Best places to swim in Iceland
There are several things to do in Iceland and one of the most popular or should we say habitual things that the locals and the tourists do is swimming. Due to abundance geothermal water in Iceland, the locals made it to the point that they can utilize the naturally warm water and well, their spare time. In Iceland are plenty of swimming pools, hot tubs, thermal beaches, hot springs, lake shores, you name it! Let us check on the best swimming and soaking spots around Iceland.
Nautholsvík Geothermal Beach, Reykjavik
Ah yes, white sandy beach, a rectangular hot pool, café, hot pots… these are the relaxing things you can experience at Nautholsvík Geothermal Beach. You should be brave with the sea since the air temperature doesn’t often rises above 15°C, though this is a warm temperature for locals. If you don´t fell like jumping into the cold sea, you can soak in the hot tub and enjoy the unspoiled beauty of the beach. The beach itself is child friendly with a sandbox-ship, a slide and more. Sailing clubs are in the area that are open during the summer. Nauthóll café is just above the beach where you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee and enjoy the view.
This is a local swimming pool where fun for the whole family is awaiting. With a very large slide and different pools and tubs with lots of gaming entertainment inside. All these at the reach of your pocket. You can blend in with the locals and during summer the pool is one of the most visited pools in Reykjavik. If you fancy working out, a first class gym is in the same building, and if you are in the mood for being pampered, you can visit the spa.
The Blue Lagoon
The famous Blue Lagoon is a massive geothermal spa in Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula. About 40 minutes drive from Reykjavík (around 15 min from Keflavik airport) and you can swim in warm waters. The Blue Lagoon is a luxurious spa known for its healing powers. You can enjoy the day and relax at the spa, have a drink at the bar located in the Lagoon, enjoy a massage and relax to the fullest. Definitely one of the best places on earth!
Landmannalaugar is a unique place. The landscape is almost unreal with a scenery so rugged and astonishing. The “Farmer’s Hot Bathing Pool” as the locals call it is a natural bath. The water leaks out from under the edge of a fifteenth-century magma stream where is blended impeccably with a cold spring and the spot where they meet has the right temperature for soaking your body in with. An experience you don´t want to miss!
Snorralaug at Reykholt is actually Snorri’s hot tub back in 1180’s. Snorri Sturluson was a poet and a writer known by his works such as the author of -Norse Sagas, The Prose Edda (tales from Norse mythology), Heimskringla (Orb of the World), St. Olaf’s Saga, and Egil’s Saga. It is believed that he often bathe in the Snorralaug and assassinated in an underground tunnel near the hot pool (but don’t worry there isn’t any ghost or remnants!) Reykholt is a lovely place to visit and Snorralaug is one of many places in the area worth visiting. Please note though that you aren´t allowed to bathe in this one. However it is an historic place that should definitely be on your list of places to visit.
This is another historical pool. Grettir, the infamous outlaw but once a hero, from the Grettis Saga had bathes and settled in this place thus, where the name Grettislaug is derived from. It is a circular natural pool in Drangey where you can ponder on the history of Iceland.
This is what the early people in the ninth century feared the most. The Hekla, a great volcano, was believed to be the gateway to hell since it tended to erupt regularly during those times. Everything around it was devastating. But now, this is a little paradise, where you find a circular sunken pool located at the foot of Hekla and is lined with cuts of lava stones.
Jarðböðin við Mývatn
This is a nature bath with colorful and steaming hills. It is less crowded than the similar place, Blue Lagoon but the relaxation and experience is no less. Both spas can give you an amazing experience. The natural spa at Mývatn is known to be good for your skin, not to mention your physical well being after soaking and relaxing in this geothermal wonder.
Seltjarnarnes Swimming Pool
The Seltjarnanes swimming pool is one of a kind in the way that it has salted water. The kids pool is nicely warm with a small slide and a fountain, while the large pool is ideal for swimming. There is a large slide that is always popular with kids and then there are 5 hot tubs to relax in plus a steam room. One of many great pools in the Reykjavik area.
Other interesting options
Vatnaveröld. Vatnaveröld – or the World of Waters – is located in Keflavík, close to the international airport. Unlike most pools in Iceland, it is both indoors and outdoors and a heaven for kids who like slides and other water fun. It is a great way to spend the morning or afternoon if you are in the area.
The swimming pool at Hofsós The swimming pool at Hofsós is one of a kind. It is on the edge by the sea where you can relax and enjoy a magnificent view of the ocean and surroundings. Don´t miss it if you are driving on the northern coast!
The swimming pool at Dalvík Dalvík is a charming village not very far from Akureyri on the northern coast. The pool there is known for its friendly atmosphere and it is a complete relaxation to be there surrounded by the mountains and nature.
The Secret Lagoon The Secret Lagoon – or Hvammslaug as it is known to the locals – is a natural lagoon in the nature. In the evenings throughout the year you can join a tour either to enjoy the midnight sun or to hunt for the northern lights while you float listening to the music of SigurRós in underwater speakers. A unique experience you shouldn´t miss!
Drangsnes. The hot tubs at Drangsnes have been very popular for the past years. The hot tubs are located by the beach where you can relax and admire the view! You will also find a nice pool in the area if you want to go for a swim.