Winter is here in Iceland and it seems every week there is another storm or at least where I am it’s perpetually raining. My knitting is going well but is more an evening thing – so what are the things to do in Iceland when the weather is bad, where there are no northern lights, you need a break from cafes and you’ve already been to all the museums?
Iceland’s Swimming Pools
Just about every town in Iceland has a swimming pool and they are really quite cheap, from only 600kr. My local one is just ten minutes walk down the road but with limited opening times in the winter I got a three-week gym and swimming pass to the Sundhöll Selfoss only twenty minutes away, which aside from a beautiful and fully equipped gym has an adults’ swimming pool, two children’s pools with slides, three hot pots with varying temperatures, an indoor rehab pool, a cold plunge pool and a steam room to relax your muscles after the gym.
Icelandic pools are heated geothermally which means even when it’s cold and rainy you can laze away in the warm waters. You never have to go far to find one, in fact Reykjavik alone has seven pools, and then there are the geothermal pools, the most famous being the Blue Lagoon which is now so busy you have to book in advance. For a less commercial experience try the smaller ones such as Myvatn Nature Baths, the Secret Lagoon in the Golden Circle and many more. Due to the minimal chlorine content in the water hygiene is taken very seriously. Check out these articles from Iceland Magazine and IHeartReykjavik on the proper etiquette (showering thoroughly without your swimsuit before getting in the pool) so you don’t end up in metaphorical hot water.
Archery in Reykjavik
I do archery in Ireland and I was determined to bring my bow to Iceland which turned out to be a harder job than I thought (I could write a saga on my dealings with customs). It’s a great indoor activity and something a bit different I’d definitely recommend it as one of my favourite things to do in Reykjavik. If you are an archer on holiday it’s honestly not worth the hassle to get all the paperwork for a short trip and if you’ve never tried archery before then it’s easy to try it out (and why haven’t you already) at Bogfimisetrið in Reykjavik. You don’t need to bring any equipment and the lovely staff will take care of you and show you how it all works if you’ve never tried it before. It’s 2,200 kr per hour including equipment and you can have an alley to yourself which is nice so you don’t have to wait for “all shot”. Plus they have everything from recurve to compound to traditional bows so you have plenty of choice. I am also super excited about a mounted archery course in Ölfus starting next year. Read more about it here.
Climbing in Reykjavik
Again something I wanted to keep up in Iceland and a good workout when the weather is bad, Klifurhusið in Reykjavik has a really nice bouldering and sport (with ropes) climbing wall. If you are sport climbing you have the choice of an auto-belay or bring your own ropes. If you don’t have any you can buy them on the Hlemmur end of Laugavegur. You can hire gear there too. The mats are really bouncy and there’s lots of kids climbing too. A single pass is 1100kr and you can buy 10 trip passes, monthly and so on.
And one I haven’t tried but I want to..
Escape from Reykjavik
Ok not really but I found a flyer about this team building puzzle thing yesterday and I really want to try it. With a minimum of two participants you have to solve a scenario like breaking out of a prison or finding a kidnap victim and it sounds fun! Has anyone tried it?
Does anyone have any cool suggestions I haven’t thought of? I’d love to hear them!