Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland, located in the southwest, and is also the city in which most of Iceland's inhabitants reside. The climate is cold but not as cold as the rest of Iceland. With summer temperatures averaging 56F (13.3C) and winter temperatures averaging 26F (-3C), you will want to plan your visit and Reykjavik shore excursions accordingly! While Reykjavik receives about 147 days of rain each year, it also receives about 1,200 hours of sunshine each year! In fact, the long summers offer midnight sun- very interesting sight to behold!
According to Ingolfur Arnarson, Reykjavik was discovered in 874 AD. In 1786, the city was founded as a trading point for fishing and agriculture. Later in 1944, the Icelandic people voted in a president which replaced a monarchy, thus founding the Republic of Iceland.
It is now the center of commerce, population, and government for the entire country. Even though Reykjavik is a relatively new city, it is known as one of the safest, cleanest, and greenest cities in the entire world.
One sight you won't want to miss during your Reykjavik cruise visit is Harpa, one of Reykjavik's greatest and distinguished landmarks. This conference center and concert hall hosts concerts, conferences, exhibitions, meetings or other cultural events. Completed in 2011, Harpa offers restaurants and shops full of Nordic designs, books, flowers, and other gift items.
The Perlan Museum offers a glacier and cave exhibit in which guests can actually travel through an ice cave. The Arbaer Open Air Museum used to be a farm, but now offers events and exhibitions that highlight specific periods in Reykjavik's history, including craft days, vintage car displays, Christmas exhibitions, and much more. The National Museum of Iceland offers a variety of exhibits and one permanent display sharing the story of Iceland's past, from the medieval days of Viking settlements to modern culture. The main exhibition has over 2,000 artifacts discovered in various parts of the country.
For something really unique, you may visit the Solfar (Sun Voyager), a massive steel sculpture that resembles a Viking ship created by Jan Gunnar Arnason. It is a popular spot for photographers, especially if you catch the sun in the shot!
For more adventure or outdoor Reykjavik excursions, visit the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa in the middle of a lava field. You'll find the area covered in a surreal steam or fog. Or make a trip to any of Reykjavik's many waterfalls, especially Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe, with 500 cubic meters of water poring over the edge of the waterfall every second!
While the Icelandic diet hasn't changed a lot since the Viking Age, chefs have tweaked recipes over the years. Taste their unique preparations of lamb, skyr, potatoes, fish, and other seafood, such as cod, haddock, monkfish, herring, skate, lobster, and salmon.
Enjoy our Reykjavik Shore Excursions!