Sea Swimming in Iceland Skip to content

Sea Swimming in Iceland

Sea Swimming is becoming a popular hobby among a growing number of Icelanders.

Heimir Örn Sveinsson is a member of the Sea Swimming division of Hafnafjördur’s Swim Club. Last weekend he participated in Iceland’s very first 24 hour Sea Swimming Training Marathon held in Nauthólsvík in Fossvogur.


From Nauthólsvík. Photo by ESA.

The training marathon began on Friday, June 24th and finished around 7pm the following day.

The event was in preparation for the group’s back and forth crossing of the English Channel in July and after the event Heimir Örn told the weekend edition of Morgunbladid it had certainly been a difficult 24 hours: “It was a strenuous experience for the body to be in the cold water. Each swimmer only had three hours to rest between sessions and there was little sleep to be had during the breaks.”

The group was joined by Árni Thór Árnason, a sea swimmer who has spent the last nine months training for a solo crossing of the English Channel, from the English shores of Dover to the French seatown of Calais. On average he swims 35 to 40 kilometres (21.7 to 24.8 miles) a week.

He told Morgunbladid he was “looking forward to crossing the finish line.”

That same weekend SJÓR (SEA), an annual camping festival, was held in Stykkishólmur, where sea swimmers from around the country gather to swim in the spectacular surroundings of Snaefellsnes Peninsula; they swim from Búðarnes to Súgandisey.

For those not quite ready to brave the cold waters, a program for all ages is open to visitors after the main events.

The city of Reykjavík’s official website has further information on sea swimming facilities in the vicinity of Reykjavík.

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