Choose a house with garden and outdoor porch or a close-to-everything apartment in Iceland’s vibrant capital. Many home rentals are a convenient walk to shops, cafes and coffee houses, but located on quiet residential streets.
Reykjavik is a city of contrasts - a lively ‘village’ in a stark volcanic land. The eccentric, spirited people value their Viking history and rail against economic woes, while partying deep into the early morning hours. The seasonal disparity is as wide – 22-hour summer days vie with the endless nights of winter, when the Aurora Borealis casts its eerie light over the land. Guided tours allow a relaxed, informative introduction to the city, and day tours cover the Gullfoss waterfall, the Blue Lagoon and World Heritage Thingveller National Park. To help with your planning, the Tourist Information Center offers maps, info and recommendations.
Choose your vacation rental near the 10-block heart of Reykjavik, and you will enjoy a potpourri of cafes and coffee houses, shops, galleries, pubs and clubs. Imagine swimming in a snowstorm! You can do just that in one of the 7 geothermal pools – or explore glacial fields on skidoos. The outdoors offers a constant lure; and biking, hiking, horseback riding and whale watching are among the many activities available. Local museums feature Viking heritage, Iceland’s history, and the visual and folk arts.
You’ll discover a broad culinary sweep to satisfy every palate. Be sure to try the Icelandic cuisine, buoyed by local fish, reindeer and smoked puffin – washed down, of course, with Icelandic schnapps or nonalcoholic Malta. The local Fish Company is a quaint, log cabin favorite, as is Nautholl bistro, just five minutes by car from downtown and with a spectacular rural setting and view. Restaurants feature Thai, Italian, French … any number of exotic choices, including the less exotic favorite hamburger hangout at Bullan. The nightlife barely begins to roll until 11 pm, when the hours-long pub and club crawl may find you begging for a hearty breakfast and a soak in a geothermal pool. For shopping (in warm malls, no less), try Kringlan and Smaralind – each close to Rekjavik.
Iceland can tend to be expensive, so vacation rentals deliver some genuine savings and real comfort. You can prepare several home-cooked meals, while enjoying some of the diverse Reykjavik dining spots. With your home retreat, complete kitchen, Wi-Fi access and family-friendly spaciousness, you’ll know in advance the fixed expense of accommodations and the budget available for dining and excursions - a real advantage for your vacation planning.