Reykjavik City Helicopter Tour with Mountain Top Landing
Own your surroundings with this fantastic private helicopter tour over the charming city of Reykjavik, with an added landing on the beautiful Mount Esja!
Your one-hour tour will begin at Hangar 6, the tour office at Reykjavík Domestic Airport. Here, you will meet your highly trained, experienced and friendly pilot, who will take the time to run through the tour itinerary and show you the route on a map. He will also give a run down on the helicopter, one of many in a well maintained and extremely modern fleet, ensuring your safety and comfort throughout the tour.
When everyone in the group is ready and excited, you will board the aircraft and take off over the northern-most capital in the world! You will be able to easily pick out such local landmarks as the Harpa concert hall, the iconic Hallgrímskirkja church and even the dome of Perlan Restaurant. You'll quickly realise this is the only way to really appreciate the city of Reykjavik. Soon, though, you will be flying beyond the city borders, across a plateau of dried lava fields and jagged rock formations, on your way to the famous Mount Esja. Your pilot will be sure to point out interest highlights along the way, teaching you about the local geology and history of the region.
When you reach the mountain summit, your pilot will land the helicopter, allowing everyone on tour to take some brilliant photographs of the city below and the exquisite surrounding area. You'll feel on top of the world, breathing that fresh mountain air, enjoying the solitude and openness of Reykjavík's closest mountain. Finally, when everyone is ready, your pilot will fly back to the city.
Take your first steps toward take-off and enquire today as to the availability for this highly popular helicopter tour, exploring Iceland's capital city from high above! Check the booking availability by choosing a date.
- Available: Oct. - Dec.
- Duration: 50 minutes
- Activities: Sightseeing, Helicopter
- Difficulty: Easy
- Languages: English
Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland and the northernmost capital of a sovereign state in the world.
Despite a small population (120.000 and more than 200.000 in the Greater Reykjavik area), it is a vibrant city that draws an ever increasing number of visitors. It is the financial, cultural and governmental centre of Iceland. It also has a reputation of being one of the cleanest and safest cities in the world.
The city of Reykjavik is located in southwest Iceland by the creek of the same name. Throughout the ages, the landscape has been shaped by glaciers, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and the area is geothermal. Much of the current city area area was subglacial during the Ice Age, with the glacier reaching as far as the Álftanes peninsula, while other areas lay under the sea. After the end of the ice age the land rose as the glaciers drifted away, and it began to take on its present form.
The coastline of Reykjavik is set with peninsulas, coves, straights and islands, most notably the island of Videy, and seabirds and whales frequent the shores. The mountain ring as seen from the shore is particularly beautiful. Mount Esja is the highest mountain in the vicinity of Reykjavik and lends its distinct feature to the whole area. This majestic mountain is also highly popular for climbing. Other notable mountains that can be seen from the seaside are Akrafjall and Skardsheidi and on clear days one may even see as far to the legendary Snaefellsjokull glacier, at the end of the Snafellsnes peninsula.
The largest river to run through the city is Ellidaa in Ellidaardalur valley, which is also one of Iceland‘s best rivers for salmon fishing.
There are no trains or trams in Iceland, but most people travel by car. The city also operates a bus system. There are two major harbours in town, the old harbour in the centre and Sundahofn in the east. The domestic Reykjavik Airport is located at Vatnsmyrin, not far from the city centre and close to Oskjuhlid and Perlan. The international Keflavik Airport at Midnesheidi heath then lies around 50 km from the city. Cars, jeeps and bicycles can be readily rented in the city and many organized tours are also being offered.
What to See & Do in Reykjavik
The local arts scene is strong in Iceland, with both annual events and single ones, many of whom have hit the international stage. For the annual ones please check our articles Best Annual Events in Iceland and the Top Ten Festivals in Iceland. Major events taking place in Reykjavik include the Iceland Airwaves, Gay Pride, RIFF (The Reykjavik International Film Festival), The Reykjavik Literature Festival, Cultural Night, the Reykjavik Arts Festival, Food & Fun, the Reykjavik Fashion Festival and the Sónar music festival.
Among famous people from Reykjavik are artists Bjork Gudmundsdottir, Sigur Ros, writers Halldor Laxness (born in Laugavegur) and Arnaldur Indridason and mayor Jon Gnarr. For more well-known and fairly-well known Icelanders, check our article on the subject.
You might also want to check our article on some of the many things to see and do in Reykjavik, such as visiting the city‘s many museums, exhibitions and galleries, checking out live music, visiting the Harpa music hall or the theatres, visiting the lighthouse at Grotta, the main shopping street of Laugavegur, visiting the old harbour and the flea market, going on a bird- and whale watching tour or visiting Videy island. We also have a top ten list of things to do.
Make sure to visit the public square of Austurvollur, one of the city‘s most popular gathering places, where you‘ll also find the national parliament, Althingi, the state church a statue of independence hero Jon Sigurdson, as well as cafés, bars and restaurants. Austurvollur was central in the 2008 protests, along with Laekjargata, home to the House of Government. You are also not likely to miss the great church of Hallgrimskirkja that towers over the city from the hill of Skolavorduholt, wherefrom you‘ll get a great view of the city.
Try a walk by the city pond, greet the many birds that frequent the area and visit the city hall, stationed by its banks. The Hljomaskalagardur is a beautiful park that lies by the pond, it ideal for a nice walk and sometimes concerts get held there. Further off is the campus of the university of Iceland, the Nordic house and the Vatnsmyri wetland, a particularly pleasant place, but be mindful of not disturbing the wildlife there and keep to the pathways.
For a nice swim on a warm day, we particularly recommend Nautholsvik beach.
Visit the Laugardalur valley, home to one of the city‘s best swimming pools, as well as the Asmundarsafn gallery, a beautiful botanical garden and a domestic zoo. A walk by the Aegissida beach, with it‘s old fishing sheds, in the west part of Reykjavik also holds a particular charm. The aforementioned Elllidaardalur valley is also a popular resort.
Another place that offers one of the city‘s best (and free) views is Perlan, up in Oskjuhlid hill. The hill itself is a popular resort, with over 176.000 trees and great opportunities for walking and cycling.
Travel to Alftanes to see the president‘s house at Bessastadir, which is also a historical site in it‘s own right, having been the educational centre of Iceland for centuries. Nearby is a beautiful lava field, Galgahraun, well worth a visit, though there is currently an environmental struggle going on as to it‘s future state.
The city is furthermore a short drive from many of Iceland‘s major attractions, most famously the Golden Circle and the Blue Lagoon. In close vicinity you‘ll also find the Heidmork preservation area, a favourite pastime resort of the people of Reykjavik, as well as the Blue Mountains, one of Iceland‘s most beloved skiing venues.
Check our Best of Reykjavik guide further for tips on the best cheap things to do in Reykjavik, some of the best restaurants in the city, happy hours, the top ten value places to eat and our two articles on the famous Reykjavik nightlife; Nightlife in Reykjavik and Nightlife and mating.
Finally, we‘d like to stress that these are only some suggestions of the many things you might check out in Reykjavik. Whatever you choose to do, we hope you‘ll be able to make the most of your visit and we wish you a pleasant stay in our capital.
Faxafloi is a large bay in the southwest of Iceland, located between the peninsulas Snaefellsnes (to the north) peninsula and Reykjanes (to the south).
The main fjords of the bay are Borgarfjordur, Hvalfjordur, Kollafjordur and Hafnarfjordur. Some of Iceland's largest towns are located by the bay and Iceland's capital, Reykjavik, lies on its southeastern shore.
Faxafloi bay is popular for whale- and birdwatching, sea angling and has great fishing grounds. In Kollafjordur is Videy Island, featuring the Lennon/One Peacetower, Richard Scerra's 'Milestones' and other attractions, along with great birdlife. The mountain ring seen from the bay, among which Snaefellsjokull glacier may be spotted on clear days, is particularly beautiful.
Perlan ('The Pearl') is a museum and rotating glass dome built on top of six water tanks that together store 24 million litres of Reykjavík's hot water. Surrounded by trees, Perlan stands on top of Öskjuhlíð Hill and is one of the capital's most distinctive landmarks.
History & Construction
The building was originally designed by architect Ingimundur Sveinsson and in 1991, the hot water storage tanks that had stood on top of Öskjuhlíð since the mid-20th-century were updated when the hemispherical glass dome structure was added on top. The project was largely curated by politician Davíð Oddsson, during his term as mayor of Reykjavík.
One of the six water tanks does not store any water. From 2002-2014 it housed a Viking-history museum, but currently, the tank envelopes an exhibition called 'Jöklar og Íshellar' ('The Glacier Exhibition of Iceland') which showcases Iceland's glaciers and ice caves. An adult ticket to the exhibition costs 2,900 ISK and includes complimentary entrance to the viewing platform.
At night, the water tanks are lit up by floodlights that illuminate the construction for all of the city to see. On top of the dome is a rotating light which serves to signal the aeroplanes that fly to and from the nearby Reykjavík Domestic Airport.
Museum & Sightseeing
The very first Glacier Exhibition of Iceland opened in Perlan in July 2017. The project features a replica of an ice tunnel, where visitors are offered a glance into the past, present and future of the Icelandic glaciers.
Further plans for the site are to create a grand-scale museum of natural wonders, with several ambitious nature exhibitions expected to open in the coming year. These include Iceland’s first planetarium, which will make use of the 360° dome to offer an immersive experience of the stars of the night sky. Additionally, exhibitions called 'Land, Coast, Ocean' and 'Northern Lights' are set to open in 2018.
Currently, the observation deck on top of Perlan offers an impressive and panoramic view of the city and its surroundings, with Adult tickets available for 490 ISK. The venue is one of the best spots to see the city, but it is quite difficult to reach from central Reykjavík without a car. Another option is the hop-on City Sightseeing bus that goes between all the major sights of Reykjavík.
- Press here to Purchase a Ticket for the Hop on - Hop off Sightseeing Bus
- Press here to access the Cheapest Market Place for Rental Cars in Iceland
On the fourth and fifth floors of the building, the dome itself hosts the restaurant Út í bláinn, the café Kaffitár and the gift shop Rammagerðin. Outside the entrance, there is a man-made geyser, Strokkur, named after its real-life counterpart in the geothermal valley of Haukadalur.
The surrounding woodland of Öskjuhlíð boasts of several scenic hiking trails and cycling routes, along with the remains of multiple military bunkers that were built by the US army during its WWII occupation in Iceland.
- Visit the real geysers on these Golden Circle Tours.
- Check out our collection of Glacier Tours, as well as Ice Cave and Ice Tunnel Tours '
Departure time : Flexible
Reykjavík domestic airport - Hangar 6