Reykjavik Regional Info (App Version)
Reykjavík is a rising star as a travel destination – small enough to be cozy and charming yet large enough to be cultural and entertaining. Reykjavík is the perfect launching off point for the beautiful and fascinating landscapes of Iceland; whether the Golden Circle with Geysers, Waterfalls and historic sites, the glaciers and black-sand beaches of the south coast or the volcanoes and lava fields of Reykjanes – or beyond!
HassThat Iceland is the least densely populated country in western Europe? With a surface area similar to Kentucky, two-thirds of Iceland's 300.000 people live in and around the capital, Reykjavík.
A lot of movies are filmed in Iceland? Interstellar, Prometheus, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Russel Crowe's Noah, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Oblivion, Thor 2: The Dark World, Star Wars Episode VII, 2 James Bond films (BOTH A View to a Kill AND Die Another Day), Batman begins, as well as many many more famous films are all shot in part or in whole in Iceland.
Is the most equal place in the world? That Iceland was the first country in the world to democratically elect a Woman head of state? And later the first to elect a Lesbian Prime Minister?
That Iceland has had not one but TWO 4-time first place winners in the 'World's Strongest Man' competition – Jón Páll Sigmarsson(1984, '86, '88 and '90) and Magnús Ver Magnússon(1991, '94, '95 and '96). They are tied as the 2nd and 3rd most-often-winning in history.
That 90% of Iceland's energy comes from renewable resources such as Geothermal and Hydroelectric power plants?
Icelandic (but most everyone speaks great English)
Reykjavík is a fascinating city – full of cute little coffee shops, designer stores, great museums, fine dining, vibrant nightlife and endless entertainment.
The City Centre
The uncontested main street of Reykjavík is Laugavegur, with nearby Skólavörðustígur a close second. On these roads and nestled on side streets nearby is where all the major boutiques, designer labels and coffee shops are located. For more options you can check out Kringlan Mall and Smáralind Shopping Centre. All the major museums, sights and historic buildings are within walking distance of the City Centre.
Major day tours from Reykjavík
You usually have the option of car hire, bus tours or Super Jeep tours for day tours from Reykjavík. The major options are:
The Golden Circle: This is the most popular option from Reykjavík. It includes Geysir geothermal area, Þingvellir National Park (seat of the Viking Parliament and a great place to see Tectonic Fissures) and Gullfoss, the Golden Waterfall.
South Coast: This takes you to awesome waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, to the black-sand beach by Vík, past glaciers and to basalt-column rock-formations.
Reykjanes is more volcanic, taking you through lava-fields, to geothermal springs so hot that they consist mostly of steam, to the 'Bridge Between the Continents' and often to the Blue Lagoon Spa as well.
Snæfellsnes is a longer day trip – to the historic town of Stykkishólmur, threading the road between gigantic mountain ranges and the deep blue sea to take you to Djúpalónssandur black-sand beach and the curious rock-formations of Arnarstapi.
The capital of the North of Iceland is Akureyri, the country's second largest city, which has a number of good museums and a charming city centre. Mývatn is a beautiful lake with tons or natural phenomena all around, for instance Dimmuborgir rock-formations. Further north there's Húsavík, the whale-watching capital of Iceland, and Dettifoss, the most volumous waterfall in Europe.
The East of Iceland is the home of Vatnajökull glacier, the largest icecap in Europe. Here you can sail on the famous Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, and go hiking in Skaftafell. You can also go glacier hiking, snowmobiling, and in winter, explore the glacier's amazing Ice Caves.
The West Fjords is one of the least densely populated areas in Europe. Parts of the fjords are even only approachable by boat. This is an amazing place to get away from it all, to get close to nature and get a taste of traditional Iceland.
You could do many or all of these different areas on a ring road round trip, but for that you want to take at least 7-10 days in summer, and probably longer in winter.