Outside Of Reykjavík: McChurches, Steam Rooms & Vast Canyons

Outside Of Reykjavík: McChurches, Steam Rooms & Vast Canyons

Hannah Jane Cohen
Photos by
Art Bicnick

It’s all going on out there in countryside. Here are three places you might wanna star in Google Maps.

Place: Kópavogskirkja
Religious? Architecture aficionado? Fast food fan? If you answered yes to any of these, then take a gander at Kópavogur’s Kópavogskirkja church. The church is one of the ugliest buildings you’ll see in Iceland, but if you look at it from the side, some familiar golden arches come into view. Pick up a burger from nearby Metro and eat it in the parking lot. It’ll be an experience memorable enough to make you say: “I’m lovin’ it!” HJC

Place: Þakgíl
The spectacular Þakgíl canyon lies a few kilometres inland from Iceland’s Ring Road. You’ll need a decent car, but if you tackle the rough, rocky road, you’ll be rewarded with some amazing views across the black sand beaches of the coastline. There are a couple of caves to visit along the way, and the canyon itself is quite amazing, with monumental moss-green walls reaching up to dizzying heights, and plenty of private nooks and crannies to wander. JR

Pool: Laugarvatn Fontana
A perfect finale for any day trip around Þingvellir or the Golden Circle is a dip in Laugarvatn Fontana. It’s a fancy spa pool on the shore of the lake Laugarvatn, with several geothermal hot pots of varying temperature and some fiercely hot steam rooms. There’s also a place where you can jump in the lake to cool off, if you’re a crazy person, or happen to be Finnish. They also have a health food buffet to top up your energy afterwards. JR

Get more travel ideas here.