Wonderful Reykjavík

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Plumb in the middle of the northern Atlantic Ocean, the Icelandic capital of Reykjavík has long been a favoured stop-off between Europe and America. Venture beyond the airport though, and you’ll find one of the coolest, quirkiest and most charming capital cities on Earth – particularly for the craft beer lover – and it’s all waiting to be explored with Jet2CityBreaks

The heart of the city is huddled around a harbour, with spectacular views over to the rugged coastal islands of Videy and Engey, and is compact enough to easily cover on foot. We’d strongly recommend taking one of the excellent walking tours to get your bearings (yes, beer-themed tours are also available) and scope out some spots to revisit later.

In terms of the breweries themselves, there are a truly astonishing number considering the size of the population, with most being at the delightfully ‘micro’ end of the scale. ÆgisgarðurBastarður, and Bryggjan Brugghús are all effectively brewpubs – and great ones at that – and even the larger outfits, such as RVK and scene veterans Lady Brewery (an experimental, all-woman cuckoo brewery run by the wonderful Þórey Björk) are rarely seen outside of Iceland.

PHOTO: Northern lights © Nicolas J. Leclercq

Having been back to Reykjavík ourselves a good few times, we’ve fallen in love over again with the real sense of community and collaboration here. Even well-established outfits like Lady Brewery share not only suppliers, but even brewing capacity, working together and investing in new equipment that they perhaps couldn’t afford alone. This spirit has arguably also allowed them to forge close bonds with US and European brewers, all of whom are a relatively short flight away. 

For the beery traveller though, you may come for the brews, but there’s plenty more here to keep you entertained on your stay.

Perlan is a truly extraordinary immersive museum experience, whose vast central dome acts as a 360-degree cinema, showcasing Iceland’s breath-taking landscapes and geology. There is also a real ice cave to explore (made from more than 350 tonnes of mountain ice, snow and volcanic ash), a deep dive into the country’s volcanic past and present and even a great top-floor restaurant with panoramic views of the city.

If man-made beauty is more your thing, Harpa Concert Hall is truly a wonder to behold. We’ve still not managed to catch a concert there yet, but that’s not stopped us from returning; this is an architecturally stunning building, inside and out, offering some of the best views along the Reykjavík shoreline.

PHOTO: Hallgrímskirkja church © Ferdinand Stohr

Perhaps the city’s most iconic landmark, Hallgrímskirkja church soars above the surrounding neighbourhoods, having seemingly risen in stepped columns from ice and volcanic rock. Step inside though, and the tectonic force of the building becomes suddenly serene; spare and still, even the most jaded traveller will find a spiritual experience here.

However you choose to spend your day, there’s a warm welcome waiting for you in Reykjavík’s Laugavegur area. Essentially the old town, this picturesque warren of streets is a riot of brightly painted independent shops, cafés, bakeries and – yes – characterful bars, serving up excellent beer, foreign and domestic. Spend an afternoon exploring Laugavegur, and you’ll be booking your next visit before your flight leaves the runway.

Win a Jet2CityBreak

With clear views out over the shore, Fosshotel Reykjavík is Iceland’s largest hotel, and a great base from which to explore in comfort. For your chance to win a Jet2CityBreak to Iceland for two, including a four-night stay at Fosshotel Reykjavik, enter now at www.jet2holidays.com/beer52. With return flights, 10kg hand luggage and 22kg baggage all included, make sure you enter before 13th May 2022 for your chance to win.

Iceland and Northern Lights City Breaks

Experience the world’s most spectacular natural phenomenon this winter, with a Northern Lights trip and inclusive tour, from Jet2CityBreaks. All Jet2CityBreaks are ABTA and ATOL-protected, with your hotel, return flights, 10kg hand luggage and 22kg baggage included.

Book today at www.jet2holidays.com/city-breaks

Full T&C’s apply. Please visit: Jet2holidays.com/promotions for further details

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