). But if you’re just looking to relax in the pool, you’ll want a Pure Lite Pass, which is the most affordable package.
At the Blue Lagoon, the basic Comfort package is the most wallet-friendly option. This pass includes entrance to the iconic geothermal pool, but not the luxury spa.
Can children come to the lagoons?
If you’re traveling with kids, you’re probably wondering if you can bring them to the spas. At the Blue Lagoon, anyone over the age of 2 is welcome. Children under 2 are not allowed because they can be very sensitive to the water’s high mineral content.
Meanwhile, you need to be 12 or older to enter Sky Lagoon. This means the vibes at the 2 retreats are a little different. The Blue Lagoon is more family-friendly, while Sky Lagoon is perfect for a grown-up escape.
What rituals and packages are available?
Along with their pools, both spas have designed their own wellness rituals for you to enjoy, including exclusive products and experiences. Read on to find out more about them.
What is Sky Lagoon’s 7-Step Ritual?
Sky Lagoon has 3 packages on offer: Pure Lite, Pure, and Sky. With the Pure Pass and Sky Pass, you’ll get to indulge in Sky Lagoon’s famous 7-Step Ritual. Inspired by traditional Icelandic spa practices, this wellness regime involves several stages:
- Lagoon: Unwind in a warm, relaxing pool with sweeping ocean views.
- Cold plunge pool: Take an energizing cold plunge dip.
- Sauna: Warm up in a sauna modeled after a traditional Icelandic turf house.
- Cold mist: Step out of the sauna’s warmth and into a cool, refreshing mist.
- Sky body scrub: Exfoliate your skin with Sky Lagoon’s own body scrub.
- Steam: Let the steam room open your pores and unlock the exfoliating benefits of the scrub.
- Shower: Rinse and relax in the final step of your wellness experience.
Both Pure and Sky passes include one journey through the ritual. The difference? With the Sky Pass, you get private changing rooms and use of the lagoon’s body lotion.
What are the packages at the Blue Lagoon?
You can expect 2 types of experiences when visiting the Blue Lagoon. There’s the pool itself, with its therapeutic milky-blue waters. And there’s the Retreat Spa, a luxurious destination where you’ll feel truly pampered.
If you only want to access the main pool, you have 2 options:
- The Comfort package – this gets you into the Blue Lagoon and includes a silica mud mask, towel, and free drink.
- The Premium package – this adds a bathrobe, 2 extra face masks, and a glass of sparkling wine to the Comfort package.
If you visit the Retreat Spa, you’ll still have access to the lagoon itself. But there are many other perks to make your experience extra special.
For example, you can relax in the exclusive Retreat Lagoon and in other private spaces. Plus, you’ll enjoy the Blue Lagoon’s 3-step ritual, involving silica, algae, and volcanic minerals. There’s the option of adding extras to your visit too, such as massages, treatments, and float therapy.
How long can you stay in the lagoons?
When you visit either of the lagoons, you’re free to relax in the water as long as you want. Your ticket for each one will be valid for the whole day.
While you can soak in the pool at your leisure, the spa experiences are usually time-limited. For instance, at Sky Lagoon, you can only complete the 7-Step Ritual once. And at the Blue Lagoon, you’ll have a maximum of 5 hours to unwind in the Retreat Spa.
Of course, that won’t stop you from enjoying the other facilities – including the restaurants and bars – for as long as you want.
Bear in mind that both spas are open every day, but have different opening hours throughout the year.
Sky Lagoon opening hours:
- 1 June – 31 August: 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
- 1 September – 31 October: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
- 1 November – 31 May: 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday to Friday; 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
The Blue Lagoon opening hours:
- 1 January – 31 May: 8:00 a.m to 9:00 p.m.
- 1 June – 20 August: 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
- 21 August – 31 December: 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
You’ll be happy to know that both spas are great places to spot the Northern Lights between October and March. Seeing these colorful ribbons of light dance above you as you relax in the warm water is an unforgettable experience.
But if you come in summer, there’s something just as special. This is the season of the midnight sun, where you’ll get to soak in the sunlight all day long.
What are the dining and accommodation options at the lagoons?
You’ll find lots of eating and drinking options at both Sky Lagoon and the Blue Lagoon.
Where to dine?
At Sky Lagoon, there are 3 bars and cafés. If you’re after a small bite, head to the Sky Café. You’ll find sandwiches and pastries fresh from the chef’s oven. Or if you fancy something heartier, try the Smakk Bar for a range of delicious sharing platters.
What's more, you don’t need to leave the water to enjoy a drink. Simply swim up to the Lagoon Bar for a local beer or glass of wine.
At the Blue Lagoon, you have even more choice. The Moss Restaurant is Michelin-starred, serving up high-end dishes in a space with views over the resort. For a more casual meal, head to the Lava Restaurant or the Spa Restaurant, where you can dine wearing your bathrobe.
Alongside these 3 restaurants, you’ll find the Blue Café, which is perfect for grabbing a quick snack. And their tasty breakfast will also be very welcome if you get there early or straight off the plane.
Where to stay?
Accommodation is another thing that sets the 2 retreats apart. At the Blue Lagoon, there are 2 hotels: the Silica Hotel and the luxury Retreat Hotel. At the latter, you’ll get unlimited access to the Retreat Spa.
On the other hand, Sky Lagoon doesn’t have accommodation on site. But with downtown Reykjavík so nearby, you likely won’t need it.
How to visit the Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon
Which is better, the Blue Lagoon or Sky Lagoon? That’s for you to decide. But if you have the time, there’s nothing to stop you from adding both to your vacation plans.
With Iceland Tours, you can choose from a wide range of tours designed by our local travel team. We’ll take care of your transport, itinerary, and accommodation. And it’s easy to add a spa day as an optional extra.
You could also take a trip to Iceland’s geothermal spas with a multi-day package from Reykjavík. Base yourself in the capital while you take day tours to see the best of South Iceland, including these 2 lagoons.
The choice is yours. And if there’s something else you want to see or do, our team can arrange it for you. All it takes to secure your trip is a 5% deposit.
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
All the ‘hottest’ places to bathe around Iceland.Read more
How you can experience the country’s geological might for yourself.Read more
You’ll find plenty to do a stone’s throw from the Icelandic capital.Read more