Reykjavik – Capital of Ice and Fire
It’s not hard to understand why Reykjavik is known as the Capital of Ice and Fire
Home to the most interesting geological sites, Iceland is a country that will connect you very deeply with its nature. You can learn so many things while visiting Iceland, and that’s what we explorers like about it, right?
You are never too far off of volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, whales or black beaches, it is truly wild and astonishing. And very romantic at the same time.
Be prepared to spend money once in Iceland. It is an expensive country. My advice would be to spend little on food and alcohol. Don’t go there to party, but spend your money in experiences. Shamelessly! You will carry those memories with you for the rest of your life.
We spent seven nights in the capital and took three day trips with different companies, by booking them at the Visitor Centre just off the high street. Going back, I would hire a car instead as the roads were very clean and safe and it would have been good to stay in different villages, especially as they looked magical.
The Golden Circle
This 8 hours long trip brings you to the Geysir geothermal area, the waterfall Gullfoss, and the UNESCO site Þingvellir National Park, where you can also visit a tomato green house and taste delicious Icelandic tomato soup. Very exotic!
Where do I sleep?
Reykjavík Downtown Hostel (Hostelling International)
Like every HI hostel, this is a practical, central and convenient place to stay when in the Icelandic capital.
You can spend between £20-25 each for a private room, Our double room with en suite bathroom was all you need when travelling. It was clean, spacious, it had a table with two chairs and towels were provided. The hostel has a kitchen just outside of the main building where you can cook your own food.
And, since Iceland is expensive, we did make good use of it. We also found free food in the free basket and enjoyed the quiet nights spent in the above floor to the kitchen, the relax room. In the main building there is also a cafe and a lounge with lots of tables and chairs where you can read about Iceland and plan your next day adventure!
What’s the weather like?
I visited Iceland at the end of February and I was impressed with the weather. Sunny and cool days. Around 5 degrees. The weather is not that bad. It is not that cold if you have the right gear. Just get a waterproof jacket, a pair of waterproof shoes and a warm jumper, hat and gloves. And you are ready. Investing the right money for the right gear could completely change your travel experience.
It is always a good time to visit Iceland. In fact, from October to March/April you can enjoy the northern lights while between May and September you can enjoy very bright nights and the midnight sun. Which kind of person are you? Get a sleeping mask if you are a light sensitive sleeper like me;)
Where to eat?
Saegreifinn – The Sea Baron Restaurant
One of the best things to do in Reykjavik, is to try the fish at the Saegreifinn – The Sea Baron restaurant. It is so yummy and the atmosphere is so original. It is just by the shore and you can also have fish brochettes. We had prawn and red fish skewers and you sit at a long bench. A gourmet experience to not miss!
Valdis Ice Cram shop
Have an ice cream at Valdìs. Ice cream in Iceland? Yep, great lovers of ice cream! It was February when I had ice cream there and people were queuing to get an ice cream there! They do their own
cones and waffles and the choice is big and appetising. I still follow their Facebook page because of the weird tastes they create! I love it!
Head to the supermarket and get yourself a skyr yogurt. The creamiest dessert/breakfast I have ever tried. I recommend the blueberry one, so yummy!
Puffin is a culinary speciality in Iceland, although I was not too keen on that. Your choice;)
Things to do in Reykjavik
Relax as a local by heading to the Laugardalslaug thermal complex. The entrance fee will cost you around £3 and hot showers and lockers are provided. I was quite nervous about the whole ‘showering naked’ thing but it’s such a natural thing for Icelandic people that it actually feels like that, just natural. And for the shy ones, you can always keep your swim bath on;)
Visit Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavik’s modern cathedral. You can climb up the stairs for a small fee and you will have a breathtaking view on the city.