Reykjavik for the Seasons
With almost 24 hours of daylight during the summer, Reykjavík truly becomes the city that never sleeps – with popular summertime activities including whale-watching, sea-fishing, horseback-riding and trips to the many natural wonders nearby.
Perhaps one of the more remarkable summer destinations within Reykjavik city is the geothermal beach found at Nauthólsvík, where you can spend the afternoon enjoying a picnic or swimming in a heated ocean lagoon. Sea-swimmers will also be pleased to learn that they can enjoy the cooler waters of the Atlantic, and then warm-up afterwards in the sauna or one of the two giant hot-tubs onsite.
One of the more unusual facts about Reykjavík is its abundance of exceptional coffee houses, all staffed with talented baristas. On a hot sunny day the thriving coffee-culture often spills out onto the streets – particularly around the Austurvöllur Square area, where coffee-loving crowds can be found sat outside sipping on a frappe-latte while soaking-up the sun.
Reykjavík’s calendar of events kicks into high gear during the fall with many important international conferences and big cultural festivals taking place. Starting dramatically at the end of September is the Reykjavík International Film Festival, which highlights independent filmmaking and showcases the work of up-and-coming filmmakers.
Fans of peace, love and John Lennon won’t want to miss Yoko Ono’s annual Imagine Peace Tower ceremony in October, where she invites residents and visitors to join her for the illumination of a super-beam of light on Viðey Island in celebration of both John Lennon’s vision of peace and his birthday.
In late October/early November you can experience the country’s crowning music event – Iceland Airwaves, which regularly draws top performers, countless festivalgoers and media attention from around the globe.
There’s never a dull day in Reykjavík during the wintertime, even if the days are dark! Apart from the occasional fall of luminous snow and regular displays of Northern Lights, there’s also a full calendar of cultural events with festivities galore, concerts, plays and many seasonal exhibitions.
Christmas season is always celebrated in great splendor where the city’s buildings, trees and streets are decorated with countless fairy lights, ornaments and Christmas displays. If you’re in town during the festivities, check out our special advent calendars with colour and light in one of the most impressive firework shows you’ll ever see.
In February you can enjoy the tasty Food & Fun festival, followed closely by the Winter Lights Festival, which always delivers a packed program full of special events for the whole family.
In-between the sunshine, showers and dustings of snow, the first blooms peek out at the Botanical Gardens in early April, and the new generation of farm animals arrives at the Reykjavík Family Park & Zoo.
As the ice-melts on Reykjavík’s Tjörnin pond you’ll also notice the nation getting back to their outdoor routine, donning their jogging shoes, climbing back on their bikes and firing-up their grills for outdoor BBQs.
There’s also plenty on the festival calendar, including Design-March, the Children’s Culture Festival, the Reykjavík Horse Festival, and the prestigious Reykjavík Arts Festival.