Staying Fit On Your Trip To Iceland

Staying Fit On Your Trip To Iceland

Angie Diamantopoulou Author

Text by: Angie Diamantopoulou

Are you spending a lot of time on your trip to Iceland? Or are you perhaps keen to keep working out, even on vacation? You're in luck! Check out this guide on the best ways to stay fit during your trip to Iceland!

Fitness is a big deal for Icelandic people. It is no wonder, then, that it is very easy for tourists to find something that will keep them fit and active during their holidays, not just in Reykjavik, but in all of Iceland!

To find out more about Icelandic people's relationship with fitness, as well as the best places and activities that will keep you active on your trip to Iceland, keep reading!​


Before we dive head-first into our guide on how to stay fit during your vacations in Iceland, let's first take a look at what you can find in this blog:

  • do Icelandic people care about fitness?
  • what are the best gyms in Iceland?
  • what are the best activities that will keep you fit in Iceland?
  • are there any tours that will give you some serious exercise in Iceland?
  • some tips from a local!

don't miss your chance!

Our tours are often completely booked weeks or even months in advance, especially during peak season! Make sure you book a spot in your favorite tour ahead of time!


fitness in iceland: are icelandic people into fitness?

staying fit in iceland

There is only one thing Icelandic people love more than staying fit; showing off how fit they are. Indeed, their obsession with fitness (due to the fact that it is a small population and people are often judged on external appearance still) has sparked many a competition, as well as a gym revolution like no other.

The most popular gym chain, WorldClass, opens up new locations faster than you can say kettlebell squats. Meanwhile, personal trainers, as well as bedazzled bikini makers, rejoice as more and more young Icelanders compete in fitness.​

However, Icelandic people have a long history of fitness. In fact, swimming in pools has been an integral part of the Icelandic society for over a century. Also, the Icelandic landscape is perfect for walking, hiking, and climbing!

Therefore, you will find it very easy to stay fit during your holidays in Iceland!​


the best gyms in iceland

If you are looking for a proper gym to use during your Icelandic vacations, you might be disappointed by your hotel. Unless you are staying in a fancy, over-the-top expensive hotel, then you will most likely not be treated to any gym facilities.

So, what is a fitness enthusiast supposed to do?​

worldclass gym in laugar

Your best bet for staying fit might just be the most popular chain, WorldClass. Due to its popularity, the chain is able to offer short memberships for cheaper than most gyms. Therefore, it is your best option if you are looking for a one or two-week membership.

Furthermore, with 15 locations around Iceland, 11 of which are in the Capital Region, it is the most accessible gym chain you can find in the country. No matter where your hotel or AirBnB is located, you are bound to have a WorldClass gym near you! Also, every gym in the WorldClass family is equipped with all the machines and weights you could ever need.

Some locations tend to get busy and crowded, especially during rush hours, but the quality to price ratio gets you a bang for your buck​.

erial pole gym in reykjavik iceland

Looking for something a bit more adventurous for staying fit? Are you a traveling aerialist, dying for some fun in the air? Then Erial Pole might be the place for you!

With pole, lyra, hammock, and silks in their weekly schedule, as well as several pop-up classes and guests teachers, Erial is the perfect place for anyone who needs a space to practice their aerial skills while on vacation.

The instructors are delightful, and several of the classes are in English, but even if they are not, the instructor will modify it for you! The classes are split into levels, and there is a class for everyone, no matter how far along your aerial journey you are!

Erial Pole also offers short memberships, from just one class to several classes!​


best activities for staying fit on your trip to iceland

It's your vacation. The one time in the year when you can relax and do fun activities. I wouldn't blame you if you don't want to go to a gym! But how do you keep fit without going to the gym?

Well, Iceland is the perfect place for all sorts of fitness activities! So, let's take a look at what are the best ways for staying fit without going to the gym on your holidays!

1. Hiking​

hiking in iceland

Hiking is very popular in Iceland. After all, it's the best way to see and enjoy all the gorgeous nature that the country has to offer! 

Every time the weather is good, hiking trails are flooded by locals who enjoy staying fit while being in nature. There are several hiking paths and trails all around Iceland, all with their unique charm. From green valleys to rushing rivers and from steep mountains to rocky hills, Iceland has it all.

Apart from keeping you fit, hiking also gives you the best opportunity to photograph the Icelandic nature, so make sure you bring a camera with you!

A popular spot for hiking near Reykjavik is Mount Esja, a breathtaking spot with a view of the entire capital, as well as trails of different difficulties. Mount Esja is a favorite among locals!

Looking for more hiking trails in Reykjavik? Check out this guide!​

2. Swimming​

Swimming pool in Reykjavik

Iceland might be cold, but its pools aren't! As I mentioned earlier, Icelandic people love staying fit by visiting the local swimming pools for a quick dip! 

There are swimming pools in every single town in Iceland. In fact, swimming pools are so important to Icelanders that there are tiny towns with a swimming pool, but without a school!​ Therefore, you will definitely find a pool of your liking, no matter where in Iceland you are traveling.

Pro tip: get the City Card.​ This card gives you free access to every pool in Reykjavik, as well as free use of buses, free entrance to the zoo, and many more benefits and offers!

3. Ice climbing

ice climbing iceland

Are you a daredevil? Did you always want to climb a wall of ice like Jon Snow? Here's your chance!

Iceland is the perfect place to go ice climbing. Approximately 11% of Iceland's land is covered by glaciers, and there is nothing locals and tourists love more than exploring them! There is just something so awe-inspiring when you see a glacier for the first time, as if its frozen waters have frozen time itself.

Ice climbing is a fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I definitely recommend it. Besides, unlike Jon Snow, you will have proper equipment and instructors to keep you safe!​


keeping fit with tours in iceland

glacier hike and ice climbing tour wake up reykjavik

One of my favorite tours has to be the Glacier Hike and Ice Climbing tour. Keeping fit turns into an adventurous game in Sólheimajökull with our tour!

There is nothing quite like experiencing the Icelandic nature at its rawest, being up close to a glacier. The land speaks to you, with the crackling sound of ice in your ears. You can smell the fresh, cold wind, and every little piece of ice you touch is a part of history; those glaciers have been there long before us.

Our tour will take you to Sólheimajökull glacier, where our experienced guides will introduce you to the equipment and the safety procedures. Then, you will hike on the glacier, exploring the crevices in the ice, and if you are feeling up to it, you can test your ice climbing skills!

The tour takes approximately ten hours, and it is a small-group only tour, so make sure you book a spot ahead of your arrival here!​


some tips from a local

If you choose to work out outside, by going on a hike or generally being in nature, make sure that you are prepared. Even on the sunniest, warmest days, the weather can change rapidly, so make sure that you are dressed in layers that you can put on and take off as needed.

Also, remember to bring a water bottle and some snacks. You don't want to get dehydrated or feel faint!


some final words

Did you enjoy my guide on staying fit while on your trip to Iceland?​ Are there any other activities you enjoy that involve fitness? Let me know in the comments!

And, as always, don't forget to share with fellow traveling fitness enthusiasts!​

Are you spending a lot of time on your trip to Iceland? Or are you perhaps keen to keep working out, even on vacation? You’re in luck! Check out this guide on the best ways to stay fit during your trip to Iceland!

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