Swimming

It’s easy to get very comfortable in Icelandic pools.  They’re hot, clean and the natural water warms up the body while ease overcomes it.  However, always keep in mind that any children with you are your responsibility.  An adult who can swim should always supervise children younger than 10 years of age.  No more than two children should be under the supervision of one adult.

It is expected that children stay out of the deep end of pools; besides, at most pools there are specific wading and children pools, often more than one.  Also note that many pools in rural areas do not have camera systems, only a lifeguard who watches over everyone.

Natural springs

There are numerous natural springs in Iceland, which are popular for bathing, such as the ones at Landmannalaug, Hveravellir, Víti by Askja and Laugafell.  These springs are usually in the care of rangers or wardens, but they are rarely monitored.  Because of this, children should never be in such pools, except under the constant supervision of adults.

The water in springs is not uniform in temperature, though most of the time attempts are made to control the flow.  You should understandably not jump into a spring without checking the temperature first.  Moreover, the water can vary in temperature depending on where you sit in the spring.  Natural springs are  not cleaned and it’s often quite difficult or pointless to try to clean them.  Finally, it should be said that bathing in a spring and alcohol consumption should not be mixed.  The spring in and of itself is a sufficient drug mixed with the surrounding Icelandic nature.

Swimming in the sea

Many Icelanders swim in the sea and this activity has become relatively popular over the last years.  It’s sort of like an epidemic, a rather cold but healthy epidemic.  Many of those who have tried sea swimming enjoy it, as it’s very refreshing for both body and soul.  The temperature of the ocean in Iceland is rather low, around 2 – 8C°, so it’s recommended to start cautiously and preferably with the guidance of veteran sea swimmers.

Currents are substantial around Iceland and of course an Island in the middle of the ocean underscores the sensibility of having experienced people around.  On the other hand, no one should count out trying sea swimming if the option is available.  Plus it’s an amazing experience, even if a little cold.