The Ripple Effect

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. Most towns have their own communal pool where bathing is considered an everyday activity.


Seljavallalaug swimming pool is one of the oldest swimming pools in the country.

Though this Icelandic tradition dates back to the settlement, the most famous historic thermal pool belonged to the writer 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.


Swimming in Iceland is a serious business and you will find that good health and cleanliness are a priority.

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 as the water eases aches and pains and promotes relaxation.


Swimming in Iceland is a serious business and you will find that good health and cleanliness are a priority – most pools have 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.