A land of ice, colors and mountains – Reykjavik, Iceland

Beauty at its best is an appropriate description of the landscape in Iceland. National Geographic often takes advantage of its magnificent scenery, producing phenomenal documentaries and incomparable photographs taken in Iceland.  Reykjavik, the capital city, is widely known for its unusually attractive cityscape. Mountain tops with exquisite coverings of white snow can be admired from all over the city, and their majestic presence makes every day a memorable one. Reykjavik holidays promise a relaxing vacation in a picturesque city where the sublime natural setting is unmatched anywhere in the world.

Icelanders love color and this is quite noticeable when one arrives – houses are painted in a wide variety of colors with many decorative styles and shapes.  It’s not rare to see rows of houses each with unusual colors, such as blue house fronts and yellow rooftops.  It is said that this lovely color-scheme reflects the true heart of the inhabitants of Iceland – known as vibrant and joyous people.

The thriving nightlife in Reykjavik is ever-present as bars fill up rapidly in the evening and weekend nights are continually animated. Many bars are situated in Laugavegur, an artery of downtown Reykjavik, and home to nationally famous bars, restaurants and nightclubs.

After an exciting night out on the town, what could be better than relaxing in the well-known geothermal spa, Blue Lagoon?  This much appreciated spa is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland. The reason is easy to imagine – the thrilling experience of viewing gorgeous, ice-covered hills while being immerged in 37°c water!  The spa is located on the outskirts of town, with accessible bus transportation.

An important landmark building in Reykjavik is Perlan (the Pearl). Situated on the hill of Oskjuhlio it is a very original building. A large glass dome was built on top of five massive hot-water tanks. One of the tanks has been transformed into a museum called the Saga Museum, which presents traditional Icelandic sagas and lifestyles, both past and present.

The city of Akureyri makes an excellent stop for those wishing to visit nearby areas. This port and fishing center provides exceptional scenic sights while still having all the conveniences of a town.  Akureyri also has many traditional restaurants, which offer delicious Icelandic dishes.

Travelers often say it is only after they have landed at Keflavik Airport and have left the plane that they fully realize how truly lovely this part of the world is.  Flights to Reykjavik arrive quickly, being only 3 hours flying time from London and 6 hours from New York – an advantage especially appealing for people who dislike long plane trips.

Hotels in Reykjavik are generally on the expensive side. The Iceland Guesthouse Hotel does provide reasonable rates in a budget hotel located 15 minutes away from the center, with buses easily available. Prices start at 7 929 ISK ($68). The Grand Hotel Reykjavik offers an ideal stay in first-class accommodations close to the center, with quiet and comfortable rooms. Rates here begin at 27 399 ISK ($238).

Travelers sometimes seek to discover destinations that go beyond the regular sightseeing tours found in most cities. Reykjavik and Iceland tours can unquestionably answer their quest, which may start by taking a very deep breath of fresh, clean air – the pure kind that is still available in Iceland.