It’s a given that if you travel to Iceland, you visit one of the country’s geothermal pools or lagoons. And for decades, the go-to destination has been the Blue Lagoon. Taking a therapeutic dip in the warm geothermal waters is a great experience. And the convenient location outside Reykjavik and just a 20-minute drive from Keflavik Airport means that it’s always easy to fit a visit into your itinerary. But now there’s a new kid on the block. The brand new Sky Lagoon in Reykjavik only opened in 2021. It promises a brand new experience for travellers to Iceland. To help you decide which of the two to visit, we thought we’d compare the Blue Lagoon VS the Sky Lagoon in Iceland.
As mentioned, the Blue Lagoon is extremely conveniently located for travellers flying into Iceland. It is located right next to the airport and just a 45-minute drive from Reykjavik city centre. So whether you’re in Iceland for a mere couple of days or longer, you should have time to fit it in. For those staying in Reykjavik itself, the Sky Lagoon is even closer! It’s located at Karsnes Harbour on a peninsula in the city, boasting incredible views out over the North Atlantic Ocean. So if you’re staying at or near the airport, then the Blue Lagoon is closer for you, and if you’re staying in Reykjavik, the Sky Lagoon is the more convenient option. You can easily rent a car at the Keflavik Airport or downtown Reykjavik to make it easier to visit the Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon.
Blue Lagoon address: Nordurljosavegur 9, 240 Grindavik, Iceland
Sky Lagoon address: Vesturvor 44-48 200, Kopavogur, Iceland
The Blue Lagoon opened in 1987 and is set against a backdrop of rocky black lava fields. This is compared to the newer Sky Lagoon, which opened in 2021 and boasts a view over the North Atlantic Ocean – particularly stunning at sunset. However, the Blue Lagoon is significantly bigger than its new rival, meaning there is more space to relax. Both are man-made and both are filled with Iceland’s natural geothermal seawater. This water is renowned for its benefits to the skin since it is enriched with all manner of ocean minerals. As well as the health benefits, the water is incredibly relaxing.
The Sky Lagoon offers a seven-step Sky Ritual for those who want the full experience. The ritual is included on all but the most basic Sky Lagoon package and is designed to “nourish your senses” and “promote our wellbeing, inside and out”. The process is based on traditional Icelandic bathing culture and the seven steps are as follows:
1. Take a relaxing dip in the warm waters of the Sky Lagoon.
2. Plunge into the cold water of the glacier pool, which boosts the immune system and increases blood flow for a natural high.
3. Spend 10 minutes in the sauna and enjoy the view through the glass window as the heat opens your pores and cleanses the skin.
4. Take a deep breath and walk through the Sky Lagoon’s cold fog-mist space.
5. Enjoy a cleansing scrub with the Sky Lagoon’s Sky Body Scrub, exfoliating the skin.
6. A steam bath helps to maximize the benefits of the Sky Body Scrub.
7. A relaxing shower marks the end of the ritual.
The Blue Lagoon and the Sky Lagoon in Reykjavik are fairly similarly priced. For the Blue Lagoon, the most basic Comfort package of ISK 8,490 (USD $68) includes entrance to the lagoon, towel, mud mask and a drink.
The Sky Lagoon offers a basic Pure Lite entry package for ISK 6,990 (USD $56) which includes entry and a towel. Their ISK 9,900 (USD $80) Pure Pass package also includes the seven-step Ritual experience. Both venues also offer more premium packages for those who’d like to spend more time at either lagoon or include more drinks, private changing rooms or other experiences. But remember, if you’re visiting the Blue Lagoon or the Sky Lagoon on one of our Iceland tours, then entry is included as part of your package!
If you’re making a day of it at the Blue Lagoon or the Sky Lagoon then you’re going to want something to eat and drink! The Blue Lagoon has a café that is open to all ticketholders at the venue. The Lava Restaurant overlooks the main pool of the lagoon but is only open to those with a premium ticket. And the Michelin-starred Moss Restaurant is only accessible to those with the most expensive package – the ISK 59,000 (USD $476) Retreat Spa pass.
The Sky Lagoon is a bit more inclusive with its dining options. The Lagoon Bar serves beer, champagne, and other drinks from a cave in the lagoon itself. The Sky Café offers sandwiches, soups, and other light meals, whilst the Smakk Bar serves classic Icelandic dishes. Perfect for a meal after your experience at the Sky Lagoon. All lagoon guests are welcome at all three of these facilities.
So, Blue Lagoon VS Sky Lagoon in Iceland… who wins?
This isn’t an easy question to answer. And let’s be clear: whichever of the two lagoons you visit, it is sure to be a highlight of your trip to Iceland.
The Blue Lagoon is the more famous of the two, so you can brag to your friends back home. It’s also bigger, so better equipped to deal with the crowds that can descend on Iceland’s more popular attractions. But the Sky Lagoon is newer and more modern, plus those ocean views take some beating. In terms of getting there, both are easily reachable from Reykjavik. But the Sky Lagoon is within the city itself, whereas the Blue Lagoon is best reached by car or public transport; that is unless you’re coming from the airport in which case the Blue Lagoon is the closer of the two! The lagoons are also mutually beneficial to each other; they split the crowds in half so both are quieter than the Blue Lagoon used to be!
On balance, we think the Sky Lagoon is an exciting alternative to the Blue Lagoon and is sure to wow visitors, especially those who choose to book the Sky Ritual. But the Blue Lagoon remains… the Blue Lagoon! We’ll let you decide which to visit, and make sure to let us know in the comments if you’ve visited either of these amazing locations!
Our South Iceland Summer Explorer 6-day tour includes a visit to the Sky Lagoon. Other Iceland tours such as our 5-day Land of the Northern Lights and 8-day Northern Lights Exploration include a visit to the Blue Lagoon. Browse our full range of Iceland tours and get in touch with our team if you’d like to discuss a booking!