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12 weeks before you go

Reykjavik holidays

Who is Reykjavik suitable for?
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Destination Located in the south west of Iceland, Reykjavik is the most northerly capital city in the world and is home to the vast majority of the country's population. Its origins date back to the time of the vikings though its occupation as an urban zone is only a couple of centuries old. It is a charming little city, with attractive polychromatic wooden buildings and beautiful harbours. WIth a great range of cultural attractions, some fantastic nightlife and stunning natural environs, it is a great destination for visitors of all ages and tastes. Reykjavik has cold winters and mild summers. During the summer months, there are 22 hours of daylight a day and in the winter, you'll hardly see the sun rise.

Many visitors to Reykjavik use the opportunity to visit some of the magnificent natural attractions of the local countryside. These include the stunning Thingvellir Natural Park, the Gullfos Waterfall and the Esjan Mountains. The Northern Lights can also be seen in the spring and autumn months outside Reykjavik. This said, there is plenty to see and do within the city itself - there are classical and contemporary concert venues, museums and art galleries and fantastic restaurants - serving Iceland's delicious cuisine of pickled and smoked seafood and meat. Be sure to check out the city's geothermal pools and to go on one of the whale watching cruises that depart from the marina. Reykjavik is a relatively expensive city. It is a three hour flight from the United Kingdom.
For Singles

When: The severe annual fluctuations in sunlight are likely to dictate when you decide to visit the city. During the summer months, it hardly gets dark in the city whilst in the winter it barely gets light.

Where: Reykjavik has plenty for culture seekers to see and do. The city's main architectural landmark is the Hallgrimskirja Church - which towers over the city - whilst the Reykjavik City Museum gives some insight into how residents of the city used to live.

Why: As the only large urban zone in Iceland, Reykjavik is its main repository of art and culture. The National Gallery boasts a great range of works from local and international artists whilst the National Museum of Iceland offers a fascinating account of the country's history.

For Groups

When: Head out to Reykjavik in the summer months to catch the best of the city's nightlife and weather. May is the sunniest month of the year in Reykjavik.

Where: Amongst the more popular social spots in Iceland are the geothermal pools - Laugardalslaug boasts hot pools, steam baths and water slides and is a very pleasant place to spend an afternoon. Be sure also to check out the pools of Arbaejarlaug and Vesturbaejarlung.

Why: Reykjavik is a fun and exciting city with a distinctly bohemian ambience. It boasts some world famous nightlife with a range of traditional pubs, sports bars, chic nightclubs and rock and dance music venues. It is a fun and interesting place to experience with a group of friends.

For Couples

When: Whilst you'll probably want to visit in the midsummer months, if you are intent on seeing the northern lights you will need to visit either between September and October or between February and March - when the environmental conditions are most favourable for this unforgettable phenomenon.

Where: Iceland's rich cultural scene can be experienced in Reykjavik. The Harpa - home to the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra - has regular concerts - whilst local and international plays can be seen at the National Theatre of Iceland. There are also numerous excellent restaurants and shopping opportunities around the city.

Why: The rich culture of Reykjavik makes it a fantastic base for experiencing the stunning natural environment of Iceland. Be sure to visit such nearby attractions as the Thingvellir National Park, the Gullfos Waterfall and the Blue Lagoon. If you're lucky, you might even get to see the Aurora Borealis!

For Families

When: Whilst it might be hard to get the kids to go to sleep in Reykjavik in the middle of the summer, this is the best time to visit the city! However, should you wish to see the northern lights, the autumn and spring half terms are the times to go.

Where: Amongst Reykjavik's main attractions are the whale watching tours which depart from the marina and which offer a good prospect of seeing minke and humpback whales. There are also horse riding centres around the outskirts of the city and there are some fantastic hiking routes on the nearby Esjan Mountain.

Why: Reykjavik is a very pleasant city to visit with the family - it has a slow pace of life, lots of green spaces and a very friendly population. There are lots of natural attractions for the children to see and there are also interesting museums.

Weather Reykjavik's northerly location means that it is a bracingly cold place for much of the year. In fact, were it not for the Gulf Stream, it would be even colder. Winter temperatures hover around the freezing point though can sometimes dip towards -15ºC. The summer months are fairly mild - with temperatures generally between ten and fifteen degrees celsius and rarely as high as twenty. May is the sunniest month of the year and between then and August, the nights are very short indeed. In the winter months, the sun only stays up for a few hour a day.
Average monthly Temperature C Average temperature in Reykjavik
What to expectVisitors to Reykjavik should expect a charming little city that feels like it is stuck somewhere between being a quaint old fashioned village and a global design capital. The city is framed by views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding mountain ranges and is within a short drive of some of the country's most stunning natural attractions. It boasts a great number of cultural and historical attractions as well as plenty of excellent shops and restaurants and a burgeoning musical scene. Visitors to Reykjavik should not expect a cheap holiday! Despite recently nearly plummeting into the economic void, Reykjavik has always been a very expensive place and remains so! Flight InformationFlights available from:
London Gatwick

Airlines:
EasyJet, Icelandair

Our favourite Reykjavik hotels
Radisson Blu Saga Hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland
Radisson Blu Saga Hotel
Reykjavik, Iceland
Departing 16 Dec 17, 2 sharing,
Bed & Breakfast, 4 nights, from
London Stansted
Only £344pp
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