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Reykjavik: The Capital of Cool
Cosmopolitan Culture with Village Roots

Throbbing with life by day and by night, all year round, Reykjavik is just as much a part of the Icelandic experience as the midnight sun or the magical landscapes forged by ice and fire. Reykjavik, with its neighboring communities, has a population of around 180,000 and offers an interesting mix of cosmopolitan culture and local village roots.

Old accounts say the ancient gods themselves guided Iceland’s first settler, Ingolfur Arnarson, to make his home in Reykjavik. He named the place Reykjavik (“Steamy Bay”) after the geothermal steam he saw, which today heats homes and outdoor swimming pools throughout the city – a pollution-free energy source that leaves the air outstandingly fresh, clean and clear.

Iceland (Reykjavik(


A beautiful salmon river runs through the city limits, and so do fine parks and even wild outdoor areas. In the outskirts are places for horse trekking and golf.

But against this backdrop of nature, Reykjavik has a packed program of familiar city joys too: art museums, several theaters, an opera house, a symphony orchestra – and concerts/live music spanning the whole spectrum of age and taste.

One must for all visitors is dining out on Icelandic specialties, including delicious seafood – ocean-fresh from the morning’s catch, highland lamb and unusual varieties of game. It’s purely natural food imaginatively served to delight the most discerning of diners. Reykjavik is also renowned as one of Europe’s hottest nightspots, where the action on the friendly pub and nightlife scene lasts right through the night.

Walking distances are short downtown, and everything worth seeing outside the city center can be quickly and conveniently reached by bus. With its long, easy-going main street and large Kringlan mall, Iceland’s capital is a great place to shop too – with a bonus of tax-free shopping for visitors! Be on the lookout not just for souvenirs (especially woolens and handicrafts) but also for stylish consumer goods and designer labels at competitive prices.

A full range of accommodations is available in Reykjavik, from international-standard hotels with good conference facilities, through smaller hotels and cozy guesthouses, to a campsite in the city’s biggest park.

But the capital area is more than just Reykjavik. Adjoining it is the town of Kopavogur, with its new concert hall, art museum, and splendid sport and leisure facilities. A little farther down the road, the town of Hafnarfjordur nestles in a lava field and offers tourists both traditional and offbeat attractions – including Viking feasts, elf-spotting tours, whale watching and horseback riding.


Go Soak Yourself!

The Blue Lagoon is a unique geothermal spa where guests relax in warm geothermal seawater. A visit to the Blue Lagoon is an invigorating and exciting experience, whether you choose to bathe in the delicate waters surrounded by snow in the middle of winter, or while enjoying the long days of summer.

The geothermal spa's state-of-the-art facilities include: modern changing rooms and showers, an indoor Blue Lagoon pool, a conference room and a restaurant overlooking the Blue Lagoon are on the premises. A geothermal beach, lava caves and silica mud are parts of the lagoon area. In addition to bathing in the lagoon, guests enjoy relaxing in a lava cave and a unique geothermal steam bath.

The Blue Lagoon's warm water and natural active ingredients: salts, silica and blue green algae help our guests relax and escape the stress and strain of daily life. The Blue Lagoon's white Silica mud gently cleanses and exfoliates the skin and has revitalizing effects on the skin while the blue green algae nourishes and softens the skin. The Blue Lagoon mineral salts have balancing and relaxing effects.

The Blue Lagoon offers spa packages that include a unique combination of Blue Lagoon bathing, massage and products. Guests can choose between energy, balance and nutrition treatments. Three packages; Luxury, Deluxe and Ultimate are available within each category. In addition to the treatments, the packages include bath in the Blue Lagoon, use of a soft quality towel and a warm bathrobe. For more information on the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa visit

Go Soak Yourself!


The Waters
The Sudurnes Regional Heating Corporation uses geothermal water from boreholes reaching depths of more than 6000 feet (2.000 meters). Due to the proximity of the sea that seeps into the underground water system, the water is saline and this, along with the presence of various minerals, makes it unsuitable for direct central heating purposes.

The geothermal seawater is used to heat spring water, which is used for central heating. At the outlet point, the water from the power station, which has a temperature of 158 °F (70 °C) and a salt concentration approximately equal to that of the sea, has formed a lagoon in the surrounding lava field. In this unique ecosystem, high levels of silica, minerals and algae form light natural sediment on its bottom and give the lagoon its rich blue color.

The geothermal seawater is taken directly from the well and transferred via pipeline to the Lagoon. At the time the temperatures of the Water is ~320°F/160 °C - the water travels under air pressure and is then directed through special mixing wells where the water is cooled down to comfortable bathing temperatures ~98 - 102°F/36 - 39 °C.



Bubbling mud flats, lunaresque volcanic craters, newborn lava fields, and grassy shoals teeming with waterfowl; these are among the sights of the striking Lake Myvatn region, one of the most geologically active and stunningly beautiful areas in Iceland. In 1974, the lake was declared a national conservation area, and since then it has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Its name means “Midge Lake,” after the hordes of gnats that breed in the shallow waters (so bring bug spray), but the pesky insects – perfect food for fish – support the best trout and salmon fishing in Iceland. There are also more species of duck here than anywhere in Europe, 15 in all. 

The heavy volcanic activity in the region during the last few thousand years accounts for its extraordinary land formations and geology. Dimmuborgir, on the East side of the lake, is a badlands of lava pillars, some of which reach 65 feet in height. Just north is Hverfjall, a smooth, stadium-shaped volcanic cone that formed during eruptions 2,500 years ago. One of the most bizarre attractions in the region are the mud pits of Haverarond, which are so hot that they actually boil. Far cooler are the waters of Viti, an explosion crater nearby. Another unforgettable sight near Myvatn is Eldhraun (“fire lava”), an absolutely barren lava field where the Apollo 11 crew came in the late 60's to train for their impending moonwalks.