Swimming pools in Iceland are more than a place to get your lengths in. A social hub, we catch up with old friends, allow the kids to burn off energy, spot our Icelandic Celebrities, and judge foreigners for not showering nude before they get in. Well, not so much the last one, but please, shower, because everyone does there’s hardly any chlorine in our pools, making them kinder for your skin, easier for your eyes, and all round a better place to be.
When you’ve been out exploring all day and are chilled to the marrow, then it’s time to hunt out your local Sundlaug, and jump in to a hot pot. They are every where, cheap to get into (about 500kr if you buy a card), and a huge part of our health and social life. When Covid closed the pools in 2020 it was felt more keenly than the closures of almost anything else, and when they reopened there were often queues to get into them, despite us having about 160 public pools!
Icelanders have to know how to swim before they can graduate school, which, given that so many spend their lives on, or next to, the ocean makes a lot of sense! Whilst a lot of pools are in the capital area, and we cannot recommend them enough, there are some hidden gems that are way out there, you may even be lucky enough to get them to yourself! We hope you get a chance to visit them during your time in Iceland.
At the end of one of the most remote roads in the Westfjords, an already remote area of Iceland, you can visit Krossnes, a stunningly located pool, looking out across the ocean from the wild and brutal Strandir coast line. Our friends at Iceland Discover visit it as part of their Strandir Adventure by Minibus tour. But for the brave you can drive there yourself, just please remember to put money in the payment box; it being unstaffed means it is open all year, ready to be visited under the midnight sun, or the Northern Lights.
The oldest still functioning swimming pool in Iceland is found as a reward at the end of a short 15 minute walk from the car park. There is a path, and it is all flat, but it is a long a river bed so it may not be suitable for less mobile tourists. It’s unusual location is because of the combination of hot spring and cool river to keep it filled. As far as our pools go it is the least luxurious, often left messy by visitors (please take all your trash and towels home), and with no shower facilities. That said it is an absolute wonder, and definitely worth a visit, carved into the rocky hillside.
Positioned next to the stunning Selá River, known for fly fishing, this beautiful little pool is over in the East of Iceland, with fewer people and hot springs this swimming pool is a rare gem for even existing! It is beautifully maintained, and worth a trip in itself to visit such a glorious location, totally in the middle of no where. Although the opening times are limited in winter it is a great place to come and see the northern lights, with the vast open sky around you, no light pollution here!
We hope you have enjoyed reading about some of our more remote swimming pools. For information and cards to access the capital area pools please visit the official swimming pool website. If you would like to join us on our tours or book a private tour please contact us here.