Johann - The CEO of Reykjavik Outventure

Jóhann Viking

Open-Water Swimming

All my life I’ve had boundless energy. I have always been a nature enthusiast and used every opportunity to come into contact with nature.
We are very lucky here in Iceland to be surrounded by beautiful and clean nature and we never have to go far to get in touch with it.

The best thing I know is to bathe in ice-cold water, whether in the sea, in cold rivers, by jumping into cold waterfalls or simply take a cold shower at home. On those occasions I feel the most free and alive! This allows me to drain all this energy I have, and I never feel as fresh as after a good day in cold water.

Open Water Swimming - Iceland Swimming

We have so many beautiful places here in Iceland to engage in such insanity, as many people would call it.

But I still enjoy swimming in the ocean best because it allows me to swim long distances and be in the water for an extended period of time.
And it gives the biggest rush when you come back up into the warmth. And the colder the water and the longer you’re in it,
the greater the reaction when you‘re back in the warmth.
Open Water Swimming - Iceland Swimming in Ocean

This is not for everyone since most people don’t want to bathe in some ice-cold water because of how the body reacts to it,
and you are going way beyond your comfort zone by doing it. But everything that’s a bit odd and different has always appealed to me and I long to do something that others won’t. I go to Nauthólsvík every day of the week, which is the main open-water swimming spot in Reykjavík.
There I swim several hundred meters, sometimes alone and often with friends.

Iceland Swimming - Swim in Tröllafoss Waterfall

I also often spend summer days by a waterfall called Tröllafoss.

Tröllafoss is just outside Reykjavik and many people don’t know of it, so it’s a part of Reykjavík’s secret spots.
I can easily spend a whole day there, swimming around, sunbathing, and jumping into the waterfall and rapids.
There are often salmon below the waterfall and it can be very fun to put on a pair of swimming goggles and swim with them.

Tröllafoss Waterfall - Open Water Swimming

Iceland has a lot of places like this, where you can play and bathe in waterfalls.

Just to name a few:


Hjálparfoss Waterfall in Iceland
Stjórnarfoss Waterfall in Iceland

And then the bonus you get when bathing in cold water.

You strengthen the immune system a great deal. I don’t get sick anymore. For a long time I had a very bad neck after a car accident,
but that has improved a lot. Bathing in cold water strengthens the vascular system and the heart.
Although blood pressure rises by taking a cold bath, it decreases in the long run.

Bathing in cold water gives you better skin and hair because it doesn’t dry you up like a hot shower will.

Bathing in cold water can reduce depression.

There’s no better way to start your day than by taking a cold shower or bathing in cold water and then enjoying a hot cup of coffee afterwards.

Bathing in cold water can speed up muscle repair and recovery after a hard workout or a long surf session.
It can also ease delayed-onset muscle soreness.

And so much more.


I recommend it if you have never done it before and want to try it out.

When you take a cold bath, just empty your mind, let go and let the cold pass by. After about a minute, you stop being cold and everything will be fine.

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