Icelandic swimming pools are a bit of a phenomenon and serve a similar purpose as pubs in England. They do have lanes for swimmers and yes, some of the guests are actually there to swim but most of us go there to relax in the hot tub while we catch up on the latest gossip in this country. It’s a very common misconception that Iceland is really, really cold. The temperatures are often much higher than what people think, although we’ll admit, the wind-chill will sometimes make up the difference. But we’re not just talking about the weather. In one very significant way, Iceland is one of the warmest countries you’ll ever visit: geothermal heat. We have loads of it, which explains our warm houses and numerous outdoor swimming pools.
When to go
The pools and their many hot tubs are open all year round from as early as 6.30 am until as late as 10 pm. The swimming pool elites will be there at 6.30 am sharp and request their usual locker and swim their usual laps before heading off to work with their usual dose of hot tub info. Most of us just show up after work for a little dip or even to meet friends late at night to catch up.
Keep in mind…
There is a certain etiquette to be stressed here, which involves the showers and clothing. Locker rooms are divided by gender and guests are required to shower and soap without clothes before putting on their swimwear and heading to the pool. It is considered very bad form to break this rule.
Brave the outdoors
Most swimming pools also have an outdoor area if you want to get changed and shower outside. Although it sounds crazy in bad weather we highly recommend it, as it will make the experience all the more invigorating, it’s less crowded and they usually have some sort of heating in the outdoor locker rooms so it’s not as heroic as it sounds. Again, the showers are always separated by gender and the same rules apply.
A pool for every occasion
If you want to catch a glimpse of real Icelanders and find out what today’s hot topic is, visit Vesturbæjarlaug and their hot tubs at 6.30 am.
If you really want an indoor experience Sundhöll Reykjavíkur is the place to go where you can admire the architecture and this authentic Reykjavík hangout.
If serious swimming is your sport, head to Laugardalslaug which has a 50 m pool both outdoors and indoors. Check out the waterslide and seawater hot tub while you’re there and if the weather is nice you can even reserve a spot on the beach volleyball court.
Planning for an Iceland Adventure, it’s time to choose your tour package now !.