3 Days in Reykjavik: Suggested Itineraries

By Viator, August 2014

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When compared to other European capitals, Reykjavik is rather small; the population of its metro area barely tops 200,000, and Reykjavik proper is home to about 125,000 souls. However, what it lacks in people, it makes up for with thoroughly modern accoutrements and a cosmopolitan vibe on par with the best of its neighbors on the continent. Reykjavik’s roots are reflected in its Old  Town, from which you can reach most of the city’s attractions. Coupled with its heritage are an upscale business climate and a lively bar scene, making Reykjavik one of Europe’s most fantastic cities.

Day 1: Take in Reykjavik

For a relatively small city, Reykjavik is practically bursting with things to do. On the first day of a three-day trip, you should book a city tour; these run about 2.5 hours, which is plenty of time to catch the best of the city’s sights. You’ll see the modern Hallgrimskirkja church, the Presidential Residence at Bessastadir, the famous Fish Market, the Open-Air Museum Arbaer and the recreational valley of Laugardalur. You can pair this tour with a trip to famous Blue Lagoon Spa in the afternoon, relaxing in the spa’s blue-green waters and its geothermal steam baths. Add a spa treatment for a reinvigorating experience, and then hit the town for dinner and drinks. With over 100 bars (open until 6 am), Reykjavik is a reveler’s dream come true.

Day 2: Follow the Golden Route

If you went to bed at a reasonable hour, spend your next day touring the famous Golden Circle in an Icelandic Super Jeep. This all-day tour is a breathtaking ride past Iceland’s best-known natural wonders, culminating in a ride down the Langjkull Glacier on a snowmobile. You’ll start out at Thingvellir National Park, the site of Iceland’s first Parliament in 930 AD. From here, the views of the rugged Icelandic terrain are amazing, and you’re sure to fill up a memory card snapping photos. You’ll visit the Geyser geothermal area, where geysers explode every few minutes and hot springs bubble and percolate like cauldrons. Following Geysir, you’ll visit the magnificent waterfall at Gullfoss and then mount a snowmobile for a thrilling ride down Langjkull Glacier. The last stop before disembarking is at the greenhouse village of Hverageroi, supplier of most of Iceland’s vegetables.

Day 3: Waterfalls and Ice

On your third day, book a trip to Thorsmork (Thor’s Woods) and the South Coast. You’ll travel past a backdrop of beautiful scenery, including, the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where you can actually walk behind this breathtaking cascade. The highlight is Thorsmork, a nature preserve protected by mountains, glaciers and rivers. Its remoteness requires experienced drivers, making for a thrilling drive in a Super Jeep. Upon arrival, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the woods – Thorsmork is a must-do for hiking enthusiasts.

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