The capital city of Iceland is located on the southwestern side of the country on the shore of Faxaflói Bay. Established around AD 870, Reykjavík is among the safest, cleanest and greenest cities in the entire world. Reykjavík is the heart of Iceland — it is the center of its government, culture and economy. Set in a pristine natural setting Reykjavík offers endless adventures for the wild-at-heart; the city is also a cosmopolitan hub with spectacular fashion, dining and unforgettable night life.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
Steam from the region’s many glorious hot springs inspired Reykjavík’s name, which loosely translates to Smoke Cove. The area is also fondly called the Bay of Smoke by locals.
WHAT TO DO
Discover the volcanic vents and hot springs of Krýsuvík as you cross the boardwalk that winds across the hissing solfatara fields. Take a day trip to Þingvellir National Park and dive in the waters of Silfra, a rift that is part of the divergent tectonic boundary between the North American and Eurasian plates. Dine atop Öskuhlíð hill in the iconic dome building that houses hot water, the Pearl — the revolving restaurant offers divine Icelandic cuisine. Visit the Imagine Peace Tower designed by Yoko Ono; the tower is a wishing well from which a brilliant ray of light beams. There are several hot springs to indulge in; try a sap treatment or massage in the enchanting Blue Lagoon. Finally, be sure to visit the famed shopping streets of Laugarvegur and Skólavördustígur, where you will find some incredible buys from the city’s many talented designers.
Reykjavik, the capital, is the start of adventures involving Iceland’s hidden and not-so-hidden gems. Explore Iceland by campervan and make yourself at home anytime, anywhere. Start your search (and research) now.
Originally published in our sister publication NICHE magazine