The Icelandic culture is deeply connected to the natural elements, especially the use of geothermal water.
For generations, swimming pools have played an important role in the community. You will find throughout Iceland that most towns have their own communal pool and bathing is considered an everyday activity for Icelanders.
An Icelandic tradition dating back to the settlement, thermal pools are noted in the history books which mention Snorri Sturluson. This famous twelfth-century historian created his own thermal pool so that he could soak in hot water whenever the mood struck him.
Of the thirteen original baths that are known to have been frequented in the early days of Icelandic society, four are still standing.
Today, the Icelandic swimming pool is still a vital part of daily life for families, the pool is a place where locals gather and catch up (much like the English pub), relax and keep fit (the opposite of an English pub). The pool is also considered good for your health with the water easing aches and pains and promoting relaxation.
Swimming in Iceland is a serious business and you will find that good health and cleanliness are a priority with most pools having pretty strict regulations when it comes to hygiene. These rules are what help maintain the high standards and ongoing shared enjoyment of Iceland’s local pools.