Iceland is a beauty to behold any time of year, but there's something particularly special about spending the summer months in its capital city, Reykjavik. With the midnight sun blazing between May and August (a natural phenomenon where the sun doesn't set), tourists can pack their days with hours of sightseeing. Already excited to go? With new Air Canada Rouge flights launching this summer, it’s never been easier to make your way to the idyllic country.
Whether it's climbing to the top of the Hallgrímskirkja church or heading just out of town to get misted by a majestic waterfall, it's about time you touchdown in Iceland. Here are five solid reasons to throw some Skyr-styled yogurt in your backpack, cue up an all-Björk playlist, and enjoy the eternal glow of Iceland's summer season.
1. Taking a dip in a natural hot spring
One of Iceland's biggest tourist attractions is the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa, a man-made, mineral rich pool located just outside of Keflavik, a region in Reykjavik. People have been applying its skin-rejuvenating silica mud on their bodies for over 40 years. If you're looking for an even earthier option, there are plenty of all-natural hot springs dotted across the country to dip in as well. Try heading out to the Reykjadalur valley just outside of Reykjavik and soak in its steamy river.
The multilevel drop of the Gullfoss waterfall, roughly 100 kilometres east of downtown Reykjavik, has become one of the country's most popular and breathtaking attractions. Just as awe-inducing is the sheer amount of neighbouring cascades across the region. Take in the wonder of the towering Glymur waterfall and the powerful stream of the Dettifos waterfall.
3. Riding an Icelandic horse
Though small in stature, years of isolated evolution have given the Icelandic horse extra traits you won't see in any other breed. While they can walk, trot, and gallop the same as any other horse, there are two additional gaits in their arsenal: the tölt (a run where at least one foot always touches the ground), and the speedy and smooth skeið, or "flying pace,” where both legs on one side of the horse touch the ground. Whether you're an Equestrian or a casual rider, you're going to experience a unique show of horsepower.
4. Whale and puffin tour
While there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied on land, don't forget that Reykjavik's seaside location also allows for water adventure. Head to the docks and hop aboard a day cruise, where you could end up eyeing a pod of humpback whales, white beaked dolphins, or porpoises. Keep your eyes to the skies as well. You're bound to see a flock of Atlantic puffins flapping their way across the oceanscape.
5. The Secret Solstice Festival
Anybody looking to dance under the beaming midnight sun may want to consider booking a three-day stop at Reykjavik's Secret Solstice Festival. Billed as a "party where the sun never sets," the outdoor festival features an eclectic mix of local and international acts playing across various stages. Last year the fest hosted performances from Radiohead and local folk heroes Of Monsters and Men. The 2017 edition is anchored by alt-rock faves Foo Fighters.
This is just a taste of what Reykjavik has to offer. Start planning your trip to Reykjavik with Air Canada Rouge now.