Blue Lagoon vs Sky Lagoon: A Comparison of Iceland's Geothermal Wonders
Iceland, with its breathtaking landscapes and geothermal activity, is home to some of the world's most iconic natural wonders. Among these wonders are the Blue Lagoon and the Sky Lagoon, two geothermal spas that offer unique and rejuvenating experiences for visitors. In this article, we will delve into the details of both lagoons, comparing their locations, features, benefits, and more, so you can decide which one suits your preferences and travel plans.
Lagoon Locations: Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon, nestled on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland, is a world-renowned geothermal spa. Surrounded by a moss-speckled lava field near Grindavik, the Blue Lagoon offers a truly otherworldly experience. Its location is not only mesmerizing but also conveniently close to Keflavik Airport, making it an ideal stop for travelers arriving or departing from Iceland. With a short 20-kilometer distance from the airport, you can enjoy a relaxing soak before or after your flight.
On the other hand, the Sky Lagoon is located on the outskirts of Reykjavik, approximately 7 kilometers from the city center. Situated above the wild North Atlantic Sea, the Sky Lagoon offers stunning views of Iceland's rugged coastline and black lava rocks. Its close proximity to Reykjavik makes it easily accessible, allowing visitors to incorporate a visit to the lagoon into a day of sightseeing in the city.
When choosing between the Blue Lagoon and the Sky Lagoon based on location, consider whether you prefer a view of the ocean or the otherworldly lava fields that define Iceland's landscape. Additionally, if you're looking to combine your lagoon experience with an airport transfer, the Blue Lagoon's proximity to Keflavik Airport may be more convenient.
Facts About the Lagoons: Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon holds the title of Iceland's most famous geothermal spa, attracting millions of visitors each year. This man-made lagoon spans over 8,700 square meters and contains around 9 million liters of naturally heated water. Despite being man-made, the Blue Lagoon's milky-blue appearance is entirely natural, resulting from the presence of minerals like silica in the water. It's important to note that the water's color is not due to chemicals but rather the natural properties of the water itself.
Contrary to popular belief, the Blue Lagoon is not a natural spring. It was formed in the 1970s using run-off water from a nearby geothermal power plant. The water's temperature ranges from 37°C to 40°C (98°F to 104°F), creating a warm and soothing bathing experience. The Blue Lagoon's water is not only enjoyable but also offers potential therapeutic benefits, as visitors have reported improvements in skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
As for the Sky Lagoon, it is a newer addition to Iceland's geothermal spa scene, having opened its doors in 2021. Like the Blue Lagoon, the Sky Lagoon utilizes geothermal energy to heat its waters. The lagoon's temperature ranges from 38°C to 40°C (100°F to 104°F), providing visitors with a similarly warm and relaxing experience. The Sky Lagoon's design incorporates traditional Icelandic elements, such as turf-roofed huts and an emphasis on the sauna, paying homage to the country's bathing culture throughout history.
Geothermal Water: Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon
Iceland's geothermal water is renowned for its unique properties and numerous applications, from heating homes to powering entire communities. Both the Blue Lagoon and the Sky Lagoon utilize this geothermal water to create their invigorating bathing experiences.
The Blue Lagoon's water is sourced from a nearby geothermal power plant, where it is naturally heated and then directed into the lagoon. The water's temperature remains consistently warm throughout the year, providing a soothing environment for visitors to relax and unwind. It's important to note that the Blue Lagoon's water is free of harmful chemicals and is constantly renewed every 48 hours, ensuring a clean and safe bathing experience.
Similarly, the Sky Lagoon's water is heated using geothermal energy, maintaining a temperature that allows for a comfortable and enjoyable soak. However, the water initially sourced from deep within the earth is too hot for bathing, so it is mixed with cold water to reach the desired temperature. This careful balance ensures that visitors can fully immerse themselves in the warm waters of the Sky Lagoon without discomfort.
Benefits of the Lagoons: Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon
Visiting the Blue Lagoon or the Sky Lagoon offers more than just a relaxing soak in soothing geothermal waters. Both lagoons provide various benefits for the mind, body, and soul.
The Blue Lagoon's unique combination of fresh and saltwater, along with its rich mineral content, offers potential therapeutic effects for the skin. The silica-rich water can cleanse and strengthen the skin, while the presence of algae can nourish and moisturize it. Many visitors with skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema have reported improvements after bathing in the Blue Lagoon. Additionally, the warmth of the water can help relieve stress and promote relaxation.
Similarly, the Sky Lagoon's warm waters provide a range of benefits for visitors. Soaking in the lagoon can help relax muscles, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being. The mineral content of the water can detoxify the body and promote healthy skin. The Sky Lagoon's unique seven-step ritual, which includes cold therapy, sauna sessions, and exfoliation, further enhances the therapeutic benefits of the experience.
Admission Fees: Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon
When planning a visit to either the Blue Lagoon or the Sky Lagoon, it's important to consider the admission fees and available packages.
At the Blue Lagoon, admission prices start at around €50 and can go up to €400, depending on the package chosen. The basic "comfort" package includes entrance to the lagoon, access to changing facilities and showers, a silica mud mask, a towel, and a complimentary drink. Premium and luxury packages are also available, offering additional perks such as private changing facilities and platters from the on-site restaurant.
For the Sky Lagoon, admission prices start at around €50 and can go up to €170. The basic admission includes entrance to the lagoon, access to changing facilities, and the use of a towel. As with the Blue Lagoon, the Sky Lagoon offers upgrades and packages that provide access to the seven-step ritual, private changing facilities, and culinary experiences at the on-site cafe.
Dining at the Lagoons: Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon
Both the Blue Lagoon and the Sky Lagoon offer dining options where visitors can refuel and indulge in delicious cuisine.
At the Blue Lagoon, visitors can choose from three high-end restaurants. The Spa Restaurant provides a laid-back atmosphere, perfect for enjoying warm dishes like hearty soups or healthy options like fresh fish ceviche. The Lava Restaurant offers an atmospheric dining experience, with its interior carved into a rock, and emphasizes locally sourced ingredients, particularly the fish of the day. For a more upscale dining experience, Moss Restaurant, mentioned in the Michelin Guide, serves seasonal tasting menus that showcase Icelandic cuisine with precision and finesse.
The Sky Lagoon, while offering a more limited dining experience, features the Sky Cafe. This rustic cafe offers simple fare such as sandwiches, hearty soups, and smoked salmon plates. Although the dining options at the Sky Lagoon may not be as extensive as those at the Blue Lagoon, the focus is on providing satisfying meals in a relaxed setting.
How to Get There: Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon and the Sky Lagoon are easily accessible, with various transportation options available.
To reach the Blue Lagoon, you can take a car and follow the signs from Highway 41 to Highway 43, which will lead you directly to the lagoon. The Blue Lagoon offers free parking for visitors, allowing for a convenient and hassle-free arrival.
For those heading to the Sky Lagoon, taking a car is also a viable option. From downtown Reykjavik, you can take Kringlumýrarbraut and then Karsnesbraut to Vesturvor, where free parking is available. Alternatively, public transportation is an option, with bus routes connecting the city center to the lagoon.
Conclusion: Choosing Between the Lagoons
In the end, the choice between the Blue Lagoon and the Sky Lagoon comes down to personal preference and travel plans. If you're seeking a world-famous and iconic geothermal spa experience, the Blue Lagoon is the ideal choice. Its stunning location, therapeutic benefits, and extensive facilities make it a must-visit destination in Iceland.
On the other hand, if you're looking for a newer and more intimate geothermal spa experience with breathtaking ocean views, the Sky Lagoon offers a unique and rejuvenating alternative. Its emphasis on traditional Icelandic elements and seven-step ritual ensures a memorable and immersive experience.
Whether you choose the Blue Lagoon or the Sky Lagoon, a visit to either of these geothermal wonders will undoubtedly leave you feeling relaxed, refreshed, and in awe of Iceland's natural beauty.
To book your experience at the Blue Lagoon or the Sky Lagoon and explore other attractions and tours in Iceland, visit the Gray Line Iceland website and discover a world of adventure and relaxation.