With an infinity pool that stretches over 70 metres and views of Fagradalsfjall volcano, Sky Lagoon has fast become Iceland's hottest destination
Iceland is known for its hot springs, swimming pools and spas that can be enjoyed all year round, in any type of weather. When ABBA announced their comeback earlier this year and had reunion parties held around the world, many viewers must have envied Iceland’s location: A party right in the middle of an infinity pool, surrounded by rocks and gorgeous ocean views. It took place in Sky Lagoon, the newest addition to Reykjavík’s spas, and hands down the most stylish one.
Designed by T.ark Architects it celebrates Icelandic nature and aims to be both a visual and spiritual experience. The location itself couldn’t be better, and when the spa opened in April 2021 guests were greeted with an unobstructed view towards the Fagradalsfjall volcanic eruption, framed perfectly within the floor-to-ceiling glass window within the spa’s sauna.
When Sky Lagoon opened its doors there weren’t many travellers allowed in the country. The lagoon then had to rely on the locals to see them through the first few weeks. Locals tend to be overly critical when it comes to new attractions in Iceland, but it's a testament to the style and design of the spa that they were completely won over and many have become frequent visitors. Not surprising when the spacious lagoon is situated in the midst of the capital city, just a 10 minute drive from the city centre, but still provides you with an incomparable escape from your daily life in relaxing and rejuvenating surroundings.
Sky Lagoon is located right by the sea in a secluded area, at the edge of an industrial area in the capital region, in the town Kópavogur. Kópavogur is adjacent to Reykjavík and the spa is just across the bay from the city’s geothermal beach area Nauthólsvík and the woodland area surrounding landmark Perlan. There is a lovely cycle path guests can take from Nauthólsvík to the Sky Lagoon, just along the seaside where one can look out for birdlife and watch the waves of the North Atlantic sea. The bike ride takes less than 10 minutes, or about 40 minutes on foot.
Photo: Sky Lagoon
When guests arrive at the Sky Lagoon then an understated building greets them, with traditional, layered turf walls and grass on its roof, mixed with the black wooden entrance. The foyer is dimly lit and opens up to a sizeable restaurant and bar area where you can sit down for a bite to eat before or after your soak.
From the dressing room you’ll enter the comfortably warm lagoon, surrounded by rock walls. A short walk through the pool brings you towards the infinity edge which stretches some 70 metres. There you’re rewarded with spectacular views over Skerjafjörður bay, towards the presidential residence Bessastaðir, mount Keilir and even Snæfellsjökull glacier on a clear day. You’ll also be looking straight at the Fagradalsfjall volcano, which at the time of writing still has some smoke rising from it although eruptions ceased last September.
The design honours old Icelandic traditions of making turf houses, with several references to the country’s history. It celebrates the beautiful Icelandic landscape, with impressive rock walls rising from the water. On one end of the lagoon there is a picturesque waterfall coming down from the surrounding grass mounds and on the other end guests can enter the cold plunge pool, reminiscent of historical Snorralaug, before continuing with the seven-step ritual included in the entrance fee. In between there is a hide-away relaxing area and an unobtrusive bar carved into the rock wall. The design is minimal and relies on the surrounding beauty. Drinks can be ordered by presenting your spa wristband, and are served in elegant flutes and cups that look like glass, but there’s no risk of broken glass as they’re made from a reusable plastic material.
Photo: Sky Lagoon
The seven-step ritual is designed to give guests the ultimate relaxation, nourishing your mind and body. It mixes warm and cold waters, fresh air, dry heat and steam, that will rejuvenate and restore your body, leaving you with silky-smooth skin. The first step is the entrance into the warm lagoon, where you’ll find your body relaxing. For the second step you can take a seat in the ice-cold plunge pool before warming up your body in the sauna with incredible views. Cool down from the sauna outdoors with a refreshing cool mist of water. You’re then presented with the Sky Body Scrub that you can apply all over your body for exfoliated and glowing skin. Covered in the body scrub, take a seat in the steam bath and breathe any worries away. To finish off the ritual you’ll have a warm shower before returning back to the gorgeous lagoon. It’s easy to lose track of time here, and recommended to give yourself a minimum of two hours to fully enjoy the experience.
There are three different entry fees, Pure-Lite, Pure and Sky. The only difference between Pure and Sky is whether you’ll have your own private dressing room and shower, or share a large, public dressing room with other spa guests. If you opt for the private dressing room, that will set you back up to €95 but if you go for the public changing facilities the prices go up to €67. However, if you choose the Pure Lite priced at €47 you will miss out on the seven-step ritual that the spa offers, and, for first time guests, that should definitely not be missed.