Big Ideas

Reykjavík is the Perfect Extra-Long Weekend Away

This fun European capital is one of the cleanest, greenest and safest cities in the world.

By Jeff Kirkwood   |   March 09, 2021

  Visit Iceland
The glass façade of the Harpa concert hall and conference centre is inspired by Iceland’s basalt landscape.

Overview: Just a short five-hour flight from Toronto, the capital and largest city of Iceland is situated on the southern shore of Faxaflói Bay. It is surrounded by some of the most alien terrain on Earth. Travelling to the city from the airport, it looks like you’ve just landed on the moon.

Crowd: Backpackers and glampers in their camper vans begin their exploration of the north from the city. Get to know the friendly and straightforward locals, who all have the best last names, like Sigurðsson (the son of Sigurds) and Ívarsdóttir (the daughter of Ivars).

Agenda: A walking tour of the city must include the striking concrete Hallgrímskirkja church and rotating Perlan glass dome, offering sweeping views of the sea and nearby hills. For overnight adventures, you can contact one of the many specialized tour companies. Pink Iceland offers incredible custom tours for the LGBTQ+ community.

Essential: The Blue Lagoon. Visitors hit this geothermal spa in a lava field near Grindavík, famous for its milky, highly restorative pastel blue water and volcanic silica mud.

Timing: June through August is the best time to visit for all-round outdoor activities: The days are especially long in these months, thanks to the phenomenon of the midnight sun, when it’s never truly dark.

Jeff Kirkwood

Jeff is Travelier’s editor-in-chief. He has been wandering the globe since age 14, when he begged his folks to send him from Bermuda to boarding school in Canada. He will be bringing his adventurous spirit, story crafting, and insatiable hunger for exciting and beautiful places to Travelier, and to you.

Look for Travelier in print soon.