Nauthólsvík is a beach in Reykjavík, which is heated with geothermal water at certain times of the day.
Visit it while exploring the city of Reykjavik on a day tour.
Photo from Flickr, by Helgi Halldórsson
Nauthólsvík is a beach with imported golden sands, unlike most others in Iceland which are covered in black ash. It looks out across a narrow bay to a picturesque district of Kopavogur, a town within the Greater Reykjavík Area, and has a small cove into which the geothermal water is pumped.
When heated, this cove averages at around 15 to 19 degrees in summer, although in winter it still usually averages at about freezing.
Aside from swimming, there are several things to do at Nauthólsvík. There are geothermal hot tubs on site, which are much warmer than even the heated sea, and a sauna; of course, you can also enjoy beachside activities such as sunbathing, creating sandcastles and ball games.
Nauthólsvík is also home to the Siglunes Sailing Club, which offers sailing courses to children aged between 9 and 12 in summer; they run over five days, for three hours a day. In winter, the most popular activity is cold-water swimming.
From May 15th to August 15th, Nauthólsvík is free to enter; outside of this season, however, it costs 650 ISK to have use of the pools, hot tubs, bathrooms and changing rooms. Towels can be rented for 600 ISK, and swimwear for 850 ISK. Those planning to visit many times can also buy Spring and Autumn passes.
Nauthólsvík beach is located in the shadow of Öskuhlíð, a vast forested hill with a wealth of hiking and cycling routes, some of which lead to relics from World War Two. Atop this hill is Perlan, a fascinating museum renowned its interactive exhibitions about Iceland’s nature, and on top of that is an excellent viewing platform.
It is easy to enjoy the beach, forest and museum on foot in just a few hours.
Nauthólsvík is also located right beside Reykjavík Domestic Airport, which connects travellers to the capital with far-flung reaches in the country. It is also where helicopter and other such tours depart.
Although Nauthólsvík is within walking distance from the centre of the capital, taking about 45 minutes, it is also on several bus routes and has a spacious carpark.