New Geothermal Beach Is Set to Open in a Reykjavik Suburb

| © Helgi Halldórsson / Flickr
Camille Buckley

The mid-Atlantic ridge is an underwater mountain chain that circles the earth and rises above sea level in Iceland, making it a hot spot of volcanic and hence, geothermal activity, that the island is so well-known for being. Because of this geothermal activity, the island has numerous naturally heated hot pools dotting the landscape.


Sometimes, those hot pools can be found close to the beach. In Reykjavik, this has created a popular beach area that makes the ocean water comfortable enough to swim in. Reykjavík currently has only one geothermal beach at Nauthólsvík, although the hot water is from a geothermal power station that is pumped into a man-made lagoon. Nauthólsvík originally opened in 2001 and now attracts about 530,000 guests each year. When the beach was created, a lagoon with large sea walls was constructed so that cold seawater and hot geothermal water could fuse together to create comfortable swimming temperatures.
The Reykjavík city council agreed earlier this year to put into action the creation of two new geothermal beaches in Reykjavik’s suburbs. The new beaches are being planned in a park in Gufunes and Skarfaklettur near the industrial harbor to be ready for the public by October 2018. The development of the beaches is part of a growing trend in the area towards more cultural and touristic activities such as the establishment of a film studio and the construction of new apartment buildings.

Big splash

The objective of the geothermal beach is to create a diverse recreational area for sunbathing, sailing and sea-swimming. The plan for the new geothermal beaches is for them to be similarly constructed as Nauthólsvík with hot tubs, steam baths, changing facilities, and showers. These facilities are especially helpful for sea-swimmers, which is becoming a more and more popular sport with an interesting history in Iceland. The oldest recorded sea-swimmer goes back to 1030 AD, when a settler swam from Iceland’s North Coast to Drangey island, a distance of about seven kilometers.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.