Sky Lagoon Facts and History

By Aashima

The Sky Lagoon is one of the best lagoons in Iceland.

Not only does it celebrate the country’s authentic hot spring tradition, but it also consists of natural geothermal water benefits.

Although the lagoon is artificial, it is heavily influenced by Icelandic heritage and culture.

When was the Sky Lagoon built? What inspires its natural-looking interiors? Are there some interesting facts behind it?

Read our article to learn about Sky Lagoon’s facts and history.

Sky Lagoon History

Sky Lagoon is a recent addition to Iceland’s lagoon culture.

It opened in 2021. Construction began in 2020, and the design took almost a year to complete.

The interior of the lagoon is heavily inspired by Icelandic geography and landscapes.

It uses colors like gray-blue, deep greens, whites, and creams to give this artificial structure a natural atmosphere.

More elements at this site are influenced by Icelandic nature and heritage.

For instance, the turf house, turf walls, and plunge pool are all part of the country’s spa culture.

To understand this reference, let’s learn more about Iceland’s history and its love for hot springs.

Icelandic Connection of Hot Spring

Bathing in open hot pools has been a long-standing tradition in the country.

This dates back to the 12th century, when ancient literature beautifully mentions civilians enjoying the healing powers of geothermal waters.

There has been evidence that medieval Icelanders built geothermal pools for themselves to relax at the end of the day.

These pools were also a way for people to survive the thick Icelandic winters.

Sauna and Dry Baths History

Taking advantage of the hot steam that erupts out of the warm geothermal water, the creation of saunas and dry baths emerged.

People would build huts over natural sources where men would sit inside and sweat profusely for healthy reasons.

This was briefly mentioned in a 16th-century story describing people crawling into huts built over a lava crack.

Moreover, people would keep cold water over hot stones in areas without hot lava cracks to generate steam.

The Relaxing Gold Mines

For many years in the 20th century, Icelandic people believed gold was hidden in the depths of their hills.

As they drilled the ground, they found no gold but warm geothermal waters that eventually piqued their curiosity.

Along with the new trend to learn swimming, people created many modern pools in the country between the 1940s and 1950s.

Today, there are more than 200 public pools in Iceland—more than in any other country.

Soaking in Warm Water is the Core of Icelandic Culture

The tradition of soaking in warm water to find rejuvenation and relaxation has been in Iceland for centuries.

People gathering around the pool to socialize and reconnect with others have also been a primary motive for swimming in the lagoon.

These elements have contributed to a marvelous culture of appreciating the naturally sourced geothermal hot springs.

Today, the best place to do so is the Sky Lagoon, inspired by the rich Icelandic heritage and rituals.

One can soak in the warm waters while enjoying the various amenities to taste the country’s culture.

Sky Lagoon Facts

After learning the history of the Sky Lagoon, let’s learn some exciting facts about the newly made lagoon.

The Only Lagoon Close to Reykjavik City Center

Sky Lagoon is the only lagoon close to the country’s capital, making it accessible.

The lagoon is located in Kársnes Harbour, just 7 km from the city center.

The proximity helps visitors access this attraction more easily.

After a long day of sightseeing, people can reach the lagoon in 20 minutes from the city center and relax their muscles before retiring for the night.

Learn about convenient ways to reach Sky Lagoon here.

Sky Lagoon is Artificial

Although it includes natural geothermal water, the lagoon is an artificial attraction.

Its striking features, like the cliffside location decorated with grottos (caves), make you feel that a gorgeous natural landscape surrounds you.

Although its interiors and structure are artificial, geothermal water heating is all-natural.

The temperature is usually between 38 and 40 °C (100 and 104 °F), keeping the lagoon warm throughout the year.

It also Indulges in Skincare

The geothermal spa not only includes amenities that help you relax but also has skincare products.

During your visit to the lagoon, indulge in a face scrub made from naturally rich minerals.

It is also an essential part of the seven-step ritual, where you scrub it all over your skin to cleanse your pores thoroughly.

If you find the product useful, you can purchase it at the shop in Sky Lagoon.

You can explore their unique skincare collection, choose the best one and benefit from its healing properties even after leaving the lagoon.

The Seven-Step Ritual is a Must-Do

The seven-step ritual of Sky Lagoon is an exclusive and authentic Icelandic tradition that helps maximize your rejuvenation process.

The process involves a unique blend of soaking, scrubbing and plunging in the cold water of a glacial pool.

But there’s more; here’s a brief overview of what the seven-step ritual is like:

  • The first step is to slip into the warm waters of the lagoon.
  • Once you soak in the warm waters, plunge into the cold glacial pool.
  • Enter the sauna.
  • Next, walk through the fog mist to balance your body temperature.
  • After this, exfoliate with Sky Lagoon body scrub to cleanse your body.
  • Keep the scrub and enter the steam room, which opens your pores and helps the scrub’s hydration enter your pores.
  • Lastly, end the ritual with a warm shower.

Although it opened recently, Sky Lagoon quickly became a tourist favorite due to its unique features.

Sky Lagoon tickets will likely be sold out much in advance as its popularity increases.

If you are planning a trip to the luxurious lagoon, it’s best to reserve your booking in advance here.


What are the benefits of Sky Lagoon?

The waters of Sky Lagoon include the benefits of rich minerals that can detoxify and help cure skin ailments.
So soaking in this warm geothermal water can benefit your skin.
Moreover, the exclusive Sky Body Scrub will simultaneously nourish, cleanse, and hydrate your body.

Is Sky Lagoon Iceland artificial?

Yes, the Sky Lagoon Iceland is an artificial attraction.
It opened in 2021. It is a naturally heated lagoon with geothermal activity similar to Blue Lagoon.

What is Sky Lagoon?

It is a geothermal spa in Reykjavik.
This is an excellent place for people looking to relax and rejuvenate.
Along with its seven-step ritual and several exciting activities, Sky Lagoon is a must-visit for travelers.

Is Sky Lagoon adults only?

Children under the age of 12 can enter the lagoon.
A guardian/adult must accompany kids between 12 and 14 years.

Why is the Sky Lagoon warm?

The lagoon water at Sky Lagoon is primarily heated by geothermal energy.
This natural water comes from underneath the earth, keeping the temperature at approximately 38 to 40 °C (100 to 104 °F).

Can we drink the lagoon water?

You cannot drink the lagoon’s water.
Lagoon groundwater often needs to be tested before consumption.
As the groundwater is open to the air, it contains harmful pollutants that can harm human health.

Featured Image:

Aashima (1)
About the author

Aashima is an avid traveler who seeks out thrills and lives a simple, peaceful life. Bright clear skies are her calling.