Reykjavík is the capital city of Iceland, and like many, it’s busy, hectic and has a vibrant nightlife. As well as being the focal point of the country’s cultural activities, it’s also used by many as a gateway to the country’s superb landscapes.
The Blue Lagoon is Iceland’s most famous geothermal pool. It’s situated between the airport and Reykjavík and can be a little crowded at times. It’s the number one tourist attraction as people are drawn to the milky-blue spa and mineral-rich warm seawater. Iceland travel
Another natural wonder is the Geysir. It first put on a show in the 14th Century, blasting powerful jets of water in the air. It had been quiet for decades, but after recent seismic activity it has started to erupt again.
Read more about: Best geysers in Iceland
There are also many outdoor activities on offer in the Geysir area, such as river rafting, hiking and golf. A two hour drive away from Reykjavík is the Snaefellnes Peninsula, where there’s an awe-inspiring glacier that can be seen from the capital city on a clear day. It was also the glacier that French Author Jules Verne chose as his gateway to the centre of the Earth.
Europe’s largest national park, Skaftafell, is a bus ride away from the capital city. You’ll see striking peaks and glaciers and the largest ice cap on Earth, except for the North and South Poles.
Iceland ‘s broad coastline is interrupted by many breathtaking fjords where most towns are sited because the interior of the island, the Highlands of Iceland, are too cold with inhospitable sands and mountains.
With dozens of volcanoes and many geysers, Iceland is one of the most geologically active areas on Earth.
The fact that Iceland was quite often overlooked by tourists was both unfortunate and fortunate at the same time. On the one hand, it is unfortunate because much of the world does not realize just how beautiful Iceland truly is. On the other hand, it is fortunate that few tourists seek Iceland as a destination because it allows Iceland to retain its pristine natural beauty.
The following are a few of the most popular destinations in Iceland :
Lake Mývatn Conservation Area in north-eastern Iceland offers bubbling mud flats, volcanic craters, newborn lava fields, swarming bird life, a sparkling blue lake and the famous Dettifoss Fall which is Europe ‘s most powerful waterfall.
The Westmann Islands (Vestmannaevjar) is abundant with wildlife. And in 1963 a brand new volcano broke through and rose above the ocean creating the world’s youngest island, Surtsey.
Snaefellsnes Peninsula is scattered with lava caves, waterfalls and hot springs as well as charming fishing towns and farms; while the awe inspiring Snaefellsjokull Glacier is prominently visible for many miles.
Thingvellir is a most significant historical site in Iceland because this is where Iceland ‘s parliament first met in 930 AD. The Thingvellir National Park offers amazing fishing in Iceland ‘s largest lake and hiking trails through breathtaking natural landscapes.
The Blue Lagoon is man-made and its waters are reported to have medicinal properties. The Blue Lagoon has an opaque aquamarine color and is the most frequently photographed feature in Iceland.
The Árnesinga Folk Museum is housed in Húsið which is one of the most famous structures in Iceland and is located in the village of Eyrarbakki.
Built from a mixture of driftwood and turf, the Vidimyri Turf Church is one of the oddest looking structures one would ever witness but is considered as one of the finest examples of old Icelandic architecture.
The Akranes Football Club is one of the primary reasons that Akranes is on the map. It is the most famous football team in Iceland.
With the vibrancy of sports running strong in Akranes, the Akranes Museum of Sports which looks into the footballing history of the city is a perfect fit. Another big draw to Akranes is the sReprawling Langisandur beach just below the center of town. It is the perfect place for summer picnics, sunbathing, and seashell hunts.
If you would prefer a slightly warmer swim though, the close by geothermal pool called Jadarsbakkalaug is a wonderful place to have a relaxing soak. One of the least known jewels of Akranes is most certainly Gardalundur.
Rest in: Swimming pool in Akranes
It is a beautiful oasis park in the city. The park’s numerous paths and several small lakes are walled in my towering pine trees. Close to the outer borders of the park is the Gardarvöllur 18-hole golf course which will please all golfers with its stunning landscapes provided by forest greenery and the backdrop of the stunning Akrafjall mountain.
Akureyri has been playfully nicknamed as the “capital of northern Iceland”. With this name it is safe to assume there is plenty to do. For art lovers, a visit to Arts’ Alley along Kaupvangsstræti in the center in Akureyri would be a great time. This area includes the Akureyi Art Museum, countless small galleries, and North Iceland artists’ studios.
Once you get your fill of art you should fill your stomach at one of the many restaurants that are between the studios and galleries. If you prefer the outdoors, Akureyri does not disappoint.
The Akureyri Touring Club offers many guided activities along the diverse landscape of this area by providing cross-country skiing in the winter and trail hiking in the summer.
Horse rental can be a fun way to explore the woods, mountains, and river scenery of this beautiful area. History buffs should not pass up the archeological site of the medieval trading post Gasir, which is only eleven kilometers north of Akureyri.
Álftanes is poised on the farther edge of the Álftanes peninsula. While it is a primarily residential area, the city still has lovely attractions for visitors. One of the main draws of the area is the official residence of Iceland’s president.
The house, first built in 1766 and extensively renovated since then, is called the Bessastaðir Manor Farm. At the Manor is a stone church which is open to visitors.
It was created in 1777 with outstanding stained glass windows that depict events in the country’s religious history. Since it is directly on the sea, Álftanes has several spans of beach on its indented coastline which prove to be a lovely place to walk and enjoy the spray of the sea and the abundant bird life. If you are a true bird lover, Álftanes is definitely worth a stop as it is a vital feeding stop and resting area for migratory waterfowl.
Borgarnes is a small and tranquil fishing village on the west coast of Iceland, connected by most of the rest of Iceland by the second largest bridge in the country.
The town is famous for being the setting of the Saga of Egil. Therefore, a great deal of the tourism to the village is centered around the characters and specific places mentioned in the story.
Egil’s nanny and foster mother Þorgerður Brák even has her own artistic monument in Borgarnes called “Brákin” as a way to memorialise the ill fate of the famous character. Directly behind her monument is the Settlement Centre.
Rest in: Swimming pool in Borgarnes
The Centre is a primary visitor attraction of Borgarnes. Housed there are two main exhibits. The first looks into the settlement of Iceland as a whole with a great deal of multimedia tools and theatrical techniques. The second focuses on local history as seen in the Saga of Egil, allowing the visitor to wander through all the elements of the story.
Dalvík is an Eden for those who love the outdoors. Being next to the sea and the beautiful river provides a great deal of water activities.
One can hop on a boat to settle his or her fishing urge with angling or deep-sea fishing. Then, there are several whale watching tours and simple pleasure cruises to enjoy the beauty of the water and the breath-taking scenery.
The landscapes created by the river setting holds a nine-hole golf course in the Svarfaðardalur Valley. Dalvík is also home to some of the best ski slopes in the entire country that include trails for both beginners and experts.
Cross country skiers can get their fill on a variety of tracks as well. After all the outdoor romping, the Folk Museum with exhibits devoted to Iceland’s third president Kristján Eldjárn, Jóhann the Giant who was the tallest Icelander in history, and a variety of birds and animals.
Even though Egilsstadir is a very young urban center, it has grown by leaps and bounds to become the largest city in eastern Iceland. An interesting historic point for visitors is Skriouklaustur, the home of writer Gunnar Gunnarsson. More history can be found at the East Iceland Heritage Museum, officially called Minjasafn Austurlands.
The Museum has approximately 10,000 objects in its collection that are focused primarily on everyday objects used by eastern Icelanders over the past few centuries. One of the most fun attractions of Egilsstadir though is the beautiful Lagarfljó Lake which is supplied by the Lagarfljó River that flows through it.
The locals of the area believe the Lake is the home of a worm-like monster called Lagarfljotsormurinn similar to the monster of Loch Ness.
Next to the Lake is one of the country’s highest waterfalls called Hengifoss which has a smaller waterfall named Litlanesfoss just below it.
This small town is named after the fjord upon which it sits. The unique location of Eskifjörður means the town had to be built up the slope of the northern mountain and along a small sand spit, supplying absolutely gorgeous views for the residents and visitors. The primary mountain in Eskifjörður is Hólmatindur.
A hike to the top will provide magnificent views of the tallest mountains of Iceland’s interior. Organized hikes of the deserted fjords are also available in this area. One of the greatest attractions is the natural reserve that includes the Helgustaðanáman mine that contains one of the best sources of Icelandic spar.
The reserve is free of charge and open to all visitors. The Gamlabúð building in town which was erected in 1816 holds the Maritime Museum of East Iceland for sea lovers. The swimming pool of Eskifjörður is an attraction of itself as it features a sauna and hot pots for carefree relaxation.
Garðabær, sometimes written as Gardabær, is a small town of about 10,000 people in the area near the capital of Iceland Reykjavik. Do not think that this city is not worth a side visit though.
The Design Museum of Iceland is located in downtown Gardabær. Near the centre of Gardabær in Kirkjulund is a historical site not to be missed by Viking devotees known as the Hoffsstadir Archeological Site.
The site holds the remains of the second largest building from the Viking settlement period of the area. It was discovered in 1994, and since then what is left of the building has been preserved with the creation of a public garden set up around it.
You don’t need a guide or a guidebook to learn about the settlement of Hoffsstadir as the garden features multimedia touch screens to tell the story of the site as well as the lives of the people who lived there during the ninth century.
Gardur is a municipalitiy where one can truly know the feeling of standing on the edge of the world. The peninsula on which is lies is relatively flat compared to the rest of Iceland and has unhindered views of the sea.
Garoskagata is a narrow strip of land that is completely out in the open with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Faxafloi Bay on the other.
The panoramic view in this area is astounding and will allow one to feel the vastness of the world. The lighthouse of Gardur is a monument of pride to the locals.
Not only is it the savior of countless sailors and fishermen but it is also the perfect vantage point for birdwatching as the spring brings thousands of migratory birds to the area to rest and feed before spreading across the country. Leira, one of the best golf clubs in the country, is also close by Garour.
Grindavík is a small fishing village located on the southern part of the Reykjanes peninsula. The economy and settlement of the town has revolved around fishing since the very beginning as it has one of the most active harbors in Iceland.
The Icelandic Saltfish Museum displays this important element of the economy in Grindavík as well in Iceland as a whole throughout the centuries.
Approximately five kilometers north of the city centre is the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa.
It utilizes both hot and mineralized waters from the Svartsengi power station so that it always is perfect for optimal relaxation. A fun trip to the outskirts of the town is an adventure to the lava caves.
Explore: Best things to do in Grindavík
The main road between Reykjanesbraut and Grindavík has a parking area just off the road for visitors to one of the main caves. A helmet and torch are necessary for the visit as it is not an organized nature reserve.
Hafnarfjordur truly is a magical place in Iceland. The psychic Erla Stefansdottir is considered to be the official elven expert of Iceland, and she has declared Hafnarfjordur to be the elf capital of Iceland.
The Hidden Worlds Map was created by her and indicates all the supernatural sites in town. There are even several guided tours which follow the map around the city and add fun stories of elven interaction in Icelandic folklore.
The city is also in a very geologically active region which creates stunning landscapes. Several lava-formed mountains are easy to climb by most visitors and provide lovely views in addition to stories to take back home about trekking along real lava. These mounts include Helgafell and Asfjall.
The climb up Hamarinn provides cliffs which overlook the city and even has its own view-disc to really admire the landscape. To continue your lava adventure be sure to visit Chapel in the Lava where there are the remains of a lava rock built ancient chapel in the Kapelluhraun lava field.
The natural surroundings of Höfn are a big part of its draw. The town is surrounded by several glaciers. During the summer, Höfn even has an exhibition in town that goes into detail about the origin of the glaciers as well as how they move and effect the land.
Once you have all the information about the glaciers, a trip to see them is definitely a necessity. The Skaftafell National Park is a great place to view the moving ice up close as hiking trails cross the entire park.
Some tours in town also guide and help visitors explore along the glaciers in fun ways such as snowmobiling and climbing.
Do not leave out the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon when you visit.
The glacier began to recede in the early 1930s to form a lagoon which can be toured by boat. The floating and newly formed icebergs make each trip unique.
Husavík is a huge tourist destination in Iceland for several reasons. This exquisite harbor town is one of the best places to spot whales.
Countless numbers of whale watching tours depart from the harbor each and everyday so that all visitors can get a close up view of these majestic animals in their natural habitat.
With such a strong link between whales and Húsavík, the Whale Museum in the town’s centre adds to the experience of visitors. It actually is an award-winning museum as well as a fun stop in the village. The town’s available museums do not stop with the Whale Museum though.
Their local history museum is certainly worth a visit. Also, the eccentric Phallological Museum is a special addition to the entire world if you want to see something completely unique while you visit the town of Húsavík. It looks at the impact of male genitalia of all species on art, history, and many other areas.
Hveragerdi is a small but unique town that embraces the geologically active region upon which it is settled. The Kambar mountain slope looks down on the village which is built upon a lava field that formed roughly 5,000 years ago.
The area is truly geothermic, and this aspect can be seen year round as pillars of steam billow from the town. The geothermal traits are harness to provide residents and visitors with a natural sauna, several hot baths, and a swimming pool that is open all year.
For those with a green thumb, any of the greenhouses in Hveragerdi town are a terrific treat as they are specially formatted to work with geothermal power.
Soak in: Swimming pool in Hveragerdi
The entire town truly turns vibrant green every summer as the community has worked to bring nature in close contact with the town. This emphasis on the outdoors has lead to the development of several hiking trails through the city itself and the surrounding mountains and forest.
Isafjordur is the unofficial capital of the Westfjords. While the town is relatively small in terms of population it is known for its urban feel. The cultural life in Isafjordur is very vibrant.
Explore: Best hot springs in Westfjords
The small Slunkaríki Art Gallery is one of the most celebrated galleries in the the entire country. It has numerous exhibits throughout the year.
Also, the city houses the West Fjords Folk Museum that has an impressive collection of traditional relics and native tools for those wishing to get a closer look at the history of the area.
Just outside the city centre are amazing ski slopes for every level of participants with state-of-the-art facilities and ski lifts. Cross-country skiing trails are also available for those wishing to truly enjoy the lovely landscape in this area of Iceland.
For the visitor who prefers to travel with their feet fully on the ground, countless interesting hiking trails around the town and surrounding areas.
The translated meaning of Keflavík in English is “Driftwood Bay“. The name links up to the focus of the sea in almost all aspects of everyday life in this particular town.
Whale watching tours leave directly from the harbor by means of multiple touring companies. Be prepared to see several majestic mammals of the ocean on these adventures such as orca, humpback, and minke whales in addition to some dolphins.
If the boat tour of your choice goes out to one of the isolated islands off the main coast, you can even spot a few puffins. The location of the town on the southwest peninsula of Iceland makes for some chilly, strong winds most of the year.
Therefore, the steamy hot springs near the town of Keflavik are a very welcome addition to the natural landscape. The most popular spot for a warm dip is in the area known as the Blue Lagoon.
Lying directly south of Iceland’s capital, Kópavogur is the second largest city in the entire country. Its closeness to the capital makes definite boundaries between the two municipalities difficult to assess for most visitors, but it is quite easy to go back and forth between both cities. Kópavogur has worked very hard to reach this size by doing everything possible to attract numerous businesses.
The crown jewel of Kópavogur commerce though is the Smáralind mall—the biggest mall in the nation. Do not think that Kópavogur is just a city for urban types. Being farther away from the capital allows for more open spaces and activities for those wanting to see the natural beauty of Iceland.
Fishing is a national past time, and there are numerous lakes just for fishing in the Kópavogur area. The hills and low mountains in this part of the country also makes for great hiking since there are countless trails from which to choose.
Mosfellsbae is a mere twenty minute drive from the big city Reykjavík and provides visitors to the area with unmarred natural beauty just a stone’s throw away from all the convenience of urban life.
The small lakes just outside of the town are perfect for fishing—particularly char and trout. The area is also surrounded by several mountains which make for perfect hiking and adventurous walks.
The most challenging path is up the 914 meters of Mount Esja, but the ones who conquer it get a breath-taking view of the entire Reykjavík area.
For those who want a little more than walking involved, the town has established many specialty “information paths” along the area that have signs along the sides of the trail which present various information about the majestic surroundings. Horse-back riding is also a special way of enjoying the landscape and exploring all the various natural wonders of Mosfellsbær.
Visit nearby: Helgufoss waterfall
Neskaupstadur is a very busy fishing port throughout the year. This being said it also has the largest population in eastern Iceland, making it a thriving urban center. However, the locals have a great love of the nature that surrounds them which allows Neskaupstaður to have the convenience of a city while offering plenty of activities to those who enjoy the outdoors.
The Museum of Natural History in the city centre has many exhibits to teach visitors about the fantastic geology, flora, and fauna of the nearby area. After learning all you can at the Museum, feel free to explore the surrounding nature as much as possible.
A reserve on the east side of the town is a great place to start as it is home to Páskahellir, the famous Easter Cave that is associated with various folklore of the area. It is a rock vault that hangs over the shore where there are many holes left by enormous ten million year old tree trunks.
Njardvik is one of the three communities that makes up Reykjanesbaer. It has actually been joined with the town of Keflavik for quite some time as the two villages grew so close together that their boundaries were nearly indistinguishable.
Njardvik is home to one of the few stone churches in the entire country. Once you visit the church, it is a beautiful and easy walk to the nearby sea cliffs that look down on the majestic waves and provide a great spot to watch the native birds of the area.
There is also a fully reconstructed turf farm house that has been replicated to show a typical dwelling used by fishermen of Iceland during the 19th century. Not only is the house worth visiting just to see the construction and living conditions but it also houses the folk museum of the village by filling the dwelling with unique historical pieces that are native to the area.
Olafsvik is a small fishing town that rests on the western side of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. The village is nestled against the Snæfellsjökull volcano which has created remarkable scenery for the entire region.
Snowmobiling on the glacier that resides at the top of the mountain is a fun adventure for visitors. For more outdoor beauty, the Baejarfoss waterfall on the eastern part of the town is a stunning vision.
If you are visiting in the summer, do not leave out a trip to the lovely local beaches just outside of town. In the town itself, there are options as well.
The packing house called Pakkhúsið was built in 1844, and it now houses the local museum featuring exhibits on old working methods in this area of Iceland as well as a relaxing coffee house. There is also a Maritime Museum that provides displays of live fish from the nearby shore and the impact the fishing industry has on the modern community.
Þorlákshöfn is known as the best fishing port on the southern coast of Iceland. This focus on fish and the sea making boating a very popular activity in the area. However, artificial water has its place in the local culture as well.
The village has an outdoor swimming pool with several hot pots and a steam bath. A waterslide was also recently added to increase the fun value of the pool. Adjacent to the pool is one of the best campsites in the area. It features spaces for motor homes as well as indoor cooking facilities for those who really wish to sleep in the rough.
Also, along the coast there are beautiful long walks that can take the visitor to other villages in the area such as Selvogur and Herdísarvík. The beach itself is a lovely place to sunbath during the summer and seashell searches can take place all year
Reykjanesbaer lies on the western Reykjanes peninsula. It is a municipality that is actually composed of three towns-Njarðvík, Keflavík, and Hafnir-which became established as a single city in 1995 when Keflavík and Njarðvík grew so close together that a mere street was the only thing separating them.
Keflavík is the biggest of the three towns, but the whole area has come together as a single community quickly and easily. For boat lovers, the Reykjanes Maritime Center is a true haven.
Where to relax? Visit the local swimming pool Waterworld in Keflavík
The Center houses a collection of 72 hand-crafted model boats that detail the interesting maritime history of Iceland from elegant masted schooners to diesel and steam powered trawlers.
Prepare for a surprise at the Reykjanes Heritage Museum as it focuses on an unusually specific era of Icelandic history. The rock’n’roll music and fashion of the fifties and sixties is the center exhibition at this museum, showing how this genre had a huge effect on the whole country.
Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland, 60% of Iceland’s total population reside here, meaning 200,000 people live here and in surrounding townships. Reykjavik means Steamy bay and that is what the Vikings first saw when they arrived here, due to the steam coming from geothermal springs here.
This capital city is a vibrant place, with lots to do both day and night. In Summer Reykjavik is nearly open 24/7 due to its abundance of daylight hours, so you can party through the day and day, without seeing any night!
Culturally there is much to see here. There are many art galleries and museums focusing on contemporary as well as historic exhibits. The Living Art Museum is an internationally acclaimed venue for contemporary visual arts, with many creations by Icelandic artists. The University Art Museum not only has collections of local artworks, but also has research on the history of art in Iceland. And why not enjoy at night some of the wonderful Reykjavik restaurants that show off the Icelandic food.
Reykjavik’s Geothermal Pools are a great way to relax and warm up. Mostly they are in the open air but the thermal pools are naturally heated, so they are warm all year round. Many have spas and whirlpools as well as swimming pools and areas for the kids to play in. Sky Lagoon is a very popular day spa with pools, or if you like the idea of swimming in a warm thermal beach you will love Geothermal Beach.
The architecture and Icelandic’s landscapes are very different to any where in the world. A combination of modern buildings, interspersed with the historical ones and harsh landscapes are quite stunning. The Pearl is an amazing structure, built in 1988 its huge tanks and glass domes sitting atop Oskjuhlid Hill is where the natural hot water is stored for heating the city. You will also find a rotating restaurant here under the dome and a museum.|
Other great buildings are Hofdi House built in 1909 and Reykjaviks main landmark, Hallgrimskirkja Church, with a tower that can be seen from any location within the city.
Other highlights of a visit to Reykjavik are the eateries, there are lots of restaurants and cafes to suit all taste and budgets, and many international and local cuisines offered. Shopping here is also a must, with very different and trendy boutiques.
What to see in Reykjavik:
- The Árbær Folk Museum is the largest open-air museum in Iceland and it traces society in Iceland from its beginning to the present.
- The Old Town is teeming with superb restaurants and lively nightclubs.
- The Reykjavik Municipal Art Museum is a top world class museum.
- The Church of Hallgrímur (also called Hallgrímskirkja) is the most controversial building in Iceland.
- Sundlaugar Reykjavikur is a huge volcanically heated swimming pool located just outside the city limits.
- Mount Esja is hovering over Reykjavik and provides an astounding view of the city.
- Lake Tjornin is located in the heart of Reykjavik and is a haven for arctic birds.
- Videy Island is a five minute boat trip from the city and it is a paradise for wild birds and flowers.
- The Perlan is Reykjavik ‘s most impressive building serving as an observatory, a revolving gourmet restaurant that sits on top of four gigantic tanks which hold the city’s supply of hot water after it is pumped from geothermal wells outside the city limits. The Perlan also houses a casual café and a conference hall.
Reydarfjordur rests on the largest fjord in eastern Iceland. The setting of this village provides beautiful views as part of hikes and walks. One of the most popular sights in the area is Mount Grænafell.
The hike to the top of the mountain follows along a lovely gorge and offers a breathtaking panoramic. The trail takes approximately two hours at an average speed. If you prefer water to rock, the village hosts a large duck pond named Andapollurinn.
Salmon are regularly released into the pond, and visitors can purchase short-term fishing licenses. Also, the Icelandic World War II Museum is in town which presents exhibits about Iceland during the days of occupation.
A more unique visit is to Holmahals. It is the burial site of the ancient seer Volva who swore to use her powers to protect Reyoarfjorour as long her bones stayed in their current resting place on Holmahals.
Sandgerdi rests on the west side of the Reykjanes peninsula. It is actually the youngest town in the entire country of Iceland, having not attained town right until 1990.
The Sandgerðistjörn Pond is located just north of the town. It is a popular resting and feeding area of hundreds of migratory birds every spring, making it a perfect vantage point for bird lovers.
Directly adjacent to the Pond is the town’s oldest home which was built in 1883. Nearby Hafurbjarnastaður is the site where pre-Christian graves were discovered in 1947. The graves were a very important discovery as they provided a great deal of insight to the death rites of early Iceland.
The remains from one of the graves was actually recovered and is currently being preserved and displayed at the National Museum of Iceland. The Nature Center named Fraedasetur is also near the city centre and features a few small aquariums and bird exhibits.
Saudarkrokur is located on a spot of land that faces the fjord with low ridges closing in behind it. The town itself was actually built onto a raised beach that provides sunbathing and lovely walks and is a perfect place to collect seashells.
The small golf course in the city is a great place to enjoy the scenery of the area while having fun playing a few holes. One of the primary attractions of the city though is the Historical House.
The House’s exhibits show a fascinating collection of historical items. A favorite exhibit at the House is that of the Smithy as it shows the life of an iron monger and his wife as they attempted to merge the two forms of life-that of the farm and of the town-into one.
Numerous boat tours leave from the town for those who wish to enjoy the sea around the area. One of the most popular trips is to the close island of Drangey.
Selfoss is just off one of the national highways, making it the central point for many travelers. The town is known as the crossroads to the south, and there are many tours that leave from the city to go to many of the nearby locations that are easily accessible by the many roads such as the Gullfoss Waterfall or the Kerid crater.
Where to relax: Visit the swimming pool in Selfoss
Since the city is a huge trading centre, shopping in one of the many stores is a favorite activity of locals and visitors. For visitors who wish to walk without spending money, the trail along the Ingólfsfjall Mountain (check this list of 16 mountains in South Iceland around Selfoss) is a taxing but beautiful hike that presents views over the northern mountain rings to the Vestmann Islands in the south.
Close by the eastern part of town is the Ölfusá River which makes for a lovely river-side walk. If you prefer something more active than walking a nine-hole golf course is right next to the River.
Seltjarnarnes is a beautiful town on the very tip of a peninsula, surrounded on every side by the blues of the Atlantic Ocean with the exception of the east that looks toward Reykavik. With so much available water, many of the activities in the area focus around the ocean.
The coastline provides excellent walks, particularly during the late summer sunsets. Boating is very popular in the area whether with a tour group or renting one privately.
You can even take a boat to visit the nearby Grotta Island where birds abound as there have been more than one hundred species documented there.
Sports are very popular in the town as well. Not only is there a city heated swimming pool but there is also a specialty sports hall that has rooms to let for a few hours or even a whole day that includes a gymnasium. There is even a nine-hole golf course in the fantastic oceanic landscape.
Siglufjordur is quite honestly the end of the world as far as Iceland is concerned. It is the northernmost town of the entire country. The small fishing village also used to be the herring capital of Iceland. With this famous history firmly in place, many people like to make their way to this tiny town.
The midnight sunset is one of the most popular events at this very northern location. The fact that it is at the northern edge of the Tröllaskagi Mountains makes it a lovely hiking and climbing area for adventurous visitors.
To memorialise the town’s past, a modern sculpture of a gummi boat battling massive waves rests near the shore.
One of the biggest attractions in the village centre is the Icelandic Herring Era Museum. It has won awards for its exhibits detailing the “Great Herring Adventure” and the rise and fall of the city’s place in Iceland’s fishing industry.
Stykkisholmur is the perfect village for those wanting to visit the Breidafjorour area as it is the heart of trade, transport, and service for the whole area.
The oldest house in the town is the Norwegian House which holds the local folk museum that constantly produces exhibits concerning the area’s history.
For those who really enjoy the handcrafted items of the village can admire and buy modern versions at several shops in the town centre. The rural location also provides interesting farm holidays and horse rentals for riding along the hills of the country side. Walks and hikes are also a nice way to see the area.
A majestic panoramic view can be seen by visitors choosing to walk along Súgandisey next to the harbour. Fun hiking trails are easily accessible at the nearby Helgafell Mountains. For the visitor in search of something unique and different, he or she should take a look at the shark-curing plant.
The English translation of Vestmannaeyjar is the “Westman Islands”. It is actually a collection of islands formed in an archipelago off the southern coast of Iceland. The largest and only populated island in the chain is Heimaey.
This particular island is most known for the 1973 eruption of the Eldfell volcano whose lava threatened to block the harbour of the island. With this strong tie to the geology of the area, a great deal of the tourism revolves around the volcanoes.
Hikes and walks along the settled lava flows as well as up the sides of the volcanoes are a great adventure for visitors who want to get closer to the majestic yet violent aspect of nature. The out of the way location of these islands also make them a bird paradise. Millions of birds flock to the islands during their migratory season to feed and breed. Puffins are some of the most popular bird inhabitants.
The small village of Vogar is a pleasant place to relax and enjoy the rural settings of the Reykjanes peninsula without the hustle and bustle of city life.
There is a small but tricky golf course for those who wish to play while enjoying the beautiful landscape. The village also features an outdoor pool that is open to locals and visitors alike during the summer. Hiking has special appeal in this area as trails are easily accessible and near by the town in many directions.
There is a circular walk going to Grímshóll then returning to the village along the fantastic Háabjalla fissure. The Stapi Hill is a relatively easy walk that provides a special treat as it is said to be haunted by a headless ghost. Not to distant from the village one can spot the stone ruins named Staðarborg which historians believe may have once served as an ancient sheep pen.
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