Reykjavik

Reykjavik, the world’s northernmost capital city, sits comfortably on the southwestern edge of Iceland - fault lines, hot springs and all. Home of pubs, majesty and mountains, this city on the island of Iceland is where the pulse of the country begins, and ends.

Having been remade over the past three decades, the city now houses over half of the entire Icelandic population. Maintaining an eclectic nightlife, Reykjavik is also the favorite spot for backpackers passing though on their way up a mountain. Hours in either direction from a geyser or a glacier, Reykjavik has reinvented itself over the past 30 years to become one of the most visited European cities.

In Reykjavik, the clocks literally operate on their own standard of time. Endless summer days and endless summer nights guarantee that there will be plenty to do - and plenty of time to do it. In the winter, there are mountains and ski slopes. Come summer, festivals, from jazz to film, take over the city and bring in tourists from all over the world.

Jetting out into the frigid Faxaflói Bay in the North Atlantic Ocean, the view from Reykjavik is as majestic as you’ve heard. The city is an ecological marvel, as clean as any capital in Europe. By getting its heat and much of its water from underground geothermal springs, Reykjavikians enjoy the cheapest electric bills on the continent.

Only hours from some of Earth’s most mesmerizing locations, Reykjavik is as close to New York as the most northern parts of the Arctic Circle, and is a mere day trip from lava deserts, glaciers, geysers, mountains, volcanoes, waterfalls and rainbows.

Named as a European City of Culture in 2000, an honor that sealed the city’s status as an international wonder, Reykjavik - the city by the bay with the colorful houses – is the new European hip.

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  Copyright © 2003 Chris Coomey