On the edge of the Reykjavík peninsula there is a small town called Seltjarnarnes. What makes this location unique is the fascinating panorama in almost every direction. During sunset, you will surely experience a memorable coastal walk. Seltjarnarnes is also known for Grótta lighthouse, a popular spot for northern lights hunters during the winter season. Less known for the teeny-tiny hot pot on the seacoast. Even though it's really just a footbath, it's still amazing! GPS coordinates of the hot pot: 64.1624° N, 22.0083° W
Iceland, Gróttuviti, Seltjarnarnes, Iceland
If you thought Iceland is not the best location to swim in the ocean, you probably haven’t heard about the geothermal beach in Reykjavík. Nauthólsvík is a true local paradise with golden sands, a hot tub, steam bath and a nice view. Grill your own hot dogs and create a lifelong memory by swimming in the freezing cold North-Atlantic Ocean. Using the water running from the hot tubs, the small lagoon is warmed up to a tolerable 15-19° C (or somewhat less in the winter season). The beach gets quite busy on a sunny summer day, but locals use it all year round.
101 Reykjavík, Iceland
In Viðey you can experience the rich diversity of nature, bird life and flora. Stunning coastal rock formations and charming view in every direction. The main building on the island was built in 1755 and currently functions as a café, restaurant, and museum of Viðey's history. The “Imagine Peace Tower” is another exciting place to visit on this tiny island. It is a tall tower of light, that can reach an altitude of 4000 m and can be seen from far away during the dark nights. The tower is a memorial to John Lennon from his widow, Yoko Ono. GPS coordinates of the tower: 64°9′47.66″N 21°51′34.08″W
Geldinganes is one of the largest islands in the Faxaflói bay. I hadn't heard about it before so visiting it was just a sudden afternoon idea, but ended up as a great adventure. Walking over the narrow passage to this inhabited island feels like leaving the city far behind and facing the wilderness. Moreover, it’s like travelling in time: there is an abandoned shipwreck on the shore! Unmissable settings for photographers, especially during sunset. There is a JetSki rental here for the adventurers GPS coordinates of the ship wreck: 64°09'39.9"N 21°47'47.0"W
Geldinganes, ~, Iceland
The Reykjavík Botanical Gardens are located relatively close to the city centre. This peaceful place is filled with beautiful trees and flowers from all over the world that blossom in summertime. Tiny ponds with waterlilies, ducklings and geese make the atmosphere more idyllic, walking paths lead through and around the gardens. Inside the greenhouse there is a friendly restaurant, called Café Floran, where tasting extremely fresh and delicious dishes made from ingredients grown in the garden is highly recommended.
Hverfisgata 105, Hverfisgata 105, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Elliðaárdalur valley is located in the heart of Reykjavík. It's a real hidden gem, a peaceful recreation area that not many visitors have heard about. There is a beautiful river called Elliðaá that runs through the valley with several tiny waterfalls. The river is also a known fishing river with a remarkable number of Arctic char, salmon and brown trout (license is needed for fishing here).
Úlfarsfell is a small mountain on the outskirts of Reykjavik. It's also a popular hiking area with a few ATV, bike and quad adventures. From the top, you can enjoy a fascinating view of the city, Mount Esja and the little islands in the Faxaflói bay. On a clear day, you can even see all the way to the Snæfellsnes peninsula. The area is an excellent place to watch the northern lights during winter. Just make sure you climb high enough to have an open view to the north. GPS coordinates of the top: 64°14'70.35"N, 21°71'01.52"W
A few kilometres from Reykjavík you will find a breathtaking nature reserve, called Heiðmörk. Its odd shaped, volcanic red hills (Rauðhólar) can be easily spotted from the distance and the rare sight of a forest with over 5 million trees that were planted by pioneers and volunteers in the 50’s will catch your eyes as well. GPS coordinates of the red hills: 64°09′74.70″N, 21.75′13.62″W
Mariuhellar, a group of small and safe caves located in Heidmörk make this beautiful nature reserve more exciting to discover. Many gravel roads and walking paths lead through the stunning landscape, providing an excellent opportunity for an easy hike, horseback riding or cycling. GPS coordinates of the caves: 64°07′17.17″N, 21°89′33.68″W