Planning a trip to Iceland and wondering which geothermal pool to visit? We got you covered! In this detailed guide on Sky Lagoon vs Blue Lagoon, we will share the ultimate showdown between the two popular pools in Iceland and will share our verdict – which one should you visit if you have limited time!
Blue Lagoon Iceland has been in existence since 1992 and has been dubbed one of the 25 wonders of the world! Many travelers to Iceland join the stopover program just to take a dip in the Blue Lagoon.
But with the opening of the newest Sky Lagoon, has definitely posed competition and confusion among first-time visitors to the country. So, let’s help you out!
Sky Lagoon vs Blue Lagoon: Which one should you visit
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Quick comparison Blue Lagoon vs Sky Lagoon
|One of the wonders of the world
|How was it found
|Accidentally found in 1974,
but found to have healing properties
|Near the airport
|Near the capital city
|Basic package does include
a mask, drink, and towel
|Basic package includes
entry only. Pay for drinks on arrival
|Open, stalls with doors,
|Private showers are cheaper
|Healing properties with therapies
|Unique 7 step ritual
|2 hotel options
|Many restaurant options
|1 restaurant and bar
|Size of the pool
|Observation area, hiking
|NA. Industrial area
|Children from 2 years +
|Children from 12 years +
|Milky blue waters
|Good to know
|Silica mud good for the skin
but bad for hair
|Open for longer hours
Similarities: What is the Sky Lagoon Iceland
Sky Lagoon is one of the newest geothermal pools in Iceland. It is located just a 15-minute drive from the capital city of Reykjavik on the Reykjanes Peninsula.
It boasts a stunning view of the surrounding mountains, as well as unique mineral-rich water and healing waters. The infinity pool is perfect for swimming and relaxing, with various amenities on-site such as an outdoor bar and restaurant, and a complete 7 step Icelandic ritual.
Read our detailed guide to Sky Lagoon with reviews
Similarities: What is the Blue Lagoon in Iceland
Blue Lagoon, on the other hand, is THE popular geothermal pool in Iceland, located close to Keflavik Airport. Its mineral-rich water is renowned for its healing properties and its blue hue is accentuated by the nearby lava formations.
There are sauna and steam areas at the Blue Lagoon, and a variety of amenities available on-site including bars, restaurants, massage treatments, and complimentary face masks.
The Blue Lagoon does take it up a notch, and offers luxurious accommodation, and intensive treatments not available anywhere else in Iceland!
Read our detailed guide on the Blue Lagoon
Sky Lagoon or Blue Lagoon: Detailed Guide
The Basics: Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is popular and is known as one of the wonders of the world. Every Iceland itinerary or stopover program will include the Blue Lagoon.
Blue Lagoon has beautiful blue waters, rich in minerals and healing properties. An Instagrammable shot of guests with a mud mask or walking to the bridge are popular and iconic images of Icelandic vacation!
- The Blue Lagoon opened its doors in 1992
- It is powered by the nearby Svartsengi geothermal power plant
On the other hand, the Sky Lagoon is newer. It is not as well-known as the Blue Lagoon (yet). It is also rich in soothing properties, and views of guests on the infinity pool edge and the sauna room are very popular on social media.
- The Sky Lagoon opened in 2021
- It is powered by the geothermal power
Verdict: Tie (Blue Lagoon is popular, Sky Lagoon is newer)
Note: Both lagoons are man-made and not natural
Which Lagoon is beautiful? Blue Lagoon or Sky Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is known for its milky blue waters, and that is its aesthetics. The charming bridges that go over the waters at certain points make the lagoon area very pleasing.
The sauna caves also add a beautiful contrast to the blue-ey waters as a backdrop.
The Sky Lagoon steps it up! The infinity edge of the lagoon gives a very out-of-the-world look – it is calming and also aesthetically pleasing. The sauna room with a large window is our favorite – it is just gorgeous.
Its water is clear, and the vibe is moody. The path to enter the waters and enjoy the spaces with stone structures (along with the steam and warmth) makes the Sky Lagoon very unique and beautiful.
The Sky Lagoon complex was designed keeping Icelandic traditions in mind. You will see turf houses, turf walls, and cold plunge pools.
Verdict: Sky Lagoon for its beautiful features
Pricing & Packages: Which is cheaper Blue Lagoon or Sky Lagoon
Both Blue and Sky Lagoons require an entry fee to enter the warm waters. You can visit both complexes to enjoy the cafe or buy products without an entry fee.
The Blue Lagoon offers 3 pricing levels or packages to choose from. The cost of the Blue Lagoon starts at 8490 ISK or $65 USD, which is the most affordable option (called the Comfort package).
Comfort package includes admission to Blue Lagoon, a silica mud mask, a towel, and a drink from the Lagoon Bar.
Here are the other 2 levels of packages available at the Blue Lagoon
The Sky Lagoon offers 3 pricing levels as well, and it is slightly cheaper to enter. The cost of the Sky Lagoon starts at 6990 ISK (or $54 USD approx.).
Called the Pure Lite Package, you will get access to the lagoon waters, public changing facilities, and a towel.
Here are the other 2 packages offered at the Sky Lagoon,
- Pure Lite Package (affordable): Sky Lagoon Admission, public changing facilities, towel
- Pure Package (with the 7 Step Ritual): Everything in Pure Lite, plus; one journey through the seven-step Ritual
- Sky Package (luxury with 7 Step Ritual + private change rooms): Everything in Pure, plus; private changing facilities with signature Sky Lagoon amenities
To enjoy all the lovely benefits of Sky Lagoon with the 7 Step Ritual, at least the Pure Package is a must. In this package, you will be able to all the benefits of the Pure Lite level plus enjoy a signature Sky body scrub, sauna and steam rooms, cold plunges, etc.
No drinks are included in any of the Sky Lagoon admission packages.
If your goal is to just soak in the waters and see what a geothermal pool looks like and if you will like it – then book the basic package with the Sky Lagoon as it is one of the cheapest options out there.
However, the best value for money award goes to Blue Lagoon as you do get a drink and a mud mask for a few extra bucks.
Blue Lagoon Admission
Silica mud mask
1st drink of choice from the lagoon bar
Sky Lagoon Admission
Public changing facilities
Everything in the Comfort package plus
Two additional masks of your choice
Use of bathrobe
1 glass of sparkling wine if dining at Lava restaurant
Everything in Pure Lite,
One journey through the seven-step Ritual
Everything in the Premium package,
Five luxurious hours at The Retreat Spa
A private changing suite
Unlimited access to both the Retreat Lagoon and the Blue Lagoon
Everything in Pure,
Private changing facilities with signature Sky Lagoon amenities
Verdict: Sky Lagoon for having the cheapest entry fee among the two
Location: Which is better from Reykjavik – Sky Lagoon vs Blue Lagoon
To effortlessly add a geothermal spa to your Iceland itinerary, consider your sightseeing agenda and accommodation.
- If you are keeping Reykjavik as a base in Iceland, then consider adding the Sky Lagoon to your itinerary. Reykjavik to Sky Lagoon is only a 15-minute drive away.
- If you are planning a stopover in Iceland, or do not have a set plan for accommodation then soaking in the Blue Lagoon on your way in or out of the country will be better. The Blue Lagoon is located a 10-15 minute drive away from the Keflavik International airport.
When road-tripping in Iceland, you do have the liberty to choose one or both of the geothermal spas in your itinerary.
If you are not renting a car, then consider paying for a transfer. There are a lot of well-established tour companies that offer transfers from the airport to Blue Lagoon and then to Reykjavik and vice versa.
- Transfer: Reykjavik to Blue Lagoon: Return Transfer (no entry tickets)
- You can also combine a transfer and Comfort package entry tickets here
You can also stop at Blue Lagoon when you book a Golden Circle day tour. Here is a Small-Group Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon tour
The Sky Lagoon also has a similar transfer option.
- Transfer: Sky Lagoon Pure Pass Admission with Transfer.
- Day tour: Day trip to Golden Circle and Sky Lagoon
Due to its location closer to Reykjavik, you can also ride a taxi to get to the Sky Lagoon! But the Blue Lagoon ride will be expensive from Reykavik as it is located about 40 minutes drive away.
Verdict: Sky Lagoon is closer to Reykjavik
Changing Facilities: Which is better Blue Lagoon or Sky Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon offers private changing rooms with the lux Retreat Spa Package.
At the Comfort and Premium package, you have access to public changing facilities – some shower stalls have a door and some don’t. Sinks, mirrors, etc. are all shared, and placed in a common area.
The Sky Lagoon offers a private changing room at the Sky Pass (luxury package).
Each room has ample space to organize and pull your stuff, and then take a shower behind closed doors.
You will have a hair dryer, towels, and mirror/sink all to yourself to change up and then head to the pool outside.
At the Pure Lite and Pure Pass levels of the Sky Lagoon, you will have access to public changing facilities, along with a towel.
Verdict: Sky Lagoon if you prefer a private changing room at a good price
Ritual & overall experience: Which is better Sky Lagoon or Blue Lagoon
As far as rituals go, the Sky Lagoon positions its 7-Step Ritual as its signature experience.
At the Pure Pass, one round of the 7-Step Ritual is offered. This is an Icelandic/Nordic tradition where you can enjoy a step-by-step ritual of warm and cold cycles, with a sauna, mud mask, steam, and shower.
On the other hand, the Blue Lagoon doesn’t have a set ritual. It is recommended that you shower before entering the thermal waters. Once in, you can enjoy a mud mask and a drink.
Verdict: Sky Lagoon
Accommodation options: Sky Lagoon vs Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon offers two accommodation options for an overnight stay on-site.
- Silica Hotel is designed for wellness and you can choose from 3 types of rooms for an amazing experience. They also offer a 2-person package with Retreat, tours, and dining options.
- Retreat Hotel offers breakfast and exclusive rooms with warm, minimalist spaces. You can choose from a Moss Suite (with a green view) or the Lagoon Suite (with access to a private mini Blue Lagoon right outside the doorstep).
The Sky Lagoon has no hotels or lodges on site.
Verdict: Blue Lagoon
Restaurants and cafes: Sky Lagoon vs Blue Lagoon
Both Blue and Sky Lagoon have restaurants onsite.
As far as the Blue Lagoon goes, there is a Lava Restaurant with stunning views of the waters. You can opt for traditional Icelandic cuisine that is made out of the freshest local ingredients.
If you opt for the Premium package at the Blue Lagoon, you can get a drink from the restaurant for free.
There is also a Cafe (with snacks and drinks with views), Moss Restaurant (premium menu + gorgeous views), and the Spa Restaurant (here you can dine in your robe or be fully clothed. No reservations are needed).
The Sky Lagoon, on the other hand, has a cafe – Sky Cafe, Smakk Bar (menu items made of fresh local ingredients), and a drinks bar.
From the Sky Lagoon restaurants, there is no view of the thermal waters/pool.
Verdict: Blue Lagoon for views and menu options
Size of the Lagoon: Sky Lagoon vs Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is larger as compared to the Sky Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon holds 9 million liters of geothermal seawater and covers an area of 8,700 square meters.
The Sky Lagoon, on the other hand, holds a smaller area.
Regardless of the pool size, as a guest, you won’t feel claustrophobic in either. Both geothermal pools are spacious to accommodate large groups and entry tickets are timed.
Water temperatures: The Blue Lagoon water temperature is between 37° and 40° C (98 and 104°F), and the Sky Lagoon stays between 38 and 40°C (or 100 to 104° F).
Verdict: Blue Lagoon is bigger. Experience wise it’s a tie
Blue Lagoon or Sky Lagoon at night: Which is better
As of 2023, the operating hours of the Blue Lagoon are as follows
- From January to May, the Blue Lagoon is open from 08:00 am to 09:00 pm. This gives you the opportunity to soak in the waters after a full day of sightseeing. Chances are that you will see the Northern Lights at the Lagoon during winter.
- In the summer months of June, July, and August, you can also enjoy the midnight sun as the lagoon is open from 07:00 am to 12:00 am.
The Sky Lagoon has shorter opening hours, and they run a varied schedule based on the season and the month. Typically in the summer months, they are open from 08:00 am to 11:00 pm.
Verdict: Blue Lagoon
Activities nearby: Sky Lagoon vs Blue Lagoon
Other than enjoying the geothermal waters, Blue Lagoon has intensive spa retreat options to choose from. You can also soak in views of the entire place from their second-level observation deck.
Right outside the Blue Lagoon entrance doors, you will find walking and hiking trails. You don’t need to buy a ticket to enjoy them.
Sky Lagoon doesn’t have any recreational trails, it is located in an industrial area.
Verdict: Blue Lagoon
Note that both Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon have a spacious parking lot and a Luggage Storage facility.
Minimum Age limits: Sky Lagoon vs Blue Lagoon
At the Blue Lagoon, children under the age of 2 years are not permitted. Children aged 8 and younger are required to wear floaties provided by the facility.
Children aged 13 years and younger are admitted free when accompanied by a parent or guardian.
At the Sky Lagoon, children under the age of 12 are not permitted. Children between the ages of 12–14 years are allowed and must be accompanied by a guardian (18 years or older).
- The minimum age for entering Blue Lagoon is 3 years
- The minimum age for entering Sky Lagoon is 12 years
Which is better for photography: Sky Lagoon or Blue Lagoon
Both Sky Lagoon and the Blue Lagoon are perfect photo spots in Iceland.
However, there are certain things you have to keep in mind in both locations,
- Due to the nature of the pool, using a DSLR may not be feasible
- A cell phone or a smaller camera would be better. Using a cell phone with a waterproof pouch or a mini tripod is a good idea
- Go Pro can be used in both location
I used the mini tripod to take photos with a self-timer, and videos. The tripod holds the camera tightly and you can leave it on the water benches and rocks and use it to frame yourself to take photos.
The Blue Lagoon has a generous area/embankment where you can use your expensive cameras and tripod (with permission) without getting into the waters.
Unfortunately, the Sky Lagoon has no such area.
You will be entering the waters as soon as you exit the changing rooms. There are no sunbeds or walking areas.
The Sky Lagoon pool is also not visible from the cafe or restaurant (but you can see the waters and pool of the Blue Lagoon from outside).
Note that photography in the changing rooms is not allowed for privacy reasons in both spas.
Verdict: Blue Lagoon
Good to know: Sky Lagoon vs Blue Lagoon
When planning your visit to a geothermal spa in Iceland, remember to pack a swimsuit, a wet bag, moisturizer, body cream (for use after bathing), and flip-flops.
The water and the silica mud although good for your skin, might damage your hair, so if you have long hair do tie a bun to protect it.
Which one to visit: Blue Lagoon or Sky Lagoon
Both the lagoons are beautiful and offer a great way to experience the geothermal waters of Iceland.
Of all the lagoons and spas in Iceland, the Sky Lagoon is definitely special. Personally, we liked it more than the popular Blue Lagoon.
The Sky Lagoon keeps it simple with 3 packages and decent operating hours but never disappoints in accommodating at any time of the year, without the crowds.
The entire Sky Lagoon complex from entering into the waters to soaking in the warm waters, and hanging out by the edge of the infinity pool is definitely mind-blowing.
This experience is hidden from the cafe or parking lot giving an out-of-the-planet experience – the space, although modern, was designed keeping the Icelandic traditions in mind.
The stunning views, the rock formations, the cold plunge, and the sauna room are just gorgeous and they won’t disappoint you!
Plus it is slightly easier to find a booking for Sky Lagoon to suit your schedule. Depending on the season, the Blue Lagoon might be booked out for days – so we recommend making a reservation ahead of time prior to your trip!
The location of Sky Lagoon near Reykjavik makes it perfect for a day trip from the capital city, rather than rushing when you are flying in and out of the country!
Other Travel Tips
Both the Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon are wonderful in their own ways. One is very popular and the other is new, and still getting its share of tourists.
Sky Lagoon is newer than Blue Lagoon, and this is one of the reasons it is not very crowded. The size of the pool is also slightly smaller as compared to the massive size of the Blue Lagoon.
Although not super crowded, we recommend visiting the Sky Lagoon in the morning or evening. Do reserve your spot online prior to your visit.
Both Blue Lagoon and the Sky Lagoon are geothermal pools in Iceland. Both are outdoor pools that consist of soothing waters, however, the Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon are not the same.
The Blue Lagoon is located near the Keflavik Airport, on the Reykjanes peninsula. On the other hand, the Sky Lagoon is only a 15-minute drive away from Reykjavik downtown.
More Iceland travel guides:
- 3 days in Iceland itinerary
- South Coast Iceland tours
- Silver Circle Iceland
- Best Reykjavik apartment hotels
- One day in Akureyri itinerary
- How to get from Reykjavik to Akureyri