The winter swimmers the Nødebo Vikings

Who are the Nødebo Vikings

The Nødebo Vikings are a winter swimming club just outside of Hillerød, 40 km north of Copenhagen. Feel free to contact us if you’re in the vicinity and want to take a dip with us in our ice-cold lake! We’re there every Saturday and Sunday and Wednesday mornings, and Wednesday afternoons. You can reach us:

either at our clubhouse at the address Krostien 11, Nødebo, DK-3480 Fredensborg, Denmark,

or through our chairperson Jesper Vilander, e-mail   jespervilander @ gmail.com or his mobile +45-2445 8541

or through our homepage   https://www.nbovikingerne.dk/

What we do

From October to April each year we take quick dips in our Lake Esrum, and, if there are no COVID-19 restrictions, we renew our bodily warmth in the sauna in our clubhouse and take one more dip. And maybe one more! As well as the sauna and dressing rooms, the clubhouse also has a full kitchen and a large room for meetings – and parties.

There are about  110 members of the club. We have no waiting list, and everyone over the age of 15 is welcome.

In the course of a winter, we visit other winter swimming clubs, such as those along the northern coast of Zealand, in Gilleleje, Hornbæk, and Tisvildeleje. To be completely honest, we do feel the difference between swimming in ice-cold fresh water (such as our lake) and ice-cold saltwater. The latter is more fun for us, though perhaps because of the sea waves.

Regular activities

The first Saturday of each month (October to April), we eat a brunch together in our clubhouse, after couple or three dips in the lake.

Roughly once a month, we also put on evenings with aroma therapy in our sauna. Our trained aroma therapists guide us through the exotic combination of exhilarating, aromatic oils and the relaxing warmth of the sauna.

Every year on Christmas Eve’s and New Year’ Eve’s mornings, we meet donned in appropriate headgear (i.e., Christmas elves’ hats or New Year’s funny hats). Between dips in the lake, we share the season’s greetings with a dram or two.

In line with Danish tradition, on Whitsunday morning, we meet to watch the sun rise (at about 04:30 AM) – and down a dram in honor of the Sun.

True ice

Our chairperson Jesper cools off in the lake

Travels to winter swimming festivals

Each year several of our members take part in the winter swimmers’ festival at Skagen, at the very tip of Jutland. There we meet with winter swimming clubs from all over Denmark. In Denmark, more than 1% of the entire population are members of winter swimming clubs!

Through the years members of the Nødebo Vikings have participated in the World Winter Swimming Championships. In 2014 we were in Rovaniemi, Finland; in 2018 we were in Tallinn, Estonia. Our teams have been part of breaststroke and crawl races and the relay races.

At the first-ever Danish winter swimming championships in Gilleleje in January 2020, our members won a number of medals, including several gold medals.

We have also close ties to the winter swimming club Die Eisheiligen, in the town of Bernau, just outside of Berlin, Germany. The two clubs have visited each other several times.