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Reykjavik tours and excursions

Reykjavik tours

Boat tours

The waters off Reykjavik are rich in marine life, especially whales which visit the icy waters of the North Atlantic between April and October. Blue, humpback and sperm whales are all reasonably common as are minke, fin and orcas. Most tours involve small ribs, which seat around 12 people. You usually get wet, but boats get excitingly close to the action. You're likely to see dolphins and harbour porpoises, along with cute colonies of puffins too.

Tel: +354 4 970 000; +354 5 195 000.
Website: http://www.elding.is

Bus tours

Reykjavik sprawls so many attractions are located at different ends of the city. The main sights can be seen in a morning on one of the city’s many bus tours. Gray Line and Reykjavik Excursions offer trips around the city and to places further afield. Most bus tours leave from the BSÍ central bus station, Vatnsmýrarvegi 10, or from hotels (by arrangement only).

 

Tel: +354 5 401 313; +354 5 805 400.
Website: http://www.re.is

Reykjavik excursions

Blue Lagoon

Bathing in industrial waste might not sound like the most pleasant of excursions but that's precisely what's on offer at the Blue Lagoon – a manmade accident created by run-off from the Svartsengi Power Station. The striking bright blue waters are flanked by a pine-panelled spa with its own restaurant.

Tel: +354 4 208 800.
Website: http://www.bluelagoon.is

Golden Circle

Less than 30 minutes from the city centre, the Golden Circle includes the Gullfoss Waterfall, the famous geothermal area at Geysir and the spectacular Thingvellir National Park. Activities include white-water rafting and horse riding, but most visitors do it as part of a daylong guided coach or 4-wheel drive tour that takes in all the main sights.

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Featured Hotels

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Hotel Fron

With its bright blue facade, you can't miss Hotel Fron. When the runtur (pub crawl) gets underway at the weekend, a couple of rooms at the front might get a bit noisy, but most of the rooms are remarkably quiet. It's an excellent choice for leisure travellers wanting a central location at a reasonable price.

Sunna Guesthouse

Just behind Hallgrimskirkja, this guesthouse in the heart of the old town is within easy walking distance of the major attractions, shops and restaurants. The rooms are basic but clean, and the buffet breakfast is included in the rate. Accommodation options range from rooms with shared facilities to studios and apartments.

Hotel Borg

A Reykjavik institution, the grand Hotel Borg overlooks Austurvöllur and the Parliament building on the other side. Inside, rooms are comfortable and well appointed, while the split-level Tower Suite has proved a hit with visiting VIPs. Downstairs, it boasts its own gourmet restaurant, Silfur, which serves top-notch French fare.

Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel

One of the newer hotels in Reykjavik, the Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel is housed in the former offices of an old Icelandic shipping line. It has been meticulously refurbished with urbane minimalist chic, so sleek dark wood furnishings cut a fashionable jib against the tastefully off-white décor. Outside it's officious, inside it's delicious.

Hilton Reykjavik Nordica

Good for anyone in search of a quieter stay, the Hilton Reykjavik Nordica sits 10 minutes from the city centre, close to the botanic gardens. Decked out in white and grey, the 284-room hotel is huge but boasts a soothing Scandinavian ambience. Along with the Vox restaurant, it also has an onsite spa.

Hotel Reykjavik Natura

Located a 20-minute walk from the city centre, close to the domestic airport, Hotel Reykjavik Naturais is run by national carrier Icelandair. A short stroll from the Perlan complex, it is good for nature fans with biking, running and walking paths and a nearby geothermal beach. Inside, rooms are comfortable and there’s an onsite spa.