This year is already calling for a fun-filled city break, don’t you think? February is a great time of year to visit a number of places across the globe – which may come as a surprise to many of you. However today we’d like to share the perfect itinerary for a weekend in Iceland’s mesmerising capital, Reykjavik.
Nestled on the coast, this magnificent city traces Viking history and is, of course, world-famous for its rare and beautiful Northern Lights. So, you’ve got 2-3 days to explore… What should you do?
One of the best spectacles in the world is the jaw-dropping Northern Lights. For anyone who doesn’t know what the Northern Lights are… they’re basically a natural light display in the Earth’s sky. It’s advisable to see this attraction as soon as you can because by doing so it means hopefully you won’t need to make a second attempt later on in your trip. The lights can be seen between late August and early May by the seaside at Seltjarnarnes, although it’s possible you could spot them from downtown Reykjavik too.
We’d recommend you choose a spot as far away from the city’s light pollution as possible to get the full experience; the area of Grotta is a good choice to see the charming old lighthouse and birds nesting. There are plenty of thrilling Northern Lights tours to choose from, depending if you prefer small or big groups, which service level you’d like, and how much you actually want to see. It’s best to do your research around this and book in advance for your tour, as you’ll be able to get the best possible price and guarantee your captivating moment.
Explore Reykjavik’s highlights
There are many charms to discover in this culturally-happening city. Constantly reinventing itself, Reykjavik has so much to do and see. Perhaps start with Iceland’s national sanctuary that is ever-present along its skyline – Hallgrímskirkja. No visit is complete without checking out the 1,200 years of human history in the National Museum of Iceland; don’t miss out on the most treasured artefact of Valþjófsstaður door. Nestled in the waterfront at the Old Harbour you’ll be able to see the dazzling Harpa, which hosts the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra and Icelandic Opera.
Take the Elding ferry service to Viðey to spot plenty of historical architecture and modern culture. Appreciate the dynamic street art of the city too; wander the Old Harbour and Grandi to see the ‘Wall Poetry’. Finally, one of the most inviting parts of the city is its pond at the centre. Tjörnin’s green banks are flocked with brightly-painted houses, rows of trees, and bushes and flowerbeds to form a peaceful scene for avid walkers.
Best seen as the sun is setting, the beautiful waters of the Blue Lagoon are the ideal haven after a long day uncovering the best parts of Reykjavik. Set in the heart of volcanic landscape, this spa paradise is simply a must for your itinerary. It’s not actually in Reykjavik though but in fact in Gridavik, which are 45 minutes apart. Therefore you’ll either need to hire a car or book a transfer to get there. Discover that Iceland’s volcanic landscape produces heat power and the run-off is filtered straight into the Blue Lagoon, thus heating the water.
Naturally there are far less tourists in the winter months, making it a great time for ultimate relaxation here. Plus, visiting in the evening provides you with a peaceful and dusky atmosphere and when combined with the 37-40 degree heat is the most tranquil experience ever. In order to enter the steamy pool you are required to shower beforehand and for those who don’t want their hair ruined, we’d recommend keeping it up as the water has been known to send hair into ‘uncontrollable mode’!
Golden Circle Tour
An unmissable opportunity; the Golden Circle tour will take you on a journey to see the world-famous Geysir geothermal area, Gullfoss, and Thingvellir National Park. With a helpful guide on-hand, combine history, culture, and extraordinary nature for the best day out. You’ll start with the scenic home of the infamous Geysir hot spring to see bubbling cauldrons of heated mud, steaming pools, and Strokkur geyser which erupts every 6-10 minutes. Next is Gullfoss, which is a majestic waterfall that lies on the Hvita river at 32 metres high.
A truly mesmerising observation, you need to be sure to have your camera at the ready for this one! End the day with time at Thingvellir National Park; a much-loved attraction of historical, geological, and cultural significance. Known as a UNESCO world heritage site, it is home to Iceland’s largest natural lake, Thingvallavatn.
Top tip: Pack a durable pair of hiking boots because you’re going to be doing a lot of walking. Snacks are a great idea too for when you’re on the road and can’t stop off anywhere for something to eat.
Been to Reykjavik already? Share your photos with us!