Iceland: Reykjavík and the Golden Circle

Favourite Experiences:

  • Looking out over Reykjavík from the top of Hallgrimskirkja
  • Watching the Strokkur geyser erupt
  • Swimming in the geothermal waters at the Blue Lagoon

Reykjavík was my home-base during my stay in Iceland and I really enjoyed getting to know the town. Reykjavík is small and very walkable (especially if the weather is good!). The downtown area has great shopping, restaurants, bars, and attractions like Hallgrimskirkja, the Old Harbour, Sólfarið, and the Harpa. I gave myself two full days to explore Reykjavík, and it was more than enough. I also stayed in the downtown area at Loft Hostel. I would definitely recommend Loft Hostel for anyone travelling on a budget. The location is excellent, the rooms are clean and spacious, and the hostel has a great rooftop bar which is great for meeting up with fellow travellers. In addition to exploring Reykjavík, I went on two day tours around the Reykjavík area with Grayline. The Golden Circle Classic Tour is the most popular day tour from Reykjavík, and includes stops at Þingvellir National Park, Gulfoss, and Strokkur Geyser. The Viking Horse and Blue Lagoon Tour includes a riding-tour on an Icelandic Horse at Laxnes Horse Farm, and a visit to the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. These tours both take place relatively close-by to Reykjavík and provide a great overview of the types of natural attractions Iceland has to offer. Below are my favourite photos from Reykjavik and the surrounding area:


Views of Downtown Reykjavík from Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral


Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral in Downtown Reykjavík


Sólfarid (The Sun Voyageur) Viking Ship Sculpture



My first of many Skyr! Skyr is an Icelandic treat similar to yogurt that comes in lots of flavours (be sure to try the coconut, my fav!)


The view from the Rooftop Bar at Loft Hostel (At 10:30pm!)


The freshest Fish & Chips I’ve ever had at Kaffivagninn in the Old Harbour


Looking up inside the Harpa Concert Hall


Views from the Old Harbour


Amazing lobster soup from Saegreifinn in the Old Harbour


Downtown Reykjavík is so picturesque


A little pedestrian street downtown called Skólavördustígur. The artwork on the street was made by local students who were asked to draw scenes of Reykjavík


Views of the mountains from the Old Harbour



Standing where the North American & Eurasian tectonic plates meet in pingvellir National Park (Stop #1 on the Golden Circle Tour)


A closer look at the tectonic plate divide in pingvellir National Park


Hiking through amazing geological formations in pingvellir National Park


pingvallakirkja in pingvellir National Park


Gullfoss (Golden Waterfalls) is a double waterfall, and stop #2 on the Golden Circle Tour


The higher of the two Gullfoss waterfalls


Waiting for Strokkur to erupt at the Geysir Park (Stop #3 on the Golden Circle Tour)


So much geothermal energy coming from the ground at the Geysir Park


Checking out the Jesus mosaic inside Skálholt Church (Stop #4 on the Golden Circle Tour)


The strong and sturdy Icelandic horse is the size of a pony when full grown


Arriving at Laxnes Horse Farm for a 90-minute trail ride through a volcanic valley


Hitting the trails for a beautiful ride at Laxnes Horse Farm, 30 minutes outside of Reykjavík


Views from the trails at Laxnes Horse Farm


Me and my horse for the day, Vördur


Arriving at the geothermal pools at the Blue Lagoon, 45 minutes outside Reykjavík


The warm waters at the Blue Lagoon are filled with silica and sulfur, which have healing properties for your skin


The Blue Lagoon has two restaurants on site, a full-service spa, swim-up bars, and an electronic bracelet system for entrance, lockers, and drink purchases




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