Rules of participation

To be eligible to participate in the Lake Thingvellir swim, participants must have registered and must have paid the confirmation fee. Participants must also demonstrate that they are able to swim a distance of 3.5 kilometers (2.17 miles) in under 70 minutes without mishap and under supervision in either fresh or seawater.

Note that the temperature of the water of Lake Thingvellir is about 10°C (50°F).


The Lake Thingvellir swim

The prerequisite for holding the swim is that the wind velocity must be below 5 m/sec. (9.7 kts).

Participants must arrive at the Mjóanesoddi point, which is the starting point of the swim. Teammates of the swimmers must remain at the finish line and will not be allowed in the observation boats. Boat traffic is discouraged in the proximity of the swimmers during the swim.

Safety and location supervision will be provided by the Icelandic Association for Search And Rescue (ICE-SAR) represented by the local Search and Rescue Team in the village of Eyrarbakki

At the starting point of the swim, Zodiac lifeboats will be situated near the shore due to the hazard of slippery rocks on the bottom.

Swimmers must be on dry land before starting their swim. A horn will sound at the start of the swim and an observer will start timing the swim. The swim is only considered concluded when the swimmer is completely out of the water on dry land. Timing of the swim is then stopped.

A beacon of light will be situated at the finish line to assist swimmers in maintaining their bearings during the swim. (In cooperation with the local SAR)

Zodiac lifeboats will trail swimmers downstream of the current from the start to the finish line.

Swimmers are not allowed to come in contact with the lifeboats at any time during the swim. If a swimmer is not able to continue with the swim, he or she shall roll on to their back and raise an arm and wait for help to arrive.

Swimmers may receive nourishment with the assistance of the SAR team. Nourishment will be placed in front of the swimmer who will, after being nourished, throw the container towards the observation boat. It is highly recommended that swimmers shall be well nourished before the swim and also just prior to the swim commencing.

When the timing of the swim has stopped, swimmers can get all the assistance they require from their teammates.  It is wise to make sure teammates are ready with the swimmer's gear for drying and getting dressed. Also, remembering to bring a hot drink is highly recommended.

All that is left is to remember to enjoy the adventure associated with swimming in Lake Thingvellir, Iceland.


The rules of the Lake Thingvellir swim

  • Participants in the Lake Thingvellir swim are completely responsible for their own actions in relation to the risk of accidents, personal injury and personal property damage. Swimmers should be well aware of the risks associated with open water swimming.
  • Participants must be 18 years old or older when the swim takes place.
  • Participants may not come in contact with the lifeboats during the course of the swim.


Swimmers are allowed to use:

  • one pair of uninsulated swimwear in accordance with the rules of the FINA. (FINA-pdf)
  • one each uninsulated swim cap.
  • one pair of swimming googles, clear or slightly colored.
  • All types of ointment, including wool grease (wool wax) are not allowed during the swim.
  • Any additional gear which could increase the speed, cold tolerance or buoyancy of swimmers is prohibited.
  • The rules of the SSÍ, ÍSÍ and WADA on substance abuse apply to the Lake Thingvellir swim.