Reykjavik Pools

When thinking about swimming in Iceland the blue lagoon is first thing that comes to mind for many visitors.

What many visitors do not realise is that basically all pools are geothermal, also in Reykjavik. So if you want to safe some money and time you can visit one or more of them. Most pools not only offer the possibility to swim but also hot pots and steam baths. The hot pots are usually available in multiple temperatures and an important part of social life in Iceland. Many people go swimming in the morning and afterwards they sit in the hot pot ( or „heitur pottur“ as we say in Icelandic) and talk to each other. Before showering and getting ready for work. It is believed that this also is good for your immune system and an attempt to explain how Icelanders stay healthy especially during the dark and cold winters.

The biggest pool in Reykjavik is Laugardalslaug where you can stop during the Hop on Hop off. It is located in Laugardalur valley where you also find the national Stadium and the Zoo. It has two 50 meter pools of Olympic measures ( one of them being inside and almost exclusively used for completions. The large public prefers the outside pool even in winter. This is not only because of the geothermal hot water but also because the floor has been recently been equipped with heating. Apart from that you find slides and a steam bath. And which is not very typically Icelandic two beach volleyball courts have been installed and theoretically are open all summer. On sunny days you may forget that you are close to the polar circle but think you are somewhere by the Mediterranean. There is also a flat hot pot which is very popular during hot days for sun bathing. After swimming you may be hungry. This is perfect since right outside the pool you find a hot dog stand where you can get the typical Icelandic "pylsa" ( sausage, which refers to the hot dog as a whole).

One important thing to keep in mind is the etiquette which may surprise some guests. It is mandatory to shower naked before entering the pool and to ensure that people use soap there is free soap in most showers. Swimming hats are not mandatory but optional. You will also find free swimming aids for kids, just return them before leaving again. There are shower guards who implement the rules and also have an eye to make sure everybody is dry before getting back to their locker. This prevents wet socks since the locker and dressing area is supposed to stay dry.


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