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Swimming in Reykjavík

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The swimming pool is to Icelanders what the pub is to the British or the coffee shop to Americans. This is the place to come to meet people, catch up on the local gossip and to relax in divine geothermally heated waters. The abundance of natural hot water around the capital means there’s a good choice of pools, which are always at a comfortably warm 29°C, often with hot pots at 39–43°C. Opening hours vary greatly but are listed at witr.is, under the swimming pools link. Bear in mind that because pool water in Iceland doesn’t contain large amounts of chlorine as is common in most other countries, you must shower without a swimming costume before entering the pools and thoroughly wash the areas of your body marked on the signs by the showers.

Laugardalslaug

Sundlaugavegur t411 5100. Iceland’s largest outdoor swimming complex, with a 50m pool, four hot pots, a jacuzzi, steam room, waterslide and masseuse.

Sundhöllin

Barónsstígur 45A t411 5350. The 25m pool here is indoors, but has two outdoor hot pots, plus single-sex nude sunbathing terraces.

Vesturbæjarlaug

Hofsvallagata t411 5150. A 25m outdoor pool plus three hot pots, a sauna, steam bath and solarium.

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