Travel
BIKING IN REYKJAVÍK IS UNDERRATED

BIKING IN REYKJAVÍK IS UNDERRATED

Published July 23, 2012

Reykjavík may not be the most bike- friendly city, but it certainly has some beautiful routes where cars are not welcome. For a particularly nice scenic ride that’s fewer than 10 kilometres round trip, head to Öskjuhlíð and pick up a coastal path that takes you into Fossvogsdalur.
To find this mystical path, ride out of town through the south side of Þingholt. You could for instance take Laufásvegur, which gives you the opportunity to admire the charming houses, until you reach Gamla Hringbraut, where you turn left. Ride up the hill past Landspítali hospital until you reach the lights and then turn right on Bústaðavegur in the direction of the Pearl. Ride past the Valsheimili football stadium and turn off at the lights. Follow Flugvallarvegur until you reach the intersection and then turn left along the cycle path and you are on your way!
Ideally the wind is a light breath at your back and you are surrounded on both sides by an abundance of lupines. To your right is the ocean, velvety and radiant. To your left, is the somewhat unusual presence of an Icelandic forest creeping down the hill, dark green and resplendent (okay, forest is a stretch, but there are trees and this is unusual). You pass the odd runner, people walking their dogs, other cyclists, but it is otherwise quiet and for a moment you own the path, the valley, the city, the ocean, the world.
Just follow this cycle path around the hill side and then up to the valley. You will know where you are going. Just relax and feel the fresh air on your skin and enjoy the wholly underrated activity of biking in Iceland.
Eventually you cross over the bridge into Fossvogsdalur. The neighbouring city of Kópavogur is on one side of you, while the Fossvogur neighbourhood is on the other, hushed with the low hum of domestic life. You follow a stream until you reach the perfect spot: a mellow grove of trees, the long grass in an open stretch of field, or a shady spot on the bank of the stream. When you find it, you throw down your bike, throw yourself down and let the open sky swallow you whole.
Of course things aren’t always this ideal. If it’s winter, well, this romantic little jaunt is far less likely to be so blissful. If easterly winds are blowing you have to battle with headwinds most of way, probably getting dust in your eyes and expending twice as much effort to go half the distance.
But… the big BUT, it’s worth taking this ride because you may hit the jackpot and roll straight along in a westerly breeze, meet no one along the way and get to have this glorious feeling of momentarily owning the world. Who isn’t willing to take that chance? Even if things aren’t 100% perfect, they are still pretty damn nice and it will be worth it. We promise.



Travel
<?php the_title(); ?>

Iceland In Miniature

by

Having planned to spend much of this summer—my first summer in Iceland, in fact—gallivanting around the country, I’ve instead spent most of my time in the city, close to home. But today, I’m lucky. In the name of research, my partner and I get twelve hours to explore the Snæfellsnes peninsula. This is “Iceland in miniature,” I’ve been told, a veritable “Best Of” sampler where many of the country’s most sought-out natural wonders exist side by side. Above The Lava Field Circumnavigating the whole peninsula would only take about three hours, but with limited time at our disposal, we decide

Travel
<?php the_title(); ?>

Don’t Take Hiking Lightly

by

Hiking is a popular recreational sport in Iceland. People by the thousands are on the move in the vicinity of Reykjavík on a good day. While many hike on rather flat ground, mountain hikes have gained popularity over the last two decades. There is a vast array of easy to moderate hikes to choose from and most towns, like Reykjavík, have a local “town mountain” 200 to 1,000 metres above sea level, which takes a short and leisurely one to four hours to top. For those with the skills, experience and physical endurance, there are also a number of more

Travel
<?php the_title(); ?>

Into The Abyss

by

“It’s a good thing you’re going underground,” our bus driver calls out as his windshield wipers work furiously to bat away the rain. I watch the drops race across my window, blurring the moss-covered lava field that surrounds us. We are headed thirty minutes southeast of Reykjavík, with the intent of entering the chamber of a dormant volcano that erupted 4,000 years ago. In Jules Verne’s fantastical novel, the Snæfellsjökull volcano is an entry point to the centre of the Earth. But in the real Iceland, Þríhnúkagígur is the only volcano where dreams of descent can be realised, and only

Travel
<?php the_title(); ?>

Home Comforts And Cosmopolitan Culture

by

Akureyri, located on Iceland’s longest fjord, Eyjafjörður, is often referred to as Iceland’s second city, or “the capital of the North.” With a population of just under 18,000, “city” is probably pushing it a bit, but Akureyri is a thriving and charming place nonetheless. Down by the water lies a well-preserved ‘Old Town,’ with various historical houses, the oldest of which dates back to the 18th Century. At the top of a steep stair, an impressive, solemn church looks impassively over the fjord, a stone’s throw from the compact downtown area that boasts a modern swimming pool, a range of

Travel
<?php the_title(); ?>

From Heavenly Lakes to Hell’s Gates

by

Seeing Iceland from the air can be an astounding experience. From the soft blue-grey washes of coastal estuaries and floodwater, to black flatlands with their gleaming silver rivers, to expanses of blinding white glaciers—a flight over the Icelandic heartland is often as much of a treat as the destination.Grapevine sets off towards the North on a particular blustery April morning. The weather is against us, and we take off into a turbulent sky that stays swathed in clouds for most of our northward flight. But before long, familiar abstract snow patterns and muted green-grey hues appear below us as we

Travel
<?php the_title(); ?>

The Bright Side Of The Storm

by

In spite of the weather, we’d managed to make something out of the morning.  We’d had that hot spring all to ourselves, and successfully followed our little treasure hunt to that carbonated spring where we stood triumphantly in the freezing wind and rain, laughing and taking turns chugging sweet, sparkling water from its natural source.  But the hours since had been a monotonous drive through a bleak tunnel of grey that left the splendour of the Snaefellsnes peninsula—beyond the hundred feet of visible road in front of us—only to our imaginations.  Every stroke of our windshield wipers ticked off another

Show Me More!