Partez à la découverte de Reykjavik et des alentours. Durant cette excursion, vous visitez les principaux sites touristiques de la capitale.
A Reykjavik, vous visitez Perlan où vous profitez d'une magnifique vue sur la ville. Vous pouvez apercevoir Hofdi où Ronald Reagan et Mikhail Gorbachev se sont rencontrés en 1986 (situation aussi mis en scène dans un film avec Michael Douglas), l'église d'Hallgrimskirkja surplombant la capitale du sommet de la colline Skolavorduhaed, le campus universitaire et la vieille ville où vous découvrez le Parlement et les abords du lac Tjörnin.
Guide francophone disponible pour les visites le mardi toute l'année.
Réservez-vite votre excursion pour visiter la capitale islandaise en cliquant sur "choisir une date".
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.
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.
Hallgrimskirkja is a Lutheran church, towering high over Reykjavik from the hill Skolavorduhaed. It is Iceland's largest church and its tower offers a great view of the city.
The church is named after priest and poet Hallgrimur Petursson, author of the Passiusalmar ('The Passion Hymns'). In front of the church is a statue of Leif Ericson, who landed in North America in the year 1000, more than 500 years before Columbus.
Perlan ("The Pearl") is a rotating glass dome built on watertanks that store Reykjavik's hot water. Surrounded by trees, it stands at the top of the hill Oskjuhlid and is one of the city's most distinctive landmarks.
On the first floor of Perlan there is usually art on display and on the top floor a high class restaurant turns every minute. Perlan even has its own small Geyser by the entrance, and offers a great (and free) view of Reykjavik and surrounding mountains.
Oskjuhlid itself is a very popular resort as well. Over 176.000 trees have been planted there, there are many great trails for walking and bicycling and peaceful clearings. The US army built various bunkers on the hill during the Second World War and these can still be seen.
Nautholsvik beach is a highly popular resort, located southwest of Oskjuhlid in Reykjavik.
Nautholsvik offers great opportunites for for sunbathing, swimming and sea sport in the geothermically heated water.
Hofdi is a building in north Reykjavik, most famous for being the meeting point of then-presidents Ronald Reagan of the United States and Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union in 1986.
Hofdi is also notable as the former residence of Icelandic poet and entrepreneur Einar Benediktsson. Since 1958 it has been used for formal receptions and festive occasions. The house is rumoured to be haunted.
A Hollywood film is now being made about the meeting of the Soviet and US leaders, starring Michael Douglas and called Reykjavik.
Heure du transfert : 12:30