Reykjavik, the Icelandic capital, is an excellent hub for exploring some of the country's famed natural surroundings. From the city, discover wildlife like seal colonies and whale populations or explore inside and outside the active Geldingadalir volcano. Relax in thermal waters and thoroughly enjoy the vast and diverse Icelandic landscapes, all while returning to a vibrant and artsy city each night.

Getting Oriented

Enjoy Iceland's dramatic landscapes.

Reykjavik is Iceland's capital city, set in the county's southwest. The city has plenty to enjoy on its own, including the famed Hallgrimskirkja church, the Sun Voyager sculpture, and several museums, such as the National Museum of Iceland and the popular Whales of Iceland museum. But what makes Reykjavik such a special place is its natural surroundings. Most European capitals don't have such diverse and wild landscapes close by, which makes the city an excellent hub for outdoor adventures. 

Nearby Reykjavik, you'll find harbors, seal colonies, active volcanoes, mountains, cliffs, fjords, rivers, lakes, hot springs, and more. You can easily stay in the city and have a new adventure each day!

Wildlife

Iceland is well known for its wildlife, especially the whale populations and seal colonies that call the northern waters home. Learn more about the country's whale populations at Reykjavik's famed Whales of Iceland museum and explore the Ytri-Tunga Beach in search of those quirky seals.

Visit the Whales of Iceland Museum

Learn all about the country's whale populations.

Discover an important part of the country's natural history by visiting Reykjavik's Whales of Iceland Museum, where an exhibition of 23 handpainted, life-sized whale models awaits you! The museum transports you with ambient underwater lighting, beach-like flooring, soothing whale sounds, and interactive stands and videos. You'll view life-size models of species such as blue whales, sperm whales, and North Atlantic right whales. Read More

Ytri-Tunga Beach Seal Spotting

Seals are relaxing on the rocky beach.

About two hours north of Reykjavik is Ytri-Tunga, a golden beach on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Here you'll find a very accessible colony of harbor seals. Although you're nearly guaranteed to see at least a few colony members year-round, the best time to view the seals is in the summer. Regardless, you can watch these curious creatures swim in the sea, lounge on the rocks, and arch their backs as you enjoy the area's stunning scenery. Read More

Plan your trip to Iceland
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.

Volcanoes

Iceland is certainly synonymous with volcanoes; It's the land of fire and ice, after all! And in Iceland, not only can you enjoy stunning volcanic views, but you can also explore inside the mountains themselves.

Geldingadalir Volcano Hike

See the Geldingadalir Volcano in action!

Tick hiking an active volcano off your bucket list with a climb up Geldingadalir Volcano! Although many tour operators lead you up this slightly challenging hike, you can also go on your own with the right preparations. The walk is quite steep up uneven terrain covered in gravel and lava fields, but the views are certainly worth the effort, especially as you reach the eruption site. Although the volcano isn't always erupting, you may see steam rising from its top or even lava flowing into the valley! Read More

Explore Inside the Þríhnúkagígur Volcano

Explore the inside of a dormant volcano.

If hiking atop an active volcano wasn't enough, you could also explore inside a dormant volcano, Iceland's Þríhnúkagígur volcano. Start with a scenic hike to the volcano's base, passing through valleys and lava fields. Then brave a 400-foot descent via an open cable car into the crater, where you'll have time to explore the inside. Marvel in the colorful center of Þríhnúkagígur's magma core. Read More

Nature

Enjoy more of Iceland's famed nature by flying over the country's vast, diverse, and impressive landscapes, including unique areas like the geothermal grounds of Landmannalaugar. Then, add a day of relaxing to your trip by visiting one of the country's less busy thermal baths.

Helicopter Tour

Fly above some of Iceland's most beautiful landscapes, like Landmannalaugar.

Get a unique perspective of Iceland's south highlands region with a helicopter tour from Reykjavik. You'll soar above some of the country's most diverse and beloved landscapes, enjoying aerial views of places like Þingvellir National Park, Landmannalaugar Geothermal Area, Eyjafjallajökull Glacier Volcano, and Gullfoss Waterfall, among others. Enjoy special experiences like landing atop a volcano or soaring above steaming geothermal waters. Read More

The Secret Lagoon

Soak in one of Iceland's secret hot springs. 

If you'd like to soak in Iceland's famed hot springs but prefer a less-crowded and more historical experience, consider the Secret Lagoon. As the country's oldest swimming pool (established in 1891), you can relax in consistently warm, minerally rich waters that replenish themselves every 24 hours. Known locally as Gamla Laugin, the lagoon sits in the Hverahólmi geothermal area and features three geysers that erupt every few minutes. Read More

How to Craft the Perfect Reykjavic Itinerary

The Reykjavik skyline.

Reykjavik is the perfect start and endpoint to any Icelandic vacation, as the city is home to the country's main international airport. Either bookend your trip in the capital or use it as a hub to explore the country with day trips. In addition, you can easily pair Reykjavik with all the other popular areas of Iceland, including the Golden Circle, South Coast, and Ring Road

How many days you spend in Iceland depends on how much you want to see and do and how you move around the country. If you only have a little time, you can do a lot in just a few days if you rent a car. Taking public transport or traveling with tour companies will require a bit more time, as will completing the entire Ring Road around the country. To make the most out of your time, try to give yourself at least one week in Iceland. To really explore the country and enjoy more local experiences in Iceland, opt for two weeks. 

Past kimkim travelers have enjoyed the following itineraries that include experiences from Reykjavic: