VISITING REYKJAVIK & ICELAND: ONLINE RESOURCES
- Lonely Planet - popular attractions in Reykjavík; their all-inclusive Iceland site is helpful as well
- Trip Advisor - the most highly-rated activities in the capitol region, reviewed by fellow travelers
- Fodor's - an "insider's guide" to the city
- Rough Guides - popular itineraries and much more
Iceland is a welcoming place for families with children. Several of the travel guides above provide pages specific to those with little ones; you can also check out one of the the many helpful blogs available for more tips!
- Hot Pools a.k.a. "Hot Pots" - The city is filled with geothermally-heated swimming pools and spas, including Laugardalslaug, the largest of more than a dozen, and Nauthólsvík, a geothermal beach. There are plenty of options for both children and adults, even in the winter and fall. We visited Laugardalslaug numbers times and loved it. They have 7 geothermal hot pots ranging in temperature from 38C to 44C, heated lap pools and a warm swimming pool, complete with lily pads and a two fun slides. Cost 650ISK, or ~5 USD.
- National Museum of Iceland - An impressive collection of Viking History.
- Old Harbor - A bustling boom area in the city. The majority of marine activities (think: whale watching and puffin tours) are concentrated here; it's also home to the Vikin Maritime Museum.
- Micro Bar - One of Iceland’s newest microbrewery bars, which supports small brewers from all over Iceland.
- Laugavegur - The main shopping street in Reykjavík, populated with coffee shops, eateries and shopping. For other options, check out the Kringlan and Smáralind malls.
- The Perlan, Hallgrimskirkja and the Harpa Conference and Concert Center - For those interested in architecture, these are three of the city's most famous landmarks. If you want to see a terrific bird's eye view of Reykjavík, head to the top of the Hallgrimskirkja!
- Bæjarins beztu pylsur - A famous and popular hot dog stand in central Reykjavík, which has been operating since 1937. Affordable, too!
- Mt. Esja - Located just east Reykjavík and dominating the city skyline. There are several different well-worn hiking trails up the mountain of differing difficultly.
A must-do while in Iceland. In a country known for its natural wonders, the golden circle covers three of the most popular attractions - Pingvellir National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage site), the two-tier Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir Hotsprings, where the ‘Strokkur’ geyser erupts every few minutes. Other stops may include an inactive volcano crater and the Skálholt church. You may explore on your own in a rented vehicle or use a tour operator. Iceland Horizon is one highly rated option.
For those looking to spend part of the day experiencing the sights at a quicker pace - try a bike tour! There are several options, most lasting about 3 hours, and many operators also offer bike rentals for do-it-yourself tours.
This 6-7 hour hike lets you see the unique landscape of Iceland from the green moss covered lava fields to bubbling mud pools. The evening hike starts at 5pm that includes at stop in a natural geothermal heated river for a dip. The tour includes an assortment of sandwiches, wine and a homemade dessert. We recommend you pick up a compact quick-dry camping towel if this is something that interests you; this is not a tour for those who don't want to get dirty.
ICELANDIC HORSEBACK RIDING
Known for their unique gait and even temperament, riding an Icelandic pony through the countryside is a nearly-iconic part of traveling in Iceland. Many wonderful tour operators, including the much-lauded Islenski Hesturinn and Viking Horses, offer trips near Reykjavík for riders of many different experience levels.
ACTIVITES IN SNÆFELLSNES
Check out this site for ideas on activities offered in the area surrounding our wedding hotel (Hótel Búðir) as well as restaurants and tips on spots for hiking, biking and fishing.
Places to note:
- Stykkishólmur - The largest and most enjoyable town on Snæfellsnes, with a population of around 1100, it is renowned today for its halibut and scallops landed from the waters of Breiðafjörður, which borders the northern coast of the peninsula and is technically more a sea bay than a fjord.
- Flatey - If you like the idea of having nothing to do all day but stroll through undisturbed meadows while taking in magnificent vistas of the West Fjord mountains and Snæfellsjökull, then dining by evening on succulent cod caught the same afternoon, this is the place to come.
- Hiking in Western Snæfellsnes - check out the link here for ideas on where to hike on the peninsula.
There are plenty of other tour options available including:
- Whale watching
- Jeep/ATV tours
- Cave tours
- Ice Cave/Glacier tours
- Helicopter tours
- Icelandic Horse Riding tours
- Multi-day hiking tours to Landmannalaugar
- Day tours by bus - Reykjavik Excurusion or Iceland Horizon or Trex Travel Experiences
- Iceland Guest offers guided tours and car rental packages that include accommodation, detailed itinerary and GPS.
- Also be sure to check out the Jordan Jones Fishing Adventure!
The Snaefellsnes Peninsula is sparsely populated and Hótel Búðir is rather remote - all the better for Northern Lights viewing! If you plan to dine at the hotel for dinner on Sunday and/or lunch on Monday, be prepared for relatively expensive meals. It's definitely a gourmet kitchen! Exploring nearby villages and seeing the sights will offer more choices for a range of budgets, but you will need to travel approximately 30 minutes from the hotel to reach the nearest of them.