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A Quick Guide to Iceland

Europe > Iceland > Reykjavik

Where You Will Find A Vibrant Atmosphere

Reykjavik is the most northerly capital in the world. Situated on the southwest extreme of Iceland, it is a city surrounded by stunning and diverse scenery. Most people, when they first visit, are struck by the contrasting landscape of volcanoes and glaciers sitting side by side. Plus they are in awe of the lush greenery of the countryside.
Legend has it that the city was founded by a Viking called Ingólfur Arnarson, who named it Reykjavik (meaning ‘Smokey Bay’) because of the steam rising from the hot springs. Today, these numerous geothermal springs provide almost all the heating and water in the city, and the low level of fuel emissions gives the city clean air and crystal clear skies.
You could be forgiven for thinking that Reykjavik doesn’t look like a city when you first arrive. After all, unlike many other European capital cities, Reykjavik has many low-level wooden buildings often with corrugated roofs (very distinctive of Icelandic architecture). However as you explore further you will find modern architectural gems such as the 70 metre high spire of Hallgrimskirkja, the third millennia City Hall and the innovative “Pearl” which is one of the finest places to dine.
Its location has a lot to do with its popularity. Its position on Faxaflói Bay offers stunning panoramic views of the majestic Mount Esja, which rises up behind the bay and vistas across the Atlantic. It has a very wet climate and winters can be long and bleak, with just four hours of daylight on some days, but the chance to view the spectacular Northern Lights makes up for this. Summer, by contrast, brings the famed midnight sun often with 22 hours of day light. 
As tourism has increased, Reykjavik has developed a reputation for a raucous nightlife scene and some enjoyable sightseeing in its old city centre. The main reason most travel to Reykjavik, however, is to take excursions out of the city to natural hot attractions like the Blue Lagoon and Geysir. More info


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