Why choose a cruise to Reykjavik?
Otherworldly mountain ranges aside, there’s a whole world of historic and contemporary Nordic culture to explore in Reykjavik, along with beautifully charming cafes and restaurants dotted throughout. The world’s most northerly capital city is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, and the coastal paths running around the peninsula boast a plethora of sculptures, monuments and architectural masterpieces, with once-in-a-lifetime views at every turn. By night, the locals come out to play, with late-night bars and clubs aplenty, filled with revellers getting out of the cold and partying deep into the night.
A guide to Reykjavik’s hotspots
The beauty of Reykjavik is that there’s so much to see, and so many places to kick back in style once you’ve seen it.
When in Reykjavik, a visit to one of its famous volcanic spas is a must-do. The hot thermal-energy pools are good for body and soul, and there are many volcanic spas throughout Reykjavik. With its milky-blue, 38˚C-39˚C waters, the Blue Lagoon is frequently ranked the best in the city, and is named in National Geographic‘s Top 25 Wonders of the World.
Of course no trip to Reykjavik is complete without taking in the Golden Circle. This consists of the epic Gulfoss waterfalls, where masses of rainwater drop 96 feet down to the Hvita river; Geysir and Strokkur, with live volcanic springs spouting water every few minutes, and the jaw-dropping Thingvellir national park, a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Another highlight is the beautiful Old Harbour area, which is quickly becoming the go-to place for locals and tourists alike. Down there you’ll find The Cinema at Old Harbour Village No2, where you can experience daily showings of a volcanic eruption and the Northern Lights, or a longer film called Birth of an Island – The Making of Iceland, where you can see how it all came to be.
Come nightfall, this city comes alive, with most of the best late night bars and clubs located around the main shopping street of Laugavegur.
Cruise lines that sail to the port of Reykjavik
Although we often think of cruise lines sailing to the sun, a growing number of them are falling in love with Reykjavik, just like the guests they carry. As a result, it’s no surprise to learn that many of your favourite cruise lines run itineraries that put Reykjavik at the heart of their voyages. Those include:
The best time to visit Reykjavik
Being so far north in the middle of the Atlantic, the weather fluctuates quite a bit. With long sunlit days and lack of rain, July to August is ideal for exploring this very outdoorsy city. The summer festivals are on at this time too, taking advantage of the warmer daytime temperatures – usually around 20˚C-22˚C.
Winters are harsh, getting down to around -3˚C with lots of snow, but it’s the only time to see the incredible Northern Lights.
Did you know?
- There were no TV broadcasts in Reykjavik until 1983, and no TV on Thursdays until 1987!
- Between 1924 and 1984, dogs were banned in Reykjavik, and the cats made the most of it. There is now thought to be one cat for every 10 people in the city.
- The people of Reykjavik lived in turf houses until 1926, as there were no forests or lime deposits, so houses couldn’t be made from stone or wood.