Your Complete Guide to Iceland’s Sky Lagoon

May 11, 2022

Your Complete Guide to Iceland’s Sky Lagoon

May 11, 2022

On the outskirts of Reykjavik, Iceland’s Sky Lagoon is a luxurious, man-made thermal bath that juts out over the wild North Atlantic. Soaking in the warm water you can watch the waves crash beneath you and gaze out to the steely horizon, all while staying cosy warm. With dining options, luxury changing rooms and a full spa ritual, you can spend hours here. We offer various tours to Sky Lagoon Iceland, so you can combine a trip here with the Golden Circle, or a trip to see the Northern Lights. This is a handy guide so you know exactly what to expect when you arrive at Iceland’s newest geothermal pool.

What is the Sky Lagoon

Like the Blue Lagoon and Secret Lagoon that have long been woven into Iceland’s thermal bath tradition, the Sky Lagoon is a geothermal pool where folk flock to unwind and rejuvenate. The Sky Lagoon has the added bonus of a beautiful view over the North Atlantic Sea, particularly spectacular at sunset. It opened in 2021 and has fast become a favourite experience for locals and visitors alike. Although the pool itself is man-made, the striking cliffside location studded with grottos feels like you’re immersed in one of nature’s wonders. Plus, the geothermal heating of the water is all natural.

Facts About the Sky Lagoon

Location

You’ll find the Sky Lagoon in Kársnes Harbour, 7km from the centre of Reykjavik. Being so close to the heart of the capital makes a Sky Lagoon tour from Reykjavik super easy and convenient. You can be changing ready for a long soak in less than twenty minutes from your central hotel.

This lagoon is also Iceland’s only thermal infinity pool with an ocean view. Suspended above the Atlantic, you can watch dramatic storms brew on the horizon and admire the seamless transition between pool and sea.

History

Bathing in open hot pools has long been tradition in Iceland, going back centuries. Literature dating back as far as the 12th century references the Icelandic people enjoying the healing powers of warm, geothermal pools. Medieval Icelanders built geothermal pools for themselves, and this tradition remains to this day. The Sky Lagoon embraces this age-old past-time of bathing, alongside the ancient art of the sauna.

A 16th century story tells of people crawling into a hut built above a hot lava crack – the first sauna in Iceland. This inspired hot stones in turf huts with cool water on the fiery rocks creating the heat we know in saunas today. At the Sky Lagoon, the saunas are an ode to the turf-lined huts of old, and look a little like hobbit homes.

Enjoying a warm soak is still at the core of contemporary Icelandic culture and community. People gather in pools to exercise, gossip, relax and reconnect with one another.

Geothermal Water and Healing Power

The geothermal water that simmers beneath Iceland’s landscape often finds its way to the surface. Coming from deep beneath the earth, this water is naturally rich with minerals. The Sky Lagoon contains detoxifying minerals which have been proven to help with skin conditions. Simply soaking is good for the skin, but you can also pair a soak with a signature face scrub for fresh, glowing skin.

Soaking in hot water is known to block pain receptors in bones and muscles, so an unwinding soak in the lagoon can offer some relief from back and muscle pain. That’s not to mention the mental wellness benefits of simply cutting off from the modern world and unwinding for a few hours, with nothing but a view of sea and sky before you.

Swimming in the Sky Lagoon

Wherever you are in the Sky Lagoon, you’re always able to touch the bottom, so it’s not like a swimming pool. The lagoon is designed for soaking, floating and relaxing. Although you might perform a couple of breast-strokes to drift from one end of the lagoon to the other, swimming is generally not possible. You’re here to relax and the only place you want to work up a sweat is the sauna.

Temperature

The lagoon’s temperature usually sits between 38–40°C (100–104° F). But, perched on an exposed section of coast, sometimes the Icelandic weather can have an effect on the temperature. It rarely dips below 38 degrees though, so even when it's blizzarding snow on your head, the water itself remains hot-tub-warm and cosy.

Skincare

During your visit to the Sky Lagoon, you might want to indulge in a face scrub made naturally from the minerals of the landscape. You can take this home with you as well by visiting the Shop at Sky Lagoon and browsing their unique range of skincare products. So even after you’ve left the Sky Lagoon, you can continue to reap the benefits of the mineral-rich water.

The Sky Lagoon Experience

Skyl 2

What to bring

Swimwear is required to enter the water at the Sky Lagoon, though you can hire a bathing suit if you forget to bring your own. Towels and dressing gowns can also be rented. If it’s a very cold day you could benefit from wearing a hat in the water.

There are a couple of dining options so there’s no need to pack a lunch. Lockers are available for your valuables and you’ll be given a wristband connected to your credit card so you can pay for drinks and extras without worrying. There are also hairdryers to get rid of wet hair, post-soak.

Facilities

Set up as a state-of-the-art spa experience, there are plenty of facilities at the Sky Lagoon. Luxurious changing rooms have plenty of locker space for valuables and there are showers for before and after the lagoon. There’s the option to upgrade to private changing facilities too. The lagoon itself consists of a hot pool, sauna and cold glacial pool.

If you want to kick it up a notch, you can order a glass of bubbly from the bar to enjoy, perhaps while watching one of the breathtaking sunsets over the ocean. The in-water bar also sells beer and soft drinks to enjoy from the warmth of the water. There are a couple of dining options should you get hungry too.

The Ritual

Skyl 4

The seven step Sky Lagoon ‘Ritual’ is embedded in Icelandic bathing tradition and involves a mix of soothing geothermal soaking, sauna, scrubbing and plunging into the cold water of a glacial pool. Embracing the seven-step ritual looks at little like this:

  1. Slip into the bath-warm waters of the Sky Lagoon for a long soak.
  2. Once you’ve warmed up, plunge into the cold water of the glacial pool, which rejuvenates and the shock gives you a natural high.
  3. Warm up again by spending around ten minutes in the sauna, opening up the pores and letting the toxins out.
  4. Time to cool down again with a walk through the Sky Lagoon’s fog-mist area, taking a deep breath as you go.
  5. Exfoliate and cleanse your skin with the Sky Lagoon’s Sky Body Scrub.
  6. Head to the steam bath which opens up the pores to really get the benefit of the Sky Body Scrub.
  7. Finally, unwind beneath a warm shower to complete the ritual.

How long to stay

Generally, most people stay at the Sky Lagoon between 1.5 and 3 hours. Though you can stay as long as 5 hours if you want to enjoy a long, leisurely meal as well. It’s the perfect treat at the end of a day sightseeing, as a long soak in hot water tends to let you drift off to a sound sleep at night. If you are bathing for a long time, remember to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water after.

Best time to Visit the Sky Lagoon

Skyl 3

The Sky Lagoon is open year-round. While visiting in summer means you can take advantage of long, light evenings when the sun never sets, there’s something magical about sitting in the warmth of a geothermal bath as snow falls around you in winter. It’s also possible to bathe as the Northern Lights put on a spectacular show above you during the darker nights, from September to April.

Depending on the season, the opening hours of the Sky Lagoon vary. In the peak of summer you see the longest opening hours from 8am to 11pm, and in winter the lagoon still stays open until 10pm so there’s a chance to spot the Northern Lights as you bathe. It’s worth noting that sunsets are particularly spectacular from the Sky Lagoon, as the sky streaks deep, burning orange above the wild Atlantic Ocean below, so timing your visit with sunset is a good idea. To help you plan your trip to the Sky Lagoon, the exact opening hours are as follows:

September 1 – May 31

Monday – Thursday: 12 PM – 10 PM

Friday: 12 PM – 11 PM

Saturday: 10 AM – 11 PM

Sunday: 11 AM – 10 PM

June 1 – June 16

Open daily: 11 AM – 11 PM

June 17 – August 14

Open daily: 8 AM – 11 PM

August 15 – August 31

Open daily: 11 AM – 11 PM

Northern Lights at the Sky Lagoon

As we’ve mentioned, on a clear night between September and April, it’s possible to spot the Northern Lights as you soak in the Sky Lagoon. The lagoon’s position over the Atlantic Ocean makes the dancing lights even more a spectacle as they reflect in the water. Reykjavik Excursions also offer a tour combining a visit to the Sky Lagoon with a hunt for the Northern Lights.

Eating at the Sky Lagoon

There are two dining options at the Sky Lagoon. The first is the Sky Cafe, where rustic and simple food is on offer to refuel you after a long, blissful soak. Sandwiches, warming soups and dill-infused smoked salmon are all on the menu for a quick bite to eat.

If you want to elevate your dining experience, head to Smakk Bar, which offers a culinary journey across Iceland’s landscape. Five unique tasting platters are served on black slate and piled high with a selection of local cheese, cured meats and fresh bread.

How to Get to the Sky Lagoon

Skyl

Found 7km outside of Reykjavik, the Sky Lagoon is one of the easiest geothermal pools to reach from the city centre. Sky Lagoon transfers are offered by Reykjavik Excursions, leaving from your local bus stop or the BSI bus station and taking around ten to fifteen minutes to get there. Admission is included, taking all the hassle out of your trip.

It’s also possible to cycle or even walk to the Sky Lagoon from the centre of Reykjavik (if you don’t mind a long walk, at one hour and fifteen minutes, that is) – from Hlemmur square take Rauðarárstígur for 5.9km, then take Suðurhlíð and head to Vesturvör for the final 0.1km.

Do I need a reservation?

We do advise that you book Sky Lagoon tickets in advance, as it’s one of Iceland’s most popular sights. You can buy admission at the door, but simply showing up without a pre-booked ticket could mean missing out. Reykjavik Excursion sell a few admissions options online, so you can book a Pure Pass in advance or perhaps a Sky Pass if you want private changing rooms.

Combining the Sky Lagoon with other experiences

A long, hot soak in the Sky Lagoon is the perfect tonic to a day sightseeing in Iceland and can easily be combined with another tour to make the most of short trips to the country. Why not end a day touring the thundering waterfalls and dramatic geysers of the Golden Circle with a long, hot soak? The Golden Circle and Sky Lagoon tour tops off a day seeing Iceland’s highlights with admission to the lagoon. Or, begin a trip to spot the Northern lights with a dip in the Sky Lagoon. The Sky Lagoon and adventurous Northen Lights hunt takes you from the heart of Reykjavik, away from the city lights to indulge in the seven-step Ritual before hunting for the Northern Lights in the deep darkness.

So there you have it; the ultimate guide to the Sky Lagoon. Whether you want to soak away your troubles with a stunning sea view, catch the sunset over the wild Atlantic while you bathe, rejuvenate your mind and body with the seven-step Ritual, or watch from the heat of a geothermal pool as the Northern Lights dance above, the Sky Lagoon is a sight that shouldn’t be missed. It may be newly opened in 2021, but the Sky Lagoon is fast becoming a favourite spot to indulge in the traditional Icelandic bathing culture, so book your transfer and admission to the Sky Lagoon with Reykjavik Excursions to make sure you don’t miss out.

REYKJAVIK EXCURSIONS BLOG

Get inspired! Information and tips and must see places in Iceland, fun facts, customs and more.

Your Ultimate Guide to the Golden Circle in Iceland

Imagine majestic waterfalls, thrilling Nordic history, and some of the world’s most unique geological wonders. Inspired? Then it’s time to launch your adventure to Iceland’s Golden Circle.

Read Blog

Your Complete Guide to Iceland’s Sky Lagoon

May 11, 2022

Your Complete Guide to Iceland’s Sky Lagoon

May 11, 2022

On the outskirts of Reykjavik, Iceland’s Sky Lagoon is a luxurious, man-made thermal bath that juts out over the wild North Atlantic. Soaking in the warm water you can watch the waves crash beneath you and gaze out to the steely horizon, all while staying cosy warm. With dining options, luxury changing rooms and a full spa ritual, you can spend hours here. We offer various tours to Sky Lagoon Iceland, so you can combine a trip here with the Golden Circle, or a trip to see the Northern Lights. This is a handy guide so you know exactly what to expect when you arrive at Iceland’s newest geothermal pool.

What is the Sky Lagoon

Like the Blue Lagoon and Secret Lagoon that have long been woven into Iceland’s thermal bath tradition, the Sky Lagoon is a geothermal pool where folk flock to unwind and rejuvenate. The Sky Lagoon has the added bonus of a beautiful view over the North Atlantic Sea, particularly spectacular at sunset. It opened in 2021 and has fast become a favourite experience for locals and visitors alike. Although the pool itself is man-made, the striking cliffside location studded with grottos feels like you’re immersed in one of nature’s wonders. Plus, the geothermal heating of the water is all natural.

Facts About the Sky Lagoon

Location

You’ll find the Sky Lagoon in Kársnes Harbour, 7km from the centre of Reykjavik. Being so close to the heart of the capital makes a Sky Lagoon tour from Reykjavik super easy and convenient. You can be changing ready for a long soak in less than twenty minutes from your central hotel.

This lagoon is also Iceland’s only thermal infinity pool with an ocean view. Suspended above the Atlantic, you can watch dramatic storms brew on the horizon and admire the seamless transition between pool and sea.

History

Bathing in open hot pools has long been tradition in Iceland, going back centuries. Literature dating back as far as the 12th century references the Icelandic people enjoying the healing powers of warm, geothermal pools. Medieval Icelanders built geothermal pools for themselves, and this tradition remains to this day. The Sky Lagoon embraces this age-old past-time of bathing, alongside the ancient art of the sauna.

A 16th century story tells of people crawling into a hut built above a hot lava crack – the first sauna in Iceland. This inspired hot stones in turf huts with cool water on the fiery rocks creating the heat we know in saunas today. At the Sky Lagoon, the saunas are an ode to the turf-lined huts of old, and look a little like hobbit homes.

Enjoying a warm soak is still at the core of contemporary Icelandic culture and community. People gather in pools to exercise, gossip, relax and reconnect with one another.

Geothermal Water and Healing Power

The geothermal water that simmers beneath Iceland’s landscape often finds its way to the surface. Coming from deep beneath the earth, this water is naturally rich with minerals. The Sky Lagoon contains detoxifying minerals which have been proven to help with skin conditions. Simply soaking is good for the skin, but you can also pair a soak with a signature face scrub for fresh, glowing skin.

Soaking in hot water is known to block pain receptors in bones and muscles, so an unwinding soak in the lagoon can offer some relief from back and muscle pain. That’s not to mention the mental wellness benefits of simply cutting off from the modern world and unwinding for a few hours, with nothing but a view of sea and sky before you.

Swimming in the Sky Lagoon

Wherever you are in the Sky Lagoon, you’re always able to touch the bottom, so it’s not like a swimming pool. The lagoon is designed for soaking, floating and relaxing. Although you might perform a couple of breast-strokes to drift from one end of the lagoon to the other, swimming is generally not possible. You’re here to relax and the only place you want to work up a sweat is the sauna.

Temperature

The lagoon’s temperature usually sits between 38–40°C (100–104° F). But, perched on an exposed section of coast, sometimes the Icelandic weather can have an effect on the temperature. It rarely dips below 38 degrees though, so even when it's blizzarding snow on your head, the water itself remains hot-tub-warm and cosy.

Skincare

During your visit to the Sky Lagoon, you might want to indulge in a face scrub made naturally from the minerals of the landscape. You can take this home with you as well by visiting the Shop at Sky Lagoon and browsing their unique range of skincare products. So even after you’ve left the Sky Lagoon, you can continue to reap the benefits of the mineral-rich water.

The Sky Lagoon Experience

Skyl 2

What to bring

Swimwear is required to enter the water at the Sky Lagoon, though you can hire a bathing suit if you forget to bring your own. Towels and dressing gowns can also be rented. If it’s a very cold day you could benefit from wearing a hat in the water.

There are a couple of dining options so there’s no need to pack a lunch. Lockers are available for your valuables and you’ll be given a wristband connected to your credit card so you can pay for drinks and extras without worrying. There are also hairdryers to get rid of wet hair, post-soak.

Facilities

Set up as a state-of-the-art spa experience, there are plenty of facilities at the Sky Lagoon. Luxurious changing rooms have plenty of locker space for valuables and there are showers for before and after the lagoon. There’s the option to upgrade to private changing facilities too. The lagoon itself consists of a hot pool, sauna and cold glacial pool.

If you want to kick it up a notch, you can order a glass of bubbly from the bar to enjoy, perhaps while watching one of the breathtaking sunsets over the ocean. The in-water bar also sells beer and soft drinks to enjoy from the warmth of the water. There are a couple of dining options should you get hungry too.

The Ritual

Skyl 4

The seven step Sky Lagoon ‘Ritual’ is embedded in Icelandic bathing tradition and involves a mix of soothing geothermal soaking, sauna, scrubbing and plunging into the cold water of a glacial pool. Embracing the seven-step ritual looks at little like this:

  1. Slip into the bath-warm waters of the Sky Lagoon for a long soak.
  2. Once you’ve warmed up, plunge into the cold water of the glacial pool, which rejuvenates and the shock gives you a natural high.
  3. Warm up again by spending around ten minutes in the sauna, opening up the pores and letting the toxins out.
  4. Time to cool down again with a walk through the Sky Lagoon’s fog-mist area, taking a deep breath as you go.
  5. Exfoliate and cleanse your skin with the Sky Lagoon’s Sky Body Scrub.
  6. Head to the steam bath which opens up the pores to really get the benefit of the Sky Body Scrub.
  7. Finally, unwind beneath a warm shower to complete the ritual.

How long to stay

Generally, most people stay at the Sky Lagoon between 1.5 and 3 hours. Though you can stay as long as 5 hours if you want to enjoy a long, leisurely meal as well. It’s the perfect treat at the end of a day sightseeing, as a long soak in hot water tends to let you drift off to a sound sleep at night. If you are bathing for a long time, remember to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water after.

Best time to Visit the Sky Lagoon

Skyl 3

The Sky Lagoon is open year-round. While visiting in summer means you can take advantage of long, light evenings when the sun never sets, there’s something magical about sitting in the warmth of a geothermal bath as snow falls around you in winter. It’s also possible to bathe as the Northern Lights put on a spectacular show above you during the darker nights, from September to April.

Depending on the season, the opening hours of the Sky Lagoon vary. In the peak of summer you see the longest opening hours from 8am to 11pm, and in winter the lagoon still stays open until 10pm so there’s a chance to spot the Northern Lights as you bathe. It’s worth noting that sunsets are particularly spectacular from the Sky Lagoon, as the sky streaks deep, burning orange above the wild Atlantic Ocean below, so timing your visit with sunset is a good idea. To help you plan your trip to the Sky Lagoon, the exact opening hours are as follows:

September 1 – May 31

Monday – Thursday: 12 PM – 10 PM

Friday: 12 PM – 11 PM

Saturday: 10 AM – 11 PM

Sunday: 11 AM – 10 PM

June 1 – June 16

Open daily: 11 AM – 11 PM

June 17 – August 14

Open daily: 8 AM – 11 PM

August 15 – August 31

Open daily: 11 AM – 11 PM

Northern Lights at the Sky Lagoon

As we’ve mentioned, on a clear night between September and April, it’s possible to spot the Northern Lights as you soak in the Sky Lagoon. The lagoon’s position over the Atlantic Ocean makes the dancing lights even more a spectacle as they reflect in the water. Reykjavik Excursions also offer a tour combining a visit to the Sky Lagoon with a hunt for the Northern Lights.

Eating at the Sky Lagoon

There are two dining options at the Sky Lagoon. The first is the Sky Cafe, where rustic and simple food is on offer to refuel you after a long, blissful soak. Sandwiches, warming soups and dill-infused smoked salmon are all on the menu for a quick bite to eat.

If you want to elevate your dining experience, head to Smakk Bar, which offers a culinary journey across Iceland’s landscape. Five unique tasting platters are served on black slate and piled high with a selection of local cheese, cured meats and fresh bread.

How to Get to the Sky Lagoon

Skyl

Found 7km outside of Reykjavik, the Sky Lagoon is one of the easiest geothermal pools to reach from the city centre. Sky Lagoon transfers are offered by Reykjavik Excursions, leaving from your local bus stop or the BSI bus station and taking around ten to fifteen minutes to get there. Admission is included, taking all the hassle out of your trip.

It’s also possible to cycle or even walk to the Sky Lagoon from the centre of Reykjavik (if you don’t mind a long walk, at one hour and fifteen minutes, that is) – from Hlemmur square take Rauðarárstígur for 5.9km, then take Suðurhlíð and head to Vesturvör for the final 0.1km.

Do I need a reservation?

We do advise that you book Sky Lagoon tickets in advance, as it’s one of Iceland’s most popular sights. You can buy admission at the door, but simply showing up without a pre-booked ticket could mean missing out. Reykjavik Excursion sell a few admissions options online, so you can book a Pure Pass in advance or perhaps a Sky Pass if you want private changing rooms.

Combining the Sky Lagoon with other experiences

A long, hot soak in the Sky Lagoon is the perfect tonic to a day sightseeing in Iceland and can easily be combined with another tour to make the most of short trips to the country. Why not end a day touring the thundering waterfalls and dramatic geysers of the Golden Circle with a long, hot soak? The Golden Circle and Sky Lagoon tour tops off a day seeing Iceland’s highlights with admission to the lagoon. Or, begin a trip to spot the Northern lights with a dip in the Sky Lagoon. The Sky Lagoon and adventurous Northen Lights hunt takes you from the heart of Reykjavik, away from the city lights to indulge in the seven-step Ritual before hunting for the Northern Lights in the deep darkness.

So there you have it; the ultimate guide to the Sky Lagoon. Whether you want to soak away your troubles with a stunning sea view, catch the sunset over the wild Atlantic while you bathe, rejuvenate your mind and body with the seven-step Ritual, or watch from the heat of a geothermal pool as the Northern Lights dance above, the Sky Lagoon is a sight that shouldn’t be missed. It may be newly opened in 2021, but the Sky Lagoon is fast becoming a favourite spot to indulge in the traditional Icelandic bathing culture, so book your transfer and admission to the Sky Lagoon with Reykjavik Excursions to make sure you don’t miss out.

REYKJAVIK EXCURSIONS BLOG

Get inspired! Information and tips and must see places in Iceland, fun facts, customs and more.

Your Ultimate Guide to the Golden Circle in Iceland

Imagine majestic waterfalls, thrilling Nordic history, and some of the world’s most unique geological wonders. Inspired? Then it’s time to launch your adventure to Iceland’s Golden Circle.

Read Blog