Hi everyone. Here’s my honest review of Sky Lagoon in Reykjavic, including some know before you go facts and extra info for plus sized visitors, like myself.
So, if you’re researching a trip to Iceland, you will have come across those beautiful Instagram pictures of steaming waters, sea views, champagne being sipped – maybe even the Aurora overhead?
I certainly did, I watched the YouTube videos comparing Sky Lagoon with the Blue Lagoon and tried to figure out which one to visit – could we fit in both?
My thought process was this, Sky Lagoon is relatively new in comparison to the Blue Lagoon, and everyone goes to the Blue Lagoon when they go to Iceland. We decided that we didn’t have time to do both, and also logistically, Sky Lagoon is only a 10 minute drive from Reykjavic, Blue Lagoon is 45 minutes. There’s no easy direct public transport, self driving in Iceland in January (when we visited) is not something I’d ever do… (There will be a Youtube video covering showing why shortly), but there is a shuttle service – not free though, like most things in Iceland.
We decided to go with the easier transport option and booked the shuttle at an additional cost.
Something to note is that when you book a shuttle transfer in Iceland, it’s not necessarily a direct transfer. For example, we waited an hour for an airport transfer at the airport, then expected the coach to take us straight to the hotel. Not so. Most transfers will take you to the central bus station, where you will change to another minibus or coach to take you to your final destination. The shuttle to Sky Lagoon does exactly this. Pick up at closest bus stop to your hotel, and then onwards to the bus station to change buses to get to Sky Lagoon itself.
It’s location seems a little odd, a very residential area, until there it is finally, a darkly decorated, darkly lit super stylish space, that’s so cool, it’s difficult to even find your way in!
On arrival, you almost check in like a hotel. We had made an advance reservation and of course if you arrive with a shuttle bus full of people, my top tip is to try and get towards the front of that party. We had issues with scanning bank cards which need to be linked to your wristband which you use to pay for food and drinks. Even with just a few people ahead of us, all you need is a larger family group in front of you and it starts to eat into your precious and lets face it, pretty expensive time in the water.
We had chosen the package that includes private luxury changing rooms, and the 7 step ritual.The luxury changing rooms were certainly a cut above your average swimming pool changing areas. Private shower, luxurious toiletries, plenty of space to change, and lockers right outside operated using your wristband.
It is customary to shower sans bathing suit prior to bathing in Iceland’s geothermal pools, and my understanding is that these showers are communal in nature (although gender segregated) so something to consider before you go. There is quite a price differential for this, so think about whether a more private experience is worth it for you. I’d certainly recommend it.
Everywhere is well heated, so you’re not remotely cold, plenty of towels are provided with open racks to store them when you enter the water. The water is super hot near the entrance to the point of being just a stones throw away from unbearable, but within seconds it’s just aaaahhhhhh………and relax.
The landscape is like another planet, as is all of Iceland really. Hewn from black basalt cliffs and large rocks is a small bay, sitting within the wider natural bay, allowing for you to be sheltered from all but Icelands worst weather. There’s a waterfall to the right that you can go underneath, and the views from the edge of the infinity pool to the volcano beyond are really stunning. If it snows at the same time, well that just adds to the magic.
It was -4 on the day we visited, with wind chill taking it to -9 and I was never anything other than toasty, freezing plunge pool and cooling mist showers aside….
The 7 step ritual was fun, but it didn’t add much to the experience for me. My idea of fun isn’t to be cold in a variety of different inventive ways, nor to sit in a sauna with a breathtaking view with fully steamed up glasses. Yes, some of us need glasses to see. Or not, as the case may be. The body scrub they give you is delightful though, and your skin feels amazing afterwards. I didn’t find the experiences easy to follow in the right order though, I’m sure we didn’t do everything in the sequence we were supposed to. Also the sauna and steam rooms were both rammed full of people, so don’t think you’ll be flying solo in there like Instagram would have you believe. Enjoyable though.
The lagoon itself is surprisingly spacious and you never felt crowded outside of the ritual experience itself. Very easy to relax in a quiet corner with a glass of fizz and count your lucky stars, and we did!
One other thing to mention, is there are a lot of influencers…. a lot…. We’re on holiday, you can take in your phones or cameras, so selfies of course are the order of the day. But so many people draped over rocks like mermaids, or hanging over the infinity pool edge pouting. Oh it’s just so hilarious, but great for people watching with your drink I can’t lie. I must thank them to some degree though, because without them, well, we wouldn’t know we needed to come would we – so for that I salute them.
One negative for me though, was the shuttle timings, which were every two hours, and you had to be ready for the shuttle outside the spa 10-15 mins prior to departure time. So you had 2 choices, rush your spa time, feel like you’re on a time trial to get changed and make it on time for the next shuttle, or wait for the subsequent one, meaning 4 hours in the spa. Perhaps this is engineered to make you eat in the cafe or restaurant before departure, but 4 hours in that hot water is just too long, and 2 is just not quite enough. Having a shuttle hourly, or every 3 hours, would allow for 2 hours in the spa, leisurely changing time and a coffee before departure.
Should add, 1 of the influencers was late for the shuttle, meaning we all had 20 minutes less spa time than we could have had as her husband had the driver hold the bus. Not cool guys!
For my plus sized lovelies, I can honestly say it was a really welcoming space. People of all ages and shapes and sizes were having a good time. Changing spaces were ample and comfortable and I couldn’t fault it. I would recommend leaving the makeup at home, scraping the hair back and protecting your ears from the cold if you’re visiting in negative temperatures. You want to be comfortable and relaxed, even if you’re not looking as cute in the photos. You can see that in my YouTube video here…. but hey, no frozen hair!
This isn’t a particularly cheap experience, but it is a memorable and enjoyable one.
Here’s a very rough cost comparison for you.
|Sky Lagoon Pure Lite Package icl shuttle||Public changing – no ritual||ISK 8990||USD 64||GBP 54|
|Sky Lagoon Pure Pass incl shuttle||Public changing – with ritual||ISK 11990||USD 85||GBP 71|
|Sky Lagoon Sky Pass incl shuttle||Private changing with ritual||ISK 15900||USD 113||GBP 94|
For me, I think it’s a shame there isn’t private changing but no ritual, that would be ideal for me.
Also the sparkling rose from the lagoon bar, per glass was 2290 ISK – roughly 16 USD or 13.50 GBP so budget for drinks also, although you have a 3 drink per person limit in the lagoon, managed by your wristbands.
Verdict – definitely do it, it was one of our highlights, and it’s the perfect way to relax after several days of hard-core sightseeing in the beautiful country of Iceland.
You can read my other Iceland blogs here, and I’ve one more to come soon on Iceland’s Southern Coast.
Here are my other Iceland YouTube videos.
Thanks for reading.