For September, the city break of the month we have chosen is Reykjavik, Iceland. The Most northern capital in the world used to be home to Vikings is now one of the greenest capitals you will see and along with its Scandinavian architecture, its puffin and whale colonies and its masses of things to do, will leave you wanting more. Let us tell you why we say yes to Reykjavik.
First and foremost…
There is no quarantine period when returning to the UK and upon arrival, as long as you book and pay for a test to enter the country, there is no quarantine period in Iceland either.. but remember.. BOOK THAT TEST! because without it, you must quarantine and your holiday will not be the same.. you can book your test by clicking HERE and the price is 9000 ISK or approximately £50.00 but with the price hikes in ‘Staycations’ and ‘UK Hotels’, it is not costing any more to travel abroad and it is well worth the test to travel to a country that i would say is one of the most beautiful on this planet and of course, keeping everyone safe too.
Why Reykjavik, Why September?
Iceland is beautiful all year round and yes, in the winter, the snow does give it a certain charm but there are restrictions in the winter; road closures, tours not available etc. which means you do miss out on not only parts of Reykjavik and the rest of the island which would be inaccessible in that 6 inches of snow and ice, you are much less likely to see wildlife that would be native to the city such as Puffins and Orcas. As well as having access to the island, in which we definitely recommend you hire a car and spend a day exploring with ease, if you aren’t a lover of heat, or you feel you get your summer sun fix from your home country (In the UK currently, we are experiencing temperatures of 32 Degrees Celsius plus so i know i am!), temperatures are between 10 and 13 degrees Celsius so theres no danger of getting burnt, plus with having on average 13 hours of sunlight a day in September (This dramatically decreases in the winter!) you have plenty of hours to explore before taking to Reykjavik on the evening for some fine food and drinks.
So what does Reykjavik have to offer?
Reykjavik has a lot to offer from Whale watching, shopping, great bars and restaurants, museums, galleries and more…
Some of the major attractions are;
- Hallgrimskirkja – Hallgrímskirkja is a Lutheran parish church in Reykjavík, Iceland. At 74.5 metres high, it is the largest church in Iceland and among the tallest structures in the country. The church is named after the Icelandic poet and clergyman Hallgrímur Peterson, author of the Passion Hymns. Wikipedia
- Harpa – Harpa is a concert hall and conference centre in Reykjavík, Iceland. The opening concert was held on May 4, 2011. The building features a distinctive coloured glass façade inspired by the basalt landscape of Iceland. Wikipedia
- Icelandic Phallological Museum – This is one we had to add and although not to everyone’s taste, shows the diversity and care free attitude of the Icelandic people! – The Icelandic Phallological Museum, located in Reykjavík, Iceland, houses the world’s largest display of penises and penile parts. As of early 2020 the museum moved to a new location in Hafnartorg, three times the size of the previous one, and the collection holds well over 300 penises from more than 100 species of mammal. Also the museum holds 22 penises from creatures and peoples of Icelandic folklore. In July 2011, the museum obtained its first human penis, one of many promised by would-be donors. Its detachment from the donor’s body did not go according to plan and it was reduced to a greyish-brown shrivelled mass that was pickled in a jar of formalin. The museum continues to search for “a younger and a bigger and better one.” Founded in 1997 by since-then retired teacher Sigurður Hjartarson and now run by his son Hjörtur Gísli Sigurðsson, the museum grew out of an interest in penises that began during Sigurður’ s childhood when he was given a cattle whip made from a bull’s penis. Wikipedia
- National Museum of Iceland – The National Museum of Iceland was established on 24 February 1863, with Jón Arneson the first curator of the Icelandic collection, previously kept in Danish museums. The second curator, Sigurður Guðmundsson, advocated the creation of an antiquarian collection, and the museum was called the Antiquarian Collection until 1911. Before settling at its present location, at Suðurgata 41, 101 Reykjavík, in 1950, it was housed in various Reykjavík attics, finally for forty years in the attic of the National Library building on Hverfisgata. A key object in the permanent exhibition is the Valþjófsstaður door, a celebrated carving depicting a version of the Lion-Knight legend where a knight slays a dragon, thus freeing a lion that becomes his companion. Wikipedia
- Videy – Viðey is the largest island of the Kollafjörður Bay in Iceland, near the capital of Reykjavík. Wikipedia
- Nauthólsvík Geothermal Beach – Nauthólsvík is a small neighbourhood in Reykjavík, the capital city of Iceland, about 900 metres from Perlan. It has a beach with an artificial hot spring. The temperature of the ocean is usually about 12 to 16 °C during the summer and drops down to about −2 °C in the winter. The area inside the cove is usually a few degrees warmer than the ocean. The temperature of the hot tub is pretty consistent around 38.5 °C with the second hot tub being a lot cooler. The service centre also sells beverages and snacks. Reykjavík University is located in Nauthólsvík in a new building, opened in 2010. Wikipedia
- Grótta – Grótta is a tied island at the extreme end of Seltjarnarnes in the Capital Region of Iceland. During high tide the tombolo is completely submerged, turning Grótta into an island. The island is accessible by foot during low tide, giving people a window of about six hours to visit the island. Grótta and the region close by is a popular outdoor recreational area. Grótta became a nature reserve in 1974 and it is forbidden to visit it during nesting season, from 1 May to 15 July. There are about 450 couples of arctic terns in Grótta. A lighthouse was originally built in 1897, a new one was built in 1947. The local search and rescue association is named after long term lighthouse keeper Albert Þorvarðarson. The main house has been deserted since 1970. The municipality acquired the buildings in 1994 and they are now used as occasional facilities for groups on school trips. Wikipedia
- Laugardalslaug – Laugardalslaug is a public thermal baths and swimming pool complex located in the Laugardalur district of Iceland’s capital Reykjavík. With an indoor Olympic-size swimming pool, a 50-metre-long outdoor swimming pool, a 400 m² playing pool, 8 hot pots of various temperatures, and a 17 m² steam bath, it is the largest conventional swimming pool complex in Iceland. Receiving about 800 thousand visitors in 2010, it is the most visited thermal baths in Iceland after the Blue Lagoon. The baths are owned by the City of Reykjavík, and are operated by its Department of Sport and Leisure Wikipedia
- Bars and Restaurants – These are well worth a mention and we recommend you taking a visit to a few in Reykjavik, the atmosphere in the bars is electric and age is not limit plus the restaurants have some of the most interesting and tasty foods you will come across.
And many more.. as well as an abundance of choice in Reykjavik for your break, you have an amazing choice of day trips on to choose from where you can let the experts show you why Iceland is one of the most incredible countries to visit.
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What tours do we recommend?
As you can imagine, there are a lot of tours and tour operators in Iceland offering some fantastic tours but we can only recommend tours that not only are trusted and we know will deliver a 5 star service but also ones that are a fantastic price. We Recommend;
- Whale Watching in Reykjavik – BOOK HERE
- Hop on, Hop off, Reykjavik City Sightseeing – BOOK HERE
- Perlan Glaciers and Ice Cave Exhibition – BOOK HERE
- Viking ‘Sushi’ Boat Tour – BOOK HERE
- Golden Circle Guided Tour (Audio in 10 Languages) – BOOK HERE
There are many more tours and these are just our recommendations.. you can find many more on https://www.icelandtravel.is or we are happy to find what you are looking for if you contact us.
Food and Drink
If you believe that Iceland would be famous for only fish and fish is what you will be living on while you are here and fish etc!… you couldn’t be more wrong as Iceland is home to some unusual but tasty foods that we recommend you try on your stay here..
Pylsur (Icelandic Hot Dog) – Served with onions and sweet mustard, Our Bravery rating;
Skyr – A thick dairy product similar to Greek yoghurt except more mild and sour – eat alone or with jam, Our Bravery rating;
Fermented Shark – Fermented with vinegars and other natural products, Our Bravery Rating;
Icelandic Lamb- Tastes great and served in most restaurants – Our Bravery Rating;
Harðfiskur – Dried fish that can be found in packets in most stores and garages, eaten as a snack. Our Bravery rating;
Plokkfiskur – Fish Stew, Our Bravery rating;
Humar – Icelandic Lobster, usually grilled or fried or as a pizza topping, Our Bravery rating;
As well as these, do try Icelandic seafood and fish while you are here as it is unlike anywhere else and if you have the opportunity, try the Icelandic bread too because although it is an acquired taste, you might fall in love!
Although most drinks in Iceland are not of the countries origin, there is one in Brennivín, a clear unsweetened Schnapp, it is a popular Icelandic liquor and why not? you only live once!
Flights for September are very reasonable and can be purchased via our site;
Flights with EasyJet are approximately £40 – £70 pp Rtn and Wizz Air from £60 – £100 Rtn depending on when you are looking.
You can change your desired dates on the next page – find your flights today;
Only you know what you want in your accommodation, whether you are travelling solo, spending a romantic weekend away as a couple or having a family break, Reykjavik has something for everyone so use our interactive map to find Hotels, Apartments and Hostels that suit all budgets and all preferences. Hover over the prices to see what is on offer, click and add your own dates of travel.
We always recommend travel insurance Insurance can be obtained for as low as £4.90 which includes COVID cancellation cover, baggage cover and medical cover up to a value of £20 Million.
While you are there…
While you are in Iceland, these are two must-visits. Firstly we recommend;
The Blue Lagoon Spa,
Located just outside of Reykjavik and easy accessible either by car or there are regular coach trips, the world famous geo-thermal spa provides not only relaxation for all but gives you that one-off experience of swimming in geo-thermal waters in the middle of Icelandic no-where! So not only do you get all this, products and face masks can be purchased for pampering and you can have a real Icelandic spa day. Get there with Iceland Travel – https://www.icelandtravel.is/tours/relax-at-the-blue-lagoon-2/
Find out more about the Blue Lagoon here – https://www.bluelagoon.com/
The Golden Circle
Whether its through a tour guide or hiring a car, this is a world famous, must-see whilst in Iceland, and if seeing Geysers in action, adventuring through Thingvellir national park, experiencing black beaches and seeing magnificent waterfalls isn’t your thing, after this, it would be! Yes it is a circle and is approximate 200km, which can be driven in a few hours without stopping, but as you want to enjoy the attractions, give yourself the whole day! There are several routes available and the tours available will make sure you see it all but if you are going alone, be creative, Iceland is your oyster! Just make sure you don’t miss;
- Thingvellir National Park
- The Geyser Geothermal Area
- Gullfoss Waterfall
- Kerid Crater
- The Secret Lagoon (If the blue lagoon left you wanting more).
And if you wish to travel further, the abandoned DC plane in Sólheimasandur and the Reynisfjara and its caves, which are the most well known black beaches and caves in Iceland and are popular with tourists and photographers alike, from there, venture into the local town of Vik which is not only very cute, but has small Icelandic restaurants and museums.
Based on two people for 4 nights, we can arrange Flights, a 4-star hotel, travel insurance and COVID tests for £450.00 which makes this a very reasonably priced getaway for any couple or family looking for an alternative to the typical summer holiday. For price, we give this;
As you can see, this is a holiday full of activities with landmarks, city-sightseeing and points of interest like no other. Plus, at the end of the day, explore the cities vibrant bars and restaurants or relax in a geothermal spa. For activities we rate this;
Ease of access
With flights daily from the UK and most EU countries at a reasonable price and the flight trip only a couple of hours (depending on location, the UK is 3 hours) plus very clear guidance on entry requirements, we rate this;
And finally… our ixploring.com score
For Reykjavik, due to how reasonable a city break costs, the friendliness of the Icelandic people, the foot and the activities, we could not give less than full marks.
If this sounds like a break for you, or somewhere where you have a desire to go, book via ixploring.com today for ease, guidance and excellent prices, any questions, please feel free to contact us..
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References – Feature Photo (Reykjavik) – pixabay.com