A little bit of paradise is to be found in the form of a golden-sanded geothermal beach at Nauthólsvík in Reykjavík.
Nauthólsvík was opened in 2001, to the delight of residents. The creation of the geothermal beach was an ambitious, but a very successful project, involving the construction of a lagoon with large sea walls, where cold sea and hot geothermal water fuse together resulting in higher temperatures.
The main objective of creating the geothermal beach was to establish the bay of Nauthólsvík as a diverse outdoor area and haven for recreational activities; such as sunbathing, sailing and sea-swimming. Sea-swimming is surprisingly popular all year round, with people enjoying the use of the hot-tubs, steam-bath, and changing facilities and showers. Even when the water drops below freezing.
Average temperatures are between 3°- 5°C in the winter and 12°- 15°C in the summer. The temperature of the sea inside the lagoon itself is higher in the summer, averaging at between 15°- 19°C, due to the geothermal heating.