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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.
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.
At Elliðavatn you will find a very nice walking path that will lead you around the lake. As you walk along you will pass people horse-riding, arctic flora and last but not least historic ruins. The ruins date back to the Viking age and are believed to have served as the first assembly building in Iceland. The walk around Elliðavatn will take about 3 hours.
Sun Voyager is a beautiful landmark in Reykjavik and boasts of designs by Jón Gunnar Árnason, a famed architect. Also known as Sólfar, this steel-ship features tridents symbolizing magic and proudly sits at the seaside. Being the last design of the architect, it is believed that the ship is a mark of healing and faith and is also interpreted as a ship that transports the spirit to the afterlife.
Picture this: A dull day, icy winds beating on your face, and time on your hands. Where do you go? Well you can venture into one of the many thermal pools in the city or outskirts that cater to tourists and locals. Sundholl offers saunas, solaria, indoor and outdoor pools and hot pots. And it's Ladies' Night on Tuesday and Thursdays from 8p-9p!
The Þingvellir has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its iconic status in Icelandic history. The site that is now a National Park was once occupied by farms, the remnants of which bear witness to the agricultural heritage of the region. The lush landscape is marked by old farmhouses, the 19th-century Thingvellir Church and various other structures. The park is endowed with remarkable natural beauty and is home to Iceland's largest natural lake. It is also the celebrated home of the world's oldest parliament that dates back to the Viking Age. Silken waterfalls such as the Oxara cascade dramatically from their place in the canyons, while the Peningagja is a ruggedly hewn gorge that ends in a swirl of icy cold waters. Visitors to the park can indulge in fishing at the lake, explore its depths or embark on a hike across the picturesque landscape.
A little outside the city center of Reykjavik, the glass dome of the landmark Perlan glints beautifully under the sun. Perched atop six gigantic hot water storage tanks, this unique architectural marvel is symbolic of the country's geothermal sources, and their key role in Icelandic society. Each tank wondrously holds 4 million liters (1 million gallons) of geothermal hot water. Within the humongous domes, a large atrium hosts exhibitions and events, mostly regarding the history and future of glaciers. From the fourth floor of the dome, visitors can enjoy panoramic vistas of Iceland's stellar landscape, from bird-eye views of Reykjavik and the majestic summit of Mount Esja, all the way to Snæfellsjökull.
An immensely flattering imitation that traces the rugged mountainous features of Iceland's topography, the Hallgrímskirkja is a stunning structure in the heart of Reykjavik. Designed by architect Guðjón Samúelsson, the church was completed over a prolonged span of 41 years. It stands today as a symbol of splendid modernism and Iceland's natural beauty. The Hallgrímskirkja features a dramatic gray facade with craggy edges that swoop upward to meet the detailed steeple. The spire towers at a height of 74.5 meters (244 feet) and is visible from far-flung corners of the city. Compared to the church's imposing facade, the interior is less pronounced, though it notably houses a 5275-pipe organ that was erected in 1992.