Reykjavík is bustling with activities, from famous attractions to small hidden gems. And we have busted our balls, pushing ourselves to our physical limits—have you seen how many mountains we hiked?—to compile this list of what you need to do to experience Reykjavík to the fullest (and most authentic). So, here are the winners of our Best of Reykjavík 2021 Activities awards, all of which are recommended by our panel of locals. Although there is still a pandemic going on, all these places have been accessible and safe throughout the restrictions. So sanitise those hands, put on a mask and enjoy.
North of Akranes (The huge one)
Akrafjall is close to Akranes and is roughly 600 metres high. The hike takes about 2-5 hours, depending what route you take, and it’s a relatively easy hike for an Icelandic mountain this high. The prize for making it to the top is a view over the city area, over to Reykjanes, and Snæfellsnes, where the glacier Snæfellsjökull is. Definitely a great way to spend a day if you like hiking.
Kaldársel, near 220 Hafnarfjörður
Despite its proximity to the city, driving to the Holy Mountain of Helgafell, just outside Hafnarfjörður, really feels like going into the wild. It’s a nice light walk across a lava field and then up a gentle slope to a 300 metre peak that offers a nice view over the Reykjanes peninsula that’ll look crazy good on Instagram. Stop by to see locals walking their dogs, intrepid athletes training for a marathon or couples having a lovely date in the countryside. If you’re not looking to get super sweaty but you still want to take a break from city life, Helgafell is the perfect trip.
Even the residents in the city area often forget about this pearl of nature that is within an hour drive from Reykjavík. Located close to Botnsdalur valley in Hvalfjörður, Glymur is the second highest waterfall in Iceland—it’s just shy of 200 metres—and the hike is relatively easy. The elevation is only around 280 metres and on a good day, this should
be no problem for a physically fit individual. This is where you go for that perfect Instagram photo that’ll have your friends dying of jealousy over how perfect your adventurous life is.
You can buy a copy of the full Best Of Reykjavík 2021 magazine—an essential guide to having fun in Reykjavík—here, posted worldwide.
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