Deemed as the Capital of Culture, Reykjavik is the official repository of all things cultural in Iceland, surrounded by miles of nothing but natural beauty. Whether its from prestigious institutions and modern gallery settings to a vibrant music scene with a full programme of festivals all year long and a vibrant guild of designers and craftspeople, Reykjavik is one of the most important Icelandic regions worth exploring on your annual escapades. Come join us as we take you through the Icelandic wilderness and discover the hidden gems, the spectacular culture, the bidding wildlife and the easy escapes the region of Reykjavik has to offer.
Reykjavik’s White Nights
Reykjavik is well known for its intimate but vibrant nightlife. The greatest evenings begin with a cup of coffee at one of the many cafes, “pre-gaming” beverages at a friend’s flat, an unholy pilgrimage between many beer pubs, and a late colorfully-floored dance to DJs or good music.
The region serves as the ideal stopover between Europe and North America: urban bicycle and walking tours take in the city’s prominent attractions, but beyond that, Iceland’s charm emerges, and the city’s efficient transportation system can whisk you out into the wild.
Why Must You Visit Reykjavik?
The capital of the country with the greatest latitude combines vibrant structures, eccentric, creative people, stunning design, wild nightlife, and a fickle soul to devastating effect. Reykjavik is remarkably cosmopolitan for its size in many aspects. In spite of the fact that it is only a little town by the standards of other countries, it is full of fantastic museums, compelling artwork, delicious food options, and hip cafés and pubs. You’ll discover a location and a people that blend artistic creativity with an almost quaint, know-your-neighbors sense of community when you peel back the glittering tourist-centric exterior (it makes a fantastic base for visits to the countryside). You might fall hopelessly in love, coming home already saving to return, like many tourists do, when faced with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains, churning seas, and crystal-clear air. So, the question is, why should you not?
A Glance at Reykjavik’s Past
The first recognised Icelander was Ingólfur Arnarson, a Norwegian exile, in AD 871. According to legend, he abandoned his high seat pillars, known as önd vegisslur, and established up camp where the gods had washed them ashore. This occurred in Reykjavik (Smoky Bay), which he named for the geothermal vents that produced steam. Ingólfur erected his farm close to the present-day Aalstraeti (where excavations uncovered a Viking longhouse), according to accounts from the 12th century. For generations, Reykjavik was only a basic cluster of agricultural structures. On the outlying island of Viey, a significant Augustinian monastery was established in 1225; however, it was destroyed during the Reformation in the 16th century.
Iceland was left famished and impoverished in the early 17th century when the Danish ruler imposed a devastating trade monopoly on it. The “Father of Reykjavik,” local sheriff Skli Magnsson, built the city’s first factories—weaving, tanning, and wool dyeing—in an effort to get around the embargo in the 1750s.
During World War II, when it served British and American troops stationed at Keflavk, Reykjavik had a remarkable boom. The capital increased quickly until the 2008 credit crisis, when it received a beating. Today, thanks to a constant influx of tourists and constantly creative inhabitants, central Reykjavik has experienced a surge in growth.
Reykjavik’s Sights and Sounds
The majority of Reykjavik’s attractions are concentrated in the small city centre, which includes charming lakeside or coastal promenades, outstanding museums, and intriguing walking and shopping areas.
The heart of the city and the starting point of many historical walking tours is the district known as Old Reykjavk, which is home to a number of attractions and intriguing historic structures. The Rahs (city hall) and Alingi (town hall) are located between the Tjörnin (city centre lake), which serves as the area’s focal point, and Austurvöllur Park to the north (Parliament).
The Settlement Exhibition Museum
This intriguing archaeological ruin/museum is built around a Viking longhouse from the 10th century that was discovered here in 2001 and 2002, together with other settlement-era artefacts from central Reykjavk. It creatively fuses technology prowess with archaeology to provide a window into pre-Icelandic existence. Don’t overlook the older-than-old border wall piece at the museum’s rear, which is also Reykjavik’s oldest man-made building. A wraparound panorama depicts how things could have appeared during the longhouse era among the intriguing high-tech exhibits. Additionally, you can navigate around the various layers of the longhouse’s construction using a space-age-inspired panel and interactive multimedia tables that explain the area’s excavations. Great awk bones, fish-oil lamps, and an iron axe are just a few of the artifacts found.
What activities can I Enjoy in Reykjavik?
A paradise for all tourists, locally, you can take a city tour, rent bicycles to cruise along paths beside lakes or the sea, or stop by any of the town’s hot springs. The primary hub for activity excursions to all locations is Reykjavik. On hot summer days, people flock to the tiny sandy arc of Nauthólsvk Geothermal Beach, which is located on the edge of the Atlantic. Geothermal water is routed in to preserve the lagoon between 15°C and 19°C only during opening hours in the summer. A busy hot-pot (38°C all year), a snack bar, and restrooms are also available.
Like many Icelandic towns, Reykjavik’s naturally hot water is the centre of social life; at the baths, kids play, teens flirt, transactions are done, and everyone keeps up on the newest rumours. Volcanic heat maintains a comfortable 29°C, and the majority of baths include heitir pottar (hot-pots), which are pools that are heated to a toasty 37°C to 42°C. Besides that, you can go on bus tours, helicopter tours, cycling tours, fishing and boasting tours and wildlife watching tours! You can also waltz around the glitzy city center or walk down the history lane by visiting museums and art galleries. Moreover, you have the option of visiting Reykjavik’s Botanic gardens, the family part and zoo. There’s lots to see, do and discover in Reykjavik!
What is the Best Month to Visit Iceland?
Iceland experiences its warmest weather in the summer, which is why July and August have traditionally been the busiest travel seasons. And June attracts almost as many tourists as the height of the summer due to its constant daylight. However, poor weather (rain and strong winds) are not unheard of even during this season. You can frequently experience all four seasons in a single day due to the island’s unpredictable environment.
Planning a trip to Iceland in September can be great because the country can be quite mild through the first week of October. Ample daylight and milder temperatures are also available in May. However, if you’re interested in visiting some of the more isolated hills and fjords, it might not be the greatest time to go because some roads are still closed as they soften and defrost from the winter’s snowy cover. The greatest time to travel to Iceland for serious hikers is during the summer, when all of the mountain passes are open and the most well-known routes are reachable.
Come Travel With Us!
We, at GlacierHeli offer quality helicopter tour arrangements across the breathtaking landscape of Iceland. GlacierHeli will whisk you away on an adventure through the misty blue skies as you gaze upon the breathtaking panoramic picturesque landscape below. We are passionate about traveling, discovering hidden gems, stumbling upon historical remnants, and exploring the picturesque beauty of Iceland. We provide our lovely travelers with high-touch helicopter tours to facilitate their travel needs and share the wonders of the world neatly tucked in a leisurely travel schedule.
Want to explore the picturesque landscape of Reykjavik from high above? Our Dazzling Delights Helicopter Tour: Reykjavik City with landing at Mount Esja, will take you on a picturesque panoramic adventure of Iceland’s most precious jewel; Reykjavik city! Hoping to see you soon, until then, Iceland awaits thee!