Picture-perfect snow-capped mountains in the distance, an ocean lapping at your feet and pristine air as cold as can be; this is what greets you when you land in the northernmost capital of the world. A colorful city with a rapacious appetite for life itself, Reykjavik is a city that reels you in and ensures no visitor leaves unhooked on the offerings of Iceland. It isn’t hard to fall in love with Reykjavik and most first-time visitors leave with starry eyed visions of returning to wondrous times.
Reykjavik is a city that offers many delights, most of them a smorgasbord of everything good in life, and the vivacious energy of the city needs to be felt to be believed. Innocent and conniving, disarming and calculating all at once, nothing epitomizes Iceland more than the inhabitants of its capital city who are deeply steeped in the ways of cold-hearted connivance yet manage to somehow surprise you with their zeal and vivacity. It’s a hybrid of cities; you’ll find plenty of familiar cafes and restaurants dotting the roads and museums and galleries to partake of if you are artistically inclined, not to mention geo-thermal pools (a god spend on never-ending wintry days that are as dark as night). And then, just to break the monotony of it all, you find a music scene so vibrant as to be famous almost purely for its infamy.
Come winter and Reykjavik wears a coat of resplendent beauty so astonishing as to leave those unknown about this one simple fact agape when they see it for the first time. Although a large country, large portions of Iceland are uninhabitable and approx 60% of Iceland’s population is concentrated in this volcanically active country. In homage to its Nordic roots, parts of the city are a tribute to Nordic architecture that is centuries old and these edifices sit calmly alongside more modern buildings. While steeped in heritage, Reykjavik is also emblematic of a new and vibrant Iceland that is more in keeping with the times and filled with freshness and flair.
But don’t assume that Reykjavik is all there is to Iceand. Contrary to popular belief, Iceland’s environment is a temperate one thanks to the warm ocean currents of the Gulf of Mexico and this is an ideal climate for exploring Iceland’s richly varied topography. Black-sand beaches, fjords, hot springs, snow fields, geysers and glaciers; these are just some of the geological wonders of Iceland, and if you’re a shutterbug you can witness the Aurora Borealis too. Iceland’s topography is almost otherworldly in its beauty and appearance.
Both splendidly modern and quaint in equal measure, Reykjavik is your entry point into a whole new world the likes of which are a rarity. A must-visit is the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal health spa 45 minutes away from Reykjavik. Powered by a
lava-based substance, as are most underground lava pools, the Blue Lagoon is a rejuvenating and revitalizing locale that will leave you feeling a lot fresher for the experience. There is of course the geothermal pool that is the biggest lure of all of the Blue Lagoon’s attractions, but there are plenty of other treatment programs and gift shops that also vie for your attention. Like all things Icelandic, just soak in the experience and wash away your worries, for nothing is there to stop you having a whale of a time except your own inhibitions.