Mini guide to Reykjavik
The northernmost capital in Europe, Reykjavik evokes images of the midnight
sun, geological wonders and fierce Viking adventurers. However, nowadays the
city is fast gaining a reputation for its exuberant nightlife and cultural diversity.
The old town is compact, and places worth exploring on foot include the National
Museum with its impressive collection of Viking implements and art. Also exciting
is the Árni Magnússon Institute, which houses 13th century sagas
- epic tales of romance and danger. After dark, stroll around the numerous bars
and clubs which give this city a hedonistic reputation.
The famous thermal waters of the Blue Lagoon are within easy driving reach
of Reykjavik. The bright blue waters are warmed by thermal heat; and the lake,
with its adjacent modern leisure centre and changing facilities, is set in a
lava rock landscape which gives it an alien atmosphere. The steaming waters
are also filled with a glowing grey mud, which enthusiastic bathers scoop up
in handfuls and rub all over their bodies, fervently believing in its health-inducing
Reykjavik lies on a small peninsula on the southwest coast of Iceland, off
a sizeable bay called Faxaflói. This city is where the vast majority
of the country's population huddles together; only one-fifth of this ice cap,
lava field and desert plateau-covered island is considered habitable.
Although periodically inhabited by reclusive Irish monks and Viking adventurers,
Iceland was first settled seriously in 874 AD by the Norwegian, Ingolfur Arnarsson.
There followed rapid settlement, bloody feuds, epidemics and political struggle
against Norwegian, and then Danish masters. Independence was finally gained
A 1351-kilometre ring road called Highway One traces Iceland's entire coastline,
making the capital accessible by car from everywhere. Long-distance buses depart
from the BSÍ terminal at the northeastern edge of Reykjavik City Airport.
If you're travelling by air, Keflavík International Airport is 48kms
to the west of Reykjavik. Direct sea journeys to Reykjavik can be made with
the cargo shipping company Eimskip, on its vessels Dettifoss and Gudafoss.
Selection of hotels in this region:
Radisson SAS Island Hotel
Radisson SAS Saga Hotel
Click below for a
full list of hotels and online booking