Nautholsvik; The Geothermal Beach of Reykjavík


blog authorBy Johanna Sigurðardóttir shield verificationVerified Expert

    Iceland is an island, so it’s natural for those visiting our capital city to ask “Does Reykjavik have a beach?” But what you might not suspect is that the question “Does Reykjavik have a geothermal beach?” is way more accurate.

    That’s right! Not only can you have your white sand beach holiday in a Nordic country, but you can have it with the added bonus of taking a dip in a warm “ocean”. In this guide to Nautholsvik, we tell you everything you need to know about the geothermal beach, and what you can expect from a visit to its “shores”.

    About Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach

    Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach is one of the newer additions to the attractions here in Iceland. It was opened in 2001, and offers visitors the best of both worlds; the chilly sea experience as well as the warm “ocean”. If you want to take on the cold Icelandic sea which is said to have loads of health benefits, you’re looking at taking a dip in waters of about 2-4 degrees Celsius.

    Its warmer man-made lagoon counterpart ranges between 15-19 degrees Celsius. The man-made lagoon is a fusion of the cold ocean water and Reykjavik’s hot water reserves from both local hot springs and our alternative energy heating houses. The white sand from the beach was imported all the way from Morocco.

    But there’s a lot more than just 2 oceans up Nautholsvik’s sleeve. You will find plenty of other facilities and amenities there. From state-of-the-art changing rooms, and showers, to steam baths and hot tubs - Nautholsvik promises to be the ultimate day out.

    Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach

    Where is Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach?

    As we already mentioned, Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach can be found in the capital city of Reykjavík. It’s mere minutes away from downtown and sits next to the University of Reykjavík.

    It’s also very close to another popular attraction, Perlan, which is a mere 900 meters away from the beach. Its location makes it the perfect outing for those who have limited time on the island or are planning on sticking to the borders of the capital during their visit.

    How to Get to Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach

    You have a number of options when it comes to visiting Reykjavík’s Geothermal Beach:

    You Can Walk

    If you have any mobility at all, walking around Reykjavík is a great way of taking in all the sites, and experiencing the culture. As the safest country in the world (officially), you can walk around with peace of mind, and most of the attractions in the city are located pretty close to each other.

    You Can Drive

    If you have rented your own transport here on the island, you can drive to Nautholsvik. Renting your own vehicle is always a good idea if you’re planning on exploring the rest of the island. For the most budget-friendly and comfortable road trip, you should rent a campervan in Iceland. This way you can take advantage of campsites and the discounts that the Camping Card offers.

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    You Can Take the Bus

    We have buses running throughout Reykjavik all day long. If you’re planning on staying in the capital for at least a couple of days, we highly recommend getting the Reykjavik Card. Not only will this give you free access or discounts to many attractions in the city, but it will also give you free access to the city bus service, so you can hop on and off wherever you want to go all day long.

    Is Nauthólsvík Free?

    No, Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach is not free, but it’s not expensive either. Entrance is about $7 and gives you access to all amenities for the entire day. And if you’ve forgotten your towel or your swimwear, don’t worry, you’ll be able to rent it at $6 and $9 a pop. If you’re planning on an extended trip to the island, there are also pass options available from a 10-visit bundle to 6 months and a year.

    When is the Best Time to Visit Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach?

    Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach is open all year round, with operating hours varying depending on the day of the week. These are also subject to change based on the season and weather conditions. Not surprisingly, many prefer visiting the beach during the warmer months of the year (May to October).

    As a mostly outdoor venue, the warmer months mean nicer weather and more daylight hours to enjoy everything Nautholsvik has to offer. But there are others who enjoy the contrast of the hot water and cold air during the colder months of the year. When you want to schedule your visit for will remain up to you and your personal preferences.

    Just also keep in mind that summer (June to September) is considered the peak season here on the island, so you need to brace yourself for our peak season crowds if you’re planning a trip during this time. If crowds are not your thing, we suggest scheduling your trip for a warm shoulder month, such as May or October.

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    Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach is a Not-to-be-missed Reykjavik Attraction

    Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach sees an average of 530,000 guests flocking to its white sands every year, and 530,000 people can’t be wrong. So, it’s fair to say that Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach is not to be missed when spending some time in in the capital.

    Most visitors will start their Iceland trip in Reykjavík upon landing at Keflavik Airport. But we always suggest that people spend at least a couple of days in the capital taking in all the amazing sites, doing some shopping on Laugavegur Street, and trying out some local cuisine at the many restaurants lining the streets.

    Rent a campervan in Iceland so you can drive to Nautholsvik and other attractions whenever you don’t feel like walking, and then simply hit one of our many popular road trip routes from Reykjavík for your travels around the island. But whatever you do, ensure that you start your Icelandic adventure off with a splash at Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach!

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