What to See in Reykjavik (Iceland)
Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland and is the northernmost capital in the world. The city was founded in 874. In 2000, UNESCO awarded Reykjavik the status of “Cultural Capital of the World”. The name of the city means “smoky bay” in Icelandic. Reykjavik is located on the Seltjarnarnes peninsula, to the east of it rises mountain ranges, among which Mount Esja stands out with a height of 914 m.
According to ITYPEJOB, the city center is located between the Tjornin pond and the city’s Faxafloy bay. On the central square of Austurvalur stands the Parliament building, which was built in the 19th century. The main symbol of Reykjavik is Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral, which is the tallest building in Iceland.. It was built in 1974. The cathedral has a 75-meter bell tower, which can be seen from the outskirts of the city. At the entrance to the cathedral stands a monument to the discoverer of America, the famous Viking Leifur Errikson. This is a US gift to Iceland in honor of the 1000th anniversary of the Icelandic Althing Parliament. If you climb the bell tower, you can see the whole of Reykjavik and the surrounding area.
The oldest pedestrian street in the city – Austurstraiti – is famous for its souvenir shops. On one of the hills of Reykjavik stands the building Perlan. This is a building with a hemispherical roof, which glows with thousands of lights at night. There is an artificial geyser inside it, it gushes with interruptions of several minutes. The ceiling here is decorated with small light bulbs that create the feeling of a starry sky. On the top floor there is a restaurant with a revolving floor.
There are many bars, restaurants and discos in Reykjavik, where tourists can relax at night, not for nothing that in 2001 Reykjavik was recognized as the hottest European capital. Right in the center of Reykjavik is the popular bar “Kaffi Reykjavik”. The whole room is built from solid ice blocks, and drinks are chilled to the maximum – because they are served in ice glasses.
In Reykjavik boat trips are offered, during which you can watch whales living in coastal waters, as well as trips to nearby islands where colonies of puffins settle.
From Reykjavik you can get to the most famous national park in Iceland – Thingvellir which was founded in 1928. It is located east of the city. It was in this place that many centuries ago, representatives of the tribal nobility gathered annually for advice. In the area of the park there is a junction of lithospheric plates – American and Eurasian, which are moving to this day. The entire surface of Thingvellir is indented with numerous cracks, caves and canyons, the most popular of which is Peningagya Canyon. The country’s largest natural lake, Thingvalavatn Lake, is also located here. Its area is 84 sq. km., and the maximum depth is 114 m. In the Thingvellir region there is a lava gorge Silfrav, which is very popular among divers. This place is located at the junction of lithospheric plates in a fault in the earth’s crust, which is filled with water, so there are many caves here. The immersion depth reaches 50 m,
Excursions depart from Reykjavik to the Reykjanes Peninsula, where the Blue Lagoon is located. It has a smooth clay bottom and a depth of one and a half meters. The water temperature in the lagoon reaches 40 degrees Celsius, and there are steam rooms on its shore, you can swim here all year round. It is believed that this geothermal water has healing properties and a beneficial effect on the skin. On its basis, cosmetics are produced in Iceland, and psoriasis is treated with it.
60 km from Reykjavik is the most popular geothermal area in Iceland – the Valley of Geysers.. Here is the same Geyser, whose name has become a household name. Now the Geyser is not very active, it gushes about once a day, throwing a column of water to a height of 55 meters. Next to it is another hot spring, Strokkur, which hits a height of about 20 meters about once every 10 minutes.
Not far from the Valley of Geysers, the Khvita River flows, on which the Gullfoss waterfall is located. It is considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. Its waters fall from a height of 32 m into a deep canyon (its depth is about 70 m, and its length is 2.5 km). A hiking trail leads to the waterfall, which is surrounded by lush vegetation.
Near Reykjavik is the largest ski area in Iceland – Blafiol. Holidays at this resort are suitable for beginners and families. There are 11 lifts, of which 2 are cable. Tourists are offered trails of various difficulty levels with opportunities for night skiing. There are flat trails for cross-country skiing with a length of 3.5 and 10 km.