Tailor-made holidays in Reykjavik allow thrill-seekers and culture connoisseurs to delve into the magical world of the Icelandic capital, where adventure, history and breathtaking landscapes await. Reykjavik is the world's most northerly capital, and visitors will encounter a vibrant, cosmopolitan city that's really more the size of a town. With boutique hotels, excellent restaurants and notoriously good (all) nightlife, Reykjavik is a fantastic holiday destination in its own right - perfect for a Big Short Break and as a base for exploring some of Iceland's extraordinary landscapes. This red-roofed
city is the gateway to Iceland’s rugged wilderness, where you can bask in the shimmering glow of the Northern Lights or witness the power of the explosive geysers. Reykjavik holidays are also perfect for those who crave history and culture, boasting a wealth of cultural treasures in the form of museums and galleries, as well as being in close proximity to bustling national parks and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Whether you’re exploring under the glow of the midnight sun, or are wrapped up to the nines in your warmest winter gear, a holiday to Reykjavik has a little bit of something for everyone.
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What can you find in Reykjavik that you won't find anywhere else?
Reykjavik holidays have been something of a travel buzzword for the last decade, and the popularity of the world’s most northerly capital shows no signs of waning. The surge in the city’s food, nightlife and art scenes have kept it as relevant as ever on the international travel circuit, but there are plenty of charms that have been there from the beginning. Reykjavik’s excellent museums, energetic people and the abundant natural delights on its doorstep (think hot springs, active volcanoes, waterfalls, glaciers and, the showstopper: the Northern Lights), have all meant the Icelandic capital has retained its crown as a hot-right-now destination. The city’s imposing church, Hallgrimskirkja – the tallest church in Iceland - dominates the city skyline with its rocket-like exterior, and you can take a lift to the top for incredible views of downtown Reykjavik. Stop by the National Museum of Iceland, which tells Reykjavik’s dramatic origin story, then continue the culture in the nearby National Gallery of Iceland to marvel at incredible Icelandic art. Go on a boat tour and watch out for the majestic silhouettes of humpback whales, minke whales, dolphins and harbour porpoises. Or sink into your own magical water world in the misty geothermal turquoise pools of the Blue Lagoon and float away in utter relaxation; the milky waters are known to soothe limbs and exfoliate the skin. Feeling brand new, toast your tailor-made Reykjavik holiday with a waterfront dinner opposite the city’s shimmering Tjornin Lake.
What are the best ways to discover Reykjavik?
Reykjavik holidays that get under the skin of the city will always have travellers yearning for more. Take a guided tour of Reykjavik’s hottest food spots, have a coffee in its trendiest neighbourhoods, visit the city’s museums and galleries, get in the middle of Reykjavik’s booming music and nightlife scene, and you’ll come away with a deep sense of what it’s all about. And if you’ve got more time to play with, holidays in Reykjavik are best when they’re combined with the natural wonders that lie just outside the city’s urban confines. Iceland is ideal road trip territory; take a driving tour of the incredible Golden Circle – an iconic 140-mile route of some of the country’s best-loved attractions that starts from the capital – and you’ll see a handful of its otherworldly sights: Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall. Loop back to the city or keep driving onwards for a comprehensive tour of Iceland’s ultimate tick-list of natural beauty: from glassy glaciers and rugged coastal cliffs to gigantic volcanoes and exploding geysers.
Special things to do in Reykjavik
Off-road buggy mountain adventure
Strap into a two-seater buggy and hurtle across unmarked rocky trails, splashing through muddy pools as you explore the craggy terrain of Mount Esja, just outside Reykjavik. Get your pulse racing as you navigate your way to the summit, then take in the beautiful views of the city and the surrounding mountainous landscape, before bracing yourself to do it all again on the way back.
Visit the Aurora Reykjavik
While it’s certainly possible to see the Northern Lights during Reykjavik holidays, the magical show that lights up the sky is notoriously elusive, especially during the summer months. Visit the Aurora Reykjavik Centre and you’re guaranteed a front-row seat to nature’s most phenomenal display. Head to the ‘experience room’ for a magnificent HD projection of the glowing lights as they dance in front of you and you’ll come away convinced of Iceland’s wizardry.
Best Time to Visit Reykjavik:
The ideal time of year for Reykjavik holidays depends on what you want to get out of Iceland’s capital city. The summer months, from June to August, are when the sun shines for the longest and temperatures flirt with the late teens, making it the perfect time of year to explore the beautiful outdoors. The winter months, from December to February, see Reykjavik transform into a veritable winter wonderland. The Northern Lights dance overhead as you bundle up (temperatures hover around 0°C) and head out on snow mobiles to see this ethereal glow. Holidays to Reykjavik during the shoulder months of September through to November or March to May, boast mild weather and quieter crowds, making for a more intimate Reykjavik experience. Be sure to pack everything from sunnies and waterproofs to warm clothes and sturdy shoes, as Iceland’s fickle weather can change in a heartbeat.