Jackie Peterson from the United States has visited Iceland a few times and she shared with us her take on the best swimming pools in Iceland.
Are Swimming Pools Iceland´s main attraction?
Iceland´s popularity among travelers beg the question, what exactly does Iceland have to offer that keeps the masses flocking? Whale watching, glaciers, volcanic mountains, and the northern lights are the most common attractions. However, swimming in lagoons, pools and spas takes the day when it comes to favorites. This is shocking considering the country’s cold temperatures, So how then does a country known for its cold, windy and cloudy all-year-round climate boast of swimming activities for its residents and tourists, let alone play host to swimming holidays?
Swimming in Iceland
Iceland is also known as the land of fire and ice thanks to its volcanoes and glaciers. Aside from its cold temperatures, the state is also popular for its naturally heated geothermal water. Nearly all pools in Iceland are geothermal and
their warm temperatures – 25℃ to 44℃ – make it conducive for swimmers to plunge and take holidays in pools all over the country. Furthermore, these geothermal pools offer safer, more environmentally-friendly swimming, as they are naturally occurring. Chlorine is non-existent in seawater pools and very minimal in hot tubs. Swimming in Iceland is taken seriously. So serious that swimming lessons mandatory and nearly every town has a public swimming pool. Swimming is one of the best ways to meet local Icelanders, get under the skin of this unique island in the middle of the North Atlantic, and have a warm relaxing bath. From hidden swimming pools to hot springs, here are some of Iceland’s gems when it comes to swimming holidays:
The Blue Lagoon
The warm mineral-rich waters of this magical place will have you wanting to soak your body for hours. Entry for kids aged 2-13 years is free and costs ISK 6100 for those aged 14 and above. The lagoon’s water which renews itself every 2 days and is 39℃ is said to cure Psoriasis and promote healthy glowing skin. Located just 15 minutes from the airport, and 30 minutes from the capital city, Blue Lagoon has become the country’s most renowned and visited attractions. Going for a dip late at night during winter gives you amazing views of the northern lights and the midnight sun during summer.
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The Laugardalslaug Geothermal Pool – the biggest of the best swimming pools in Iceland
This is the largest and most well-equipped swimming pool complex in the country. It has an Olympic-sized indoor pool as well as 2 outdoor pools, water slides, 7 hot tubs, a gym, a mini-golf course and a steam bath. The pool’s temperature is 29℃ while that of the hot tubs ranges from 37℃ to 43℃. The entry fee for under 18s is kr 150 and kr 950 for adults. Renting a towel will cost you kr 570 and a rental swimsuit goes for kr 850. This particular pool is the biggest in the city with a length of 50 m and a width of 12m.
Seljavallalaug Swimming Pool
This pool is one of Iceland’s oldest and best kept open secrets; built in 1923. It is located in a beautiful valley under the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, next to a river. Hot water trickles down the slopes and more is piped from nearby springs. Water temperatures range from 25℃ to 34℃ depending on how close to the hot spring you get. The pool which has a width of 10 m and a length of 25 m is free. While there are no shower rooms or changing rooms in the facility, the solace and the
scenery surrounding it make up for it.
Swimming Pool Etiquette matters
Swimming pool etiquette in Iceland is a serious matter. You are required to take your shoes off at the reception area and depending on which pool you go to, either leave them stacked outside or carry them with you and place them in a locker. You are required to take a shower prior to going in with soap. A nude shower, not one with your bathing suit on. Trying to skip one will very likely result in public scolding and refusal of entry into the pool. You can then head into the pool. After your swim or soak, you are required to shower and properly dry off before heading back to the changing room. Internalizing these simple rules and settling on any of the above-mentioned pools is guaranteed to give you a swimming holiday experience of a lifetime.