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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.
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.
The Golden Circle is the collective name for a stunning 300-kilometer (190-mile) trail that traverses the most iconic and awe-inspiring sights of Iceland's geography. Located in southwest Iceland, the circle lets one experience the historic and exquisite reaches of the Þingvellir National Park, the marvels of the Geysir and Strokkur geothermal areas, and admire the wispy cascade of the Gullfoss waterfall as it gushes from the River Hvítá. Along the way, less prominent but equally mesmerizing attractions include the Kerið volcanic crater, the idyllic town of Hveragerði, the Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Station, and historic Skálholt Cathedral.
The residents of Reykjavík are especially proud to have one of the highest waterfalls in the country practically on their doorstep (in Hvalfjörður). The height of Glymur is 200 metres and the power of the water is quite amazing. To see the whole waterfall at once, you have to go up the eastern side, which can be reached by two paths. Whichever path you choose, you have to be very careful when approaching the waterfall!
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.