Today, we’re diving headfirst into the geothermal wonders of Iceland, comparing two of the hottest (literally) spots on the map: Sky Lagoon and Blue Lagoon.
It’s a challenge to compare these two masterfully created wellness retreats because they’re both incredible experiences, especially in a place like Iceland, where everything looks and feels magical.
Keep reading as we provide a rundown of Sky Lagoon and Blue Lagoon, highlighting their offerings and atmosphere. Then, we’ll compare each place, giving you the pros and cons to help you choose the best spot for you.
Here is an overview:
Sky Lagoon, An Urban Escape
Just a 15-minute drive from the charming city of Reykjavik, is Sky Lagoon, “the new kid on the block” in the Icelandic wellness-sphere. It’s like stepping into a geothermal wonderland without leaving the convenience of civilization.
Sky Lagoon is a meticulously designed oasis that effortlessly merges with its natural surroundings with a hand-made waterfall, imposing gray rocks, gentle grassy slopes and a turf house.
But, the highlight of this place is a luxurious infinity pool, with sweeping views of the North Atlantic Ocean, blurring the line between the lagoon and the sea in a truly mesmerizing way.
As day turns to dusk, the atmosphere at Sky Lagoon is set against the backdrop of a gorgeous sunset.
You’ll see the enchanting Kársnes Harbour and Bessastaðir, the residence of the President of Iceland. If you look out a bit further, you’ll even see the striking silhouette of Mount Keilir, a cone-shaped volcano with a rich seafaring history.
Sky Lagoon Tickets
A perfect quick city getaway if you’re short on time. Access to the lagoon, no frills.
Access to the lagoon with “Seven Step Ritual”. Public lockers and changing area.
This premium package includes access to the lagoon with “Seven Step Ritual” and private changing facilities.
Sky Lagoon Packages
You can purchase “Sky Lagoon for Two”, which includes 2 Sky passes, one drink per person and a Sky platter from the Smakk Bar for 36,400 ISK. “Pure for Two” includes 2 Pure passes, one drink per person and a Sky platter for 30,400 ISK.
You can also purchase multiple passes for up to 6 visits for one person.
Sky Lagoon Amenities & Offerings
There are a lot of amenities offered at Sky Lagoon. Your access to them depends on whether you got the Pure Lite, Pure or Sky pass.
Available to Everyone
The main attraction, offering warm and soothing waters with stunning views of the Icelandic landscape.
A hand-made waterfall designed to provide a unique and refreshing experience, allowing visitors to enjoy a natural hydrotherapy session.
For those seeking a contrast experience, a cold plunge is often available to invigorate the body and awaken the senses.
A designated area within the lagoon where visitors can float and enjoy a moment of relaxation while taking in the surrounding beauty.
Scan your wristband at Sky Lagoon’s in water bar to order drinks like wine, beer, or cocktails.
A retail space where visitors can purchase souvenirs and memorabilia to remember their Sky Lagoon experience.
Amenities Available to Pure and Sky Ticket Holders
If you got the Pure or Sky ticket, you can access Sky Lagoon’s additional amenities in the Turf House for one round.
The Seven-Step Ritual
Sky Lagoon’s famous ritual is as follows…
Step 1– Lagoon, Step 2– Cold Plunge, Next – Enter Turf House, Step 3– Sauna, Step 4– Cold Mist, Step 5– Sky Body Scrub, Step 6– Steam Room, Step 7– Shower
Then you’re free to enjoy the lagoon or cold plunge again as you please.
Sky Lagoon Dining Options
After you’ve enjoyed the facilities, head indoors near the shop. You’ll find a cozy dining and lounge area with two dining options- Smakk Bar and Sky Cafe, which are both more relaxed dining options and you seat yourself and order at the counter, as opposed to Blue Lagoon’s restaurants.
Tasting platters of various Icelandic delicacies from around the country. It’s like Iceland’s version of the famous charcuterie and cheese board.
More casual sandwich counter setup where you can order bagels, soup, sandwiches, baked goods and skyr (Icelandic yogurt).
Pros of Sky Lagoon
Now that we’ve given you the rundown on Sky Lagoon, it’s time to share its pros and cons.
- Infinity Views
The panoramic views are simply breathtaking. The edgeless design of the lagoon seamlessly merges with the skyline, creating a surreal experience that makes you feel like you’re floating among the clouds.
- Conveniently Located From the City
Sky Lagoon is a far more convenient option than Blue Lagoon and only 15 minutes away, whereas Blue Lagoon is 50 minutes to/from Reykjavik.
- Luxury Vibes
You’ll find sleek architecture and high-end amenities throughout Sky Lagoon with a raw, natural beauty outdoors at the lagoon. They really designed it to feel like you were at a natural hot spring around Iceland with the wooden hut and mossy rocks all around at the lagoon. It’s the perfect spot for those looking to combine relaxation with a touch of sophistication.
- Reasonably Priced
For similar wellness rituals involving multiple steps, Sky Lagoon is significantly cheaper when comparing Sky Lagoon’s Seven Step Ritual for 9,790 ISK ($70 USD) to Blue Lagoon Ritual for 79,000 ISK ($557 USD). Granted, Blue Lagoon also gives you access to a semi-private lagoon with fewer people as part of the price.
- Ease of Entry
Whereas Blue Lagoon was confusing to navigate, Sky Lagoon’s setup felt like a breeze. Every action was clearly labeled from the moment you walked into the locker room, leading to the lagoon. You were also told by staff at check-in where to go.
- Easy Purchasing
You’re provided a wristband that is attached to your credit card for easy, touchless payment!
- Showers, Locker rooms, and changing areas
This area was well maintained, clean with showers that had shampoo, conditioner and body wash.
With its smaller size and lower capacity, Sky Lagoon feels like a more intimate space.
Cons of Sky Lagoon
- Crowd Control
While not as crowded as Blue Lagoon, Sky Lagoon can get a bit crowded, especially during peak hours. Sometimes they book out weeks in advance. Booking in advance is a must if you want to secure your spot.
- Drinks Not Included
Unless you purchase a Sky Lagoon for Two package.
- Dining Options Are Casual
Unlike Blue Lagoon, Sky Lagoon has fewer dining options to choose from and does not offer a gourmet restaurant experience like Blue Lagoon.
- No Additional Offerings
Unlike Blue Lagoon, there isn’t a spa to book additional treatments.
- Day Visits Only
Unlike Blue Lagoon, Sky Lagoon doesn’t offer accommodation. Your visit is just for the day.
Blue Lagoon: The OG Geothermal Wonder
Now, let’s talk about the OG – Blue Lagoon. Nestled in a lava field on the Reykjanes Peninsula, this iconic destination has been drawing travelers from around the globe for decades.
Blue Lagoon is a geological masterpiece, standing as a testament to the extraordinary beauty of nature’s wonders. While the surrounding lava fields add a rugged charm, the milky blue waters create an ethereal atmosphere. It’s a testament to its natural beauty.
You’ve probably never experienced anything like this before! As you step into this geothermal oasis, you’ll find that it’s nothing short of enchanting. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, as we did!
Blue Lagoon Tickets
Entrance to the Blue Lagoon, silica mud mask, use of towel, 1st drink of your choice
- Premium pass (11,490 ISK)
Everything in Comfort + two additional masks of your choice, use of bathrobe, one glass of sparkling wine if dining at Lava restaurant
Everything in Premium + 5 hours of unlimited access to the underground Retreat Spa, the Retreat Lagoon (private), the Blue Lagoon ritual at The Retreat Lagoon, a private changing room, skincare amenities, access to the Spa Restaurant and eight subterranean spaces. Read more below.
The Blue Lagoon Amenities & Offerings
The Blue Lagoon offers a range of amenities accessible to all guests. If you’re coming to Blue Lagoon for a day visit, you’ll get to enjoy these offerings…
Silica Mud Mask Bar
The journey begins with a visit to the Silica Lagoon, a secluded corner of Blue Lagoon, where guests are provided with a mineral-rich Silica Mask, sourced directly from the lagoon, providing a unique and rejuvenating spa-like experience.
If you get Comfort admission, you’ll get to choose one mask, while Premium admission will get you three of the four offered masks (silica, algae, mineral). You can purchase additional masks if you want.
After applying the Silica Mask, guests immerse themselves in the warm waters of the Silica Lagoon before washing the mask off after a few minutes. Your skin will be unbelievably silky smooth afterward!
Enjoy the Rest of Blue Lagoon
Following the Silica Lagoon soak, guests can transition to the main Blue Lagoon where you can enjoy the other amenities like their steam room, sauna, hand-made waterfall, relaxation cave, and an indoor relaxation area with views of the lagoon.
In Water Bar
Order a drink to enjoy at the lagoon without leaving the water! Choose from water, juices, smoothies, soft drinks, beer, and wine.
At their underground spa, The Retreat Spa, Blue Lagoon offers treatments designed to elevate the overall sense of well-being, such as in-water massages and floatation therapy.
Skin Care Products for Home
Blue Lagoon has a skincare line based on your experience at the lagoon. You can shop for the same products inspired by the lagoon’s mineral-rich elements. They also sell them at the airport or you shop online.
Blue Lagoon Dining Options
Blue Lagoon offers several dining options showcasing the best of Icelandic cuisine in sophisticated spaces.
- Lava Restaurant
Nestled against lava fields, Lava Restaurant provides an elegant dining experience with a menu of locally sourced ingredients that puts a modern twist on Icelandic culinary traditions.
- Moss Restaurant
Overlooking the Blue Lagoon, Moss Restaurant has Michelin-starred cuisine and offers a more casual dining experience than Lava Restaurant. Inspired by Icelandic and Nordic cuisine, the menu emphasizes a relaxed atmosphere without compromising on culinary quality.
- Spa Restaurant
Gourmet delicacies with a view in a more intimate and relaxed environment for spa guests. Dine in your robe or fully clothed.
- Blue Cafe
Snacks and drinks
Alternative to Blue Lagoon on Property: The Retreat Lagoon
If you want something more exclusive and secluded, opt for The Retreat Lagoon, a private lagoon at Blue Lagoon, which offers more privacy and you can avoid the chaos of the overcrowded Blue Lagoon. You also won’t have undesired photos taken of you as guests are not allowed to bring their phones or take photos in the lagoon.
Another way to enjoy a private lagoon is by booking one of the Blue Lagoon hotels.
Stay Overnight at Blue Lagoon
If you’re looking for a longer relaxation experience, you can stay at The Retreat Hotel at Blue Lagoon or Silica Hotel, a 10-minute walk from Blue Lagoon. Both Blue Lagoon hotels include Premium entry and priority access to Blue Lagoon during your hotel stay, as well as access to your hotel’s own private lagoon, which each hotel has.
Pros of Blue Lagoon
Now that we’ve given you the rundown on Blue Lagoon, it’s time to share its pros and cons.
- Conveniently Located
If you’re catching Blue Lagoon on your way to/from the KEF airport, it’s only a 20 minute drive, which is great for a quickie Icelandair stopover or even layover, depending on how much time you have.
- Natural Beauty
The milky blue waters, surrounded by rugged lava fields, create an incredible atmosphere. It’s a geological marvel that has stood the test of time.
- Silica Mud Masks
Blue Lagoon is famous for a reason. Their multi-step silica mud mask program, included in your ticket, makes for the best pampering. Smearing on this mineral-rich mud is like giving your skin a spa day, leaving you feeling rejuvenated and glowing.
- Health Benefits
Blue Lagoon was originally created by a medical doctor for his patients to treat their ailments. The water is said to have healing properties.
- More Dining Options
Blue Lagoon offers far more dining options than Sky Lagoon
- Easy Purchasing
You’re provided a wristband that is attached to your credit card for easy, touchless payment!
- Showers, Locker rooms, and changing areas
This area was well maintained, clean with showers that had shampoo, conditioner and body wash. There were also more makeup tables and hair drying stations available than Sky Lagoon.
- Bigger and More Spread Out
Being bigger gives guests more space to spread out.
- More Additional Offerings
Blue Lagoon has evolved beyond a simple hot spring. The addition of a luxury hotel, spa, and fine dining options make it a destination in itself. It’s the perfect spot for those seeking an all-encompassing experience.
Cons of Blue Lagoon
- Tourist Magnet
Blue Lagoon’s popularity means it’ll be very, very crowded. You can find a private enclave to enjoy a private moment at Sky Lagoon, but this was never possible at Blue Lagoon. It is very touristy.. almost like Disneyland.
If you want a more private and peaceful experience away from the chaos, consider booking The Retreat Lagoon, which has the same flowing geothermal water as Blue Lagoon, just in a secluded section for Retreat Lagoon guests and Retreat Hotel guests only.
- Confusing Layout
Whereas Sky Lagoon’s setup was more straight-forward and guided you with visual directions, step by step, navigating Blue Lagoon from the locker room to the lagoon was a bit confusing. It wasn’t obvious knowing where to enter the lagoon and the locker room felt like a maze if you didn’t commit your numbered section to memory.
- Pricey Pampering
Quality comes at a cost. Blue Lagoon isn’t the most budget-friendly option, and the expenses can add up, especially if you indulge in the various spa treatments and amenities. However this isn’t a bad thing if you were looking for a more extensive spa experience.
Sky Lagoon vs. Blue Lagoon: Which is Right for You?
Now that we’ve dipped our toes into both Sky Lagoon and Blue Lagoon, it’s time to decide which is the perfect fit for you.
Sky Lagoon is your spot if…
- You Want to Be Close to Reykjavik
Embrace the modern, sleek setting with the city just a stone’s throw away. You can enjoy the convenience of being close to the action while soaking in the ethereal waters.
- You Seek Luxury and Innovation
Sky Lagoon brings a touch of luxury to the geothermal scene. With its infinity views and modern amenities, it’s perfect for those who want to combine relaxation with a dash of sophistication.
- Budget is a Concern
While it offers a world-class experience, Blue Lagoon comes with a price tag. On the other hand, Sky Lagoon might be a more budget-friendly option, especially if you’re cautious about additional expenses.
Blue Lagoon is your spot if…
- You Crave Natural Beauty
Blue Lagoon is a classic for a reason. The untouched lava fields and milky blue waters provide an unparalleled connection to nature. It’s an Icelandic essential that has earned its spot on many bucket lists.
- You’re a Spa Enthusiast
Blue Lagoon takes the crown with its renowned silica mud masks and a range of spa treatments. Indulge in a holistic spa experience with an in-water massage surrounded by the stunning Icelandic landscape.
Relaxation and Adventure
You can even combine relaxation and adventure. After all, what else is Iceland known for?
Picture this: an Icelandic adventure that’s just the right amount of relaxing and exciting. Start your day with a fun hike through stunning Iceland ice caves, surrounded by mesmerizing blue hues. Then, unwind in a beautiful geothermal spa nestled in volcanic landscapes, soaking in soothing natural springs.
It’s the ultimate balance of thrill and bliss – an unforgettable journey in the land of fire and ice.
The Verdict: Finding Your Perfect Soak
There’s no clear winner in the ultimate showdown between Sky Lagoon and Blue Lagoon – it’s all about personal preference. Whether you’re drawn to the urban charm of Sky Lagoon or the timeless beauty of Blue Lagoon, both offer a unique Icelandic soak that’s sure to leave you refreshed and rejuvenated.
So, fellow wanderers, the choice is yours.
Will you chase the infinity views of Sky Lagoon or bask in the iconic allure of Blue Lagoon? Whichever you choose, remember to soak it all in and embrace the magic of Iceland’s geothermal wonders.