Whether you visit a thermal pool in Reykjavík, a luxurious spa, or a natural pool in the countryside, swimming in Iceland is a unique experience. Nothing beats relaxing in warm water while breathing in fresh cold air.
Most kid-friendly pool
Swimming pools are one of the most kid-friendly activities you can find in Iceland, so the short answer to what the most kid-friendly pool is, is all of them! To be more specific, the centrally located Sundhöll has a great outdoor area, so does Vesturbæjarlaug, but Árbæjarlaug is a hidden gem, a perfect stop if you’re going out of town anyway, and it pairs well with a visit to the kid-friendly Árbær Open Air Museum.
Best natural pool
Head to the hot river in Reykjadalur valley for a soak in the middle of nature. From Reykjavík, it’s about a 40-minute drive to Hveragerði. Hike for about 45 minutes to an hour through a hilly area to reach the hot river. The warm water of the river is perfect for enjoying the moment. Remember to dress appropriately, wear hiking boots, and bring some snacks and drinks.
Best pool to chat with locals
Locals love going to the pool, and chilling in a hot tub is a good way to connect to Icelanders. Often, Icelanders meet in the pool and use this time to chat and catch up on the latest developments. Good options for hanging out with locals are Vesturbæjarlaug, Seltjarnarneslaug, and Árbæjarlaug pools.
Best pool for serious swimmers
Laugardalslaug is Reykjavík’s biggest pool and the best one for a long swim. It has an Olympic-size outside swimming pool, used for recreational swimming, exercise, and competitions. The big indoor pool is also used for training and competitions. Laugardalslaug also offers plenty of hot tubs, cold tubs, and steam baths for relaxation after a healthy swim, and to top it off, a fitness centre and spa are located next to the pool.
Best pool for a day trip
Basically every town in Iceland has its own pool. Almost all of them are beautifully located, next to mountains and overlooking fjords and the ocean. If you plan to make a day tour out of your pool visit, head to the Westman Islands and visit Sundhöllin Vestmannaeyjar on Heimaey island. The ferry ride out to the island is an adventure, and there is a great indoor pool, a large outside pool with hot tubs, and cool waterslides.
Best luxury spa
In need of pampering? You’ve heard of the Blue Lagoon with its milky blue waters and mud masks, but did you know a brand-new spa opened just 10 minutes by car from downtown Reykjavík? Located at the edge of the bay of Kópavogur, the pool offers amazing coastal views. Sky Lagoon boasts a modern approach to traditional Icelandic swimming culture, making it the perfect spot to relax, enjoy a drink, socialise, and soak in the sun.