Nothing really compares to a nice soak in hot water. Outside, with loads of other people.
Frequenting swimming pools is a national past time. Whether you actually swim, or hang out in the hot tubs, visit the saunas, or lay in the shallow pools to catch some sun, it‘s all the same – it all counts as “fara í sund”.
Visit Iceland, the official Icelandic tourism site, has this to say about swimming in Iceland:
The pool is often the staple of the community, a daily meeting place for people of all ages and a big part of the community as a whole. In the hot tub, you can find yourself in a conversation with the town mayor, discussing everything from local politics to the most casual topics. So it is safe to say that the local public swimming pools are a vital part of the typical Icelandic small-town community.
According to the webpage sundlaugar.com there are currently 121 swimming pools dotted around the island. The page is only in Icelandic but if you can figure out how to sign up (one of our courses would come in really handy here... ;) ), you can see the location of different swimming pools on a map, and what’s even more fun: keep track of the pools that you’ve visited / have yet to visit by toggling the “Eftir” (yet to do) / “Búin” (done) button!
If you're less into swimming and more into soaking, you will love all the natural, geothermal pools all around the island. Some are are an easy walk from a parking lot (like Hrunalaug), while others require some hiking (like Reykjadalur). Here you will find a list of some of the natural ones, and on this site you will find information about the more built-up ones, with changing rooms and fancy facilities.
Here's a good read about our warm and refreshing swimming pools.
Förum í sund! Let's go swimming!
Other posts in the series:
The one about the most popular summer dining experience
The one about sleeping in god's green nature
The one about "going the ring road"
The one about a favourite overnight chillaxing option
And here are links to two posts about being careful when travelling, any time of year - because we care :)
The one about the way in which Icelanders (and you!) choose a destination
The one about travelling safely
Sundlaugar = swimming pools
Að fara í sund = to go swimming, or to go to the swimming pool
Að synda = to swim