Sky Lagoon vs. Blue Lagoon (There IS a Winner!)


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A dip in one in every of Iceland’s well-known geothermal swimming pools gives a scrumptious distinction to the nation’s chilly climes. The two hottest geothermal spas, Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon, invite swimmers to take in Icelandic bathing tradition in mineral-rich waters. Which is finest? Read on to search out out which geothermal pool reigns supreme on this detailed evaluation of Sky Lagoon vs. Blue Lagoon. I evaluate the 2 distinctive experiences in line with water and ambiance, locker rooms, spa choices, swim-up bars, eating choices, places, and pricing. (And, sure, I do decide a winner!)

The Travel Mama Colleen Lanin at Sky Lagoon Iceland
That’s me at Sky Lagoon Iceland (Photo credit score: Colleen Lanin)

Hot Springs vs. Geothermal Pools

The Land of Fire and Ice earns its nickname. One of probably the most volcanically lively locations on the planet, Iceland’s magma lies near the Earth’s crust. This creates naturally heated waters slightly below the bottom excellent for decent springs and geothermal swimming pools.

Humans can take a dip in Iceland’s pure scorching springs, that are principally scorching tubs created by mom nature. But watch out as a result of geothermal waters can attain temperatures means past boiling.

You can even expertise heat Icelandic waters in artifical swimming pools created for swimming and bathing. Volcanic exercise heats the water, which is then cooled to a toasty however protected temperature. Let’s bounce into the 2 most famous geothermal swimming pools in Iceland, Sky Lagoon and Blue Lagoon.

Blue Lagoon in Iceland
Blue Lagoon (Photo credit score: babetka,

Water and Ambiance

Opened within the spring of 2021, Sky Lagoon is one in every of Iceland’s latest and hottest points of interest (actually!). The bathing amenities on the Blue Lagoon opened to the general public in 1987 and are heated by run-off waters from a close-by geothermal energy plant. The water is often saved at 98.6 to 104°F (37 to 40°C) at each swimming pools, with slight variations attributable to outside temps.

The mineral-rich water at each Sky Lagoon and Blue Lagoon is purportedly good in your pores and skin. But take into account that you mustn’t get your head moist on the Blue Lagoon as a result of the silicon-rich waters will dry out your hair and provides it a strawlike consistency. I wore a knit cap not solely to maintain heat but in addition to guard my hair and remind me to not put my head underwater.

Sky Lagoon's geothermal pool, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean
Sky Lagoon’s geothermal pool, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean (Photo credit score: Sky Lagoon)

Sky Lagoon’s Upscale Spa Atmosphere

The vibe on the new Sky Lagoon is that of an upscale spa. It presents an expensive place to expertise Iceland’s magnificence, each visually and bodily.

This outside pool was designed to really feel at one with nature, boasting an infinity edge that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. The man-made lagoon was constructed into volcanic rock formations with waterfalls and tunnels for exploring.

A pair of flip-flops can be loaned to all company and is required to be worn at Sky Lagoon. Swim towels and cubbies to retailer them are additionally offered.

Guests have to be aged 12+ at Sky Lagoon, contributing to a mature and chic ambiance. The 50,000-square-foot pool is considerably smaller than Blue Lagoon, however plans are within the works to broaden the ability in 2024 to fulfill demand.

Swimming at Blue Lagoon
Swimming at Blue Lagoon in summer season months (Photo credit score: Colleen Lanin)

Blue Lagoon’s Playful Aquamarine Pools

The Blue Lagoon’s swimming pools characteristic the milky blue colour you recognize and love from Instagram pictures and bucket lists in shiny journey magazines. This iconic swimming spot is far larger than Sky Lagoon. Containing practically 2.4 million gallons (9 million liters) of heat blue water, there may be loads of house to drift and discover.

National Geographic named Blue Lagoon among the many wonders of the world in 2012 for its geothermal water, which is comprised of 70% ocean water and 30% freshwater, enriched with silica, algae, and minerals.

Despite this esteemed designation, Blue Lagoon felt extra like a fairly public pool than a luxurious spa to me. Expect an off-the-cuff, playful ambiance with footbridges, a waterfall, and many chatting amongst company. Visitors age 2+ are welcome to swim on the Blue Lagoon, making it a enjoyable decide for younger households and multigenerational teams.

A Blue Lagoon attendant arms out towels as company step again indoors. This can result in chilly walks within the recent air however this observe presumably retains the pool space tidy and cuts down on wasted laundry water.

Blue Lagoon manmade geothermal spa in winter near Reykjavik, Iceland
Blue Lagoon in winter months (Photo credit score: surangastock,

Locker Rooms and Showers

Wristbands are used to safe and unlock lockers to retailer private belongings at each Sky Lagoon and Blue Lagoon. These bands might also be used to make extra purchases on the amenities, like meals and drinks.

Since the geothermal swimming pools are usually not chlorinated, bathing in gender-separated locker rooms beforehand is necessary at Sky Lagoon in addition to Blue Lagoon. And, sure, you might be anticipated to wash utterly bare and wash your non-public components. Chlorine is used to totally clear the swimming pools at Sky Lagoon every night time whereas Blue Lagoon depends on its water’s excessive mineral depend, which prevents micro organism from rising.

Locker room at Sky Lagoon
Locker room at Sky Lagoon (Photo credit score: Sky Lagoon by Pursuit)

Tiered Changing Rooms at Sky Lagoon

There are two tiers of locker rooms at Sky Lagoon. The Pure Pass consists of bathe cubicles and personal showers. Meanwhile, the Sky Pass, which I skilled, gives each non-public altering rooms and personal rain showers. The bathe stalls are giant and embody bathe gel, shampoo, and conditioner for visitor use.

Dressing tables with mirrors and hair dryers could also be used for primping after soaking at Sky Lagoon. There aren’t any brushes or deodorant, although, so convey your personal.

Blue Lagoon shower products
Blue Lagoon bathe merchandise (Photo credit score: Blue Lagoon Iceland)

Blue Lagoon’s Changing Rooms

When I visited Blue Lagoon, there was an attendant barking at company to get within the bathe stalls. It felt…dare I say…disconcerting.

The bathe stalls are cramped however non-public, with bathers getting into, scrubbing, and exiting as if on an meeting line. Complimentary bathe gel, shampoo, and conditioner are offered.

There are each non-public and communal altering rooms at Blue Lagoon. The cramped shared sink space at Blue Lagoon presents hair dryers. I really noticed one tween lady drying her hair with an electrical handheld dryer whereas standing in a puddle of water. Yikes!

Swimming under a warm waterfall at Sky Lagoon
Swimming beneath a heat waterfall at Sky Lagoon (Photo credit score: Kim Tate, Stuffed Suitcase)

Sky Lagoon’s Seven-Step Ritual

The rejuvenating 7-Step Ritual at Sky Lagoon embraces the custom of Icelandic bathing. Also known as Nordic bathing, Scandinavian bathing, or distinction bathtub remedy, this strategy of alternating hot and cold water publicity has confirmed well being advantages. These embody decreased irritation, decreased stress, boosted immunity, and improved circulation.

1. Lagoon

Start by getting into the nice and cozy geothermal lagoon. Swim to the infinity pool edge and revel in the great thing about the north Atlantic Ocean increasing within the close to distance. Float round a bit and take your flip bathing beneath the artifical waterfall.

Cold plunge at Sky Lagoon
Cold plunge pool at Sky Lagoon (Photo credit score: Colleen Lanin)

2. Cold Plunge

Next, take a dip within the chilly plunge pool. It’s saved at a bracing 50° F (10° C). Experts advise spending three to fifteen minutes in a chilly water plunge for max immune system enhance and different well being advantages.

Beginners, nevertheless, might want to construct as much as this size of time. (A fast dunk was all I might deal with.) Plus, with presently only one chilly pool at Sky Lagoon, it is necessary to be conscious of others ready for his or her flip within the chilly bathtub.

Sky Lagoon's sauna with a view of the Atlantic Ocean
Sky Lagoon’s sauna with a view of the Atlantic Ocean (Photo credit score: Colleen Lanin)

3. Sauna

Then it is time to warmth up within the oceanfront dry sauna. I do not understand how Sky Lagoon retains the enormous image window crystal clear, however the view is phenomenal.

Five to 10 minutes within the sauna is the utmost time beneficial for well being advantages, particularly for these new to warmth remedy. Sky Lagoon’s sauna is saved at 176° to 194° F (80° to 90° C).

4. Cold Mist

You will stroll by a chilly fog mist as you depart the sauna. Pause right here for a second to chill down your physique temperature earlier than shifting on to the subsequent step.

Salt scrubs at Sky Lagoon near Reykjavik in Iceland
Sky Body Scrub (Photo credit score: Colleen Lanin)

5. Body Scrub

After that, seize a dish of the Sky Body Scrub. Rub it into your pores and skin utilizing a round movement. Afterward, you may really feel silky easy and reinvigorated. Leave the mineral scrub on till the ultimate step.

6. Steam Room

Time to warmth issues up once more within the steam bathtub. Kept at a decrease temperature than the sauna, issues do get very steamy nonetheless at about 115° F (46° C). Steam bathing not solely relaxes sore muscle groups and can assist with coronary heart well being, but in addition it clears nasal and chest congestion from allergic reactions and opens your pores for higher skincare.

My friend, Kim Tate with Stuffed Suitcase, in the final step of Sky Lagoon's 7-Step Ritual
My buddy, Kim Tate with Stuffed Suitcase, within the last step of Sky Lagoon’s 7-Step Ritual (Photo credit score: Colleen Lanin)

7. Shower

Finally, finish the Sky Lagoon Seven-Step Treatment with a rinse in a bathe excellent for Goldy Locks — not too scorching and never too chilly. These are public group showers shared with males, girls, and youngsters so swimsuits keep in place, after all.

Once you’ve got accomplished the 7-Step circuit, get again within the lagoon for extra rest.

Friends I made at Blue Lagoon
Friends I made at Blue Lagoon (Photo credit score: Colleen Lanin)

Blue Lagoon’s Spa Offerings

Although Blue Lagoon felt extra like a public pool than a secluded spa expertise, it does current some noteworthy spa choices.

Facial Masks

Swim as much as the Mask Bar at Blue Lagoon to pick out your cleanser of selection, obtainable at no additional cost. The anti-aging algae masks is formulated to nourish, moisturize, and provides pores and skin a wholesome glow. Meanwhile, the silica mud masks offers a deeper clear to clear pores and skin of impurities. You can even purchase Blue Lagoon facial care merchandise on the onsite retailer or on-line.

Blue Lagoon facial product
Blue Lagoon facial merchandise (Photo credit score: Blue Lagoon Iceland)

Steam Room and Sauna

Look for a steam room and sauna within the many inlets at Blue Lagoon. And let me know when you discover them! They are usually not marked on Blue Lagoon’s map and I wasn’t profitable however I did not look very exhausting, both.

In studying different Blue Lagoon opinions, nevertheless, the consensus appears to be that the steam room and sauna are very small for a facility this measurement. Only eight persons are allowed in both house at one time. Plus, with a relentless inflow and outflow of bathers, chilly air enters the steam room and sauna, disallowing a really heated expertise.

Sauna at Blue Lagoon
Sauna at Blue Lagoon (Photo credit score: Blue Lagoon Iceland)

Paid Spa Treatments

Up your Blue Lagoon sport with a spa remedy for an extra payment. Book a soothing, in-water therapeutic massage for 30, 60, or 90 minutes. Guided solo, {couples}, and group weightless float remedy periods can be found, too. If you’d desire a land-based possibility, then make reservations on the Blue Lagoon’s Retreat Spa for a standard pores and skin remedy or therapeutic massage session.

Swim-up bar at Blue Lagoon
Swim-up bar at Blue Lagoon (Photo credit score: Blue Lagoon Iceland)

Swim-Up Bar at Sky Lagoon vs. Blue Lagoon

Both of those well-known geothermal lagoons serve a complimentary drink from a swim-up bar with the acquisition of normal admission.

A glass of bubbly rosé at Sky Lagoon
A plastic glass of bubbly rosé at Sky Lagoon (Photo credit score: Colleen Lanin)

Lagoon Bar at Sky Lagoon

Sky Lagoon’s swim-up bar is aptly named Lagoon Bar. Those in search of alcoholic libations can choose from beers, cider, white and rosé wines, glowing wines, and cocktails. As a wine drinker, I appreciated that Sky Lagoon serves its bubbly in plastic flutes and its wine in stemmed plastic glasses.

Teetotalers select from sodas, juices, a non-alcoholic beer, and a caffeinated Icelandic beverage known as Collab, which incorporates collagen.

Glass of wine at Blue Lagoon
Plastic glass of wine at Blue Lagoon (Photo credit score: Colleen Lanin)

In-Water Bar at Blue Lagoon

Toast your success at Blue Lagoon’s In-Water Bar with a glass of beer, cider, purple or white wine, or glowing wine (together with a strawberry-flavored fizzer).

Blue Lagoon presents fewer drink choices containing alcohol than Sky Lagoon however makes up for it with an array of zero-proof drinks. Expect a number of fruit smoothies, just like the Green Is Good made with banana, mango, spinach, ginger, and orange juice. You can even order a raspberry or cherry slushy, Gatorade, or soda pop.

Bowl of butternut squash soup at Sky Lagoon's Sky Café
Bowl of butternut squash soup with sourdough bread at Sky Lagoon’s Sky Café (Photo credit score: Colleen Lanin)

Dining Options at Sky Lagoon

Sky Lagoon focuses on serving recent, easy however hearty Icelandic delicacies at a pair of eateries. The sit-down Smakk Bar restaurant is situated in the identical space because the counter service Sky Café, with a roaring hearth within the heart of the 2. If you’re a much less adventurous eater, then Sky Café in all probability makes the only option.

Sky Café

Fresh-baked bread, bagels, and pastries are delivered to Sky Café each day from Sandholt, one in every of Iceland’s oldest and most beloved bakeries. Quite a lot of espresso drinks right here will perk up any diner. Order easy meals like each day soup, toasted sandwiches, and granola, too.

Icelandic charcuterie board at Sky Lagoon's Smakk Bar with cheeses, sourdough bread, smoked salmon, reindeer meat, and blueberry Happy Marriage Cake
Icelandic charcuterie board at Sky Lagoon’s Smakk Bar (Photo credit score: Colleen Lanin)

Smakk Bar

Order Icelandic charcuterie-style platters from Smakk Bar, meant for sharing. The Sky Platter presents a little bit of every part: native blue cheese, Icelandic gruyere, wild goose pâté with purple onion jam, and cured reindeer meat. Also on the platter, Gravlax is a candy and salty cured salmon, beloved by Icelanders. I most popular the Happy Marriage Cake, made with rhubarb, blueberries, or different seasonal fruit.

Blue Lagoon view at Lava Restaurant
Blue Lagoon view at Lava Restaurant (Photo credit score: Blue Lagoon Iceland)

Restaurants at Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon has informal in addition to fine-dining venues with improbable views of the steamy swimming pools. There are usually not one, not two, however 4 completely different locations to eat at Blue Lagoon Iceland.

Open-face traditional smørrebrød sandwiches at Blue Café at Blue Lagoon Iceland
Open-face conventional smørrebrød sandwiches at Blue Café (Photo credit score: Blue Lagoon Iceland)

Blue Café

Grab a fast chew to eat on the Blue Café. Think easy sandwiches, soups, and snacks. This is probably the most inexpensive and informal eatery at Blue Lagoon.

Simple, elegant fare at the Spa Restaurant at Blue Lagoon
Simple, elegant fare on the Spa Restaurant (Photo credit score: Blue Lagoon Iceland)

Spa Restaurant

Specifically for company of the Retreat Spa, diners could eat in spa robes or totally clothed on the Spa Restaurant. Advanced reservations are usually not mandatory. Expect easy however elegant gadgets on the menu like burrata with gazpacho, rooster Caesar salad, sushi, and three sorts of caviar.

Lobster bisque, bread, and wine at Lava Restaurant
My dinner of Langoustine Soup, bread, and wine at Lava Restaurant (Photo credit score: Colleen Lanin)

Lava Restaurant

Reservations are beneficial at Lava Restaurant, particularly if you’d like a desk subsequent to the floor-to-ceiling home windows with enviable views of the Blue Lagoon’s azure water. Give it a shot even when you did not plan prematurely. I used to be stunned to be seated straight away within the bar space for an early dinner after I inquired if any tables have been obtainable.

Menu gadgets range from their signature Icelandic Cod to Lamb Filet served with rutabaga, carrot, and mushroom sauce. Vegan dishes can be found, too. Kids aged 12 and youthful could order from a kids’s menu. To benefit from the stunning views with out breaking the financial institution, I like to recommend ordering the Langoustine Soup from the Starters Menu for spoonfuls of velvety decadence served with hearty brown bread and butter.

Michelin-starred dining at Moss Restaurant
Michelin-starred eating at Moss Restaurant (Photo credit score: Blue Lagoon Iceland)

Moss Restaurant

For a memorable splurge, make reservations at Moss Restaurant on the Blue Lagoon. It’s one of many few eating places within the nation that has been awarded a Michelin star for its high quality menu and persistently excessive requirements. It’s open for dinner solely, Wednesday by Sunday.

Michelin Guide says, “The tasting menu (also available in vegan form) showcases the best of Iceland’s produce in a series of exacting and visually stunning dishes. The moss-covered rocks and lava fields visible outside add to the character and atmosphere, whilst a chef’s table is available if you want to watch the team in action.”

Sky Lagoon's setting near Reykjavik
Sky Lagoon’s setting close to Reykjavik (Photo credit score: Sky Lagoon by Pursuit)

Geothermal Lagoon Locations

Although there isn’t any Uber or Lyft in Iceland, you possibly can take a rental automotive or taxi to Sky Lagoon or Blue Lagoon. Your resort can assist prepare transportation, or you possibly can obtain the Hreyfill app to name a taxi utilizing your smartphone.

Sky Lagoon is lower than quarter-hour from downtown Reykjavik, making it handy for a day journey when staying in Iceland’s capital metropolis. Sky Lagoon presents prearranged shuttle service for an extra cost. Book Sky Lagoon admission with switch out of your Reykjavik resort with GetYourGuide.

Blue Lagoon in Grindavík near the international airport
Blue Lagoon in Grindavík close to Keflavik Airport (Photo credit score: Blue Lagoon Iceland)

Blue Lagoon is in Grindavík, near the Keflavík International Airport. About 45 minutes from Reykjavik, this location makes Blue Lagoon a good selection for a lengthy layover in Iceland or a cease earlier than your flight residence. There’s even an space to retailer baggage at Blue Lagoon for an extra payment. Reserve non-public roundtrip transfers for as much as 4 folks to and from the airport and/or your resort in Reykjavik with GetYourGuide.

Sky Lagoon view
View at Sky Lagoon (Photo credit score: Colleen Lanin)

Sky Lagoon Pricing

Sky Lagoon presents three main pricing packages starting from about $64 to $110 USD, all of which embody a free drink of selection. The luxurious package deal is Sky, which incorporates the Seven-Step Ritual and personal altering amenities. Pure is the most well-liked possibility, which additionally consists of the ritual together with a barely much less premium locker room. Most inexpensive is the Pure Lite Pass, which skips the signature ritual and would possibly work finest if you do not have a lot time to spend in Sky Lagoon’s water.

Blue Lagoon view
View at Blue Lagoon (Photo credit score: Colleen Lanin)

Blue Lagoon Pricing

Blue Lagoon additionally presents three completely different packages, however they vary from an affordable $67 to a whopping $589 USD. The Comfort Package consists of entrance, a mud masks, towel use, and one complimentary drink. Upgrade to Premium for $86 USD complete to get two extra mud face masks, the usage of a bathrobe, and a glass of glowing wine at Lava Restaurant.

If you are an actual baller, go for broke at Blue Lagoon with the Luxury: Retreat Spa package deal. The 5-hour expertise consists of entry to the Blue Lagoon, the non-public Retreat Lagoon, the Retreat Spa, the Retreat Restaurant, and eight subterranean areas. With this premium package deal, you may additionally obtain a drink of your selection, Blue Lagoon skincare facilities, and use of a personal altering room.

Blue Lagoon's Silica Hotel
Blue Lagoon’s Silica Hotel (Photo credit score: Blue Lagoon Iceland)

Hotels at Blue Lagoon

For an much more immersive expertise, you possibly can spend the night time at one in every of two Blue Lagoon motels. Silica Hotel is a 10-minute stroll from Blue Lagoon and has its personal non-public lagoon for in a single day company.

Blue Lagoon's Retreat Hotel
Blue Lagoon’s Retreat Hotel (Photo credit score: Blue Lagoon Iceland)

The 60-suite Retreat Hotel is probably the most luxurious possibility with entry to the non-public Retreat Lagoon and Retreat Spa. Also, take pleasure in included gourmand breakfast, Icelandic espresso time within the resort foyer, morning yoga, and a collection of Blue Lagoon skincare. Guests have to be age 12+.

Which is better Sky Lagoon or Blue Lagoon? Sky Lagoon!
My decide: Sky Lagoon! (Photo credit score: Colleen Lanin)

Which is best, Sky Lagoon or Blue Lagoon?

If you possibly can select just one geothermal pool in Iceland, I like to recommend Sky Lagoon for its elegant ambiance, stunning pure environment, 7-Step Ritual, gentler water, and handy location close to Reykjavik.

Book a Sky Lagoon package deal instantly or take pleasure in this luxurious geothermal bathtub expertise with different Icelandic wonders like a Golden Circle tour or volcano hike with our trusted supplier, GetYourGuide.

Blue Lagoon's lava field setting
Blue Lagoon’s lava subject setting (Photo credit score: tomasz_parys,

For those that have extra time to take in Iceland’s bathing tradition, nevertheless, I counsel reserving each. The milky blue heat water, lava subject setting, and scrumptious eating choices are one thing to behold at Blue Lagoon.

Buy your entrance ticket from Blue Lagoon or pair this playful geothermal pool with a Northern Lights tour or different thrilling sights in Iceland through GetYourGuide.

Winnipeg Nordic Spa in Canada
Winnipeg Nordic Spa in Canada (Photo credit score: Thermea Spa)

More Spas and Pools

If Iceland’s geothermal lagoons float your boat, then you definitely’ll love this assortment of the finest Nordic spas in Canada.

Cold plunge swimming pools, saunas, and dreamy remedies abound on this ranked listing of the finest spas in Scottsdale, Arizona.

For the final word in rest and self-discovery, learn my Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa evaluation. (Oprah’s favourite wellness resort!)

No matter the time of yr or climate exterior, your loved ones will love these unbelievable motels with indoor swimming pools all over the world.

Iceland's Sky Lagoon vs. Blue Lagoon

Save this Sky Lagoon vs. Blue Lagoon Analysis

Considering a visit to Iceland? Be certain to save lots of this comparability of the most well-liked Icelandic geothermal swimming pools. Just pin the picture above to Pinterest. Go forward and observe Travel Mamas on Pinterest when you’re at it!

Which of those geothermal swimming pools in Iceland would you want to go to: Sky Lagoon, Blue Lagoon, or each?

A Note from The Travel Mama: My Sky Lagoon expertise was hosted by Pursuit Collection, however I paid to go to Blue Lagoon myself. I didn’t obtain any financial compensation associated to this evaluation of Sky Lagoon vs. Blue Lagoon. Regardless of who’s paying, I at all times share the reality with readers. All opinions are mine.



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