Rugged and wild, Iceland sits in the blue-grey ocean like a whole other world – a world of myth and magic. Iceland is a country steeped in ages of mythology and folklore. The very scenery itself is like a mythic battle: fire and ice in eternal conflict, tearing up the earth, moulding mountains, filling the sky with steam and smoke. www.travelrows.com
Reykjavik on the map:
It is easy to see why many believe in the supernatural beings said to also make this island home. Huldufólk (hidden-folk, or elves), trolls and ghosts are all said to inhabit the island. You may not encounter any during your visit, but still, it will be easy to imagine that they are not far away.
With only one day in Reykjavik, you will be able to get only the merest taste of all that Iceland has to offer. But there is still enough time to have a truly magical experience.
Arriving in Iceland
Many people do not realize that Keflavik Airport is situated around 31 miles away from the capital city of Reykjavik. It is around two miles west of the town of Keflavik. Many people who come through the airport will head straight for the bright lights of Reykjavik – but for those who like to take their time and explore, Keflavik itself has plenty to recommend it to the curious tourist and could be a brief stop off on a tour or a base for your stay. You can easily drive or even walk from the airport to the centre of Keflavik.
Keflavik is home to Viking World, an interesting and unique museum dedicated to the Vikings. It is also close to one of the major tourist attractions in the Iceland, the Blue Lagoon thermal spa, which is one of the main reasons foreign visitors will come to this particular part of the country. This area is covered with lovely coastal walking paths and from the harbour you can take whale watching tours. You will likely see minke whales, dolphins and orca in the teeming waters off Iceland’s coast.
From Keflavik there is excellent road access to Reykjavik and from there to the ‘Golden Circle’ – a driving route which takes in some beautiful and amazing sights of the south of the island. This 300km route which takes you up into central Iceland and back.
The Golden Circle
While you could, if you wished, spend your one day in Reykjavik in Keflavik and the city itself, we highly recommend that you take the time, if at all possible, to head out to see the breathtaking landscape for which Iceland is so rightly famed. The drive itself will take around 3 ½ hours, though stopping selectively to see the attractions, it will easily fill at least a whole day.
Not to be missed attractions on this route include Gullfoss Falls, the Þingvellir National Park, and the geysers in Haukadalur. Though there are plenty of other amazing sites along the way.
With only one day to spend in Reykjavik and around, you will obviously have to be selective. But take the leap and leave the city behind and you will get a far better sense of what Iceland is really all about.