Iceland’s natural beauty is untamed. This land of fire and ice (yes, there are both volcanoes and glaciers here) captivates visitors with its spectrum of sights peppered throughout the wild and wonderful landscape. Day or night, there are mesmerising natural phenomena to experience.
The island’s capital is the perfect springboard for exploring the rest of the country. Of all the best Reykjavík excursions out there, we’ve put together a collection of the essentials to help kick off your itinerary. Start your schedule with our list of six stellar sights:
- Northern Lights
- Blue Lagoon
- Golden Circle
- Lava Tunnel
- Snæfellsnes National Park
- Whale watching
1. Northern Lights
Witness this epic natural wonder for yourself on a Reykjavík Northern Lights tour. Otherwise known as the Aurora Borealis, this otherworldly spectacle occurs when electrically-charged particles from the sun collide with the Earth’s atmosphere. This happens over the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres and can be spotted clearly at night from Iceland during certain calendar months.
Expect a kaleidoscopic array of pale blues and greens, vivid pinks and purples and dashes of yellow, too. While you’re staying in the area, put this right to the top of your to-see list – it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that not everyone can say they’ve had!
2. Blue Lagoon
Like to relax while you’re on holiday? Enjoy an excursion to the Blue Lagoon near Reykjavík and get set to unwind. The stunning spa is set within volcanic surroundings, which is what gives the waters and springs their geothermal quality. The seawater is widely acknowledged to be revitalising and soothing for your skin, so people flock to the Blue Lagoon to enjoy the rejuvenating properties.
You can book a day package and with a sauna, steam room and various massage therapies available, you’ll feel at peace in no time. You’ll even find two serene restaurants serving local Icelandic cuisine in contemporary styles.
3. Golden Circle
A trio of enchanting natural marvels make up the Golden Circle in southwest Iceland – Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir Geothermal Area and Gullfoss waterfall. These geological gems are within a couple of hours’ drive from the centre of Reykjavík, which makes them well worth the day trip.
While you journey to each of these areas, you’ll be privy to views of volcanoes, jutting cliffs, dense flora and even ultra-clear waters that are popular with daring divers. The steaming vents over at the geyser are remarkable, too.
4. Lava Tunnel
You’ll be wowed at every glance as you wander through this tubular attraction. Only about half an hour from the city of Reykjavík, you’ll come across this mysterious and beguiling lava tunnel, aka Raufarhólshellir.
You’ll trace what remains of a volcanic eruption as you walk through the tunnel, which was created by a path of flowing lava. It’s a unique cave which often has ice sculptures at its mouth every winter, too.
5. Snæfellsnes National Park
This gorgeous unspoilt peninsula spans a 90km area in the west of the country. It’s one of the less commonly talked about Reykjavík day trips, but it’s one of the most breathtaking stretches of landscape nevertheless.
Lava fields, caves, cascading waterfalls and fishing villages combine to create this magical national park – the smallest in Iceland! The patterned Gerðuberg Cliffs, Eldborg Crater and strikingly dark Búðir Church are among the highlights, so don’t forget your camera!
6. Whale watching
You’ll find all sorts of companies selling scheduled whale watching tours in Reykjavík. Off the Icelandic shores, more than 20 species of whales and dolphins have been known to visit, so you’ve got great chances of checking out some of the marine wildlife while you’re around. From minke whales to humpbacks, killer whales to white-beaked dolphins, the varieties sighted are remarkable!
Find the right trip or sea safari for you by looking online beforehand or booking while you’re there in a tour operator’s shop.
If you’re up for adventures galore with these Reykjavík excursions, check out all the dates for the seasonal spectaculars we run to Iceland with Jet2CityBreaks.
We’ve expanded our portfolio, so you can now visit the compact but captivating capital for more months of the year. Our getaways include a Northern Lights tour, but there’s plenty more to experience beyond this fascinating phenomenon!
Posted: 9th Jan 2019.