Mount Esja is an excellent challenge for everyone. Each person can choose their path according to their physical fitness because there are several hiking options on Mount Esja. One should start at Mógilsá and from there the route is very well marked. Mount Esja can be seen from Reykjavík and from that distance it seems to change color constantly, some say to match her mood. The color changing has a more rational explanation though: the colours are reflected by the light on basal salt rocks and palagonite minerals. The mountain is 909 meters above sea level and is believed to be 3 million years old! A hiking trip on Mount Esja is hugely popular among people in Reykjavík.
If adventure sports put you off, think again. Eskimos offers such a wide range of activities, it's hard to maintain that somber attitude. There's dog sledding, kayaking, rafting, horseback riding, snow safaris et al to enthrall you and test your bravado quotient. At the same time, appreciate nature's bounty in the form of fjords, glaciers, lava formations, geysers, waterfalls, lagoons and what have you. Be sure to get hold of the right gear and guide.
Hitt Húsið is a cultural center located in Reykjavík. It has been established to promote cultural youth activities and hosts the Unglist, a festival where young artists celebrate their youth and their art. The center is a hub for variety of genres of art that range from music, design, photography, dance, fashion, and films. Call for additional information.
Heiðmörk is an extremely popular recreational area. Whether it's for a nice walk in the outdoors with the whole family, jogging, or a romantic picnic 'á deux' this is the right spot! In 1949 the Reykjavík Forestry Station began systematic planting in Heiðmörk and since then, every summer thousands of trees are planted. If you have a special interest in plants or birds (or both) you will find a great variety of them in Heiðmörk.
A short distance from Reykjavík, Viðey is a charming island . The island's highest point is 32 meters (104.9 feet) above sea level. The island is thought to be around two million years old, a former volcano rising from the bottom of the sea. It rose above sea level only nine to ten thousand years ago. A day spent in Viðey is an ideal outing for the family. Besides walking the island, it is possible to hire a horse and see Viðey from horseback. The island is relatively well grown and rich in bird life. At least 30 species are known to lay eggs on the island. There are also beautiful, historic buildings on the island. Research has shown that people lived there as early as the tenth century and a church was built in the twelfth century. A monastery was established in 1225 and stood until 1539, when it was raided and everything from it stolen. The oldest stone building in Iceland is in Viðey and has preserved its original charm and grandeur. One of the oldest church buildings in Iceland, built in 1774, is also in Viðey.
Árbæjarsafn was founded in 1957. It is situated in Árbær, an old farm that used to be outside Reykjavik, but the city has grown and expanded so that this place is now within the city itself. When the museum was established, only farmhouses stood there but within the next years some old houses from Reykjavik's city center were moved up there and rebuilt. One of the museum's buildings is a church, built in 1842 and still used for religious ceremonies. As well as being an open-air museum, it also organizes exhibitions based on themes from the past. A case in point is an exhibition showing old cars and old garage tools. It is thought that the first settlers in Iceland built their houses in Reykjavik in 874. The museum is dedicated to Reykjavik's history from that day until the present day, showing artifacts representing the everyday life of Reykjavik's inhabitants over the period. For those wanting to get to know the history of Reykjavik, Árbæjarsafn is the best place to visit.
Hafnarfjörður town has in recent years put stock in creating a cultural presence for itself. Hafnarborg is Hafnarfjörður town's municipal museum and gallery, as well as serving as a cultural center. Located in a beautifully renovated house in the center of Hafnarfjörður, this museum has from the first shown ambition and flair, housing frequent exhibitions each year, showcasing established and recent Icelandic artists, as well as interesting and progressive international art. As a cultural center Hafnarborg also hosts concerts and lectures. Admission is free on Fridays.
Kogga's work has been popular from the beginning, and is by now among Iceland's most respected ceramic art. A Kogga piece is found in quite many Icelandic homes. The eggs, made of white ceramic and decorated with intricate patterns, figurative and abstract. Somehow one came to feel that a particular kind of luck came with those eggs, much like with the eggs of life and fate in the fairy tales. Kogga makes both functional and sculptural pieces out of ceramics, and her work is influenced by the rough nature of Iceland, with strong structural surface-decoration. The studio and gallery are located in the cavelike cellar of one of Vesturgata's lovely old buildings, close by antique shop Fríða frænka, and the Reykjavík Art Museum. Admission is free.
Kópavogur Art Museum is named after Kópavogur's most famous artist, sculptor Gerður Helgadóttir (1928-1975). She donated her collection of art to the town, which in turn had a museum built in her honor, housing a permanent exhibition of her work, as well as a variety of other exhibitions from Icelandic and international artists. Since its inauguration in 1994, Gerðarsafn has been a venue for some of the best and most progressive artists of the younger generation, such as Ólöf Nordal and Gunnar Karlsson. Also it has exhibited the wonderful naive driftwood sculptures of Sæmundur Valdimarsson, possibly the most popular art exhibition in recent years.
Hlíðarendi (stadium) is a multi-functional stadium in Reykjavík and is popular venue for the football matches in the city. Home to the Knattspyrnufélagið Valur or the Falcon Football Club, this stadium boasts of a capacity of accommodating more than 1500 spectators. Besides football, this arena also has facilities for basketball and and handball games. With an inclined seat-arrangement, the spectators get an optimal view of the ground and enjoy the game all the more.