Reykjavik is a fascinating place to visit and there’s no wonder this incredibly beautiful city has become so popular with cruise lines in recent years. The Icelandic city is the most northerly capital in the world set in what is described as the ‘Land of Fire and Ice’ but in truth, the city itself is now extremely modern and boasts a cosmopolitan metropolis with many attractive features. You won’t find ice unless you travel outside of the capital and opt for a glacier safari excursion.
There is so much to see and do here, Reykjavik really is a special place to see but be sure to plan your day in advance as it is almost impossible to cover everything in a limited time. It is for this reason that many cruise lines port overnight here to give passengers more time to explore and experience the many treasurable sightseeing pleasures of the city.
Without a doubt, the most popular attraction when visiting here is the chance to visit the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa for the opportunity to enjoy an immersive experience in war, aquamarine waters. Sound good so far? Well it gets even better. Here you are surrounded by the most spectacular volcanic landscape. You can visit here independently if you wish but we highly recommend opting for a cruise line organised excursion here to get the most from your time. Excursions offer the chance to learn more about the history as well as the scientific elements behind the creation of the geothermal spa. The Blue Lagoon is considered to be one of the most relaxing experiences, as the water itself is highly enriched with silica, algae and sulphur, renowned for melting away the stresses of day to day life. Some passengers may be also interested in the exfoliation options in an array of wooden boxes that have been placed around the lagoon. These boxes contain silica mud, which is known to cleanse and strengthen the skin. Many believe the experience enhances the complexion of skin as well as giving an energy boost. And Reykjavik itself means ‘Smoky (or Steamy) Bay’.
The Blue Lagoon is certainly an impressive experience but the city has far more to offer than just this geothermal attraction. The volcanic landscapes and enchanting scenery in itself is enough to want to stay here but combine this with a rich historical heritage and you have the makings of a special day in port. The Viking Museum in particular is fascinating. The museum hosts a variety of excellent exhibitions including artefacts, models and outstanding audio-visual displays. These exhibits tell the story of the incredible Viking development and how the expansion over the North Atlantic took place. Another striking building here is The Pearl. This unique structure can be seen for miles and is made up of a huge water tanks and at the peak you will see a glass observation dome. The Pearl’s dome is the perfect place to capture some of the best views of the city and its stunning surrounding areas. Other thrilling sights close by include the lava fields, something the city has become hugely famous for.
Whilst visiting Reykjavik you also have the chance to see an active volcano and marvel at the natural resources Iceland boasts, which continue to provide heat and power to the city. The Hengill Volcano last erupted over 2,000 years ago but the sheer amount of hot springs and steam vents produced ensure that it is still classed as very active. It is the geothermal and hydro power of the volcano that produces significant amounts of energy. This energy is then used to provide hot water and electricity supplies to the surrounding areas. If you wish you can even enhance your visit here with a trip to the Geothermal Plant to learn more about the technology involved in the utilisation of the islands natural resources.
The natural beauty here continues at the phenomenal Thingvellir National Park. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site primarily due to the cultural heritage it possesses but this is also supported by the sheer geological importance of the site. This site is a hugely popular place to visit when cruising into Reykjavik to witness mid-Atlantic ridge. It is at this location in Iceland that Eurasian and North American tectonic plates come together. These two tectonic plates are renowned for disrupting the earth’s crust and this occurs when it is pulled in opposite directions. This disruption causes significant rifts to form, which in turn has added to the already stunning landscape. Here not only do you have the chance to explore this fascinating site but you can also head to the nearby farmlands to see the magical sight of the Gullfoss Waterfall. Many know this point as the Golden Waterfall and it certainly is a sight to behold. Not only is the landscape truly breath-taking, the extraordinary power of the waterfall is astonishing as it crashes from the rock face into the waters below.
The landscape sightseeing opportunities here really are outstanding but you may prefer to head out on the water as Reykjavik is renowned for being one of the best locations in the world for whale watching with Iceland often referred to as the ‘whale watching’ capital of northern Europe’. This trip is hugely exciting as no matter how many times you did this excursion, two trips would never be the same. It is this anticipation that makes it so good and you have the chance to see half of the 36 different whale species living in European waters here, something not many other locations can state.
The city itself is a vibrant cosmopolitan with a range of fabulous restaurants and thrilling nightlife. Reykjavik is a wonderful port of call to visit aboard Norwegian Fjords and North Cape cruise itineraries.