Iceland Mag

11 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Swimming in the ocean off the coast of Reykjavík in the middle of winter

By Staff

  • Winter swimmers Ocean swimming is a family activity, not just an extreme sport for the bravest among us! Photo/Ernir Eyjólfsson

Geothermal heat is not only used to heat up swimming pools or hot tubs. It's also used to warm up a small bay on Reykjavík's south coast, raising the temperature of the ocean just enough to make it comfortable to swim in during the summer. The Nauthólsvík beach is one of the most popular spots for locals on a warm summer day.

Read more: Heating soccer fields and growing cucumbers: 9 ways in which geothermal energy is used in Iceland

In the summer the water at Nauthólsvík rises to 15°C (59°F), but in the winter the temperature drops, all the way to -2°C (28.4°F). But this does not stop the most dedicated ocean swimmers! All through the winter locals visit Nauthólsvík to swim in the ocean. 

Ocean swimmers will tell you it clears all pores, clears your mind and re-invigorates better than any other alternative type of exercise. And then, after a swim in the sea, you can run back up the beach to the hot tub which is a comfortable 39°C (102°F).

A unique experience!
If you want to truly experience Icelandic nature, and try something new, you should certainly check out Nauthólsvík beach! What could beat out swimming in the North Atlantic and bathing at a geothermal ocean beach in Iceland?

The travel website CultureTrip recently created a fun little movie about Nauthólsvík ocean swimming you should check out!

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