Every country has its own culture and features that uniquely belong to them. For some countries, they boast on their food, others on their festivals. But in Iceland, among the things that make it unique from other countries are its swimming pools.
Typically, you perceive a swimming pool as a circular or rectangular hole in the ground, filled with chlorinated water. To add some thrill and more fun, other pool and summer house owners have added facilities like giant slides and artificial waves. In Iceland, it’s different.
In the country, a swimming pool is not the usual hole in the ground. It’s mostly rectangular in shape and filled with warm chlorinated water, with temperature that ranges from 25-28 degrees Centigrade. These swimming pools are usually accompanied with hot tubs, around 1-5 of them, with water temperature from 38 to 45 degrees Centigrade. Interesting, right?
Check out these other things that you need to know about Icelandic swimming pools:
Presence of Hot Tubs
In Iceland, you rarely could find a summer house with a swimming pool but not without a hot tub or hot tubs. At present, Iceland has over 10,000 summer houses and 90% of them have hot tubs. In fact, you can find hot tubs almost everywhere in Iceland – from your neighbors’ houses to Reykjavik’s hotels.
Hot tubs are part of the Icelandic culture. They have been around since the settlement. One of the most known can be found in Snorralaug, which is located in Reykholt. It has been in Iceland since 1178 or 1241. It is one of the four ancient pools that are still being used today.
The combination of hot tubs and swimming pools in summer houses benefit clients in two ways: de-stressing and health purposes. Geothermal water have several health benefits, not to mention calming effect on the body.
Central Role in Socialization
When you’re in the country, it’s typical to see people coming in for a swim as early as 7 am. There are even those who come in before the staff arrives. It is because swimming or dipping in these swimming pools play a central role in socialization among Icelanders.
People go for a swim not just to relax but as well to talk with other swimmers. There are different crowds that you can find in various swimming pools in Iceland. There are parents with kids, groups of friends, and even couples who use these facilities as their venue for a date. In Iceland, dating in these swimming pools is the second most popular activity among couples.
Most of the swimming pools in Iceland are located outdoors because they’re more inexpensive to maintain than indoor pools. Dressing rooms are also found outdoors. If you’re worried about getting cold from having a swim, then you don’t have to worry as these dressing rooms are equipped with thermal lamps. Most of the times, they do the trick of keeping you warm.
Don’t be shocked to see people of the same gender naked in these swimming pools as it’s a normal occurrence in Icelandic swimming pools. There are barely enough undressing cubicles on these summer houses so people tend to strip down right there and then. But even if you are in your swimming costume, other people will still see you naked as you need to take them off when you shower. This is because Icelanders want their swimming pools including hot tubs clean and smudge-free.
If you’re planning to take a dip, make sure to be there between 7 am and just before dinner. Most of the swimming pools in Iceland open at around 7 am and closes right after dinner. But of course, there are certain exceptions.
So, what are you waiting now?
Take a swim and enjoy the unique Icelandic culture.