Please welcome back SaunaTimes foreign correspondent Grant, who brings us through Sky Lagoon in Reykjavik, Iceland. Welcome Grant!
As a life-long sauna enthusiast, my recent visit to the Sky Lagoon Hot Springs Spa near Reykjavik, Iceland, was an extraordinary experience. Here, Iceland’s geothermal wonders have given rise to numerous hot springs and lagoons. The Sky Lagoon at just over two years old is a luxurious addition to this tradition. In this personal review, I will take you on a journey through the facilities, the seven-step ritual, and the sauna experience that stole my heart during our stay.
Arrival and Booking
After landing at KEF airport, my partner and I began our Icelandic adventure with an 11 a.m. appointment at Sky Lagoon. Booking online beforehand made the process seamless. So, we eagerly looked forward to this rejuvenating experience following a taxing delayed red-eye flight. The lagoon is a short, 13-minute drive from Reykjavik. There was plenty of parking for those renting vehicles during their stay. Upon entry, we had the opportunity to speak with Sky Lagoon CEO Helga. She greeted us with Icelandic warmth, her passion for the culture and process behind Sky Lagoon was apparent.
Facilities and Services
Sky Lagoon offers a range of packages to suit every preference. The “Pure Lite” package grants access to the lagoon only, while the “Pure” package includes the seven-step ritual (a must-try experience!). For an added touch of luxury and privacy, the “Sky” package provides access to everything the Pure package includes, in addition to exclusive changing facilities.
We received the Sky package, and thoroughly appreciated the added privacy. The wristbands we received also served as both an access pass and a convenient payment method, freeing us from the burden of carrying a wallet. Changing rooms in the private area we received with the “Sky” package were stylish and well-equipped, Each changing room features personal lockers and private shower rooms. The attention to detail in these facilities set the tone for the exceptional service we would experience throughout our visit.
The Enchanting Spa Pool
After rinsing in the private showers and changing into swimsuits, we eagerly stepped into the spa pool at Sky Lagoon. Maintained at a soothing 38-40 degrees Celsius (100-104 degrees Fahrenheit), what struck us immediately was how vast and spacious the lagoon was.. Despite a myriad of visitors, there was plenty of space to spread out without feeling crowded.. This sense of space added to the overall serenity and tranquility of the experience. The smooth and easy-to-traverse floor welcomed our feet as we explored the clear, inviting waters.
As we continued our exploration around the rocks surrounding the water, we discovered the infinity pool facing the ocean, which revealed awe-inspiring views. The layout provided ample seating options, from intimate nooks for a moment of quiet contemplation to spacious areas for socializing. With waist to chest deep water, the pool ensured a comfortable and relaxing experience.
Additionally, a majestic waterfall invited guests to swim underneath, capturing unforgettable moments and creating great photo opportunities. This is easily a space you could enjoy in a group setting, or on an intimate trip with a partner.
The lagoon also offered a delightful swim-up bar, providing the perfect spot to unwind with a refreshing drink. Pricing proved to be fair, as the purchase of four drinks equated to around $40 USD. As for purchases, you can load your wristband with a credit card at check in making the process in the pool seamless. No carrying of wallets required. If you forget, you can also close out the tab on your wristband at check out.
The Sauna: A Tranquil Oasis
The sauna area at Sky Lagoon held a particular fascination for me. The spacious design featured three rounded seat levels on both sides and provided an atmosphere of togetherness and relaxation. The central electric heater with an automated water dispenser allowed visitors to balance the heat and humidity.
The hot room is huge, likely fitting more than two dozen people but was not nearly at that capacity. The true gem of the sauna was the giant glass wall facing the ocean, offering a mesmerizing view that seamlessly merged the interior with the vastness of the sea.
The Seven-Step Ritual: Embracing the Fluctuations and Thermal Shock
The seven-step ritual at Sky Lagoon was an integral part of our spa experience. What made it truly exceptional was the deliberate use of temperature fluctuations and thermal shock to the body. As per the Sky Lagoon Website, we embarked on a journey that not only rejuvenated our senses but also invigorated our bodies.
The Glacier Pool, the next step after the lagoon, was a plunge into refreshing cold waters, providing an immediate jolt of energy. The sudden change in temperature may have been shocking at first, but it proved to be the perfect wake-up call preparing us for the forthcoming relaxation. The thermal shock to the body is a crucial aspect of this step, and it left us feeling refreshed and revitalized.
The Sauna, the heart of any spa experience, was indeed the highlight of the ritual. The fluctuations in temperature inside the sauna helped complete the journey. The periods of intense heat, followed by moments of cooling humidity, provided a harmonious balance that heightened the rejuvenating effects.
The thermal shock to the body during this step helped improve blood circulation, detoxify the skin, and promote a sense of overall well-being. We loved this sauna step so much, we spent longer in this than most visitors. The steps of the Ritual do not have time limits, which allows for a customizable experience based on your personal tolerance level.
Following the sauna experience, the Energizing Mist and Cleansing Scrub further invigorated our bodies, preparing us for the subsequent stages. We were provided an exfoliating scrub to apply all over our bodies prior to stepping in the steam room to soak it all in. The Steam room allowed the scrub to penetrate your pores, and allow for ultimate skin hydration.
The finale of the ritual was the shower, which allowed us to gently cool down after the heat and fully rinse off the exfoliating scrub. These steps left our skin butter soft, and the gradual return to a comfortable temperature left us feeling renewed and reinvigorated.
Following the ritual, we were able to return to the lagoon for as long as we pleased – and had we not had a full itinerary to attend to, we would have been tempted to relax in the warm water for hours.
My visit to the Sky Lagoon Hot Springs Spa was an enchanting and unforgettable experience. Amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Iceland, this haven of relaxation and tranquility provided the perfect start to our Icelandic adventure. From the well-designed facilities to the captivating seven-step ritual and the exquisite sauna, every moment at Sky Lagoon was a testament to luxury and serenity.
As a writer passionate about saunas, I wholeheartedly recommend this blissful sanctuary to any traveler seeking an unparalleled spa journey. Here we are, in the heart of Iceland’s geothermal wonderland. The deliberate use of temperature fluctuations and the resulting thermal shock added a rewarding dimension to our experience. This left us us feeling rejuvenated and ready to embrace the rest of our Icelandic journey. I eagerly await my return to this mesmerizing oasis. Sky Lagoon: where serenity and rejuvenation converge in perfect harmony.
As part of their thermal Iceland tour, Grant and his partner scouted for some breathtaking cold plunge emersion locales:
Does international sauna travel interest you? For more, please check out Grant’s review of Sauna Deco in Amsterdam here.