Beach + Island

Bizarre Beaches of the World

by Matthew Link

Nauthólsvík Beach, Reykjavík, Iceland

You wouldn't expect Iceland to be a swimmer's paradise. But then you probably haven't been to Nauthólsvík Beach on the southern coast of Reykjavík. While ocean temperatures this far north normally top out at a frigid 50 degrees, runoff from the capital's geothermal heating system (safely) warms the seawater of this sheltered cove to a comfortable 70 degrees in summer. If that's still too cool, for a few bucks you can steep in the two "hot pots" (pools filled with 100 degree freshwater).

Beyond the beach: Once your fingers go all pruney from your soak, rent a boat from the Siglunes Sailing Club, or refuel with carrot soup and the catch of the day at nearby Nauthóll Bistro). Spend the evening chilling out at the 56-room Hotel Borg, an elegant Art Deco beauty in Reykjavík's central square.

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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