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Flights to Reykjavik

Reykjavik is a city that appears to sit on the edge of the world. Wild, untamed and endlessly romantic Reykjavik is a city of mountains and rivers, lunar landscapes and steamy thermal waters. Anyone with a love of the outdoors will be in their element here. 

Days can be spent hiking, cycling, climbing, horse riding, sailing and fishing. Whale watching expeditions guarantee sightings of Minke and occasionally Humpback whales while kids can get up close to cuddly creatures in the Domestic Animal Zoo. Lose yourself in the mesmerising beauty and magic of the Northern Lights as they illuminate Iceland’s winter skies with their dancing electric green colours.

Feed the ducks at Tjörnin Lake or picnic in Austurvöllur Park. The river Elliðaár runs through Elliðaárdalur valley which boasts some incredible hiking paths through Öskjuhlíð forest. There is even a folk museum, Árbæjarsafn, hidden at an edge of the valley. Reykjavik’s largest city park, Klambratún, also combines nature with culture, being the home of Reykjavik Art Museum. Locals say that Hólavallagarður cemetery is like the largest and oldest museum in Reykjavik. 

Small but perfectly formed, Reykjavik has many cultural distractions including eclectic architecture from the stone building of the Icelandic Parliament to the mesmerising Imagine Peace Tower. Not so much a solid structure, Yoko Ono’s ‘tower of light’ is a moving memorial to John Lennon, visible from all of Reykjavik. It is lit from around 1 hour after sunset until midnight each night, except on John and Yoko’s birthdays and on New Year’s Eve, when it remains lit until sunrise. Another architectural icon is the Perlan built on Öskjuhlíð Hill, on top of five water tanks with breathtaking views across Iceland. 

Don’t miss Picasso and Munch at the National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik Museum of Photography, the National Museum and City Museum of Reykjavik. The Culture House is a grand building that today keeps safe the most important collection of medieval manuscripts in the world. Quirky Volcano House has a wonderful free exhibition on Iceland’s volcanic eruptions in the last 40 years. 

A visit to Iceland wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a geothermal pool – the best being Nauthólsvík beach with its white sands and blissfully warm water that is pumped into the Atlantic Ocean. There are also several hot-pots to simmer in. Swimming in the Atlantic is possible during winter, but with water temperatures of up to 3 ºC it certainly makes for an interesting experience. Don’t worry; there are hot tubs and steam baths to counter the shock. 

By night, a vibrant music scene, super-cool bars and concerts and theatre most evenings, give way to a hardcore club scene. Those with stamina can dance until the early hours of the morning, when they will be rewarded with a breathtaking sunrise that lights up the indescribably beautiful and other-worldly landscapes of Iceland. 

The following information is correct as of November 2014 and is subject to change. Please check with the airline directly for complete accuracy.

Fly In

Keflavik International Airport is located 30 miles from the centre of Reykjavik and takes approximately 40 minutes by car. A FlyBe bus service operates from the airport to correspond with incoming flights. The journey time is 45 minutes. There are also two taxi companies in operation at the airport terminal. 

What you need to know

Currency: The Icelandic Krona 

Visas: UK and EU citizens do not require a visa to enter Iceland. A passport valid for the duration of stay is required. Nationals of other countries may require a visa – more information can be obtained from a local embassy or from the Foreign Office website.

Laws: Smoking is banned in all indoor public places including restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs as well as on public transport. The legal age for purchasing and consuming alcohol in Iceland is 20. Whale meat is available in Iceland but as it is illegal in the UK and EU, importing it will result in a heavy fine and possible custodial sentence. 

Best Time to Visit

The peak tourist season in Iceland is from mid-June to August. While these are the hottest months, Iceland is beautiful to visit in the spring and winter months. The spectacular Aurora Borealis is most vivid in the winter and is undoubtedly one of the main draws of the country. Christmas is also a particularly fun time of year as Icelander’s love to celebrate the festive season with gusto. Of course, winter brings snow and this means skiing, snowmobiling, husky sledge rides and steamy spas. 

In summer the sun never completely sets so if you need darkness to sleep, avoid visiting at this time of year. Spring has the closest to UK sunrise and sunset hours. In winter, it is the opposite with very few daylight hours and long periods of darkness. 

Early September is a wonderful time to horseback ride through the dramatic Icelandic landscapes to see sheep grazing on the open plains and farmers herding their flocks. It is worth visiting off season just to see the Icelandic Opera – which is only open in these months.

There are plenty of festivals happening in Iceland throughout the year such as the Viking Celebration in January, the Jazz Festival in August, the Arts Festival in May, the Festival of the Sea and Midsummer Night in June and the incredible Christmas celebrations which carry on from November through to December.  

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