September 16, 2015

Top Attractions in Iceland


Me and Mike having the time of our lives in the Blue Lagoon

First Visit: September 2015
Photography: Arthur Jeciel

A couple of weeks ago, I was able to visit Iceland for the first time together with Mike. Having visited Oman as my 49th country back in May, it was an easy choice which land would be my 50th. I have always been fascinated by Iceland due to its unique geological location and what it has to offer to its visitors. I've dreamt of bathing in the famous Blue Lagoon, seeing geysirs erupt right before my eyes and of course being able to gaze at the beauty of Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights. Fortunately, all of these came true during our short visit to Reykjavik. Here are some of the top attractions to visit when exploring this extraordinary land.



Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa: The water temperature is between 37 and 39 degrees Celsius which is very ideal for relaxation. Availability is limited so you would need to book in advance. PS. Don't forget to apply the mud mask on your face and take the obligatory "selfie".

Geysir Geothermal Area: Here, you will find the famous Strokkur which is a fountain geyser that spouts water 30 meters into the air every few minutes. Definitely a must see when in Iceland.

Gullfoss (Golden Waterfalls): I've seen a few great waterfalls in the past and although this is not as beautiful as the Iguazu falls (located in the border of Brazil and Argentina), this is no doubt among the most beautiful I have seen.

Thingvellir National Park: It was here in 930 that an open air assembly (Althing) was established and was continued until 1798.

Hallsgrimskirkja or Reykjavik Cathedral: As you can see, the architecture is very special. Inside the church, you will also find a very beautiful gargantuan pipe organ designed by Johannes Klais of Bonn.

Harpa Concert Hall: Formerly known as the Reykjavik Concert Hall & Conference Center, it is hard to miss this beautiful building in the heart of Reykjavik.

Reykjavik Old Harbor: Built between 1913 and 1917, a stroll in this beautiful harbor is something every tourists will enjoy. There are lots of restaurants around as well.

Whale Watching Tour: If you happen to visit Reykjavik during the whale watching season, then don't lose this opportuniy and go for a whale watching tour. Aside from the whales, you will also get a chance to see dolphins and other marine birds.

Reykjavik Art Museum: If you love arts, then this one is for you. With three locations in Reykjavik, this is the largest visual art institution in Iceland. This one is in Harbor House by the Old Harbor.

Reykjavik City Hall: Opened in 1992, this is where the office of the Mayor and other executive officials of the city are located. It is surrounded by the Tjornin pond where you would normally see ducks, geese, swans and other birds.

Prime Minister's Office: To be honest, I would have not known it was the office of the Prime Minister if I had just looked at it and passed by. Fortunately, its architecture and location told me it was more than just a normal building.

Multicolored tin sided house in Reykjavik: This is typical in this city although I never got to know the reason behind that.

Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights: We actually went for the Northern Lights tour on our first night in Reykjavik although we didn't see any. Fotunately, as if to bid us goodbye, this magnificent phenomenon showed itself to us upon our arrival at the Keflavik Airport before we took our flight back to Sweden.

Hverfisgata Pedestrian Street: A stroll along this street is not to be missed when in Reykjavik.

Icelandic Kronor

Local buses in Reykjavik

"When in Iceland, do what the Icelanders do" And tasting the Lysi cod liver oil and Skyr yogurt are two of them. Fish liver oil was very important for the Icelanders in the past while their very own Skyr yogurt is more like a cheese than a yogurt.


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