Iceland Things to Do Tips by bpwillet Top 5 Page for this destination
Iceland Things to Do: 946 reviews and 2,078 photos
Idno Theatre and Restaurant
This is where the first motion picture was shown in Iceland in 1903. The building was built in 1891 and had the Reykjavik Theatre company move in as permanant residents for almost a century. The cost of the building at the time was equivalent to about a herd of cattle. There has always been a cafe in the house and is even large enough for formal banquets. There is a restaurant and cafe there now and patio seating overlooking Lake Tjorn is possible on good days. There is now a dinner theatre put on here.
Directions: Off the bank of Lake Tjorn and Vonastraeti
This church is easily seen from anywhere areound Reykjavik and even from the road towards Keflavik. Taking 34 years to complete the final church opened in 1974. Reaching 75m in height for the steeple the rest of the structure represents the basalt columns which can be seen in various areas around Iceland. It was named after the Rev. Hallgrimu Petursson who wrote Iceland's famous hymn. The views from the bell tower are stunning and on the clearest of days you can see for miles. The ride up the elevator to the viewing deck is 350IKr. (9am - 6pm in summer).
Directions: top of Skolavordustigur
Phone: 510 1000
A-Hus Intercultural Center of Reykjavik
This is one of the only intercultural centers in Reykjavik. It is in one of the oldest buildings in Reykjavik and it is in some of the early turn of the century pictures of the city. It was built in 1906 and has representative carvings and tin and wood architecture. The center is responsible for the multicultural community activities and services of Reykjavik, managed by the Reykjavik Red Cross Society. There is also a cafe inside which has a very international menu.
Address: Hverfisgotu 18
Phone: 530 9300
Icelandic Horses near Gullfoss
I don't know how you will miss them. They are stunning animals and very gentle and hearty. You can arrange to take horse-back riding tours for a few hours to a few days. It is definitely worth it. They are smaller than normal horses but not quite pony size. The saddles are without any horns and they have a few distinct gaits to them that make them prized animals. There are ranches and farms in most parts of Iceland, so you are bound to drive by, or come across a horse trekking tour somewhere along your way.
Old high school off Laekjargata
On a grassy hill just off of Laekjargata is an old high school and a sculpture garden. It is a great place to sit and relax watching the people or classic cars cruise along the street. There are places to sit along the sidewalk or you can venture further down to the small pedestrian park just at the corner.
Turn of the century schoolhouse
The area around Austurvollur square once was all farmland and green pastures. This house was near where the original property was. It was used in the 19th century as a woman's school house.
Landmannalaugar in Fjallabak National Park
This really is a "off the beaten path" type of location but it is on many of the tour companies itineraries. If you go you will see why. There are thermal pools to dip into, the landscape is incredible, there are great local hikes to some steam vents and various crests which give exciting views. This is also the beginning (or end-depending on your beginning) of the Landmannalaugar to Thorsmork trek. It is truly a great setting off point. From here it is 12km to the nearest hut in Hrafntinnusker. (See the off the beaten path section for more on this trek.) You can get here through the BSI bus terminal. Most buses leave the terminal at 0830 and arrive in Landmannalaugar around 1300-1400. The trip costs around 4500IKr or so. You can combine this with a return tour offered by one of the bus companies. The bus will pass by Hekla and stop in Landman. for about 2 hours. Definitely take the time to explore this great area! You will be glad that you did. If you are arriving in your own transportation you will want a 4WD. There are huts and a campground if you want to stay the night. But book the hut space in advance in the summer.
Contact details are for the Ferdafelag Islands trekking organization, who also manage the huts.
Directions: Follow hwy 26 to F225 into Fjallabak National Park.
Glacial lake of Jokulsarlon
This glacial lake has been immortalized in film and it is easy to see why. It is not hard to imagine a lake completely iced over, but to have huge icebergs floating in it is something all together different. The lake is 200m deep and the icebergs that are not moving are "stuck" on the bottom. The icebergs are from the nearby glacier Breidamerkurjokull. There are aerial photographs in the visitors center that show a historic measurment of the glacier over the last century. It has changed considerably and was even up to the ring road. The mouth of the lake spills out into the North Atlantic and makes the lake 50/50 of salt and fresh water.
Directions: Ring road just, east before Hofn.
Shop in Kirkjubaejarklaustur
Along the southern Route 1, "klauster" is a good place to stop for a bit to rest and get some gas or refreshments. The landscape is amazing and will be the last real stop you can make before reaching Skaftafell Park. It was the home of a monastary in 1186 and was used by Irish monks before the Norse settlers arrived on Iceland. There are a few religious sights in town that are worth a visit including some natural waterfalls, lakes and hikes. The town is small but worth a quick stop.
Directions: Off Route 1 toward Hofn to the east.
View of Vatnajokull icecap from Skaftafell
One of the best and largest national parks in Iceland. This park is easily accessible from the Route 1 and offers easy access to great hikes and even glacier tours. It can get busy in the summer with locals and foreign visitors but it is well worth it. After the sandur became too much for the local farmers, it left an area open for a park once the sandur receded. The park was opened in the 60's by the Icelandic Government and then protected. It sits between some mountains and various tongues of the Vatnajokull icecap. The visitors center is adequate and can answer many questions you may have about exploring the park. They even have a video discussing the latest jokulhlaup from the 1996 eruption of Grimsvotn.
Directions: follow the signs off Rt. 1 to the southeast
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