Reykjavik Iceland

   
 
 

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik has been called Europes hottest capital and is famous for it's nightlife ,but there is more to Reykjavik than pubs and clubs. Reykjavik held the prestigious title of European City of Culture in the year 2000, a welcome recognition of the energetic and colorful cultural life of the capital.

Reykjavik has the best of both worlds: the qualities of a modern, forward-looking society are complemented by a close connection to beautiful and unspoiled nature in the city's vicinity. The worlds northernmost capital is framed by the majestic Mt. Esja, which keeps a watchful eye on the city, and the blue waters of Faxafloi Bay. On a sunny day, the mystical Snaefellsjokull glacier appears crystal-like and baby-blue on the western horizon, while mountainous moonscapes spread to the southeast.

Reykjavik is spread across a peninsula with a panoramic view of the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean on almost all sides. In the summer, you can sit by the harbour at midnight and watch the sun dip slightly below the horizon before it makes its way up again.

Reykjavik is a great place to visit, whether for a restful relaxation, a spot of unbridled fun or generally to recharge your batteries. Reykjavik is indeed Europes hottest (or is that coolest?) capital.

Reykjavik is far the largest community in Iceland, with a population of about 115,000. Including the neighboring towns, the capital area has a total population of about 170,000, which is about 60% of Icelands population of some 290,000 people.

Iceland was settled by Norwegian and Celtic immigrants during the late 9th and 10th centuries A.D. According to the medieval Book of Settlements, Ingolfur Arnarson the first settler of Iceland built his farm on the peninsula where Reykjavik stands today. The place was named Reykjavik Smoky Bay - after the columns of steam that rose from the hot springs in the area and made such a profound impression on the original settlers.

Many centuries later, around the middle of the 18th century, a small town started to grow around the farm of Reykjavik, thanks to Royal Treasurer Skuli Magnusson, known as the Father of Reykjavik, who established wool workshops at Reykjavik as part of his efforts to modernise the Icelandic economy. This led to the beginnings of urban development at Reykjavik. Reykjavik received its town charter in 1786.

The Icelandic parliament, Althingi, was founded in the 930 AD at Thingvellir in the southwest. In 1798 the Althingi was abolished, but in 1845 it was re-established in Reykjavik, where the countrys government and administration were now located. In due course, when Iceland won Home Rule and then independence from Danish rule, Reykjavik became the capital of Iceland. With the rapid economic progress of the 20th century, Reykjavik grew steadily, but developed especially fast in the second half of the century.

Sights

 
Golden Circle Tour

Scheduled coach tours that bring passengers into close contact with the many sides of Iceland: its nature, history, culture and daily life. All tours are with professional guides and when you book in advance you will be picked up 30 min before departure from the hotel or guest house where you are staying in Reykjavik.

 
Northern Lights & Lobster

Departs daily at 8:00 PM (4 -5 hours)

Departure from Reykjav�k, the Super Jeep takes you to the south shore to a small seaside village, Stokkseyri, where we enter a rustic restaurant with its warm and friendly atmosphere (By the Seaside). We will enjoy their specialty, lobster tails, which is served on a whole platter, cooked in butter and garlic and accompanied by a specially made sauce and bread (drinks not included). After dinner you will go on a twilight tour across the surreal lava, chasing the Aurora Borealis which swirl around colourfully in dramatic shapes across the night sky(conditions permitting) before returning to Reykjav�k. This phenomenon can only be seen in the dark winter season.

Included: Jeep tour with driver-guide, Lobster tails dinner. Not Included: Beverages

 
Horseback Riding Tours

The Icelandic horse is unique in many ways. The horses we have today are direct descendants of the horses brought by the Vikings during the settlement. It is intermediate in size and has 5 gaits, 1 more than any other horse type, the t�lt.

For all our riding tours riding helmets, rainwear or warm outfits are supplied as well as gloves and boots.

LAVA RIDING TOUR

Departs daily at 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM - pickup 1 hour earlier (3 hours, 1.5 - 2 hours riding)

An adventurous ride through the lava fields around Mt. Helgafell or Lake Hvaleyrarvatn. Riders of all experience levels can participate in this tour.

Included: Guided riding tour, pick up and drop off at hotel.

BLUE LAGOON RIDING TOUR

Departs daily at 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM - pickup one hour earlier (5 - 7 hours)

An introduction to the Icelandic horse. 1 1/2 hours riding and then a drive to the enchanting Blue Lagoon for a swim or a relaxing bath. No riding experience needed.

Included: Bus fare, guided riding tour, the Blue Lagoon entrance fee.

 
Reyjavik Grand Excursion

Departs daily at 9:00 AM (2.5 hours)

A tour visiting the citys main attractions on foot and by bus. The main landmarks, such as The Pearl and Hallgrimskirkja church and the National Museum of Iceland are visited. The aim of the tour is to give some insight into the Icelandic society and how Reykjav�k has developed from a small fishing village into a modern capital.

Included: Guided bus tour, entrance to the National museum of Iceland

 
Relaxing Blue Lagoon

The Lagoon is a unique wonder of nature; a lagoon with pleasantly warm mineral-rich geothermal water in the middle of a black lava field. The high natural levels of silica and minerals give the Lagoon its rich blue color. A visit to the Blue Lagoon is both invigorating and relaxing. It is also possible to enjoy a nice massage while in the lagoon (booked separately for an additional fee).

Included: Roundtrip bus (not a guided tour)

 
Saga Circle

Departs Mon/Wed/Fri/Sun at 9:00 AM (8 - 9 hours)

The Iceland Sagas are known throughout the world and the west coast of Iceland was the setting for many of them. This was a deciding factor in locating a new Icelandic Settlement Centre, and this is where the tour commences. After a visit to the informative venue the footsteps of the Vikings will be followed as well as the chiefs of the middle ages, Snorri Sturluson, who lived in Reykholt and wrote the most significant Nordic poets. The Hraunfossar waterfalls will be visited and an inspection made of the largest hot spring in the Northern Hemisphere, Deildartunguhver.

Included: Guided bus tour, lunch at the Icelandic Settlement centre and entrance to museums

 
South Shore Adventure

Departs daily at 9:00 AM (10 hours)

South Iceland is a lowland region of lush farmland, striking waterfalls, sandy coastline, glaciers and quaint towns and villages. It is also an area of historical significance. Here the famous Icelandic Saga of Nj�ll occurred. Visitors have an opportunity to stand behind a plummeting waterfall, gaze at natural rock formation and feel the amazing power of a glacier (if road conditions allow), as well as get to know the unique black sand of the coastline. A place not to be missed is the unique museum of transportation.

Included: Guided bus tour, and entrance to museum.

 
Blue Lagoon Evening Tour

Departs daily at 6:00 PM (4 hours)

Enjoy a peaceful and tranquil evening at the Blue Lagoon, famous for its unique bathing and healing powers. The place is of otherworldly setting where lava and thermal water complement each other. Between late autumn and early spring the northern lights are often seen dancing in the sky. You have the option of a dinner at the Blue lagoon.

Included: Bus tour and Blue Lagoon entry fee.

 
Pearl Tour and Activities

Departs daily at 8:00 AM (9 - 10 hours)

Departure from Reykjav�k in a guided super truck to Thingvellir, where the oldest parliament in the world was established and the tectonic plates meet, between North America and Europe. On we go to the famous Geysir area. After lunch and a walk at Geysir we will drive on for a look at Gullfoss the golden waterfall". From there we will drive to Langjokull, Iceland's second biggest glacier for a snowmobile ride. Then we head through the countryside to the explosion crater Kerio, before driving on to Reykjav�k.

Included: Guided super truck tour, snow mobile tour. Not Included: Lunch and beverages

 
Snowmobile Safari

Departs daily at 9:30 AM and 1:30 PM, December through Aoril (5 hours)

Head out of the city in super jeeps to the mountain plateau where the snow mobiles are located and waiting for you. All participants are provided with warm overalls, gloves and helmets.

Included: Return transfer in a super jeep from your hotel to snow mobile location, snowmobile tour of one hour, glove and helmet rental. Price based on 2 sharing a snowmobile. Not Included: meals