Photo Essay: Pool Hopping in Iceland


We’re just shy of Labor Day, and while many of us are looking forward to a long weekend and multiple barbecues, we’re also sad that summer is reaching its end. Though the weather may not feel so autumn-crisp just yet, swimming pools and amusements parks are getting ready to close — a sure sign the seasons are changing. While we all sit around and mourn the closure of our local swimming holes, here’s a look at a place where the outdoor pools stay open year round: Iceland.

Because of its natural hot springs, keeping the water warm is no problem. Each pool — or Sundlaug in Icelandic — has several hot tubs of varying warmth, pools for lap swimming, and a recreation area for children, often equipped with fun water park-style slides. With hundreds of swimming pools and hot springs located around the country, there is never a problem finding a place to go; click through below to take a photo tour.

Note: Many of the names have been modified from Icelandic so as to be written purely in Latin characters.

A water slide in Akureyri peaks over the fence

One of the main public pools of Akureyri, the second largest city in Iceland

A slide and two swimmers at a pool in Blonduós

Inside a steamy indoor pool in Djúpivogur

This pool in Egilsstadir is placid and empty on a long weekend holiday.

The water slide at Hofn spied from afar

Inside the pool, an older man enjoys playing ball with some of the younger pool goers.

A view of the mountain landscape behind the pool at Hofsos

A crowded hot tub full of tourists and Icelandic countrymen relaxing and enjoying the sunny weather

A man does laps at the Hofsos pool.

A tractor awaits continued renovation of the pool at Hvolsvollur.

Inside the pool is full of determined swimmers and sunbathers

The Stykkishólmur slide shares the landscape with a similarly populist community gathering place — an Icelandic church.

The natural hot springs of Myvatn are the smaller northern counterpart to the very popular and universally recognized Blue Lagoon of Keflavík.