Best time to visit Svalbard

Ice-Cold Swimming

You'll never know how your body is going to respond to this kind of stress

Ice-Cold Swimming in Svalbard - Best Time
Photo by

Magnus Hellman

Swimming in ice-cold water is both exciting and dangerous experience. The most important thing is safety. All the swimmers go through a necessary medical check, and if the responsible doctor notices something wrong with someone in the water, that swimmer will be immediately taken back into the boat. The body temperature of a swimmer in such conditions falls to 32 degrees which means moderate and mild hypothermia. Usually, it takes over four hours to get back to normal after such supercooling. A swim test is conducted individually, and each swimmer is followed by a small rubber boat and a larger one.

The secret of immersion into the ice-cold water lies in the feeling of surges running through your body once you jump out of the water. Even though plunging yourself into icy water requires a liberal share of courage, a momentary loss of feeling in your legs and the initial shock will soon pass. As soon as you’re back on the land, your body starts to warm up.

Swimming in icy water has traditionally been something that older people worshipped, and youngsters have made it even more trendy—ice cold swimming is considered a substantial energy boost.

The most favourable season is June to early September, as both water and air temperatures are at their highest, anyway more or less around zero. The only two months that see constant temperatures above zero are July and August.